During the past couple of months I’ve had to endure 2 things that no one enjoys doing; online dating and finding a new rental house. This has led me to realise that there are many similarities between the two, besides the fact that I don’t really enjoy either of them.
One of the biggest similarities I find between online dating and finding a new rental, is the photography. So many houses I looked at had employed the use of “creative photography”. I have a dog so finding a place is already hard,and do you know how often I went somewhere that looked to have a decent sized yard in the photo but actually more closely resembled the square feet of land you can buy in Scotland? The same goes for online dating, I can’t count the number of times I’ve gone on a date with someone to find out that their pictures from their profile are actually about 10 years (and 10 pants sizes) ago.
Which leads to my second point, time wasters. Now I’ve recently started a new job and want to make a good impression. So it bothered me that I was having to take time away from work to go and look at houses, even more so when it was a complete waste of time. The “creative photography” just made places look suitable when a realistic photo would have helped me rule it out online and not have to waste my lunch driving from work, looking at the house for 2 minutes and instantly realising “no” and then driving back again. Even worse were the misleading descriptions (there is a difference between a backyard and a courtyard), or the time I went to look at a place only to find out that the ad was wrong and they didn’t in fact allow pets. Again, do you know how often I’ve gone on a date with a guy, only to find out that he’s only looking for a relationship because “it’s the next step” (but he’s not even close to ready) or has realised that all his friends are married with kids.
Communication is another; we always hear too much from some, but not enough from others. I’m still getting notifications, emails, calls and text messages from houses I looked at months ago, but there were several applications I submitted where I had to follow up to find anything out. One of the houses I applied for (this was a diamond in the rough, it was gorgeous and well placed and within my price range), I had to follow up after a few days as I hadn’t heard anything from the agent and the response was “Oh yeah, we’ve already rented that one”. I’ve also had several guys drop off the radar completely mid-conversation, never to be heard from again; but then there are some that persist even after you tell them you’re not interested (I had a guy continue messaging me after I went to sleep, answering questions I didn’t ask, then try calling me the next day, then track me down on Facebook and add me as a friend). Communication is key, but there always seems to be too much when we don’t want it, and not enough when we do.
These are both necessary evils in life though, but maybe someone day I won’t have to deal with it anymore. Both are a precursor to something bigger, something more permanent. I’ll rent until I get to the point where I’m ready to buy a house, then I won’t have to traipse across the city looking at houses that keep the toilet in a shed in the backyard (not joking, it happened). And hopefully one day I’ll go on a first date with someone, and it’ll be the last time I deal with meeting strange men on the internet.