The parallels between dating and apartment hunting in New York are uncanny. For starters, both are wildly competitive, which is inevitable in a city where millions are scrambling for the same, limited resources. Especially when everyone’s harboring that ‘only-the best-will-do’ big apple mindset.
We’re all searching for our light-filled, West Village apartment, with outdoor space and a dishwasher. Just like we’re waiting for our six foot Adonis, who’ll cook us pasta before going down on us, and then stroke our hair as we fall asleep. We all want to land our pot of gold. It’s definitely out there… somewhere.
Here are 10 reasons why dating and apartment hunting in New York are exactly the same:
1. It takes a sh*t ton of effort
As I preached in My Guide to Internet Dating, you get out what you put in. The dream man / studio is not going to fall out of the sky, and onto your bar stool.
You have the best chance of success by building a solid pipeline, from multiple sources. You approach your options with an open mind, and conduct plenty of due diligence before the first meet. Then you see as many potential matches as possible.
Avoid putting all of your eggs in one basket – it’s a numbers game.
2. 3rd parties increase your chance of success
Sure, you hear tales of couples meeting in the Whole Foods cheese aisle, or of people landing dream apartments on nightclub dance-floors (oh wait… that was me in To Move or Not to Move). But let’s face it, half of today’s relationships start online, and apartments tend to also come to fruition via a 3rd party, be it a broker or website.
There’s always a hot new app on the block to help us out; one that’s doing things differently and crushing it. In online dating right now it’s Hinge – where it’s more interactive and people are actually attractive. For apartment hunting, it’s Joinery – where brokers are cut out, and tenants get a chance to make money.
Enlist help to find your perfect match – DIY is overrated.
3. Good ones go fast
You’ve bagged a date with a Bumble stunner in 5 days time, and have never been more excited. Your bush is waxed to perfection, and your toenails are freshly painted in ‘hot lovin’ red’. It’s the morning of the date, and you’re day dreaming about your hypothetical children, when he drops you like a hot potato. In reality, he had a 2nd date last night with some blonde from Tinder, and has suddenly taken himself off the singles market.
It’s the same stomach sink you get when your dream apartment gets snapped up by the guy who saw it after you, who was able to write the deposit check on the spot. You lose.
Lock that sh*t down – timing is everything.
4. Looks can be deceiving
Ever been duped into a date with a Hugh Grant lookalike, only to rock up and find he’s more Hugh Hef? Deceptive apartment photographs are even more rife – they’re a minefield of clever camera shots taken 10 years prior, depicting non-existent, spacious rooms.
There’s also the vibe aspect – he might be straight up marriage material on paper, but the chemistry could be off in person (read The Russian Doctor: First Assessment and Diagnosis Time for a real-life dating example). Likewise, often all you need to do is step inside an apartment for your gut to tell you if it’s a go-er.
Suss it out IRL asap – nothing replaces F2F.
5. Self-Selling is key
Having a bad day when you go for an apartment viewing? Want to bitch about your headache and talk shit about your job? Hold back! Paint on that smile, turn up that charm, and woo their pants off like your life depends on it.
We all want to surround ourselves with nice, easy going people, who aren’t going to make our lives hell. Putting your best self forward helps to close the deal.
Smile now and kvetch later – it’s all in the seduction.
6. Deal breakers
What are your deal breakers? Is living with a smoker a hard no for you? Do basement apartments make your skin crawl? Do they have a cat? Did they make a sexist comment? Don’t agree on politics? Forget it.
Spotting deal breakers early saves time and tears; asking specific questions speeds up the process.
Recognize when it’s a ‘hard no’ and move on quickly – life’s too short.
7. Knowing when to stop looking is tough
You’re pretty sure you like the place, but you’re wondering if the next one is even better. When is it time to leave the apps behind, and give it a shot? You ask yourself if this man or apartment is likely to make you happy in 6 months time, or whether it’s a quick fix?
Sometimes you resort to a trustworthy notepad, and list out all the pros and cons you can think of; it’s usually pretty clear by the end.
Logic it out, then go all in – you can’t really know until you try.
8. It takes two to tango
It’s a hell yes from you, and you’re delighted with your decision…. but then you remember you have to wait and see if they like you back.
You embark on the delicate dance of making it clear that you’re interested, while not appearing desperate, or overwhelming them with keenness. The wait can be agonizing, and there’s nothing you can do but sit it out.
Trust the universe – if it’s meant to be it will be.
9. There are catches
You’ve picked the quiet, back-of-the-building apartment on a leafy street, but the previous tenants failed to inform you about the trombonist neighbor, whose band practice kicks in around the time you go to sleep. Maybe they didn’t think you needed to know about the recently intensified cockroach situation, or the shower that doesn’t drain.
Likewise, you take the plunge for a new beau, only to discover he doesn’t like oral as much as he said he did, or that he’d kept his $50k credit card debt and overbearing sister hidden from you all along.
Expect surprises – you can’t predict life.
10. You’ll find the one (eventually)
Dating a bunch of frogs, and living in a lot of dumps is totally normal. It sucks hard, but helps you figure out what you’re actually looking for. You’ll also appreciate it a whole lot more when you find it.
There will be moments when you want to throw the towel in, and live a life of celibacy, or move back in with your parents. As needed, you allow yourself a deep breath, a short break, and a strong-cocktail fueled bitching sesh with pals. Then you’ll buck up, and get back out there.
Keep going – it will happen.