What I’ve come to notice is that renting a place to live is like dating. Full of desperate people looking for a good relationship, or any relationship for that matter.
First of all there is the flirting. You see an attractive looking house or flat and decide to make some sort of move, so you get their contact details and enquire about it. The house is trying to sell itself, and so are you, so when the people renting it out ask for a little bit about yourself you give off your best impression. With the flirting comes hope, and when your friends/parents ask if there is “anything new on the scene” you say that you have been talking to this good one that seems as if they’re going to be…the one! And so you stop looking for other houses and play flirty little games with your hopeful.
And then there is the first date, which is where you properly see the place for the first time. You get to learn everything about your hopeful ‘one’ and learn about all the little cracks in the wall that they don’t want you to see. If, after the first viewing you like what you see you arrange another. If you don’t then you call the whole thing off and go back on the market looking for more “bachelor pads”, so to say. Sometimes you can like them so much you can find yourself in a whirlwind romance and signing contracts, like marriages, within the blink of an eye! If you find yourself desperately looking for a new ‘bachelor pad’ you go everywhere, and eventually may resort to ‘online dating’ and looking at ads in the newspaper, which you refused to do when you first entered the dating/renting scene.
Sometimes there is let down, for example, you’ve been on a ‘first-date’, you liked the hopeful and have texted hoping to arrange another where you figure out if you can go with this one. But he doesn’t respond to your messages for days and you start to wonder what was wrong with you. You can’t play clingy, even though he’s beautiful and charming and you want him so badly it hurts, but you decide to text again to find out why he won’t respond, only to found out that he’s decided to go with a different girl. Now you have to get over this one and find another, but the ‘clock’ is ticking and you have nightmares of ending up in a loveless relationship or being alone forever.
Sometimes it does go well, and it’s all easy peasy love-at-first-sight fairytale endings and you can have the house for years, grow with it, raise kids still with the same one, and potentially even live the rest of your days with this one but for some you’d have to kiss a hundred frogs before you find your prince. For some people you’d have gone on a thousand ‘first dates’ and still not have the right one. Is it something wrong with you? Some of your friends will say that you just aren’t picking the right ones, or that you need to lower your standards, depending on whether they were the ones that let you down or not.
The thing is that there is a relationship for everyone, somewhere. And although I didn’t get the perfect house with good cleanliness, similar interests and is secure and safe, that doesn’t mean that there isn’t a place I’ll end up going to. Maybe I’ll have to settle a little bit, or go on a few more dates, or go back to an ex that I realise isn’t ‘so bad after all’ but I know I’ll find something…..eventually.