So about two months ago … I found ‘the One’.
I didn’t want to say anything, because I didn’t quite believe it myself. Over the years, I’ve realised the more excited you get about something, and the more you imagine something happening a certain way, the less likely it is to happen.
But this time, all the finger crossing and baited breath held out – I found the One. Five weeks ago, I moved in. And every day since, I’ve woken up with a broad smile on my face!
Ok, ok so regular readers will know I’m not talking about a guy! I’m talking about my flat!
A while back I commented on 30 Dates that house-hunting had reminded me oddly of online dating. There I was, trawling through hundreds of profiles, often not even getting beyond the initial photograph. I had certain deal breakers I wouldn’t budge on – cost, location, number of bedrooms … but then there were other things I was less fussed by – a garden, new build or old build, open plan, or separate kitchen.
A few months on, and I’m writing this post from my gorgeous new living room, surrounded by all my worldly possessions. The flat is perfect. The location is great, the size works just right for me, but above all – it’s a real ‘me’ flat – all my stuff fitted in perfectly, and it already feels as if I’ve been living here years.
And yet, if you’d have asked me two months ago to describe my ideal flat, I would never have described this place. I’d always described what I was looking for as modern. And a blank canvass – exactly what I’d had in my previous flat.
This flat is over 100 years old, and anything but a blank canvas. In fact when my little sister came to visit, she described it as like a novelty hotel! One wall is covered in snakeskin, and the cupboards in my front room have intricate ancient Japanese wallpaper on!
And yet it still felt like a blank canvas. And because of recent work on the kitchen and bathroom – it still felt modern, in spite of its age.
The thing about this flat, is I’d never have realised how perfect it was for me by just reading a description of it. Or even by looking at the estate agent photos. Yes, they were ok, but I was worried about storage space, and that I wouldn’t be able to fit a king-size bed in the bedroom.
As for first impressions, my corridor is the most crazy, narrow corridor I’ve ever seen! The front door jams up against the wall as soon as you step inside! It’s an awful first impression. But there’s so much else that’s great inside that I don’t worry about the front door – I mean, how much time do you spend standing in your own corridor?!
I’m sure you can see where I’m going by now …
This flat was perfect for me. It has slotted into my world, as if I always belonged here. I love it, and living here makes me feel both happy, and at home. But I would never have known those things, if I hadn’t taken the first step, and gone for a viewing.
If I’d simply read a description of the flat, I’d have never realised what was important to me, and what really isn’t. If you’d ever told me six months ago, I would move to a flat in London with snakeskin wallpaper, I’d have laughed out loud. And yet I do, and oddly, the snakeskin wallpaper actually kind of works!
Even from the photos, I’d have never committed … though I had a stomach-flip feeling when I came across it online. The only point I knew this was the flat for me, was when I finally stepped through the door, and took a look around.
We all need to take the same approach online dating. Because other people don’t know how to self-market! They don’t necessarily know which photos really look like them, or how to sum themselves up in a couple of hundred words. And so, it’s up to us, as fellow daters, not to read too much into the minor details. To overlook the ‘snakeskin wallpaper’, and actually see what it’s like in real life.
A date is a few hours of one evening of your life. And yet those few hours, have the potential to change the rest of your life completely (and not always in the way you expect – look at how my dates with Henley Boy have changed my life!).
When you’re looking for a new house, you visit tens or even hundreds. Because you’re looking for a home, and you’re not prepared to settle for the first vaguely reasonable one. And to work out whether they are worth it or not, you visit the houses, and take a look for yourself. When you’re looking for a partner, you should apply the same logic. Don’t just scroll through profiles online and make judgments on limited facts, actually meet up with people, and see how a list of words and attributes on a page, come together into something real … and potentially very very exciting!
Miss Twenty-Nine xxx