Humans are averse to change. We resist loss of control and excess uncertainty. No one likes living in ambiguity. And a few months ago, my entire world seemed replete of nebulousness. So, that left me with two options: accept the nebulous and make the most of it or ignore the nebulous and fall the victim.
There were three areas of my life that seemed to be in upheaval:
I had three months before my lease on my apartment was up. This meant I would prioritize career, which would then influence home and lowest on the totem pole – my dating life. That would just be a bonus.
But life never goes according to the best laid out plans. For two months, I did online research for a new apartment (I was planning to move out on my own for the first time in 10 years), and I re-entered the dating apps (I was looking for a rebound from my recently ended relationship).
I had a defined list. From my recent apartment and relationship experience, I knew exactly what I didn’t want in my next living situation and potential dating partner. All that was left was to fill in the gaps for what I actually wanted.
Deal Makers and Deal Breakers
My last relationship was toxic, by all definitions. But rather than beat me down, like it should have, it actually made me resilient. I felt empowered to stand up for myself and who I was, and when it ended, I had no doubt that I deserved better. But during the qualms of that relationship, I made a list of the pros and cons, and a good friend of mine encouraged me to circle the deal breakers and deal makers.
It was very clear he was a deal breaker. It may have taken me a few months longer to accept that, but that list came in handy when I re-entered the dating world. Likewise, when I was looking for apartments, I made a list of deal breakers and deal makers. And I refused to waste my time visiting anything that didn’t fit those parameters.
And in those two months, I had a lot of fails. I wasn’t finding an apartment, and even though I was setting up dates, they would inevitably cancel on me last-minute. I never took it personal though. Because this was about being healthier and striving for change that was best for me. If potential dates didn’t see the value in me, they weren’t worth my time anyway. In moments of doubt and frustration, I would just tell myself – proceed anyway.
Light Finds a Way
And then in late April, I found an apartment that not only met all the requirements of my search but had a couple of deal makers, too. It seemed too good to be true. I kept my expectations low and took one of my best friends with me for a second opinion. But when I visited that apartment, I knew within seconds it was the one for me. Within 24 hours, I was approved. And I had a move-in date.
Two weeks later, I met a guy online who asked me out for gelato. He wasn’t my usual type, but I liked his assertiveness and kind demeanor, and having recently gotten into Homeland, I mainly went out with him to see if his analyst profile had anything to do with the CIA. He treated me really well, and upon that first meeting, I felt like we had a connection. In the online dating world, that can sometimes be the hardest thing to find.
The first date led to another. And over time, I’ve realized that he represents the best things of all the relationships I’ve ever had. I don’t know if that is humanely possible, but he certainly checks all the right boxes, and the more I get to know him, the more I like him. But more than anything, he values and appreciates me for just being me. And that is all I have ever wanted in a potential partner.
A Good Question
So, three months ago, my world was crumbling. And now I have had success in two of those three areas that were in upheaval. How? A good friend of mine once told me maybe it’s because you knew exactly what you wanted in an apartment and in a relationship. And you refused to settle for anything less. But, she asked, do you know what you want in a career?
Obviously, I’m still figuring that out. And I feel incredibly lucky for finding a home and a partner that fits my needs and yet gives me and us an opportunity to grow together.