Friday, July 17, 2009

Shopping for a Relationship (Leah)

Hmm, I tried to come up with a clever title, but I'm afraid I didn't capture my true message. Maybe it will attract readers, though, with its sensationalism! What I really want to communicate, though, is how finding a mate can be a lot like buying a house for the first time.

Over the summer three of my good friends have all bought their first homes. As a home owner myself it was interesting to relive my experience through them. When they'd come to me with different fears or stresses I was reminded of my own back in the day. It also reminded me of some wisdom I've learned about shopping for a house in relation to finding a mate.

When I first considered buying a home I went to my neighbor, Bob. He was a home owner and recently married a good woman - two of the big things I was hoping to do. I feared that by buying a home I would become stuck and less available for marriage. Bob assured me that by owning a home I would be more desirable to a man. He said he would have been more than pleased if his good wife had a home when they married. So I did it. And you would not believe this, but I got my first serious boyfriend (in years) right about the time I moved in. Oh how I loved that Phil - but then he moved and we broke up and you know how life goes. Truthfully, though, I've had a few Phils since and none of them seemed concerned about me owning a home. One actually told me that he considered it a huge asset - I think he loved me for my home.

Now let me share another bit of wisdom I gained from another Bob in relation to home ownership. This Bob was a newlywed when we were visiting one day. He was giving me advice on a relationship. He said that when men date it's a lot like house shopping. They look about and pick a home that they think is super. What makes them love that home, though, is knowing that others will want that home as well and it's a bit of a challenge to be the one that gets it. He said he was never tempted by houses that nobody wanted and that he could get for super cheap. I think he was trying to tell me that men like a bit of a chase - they want to feel like they work for her and win her. I've heard similar things from dating coaches so I think my Bob may have been right.

As for my own lessons learned in house buying, well, it was a real faith exercising experience. Just like dating, I felt like going forward in the looking and then negotiating required a lot of patience, confidence, trust, and out right luck. Just when I thought I had the perfect house things came up that made me question if I really wanted it. I also wondered if I was getting a great deal or if I was being taken advantage of. I've felt similarly in past relationships. When you start to feel more used than honored then that's a good sign to get out. I had to remember, though, that no house would be perfect. So when I am tempted to give up on things or find faults in Phil I have to remind myself of what I really want. In shopping for a house I didn't get the dishwasher I wanted but I did get the garage. It was a tough decision at the time, but I am thrilled by my decision, just as I know I'll be when I finally get my man.


Bridget said...

This is a great post. And so true. My roommate and I were JUST talking about this very subject. She is looking for a house in L.A. Right now the prices are low enough that she can afford the area but a lot of other people can afford it as well, so she has put offers on two houses that she loved and has been outbid. We were thinking,just like relationships, the hope of getting the perfect house is so vivid, but then can be dashed when it doesn't work out..and you must continue looking for next perfect house :)

Kleinhenz Family said...

Eventually, you want to upgrade or you get tired of the maintenance, or you find you don't need all the space. People are really like houses, in the end it all just takes work- it is exciting in the beginning and even when you find the right "house" it takes alot of work, but in the end it is yours.

Anonymous said...

Actually, Bob was trying to tell you that men want what other men want and they want the praise of their fellow men when they get it.

Example: you do something for your man, say leave him in the sporting goods section while you shop for whatever it is. Well when he tells his buddies about it and they say, "man I wish my girl did that instead of drag me through 3 different departments." That instantly becomes special to him because it's something he has that his buddies wish they had. Such could be said about your cooking, or enthusiasm to let him teach you how to do something. It relates to the house that has the things other people want.

As far as a single woman owning her own house, it kind of intimidates me, even though I own my own as well. It kind of tells me that maybe she's moved on and has established herself and may not be able to rely on a man. Men like to be relied upon by women. They like to be providers and protect you and make you feel safe. You're so gosh darn cute when you show us love and appreciation for taking care of some of these things for you.