Moving is the worst. It’s exhausting, stressful and is enough to make you want to face-plant into a pile of pizza. What’s even more stressful, however, is looking for a place to move to. A month ago, I decided I was sick of my uptown Toronto apartment and wanted to find another one. After several frustrating weeks, my emotions were pretty familiar. Then it hit me: searching for a place to live is just like another (often endless) search—the search for love—which brought me to the conclusion that dating and apartment-hunting aren’t so different after all.
The hope/disappointment cycle
If you’re single, you probably go on a lot of first dates. I know I do. Some are truly terrible, some are actually fun but the majority are just meh. But if there’s one thing that every date has in common, it’s that cycle of hope and then disappointment that you experience. This is especially true if you’re online dating (which we all are, of course). You can’t help it—you know you shouldn’t, but you build this person up in your head, thinking that it would be amazing if they ended up being your soulmate. Then you get to the bar on Friday night and realize there’s zero chemistry and even less to talk about. Oops. The exact same thing happens when you see an apartment listing and then view it in person. This will solve all your problems, you think. Then you get there and there’s no kitchen, just a stove and a fridge against one wall, or there’s no room for a table and a couch. People and apartments are never what we think they will be.
You swear by a list of qualities your future boyfriend needs to have: he should be a non-smoking, creative, ambitious professional who doesn’t live at home with his mom. You do the same when looking for your next place to call home: you want a one-bedroom apartment with a pretty view, a dishwasher, A/C, and enough room for a couch and a table (it’s not too much to ask). In both cases, you don’t always get exactly what you’re looking for… but you might get something even better.
The commitment factor
We’ve all heard that first dates are like job interviews. They’re also the equivalent of the decision to sign a lease on an apartment. Can you picture yourself in this space for an entire year? Would this be your forever home and you’ll never move again? We think about commitment to an apartment and to a guy in the exact same way – we don’t want to make the wrong decision and reject it later. But sometimes, you just have to follow your heart and go for it, no matter what happens later.
In the end, I decided not to move after all, and simply rearranged all the furniture in my apartment. It worked. As for dating, well, I hope to give it up sometime soon—by hopefully meeting a guy I love as much as my one-bedroom apartment.