As you claw your way up the rickety ladder to adulthood, you may look back on your poor choices and notice a pattern. You might discover you’ve made the same mistakes when picking a guy as you have when picking a home or apartment. If every bad apartment reminds us what to avoid when we someday buy a home, why don’t all our failed relationships teach us what to watch out for when picking a long-term mate?
Here are six considerations we bear in mind when shopping for a house that we should apply to our love lives.
Invest for the long term
While I’m all for casual sex with self-involved idiots, it’s about time we stop sleeping with these guys then complaining we can’t find a relationship. You would never purchase a home you expect to move out of in six months. So instead of picking someone for now, find a guy you can tolerate longer than two hours.
Know easy fixes when you see them
In real estate and in relationships, perfection doesn’t exist. The key is knowing the difference between easy fixes and huge problems. For example, I used to rule out a guy who wore ugly shoes. Shoes! But I would never pass up my dream home because of ugly carpet or bad wallpaper. So revisit your list of deal breakers and assess whether they apply to trivial issues that have little bearing on the person walking in the ugly shoes. If so, dial back the judgment.
Look out for impending problems
While I encourage compromising on some factors, I don’t suggest overlooking real red flags. Be perceptive of small characteristics that could signal a potential problem. A guy who demonstrates a propensity for drinking or drugs could be an addict in the making, just as vertical cracks in the walls could reveal huge flaws in a home’s foundation. So train yourself to decipher those early warning signs, and don’t ignore issues that could lead to big issues down the road.
Know what fits your life
If you have a growing collection of camping equipment, you’ll look for a home with ample storage space. If you love to entertain guests, you might pay a premium for a place with a big yard or dining room. Identifying your hobbies, preferences, and aspirations is the first step in looking for a place to live, and is easy to overlook when choosing a guy. I’m a sucker for a man with a great sense of humor, and tend to forget the importance of shared interests. And while I once believed strongly that opposites attract, I now value a guy that likes to do what I like to do. After all, if you don’t share interests or hobbies, it can be more difficult to enjoy time and make memories together.
Trust your gut
When you find the one, you just know. And although it can be tough to separate women’s intuition from initial lust, I’m a proponent of trusting that feeling of contentment and bliss that comes from finding the right relationship — be it with a home or a guy.
Leave room to grow
Change is a lifelong process, and your twenties are a time to grow. So don’t stop yourself short by choosing a guy that stifles you, professionally, intellectually, or otherwise. Just as you wouldn’t buy a two bedroom home if you plan to someday have a family, you shouldn’t waste time with a stunted man who won’t work long term. Find someone who inspires you to tackle the world, and you just might.
Is there anything you keep in mind when looking for the one, be it a place to live or a person to hold your hand? Tell me in the comments or tweet me!