I’ve watched House Hunters (HH) for a decade and I’m just as interested in it now as I was when I first discovered it. Over the years, I’ve observed some really interesting interactions between couples that provide valuable lessons to successful relationships. Specifically, how to make better decisions in the dating process.
- 1. The character in people is like good bones in a home.
When you buy a home, sometimes you have to overlook the cosmetic issues and focus on what’s really important to you. Some house hunters place emphasis on space, number of bedrooms, location, schools, and if the home is updated or not. However, the perfect home may need work in the bathrooms, updated electrical fixtures, or new appliances. It then becomes critical to look at the bones of the home and not focus on things that are easier to change.
The same is true with people. Not ever comes in the perfect package and although curb appeal is what gets your attention, if the inside requires more work that you are willing to put in, you have to walk away. We’ve all met that very attractive person only to discover their foundation was faulty and were infested with serious characters shortcomings.
- 2. Set your deal breakers early in the process
Nothing frustrates a realtor more than discovering after the 15th home that the city condo you were looking for had to include space for a 50-gallon saltwater fish tank. If you have a muscle car and need a garage big enough to fit a lift, that’s something you need to disclose in your initial meeting.
Relationships are no different. You might as well let the person you’re dating know right away about the things where you will not compromise. When his profile reads, “life goal is to live off the grid in South Dakota”, it’s probably a good idea to communicate how you break out in hives if you are not within 100 yards of a Starbucks or Jamba Juice.
- 3. Sometimes you have to blow the budget
In almost every episode, the women are looking for more closet space and the men are looking for guy space. Women want soaking tubs and men want a clear wall for a big screen television. As much as they can, most couples look to ensure they buy a home that accommodates both parties. Although, women tend to get their way more often. When it is possible, many couples are willing to pay extra to get it all.
People will reveal how motivated they are to get to know you. At times, you may find what you feel is the right person but circumstances make dating difficult: he works 70 hours a week; she’s a single mother; he has a sick parent; her job requires her to travel often. You may have to go the extra mile to have a relationship. Don’t walk away from the person because a little more effort is involved.
- 4. Family Matters
When the home buying process includes being close to the parents, siblings or extended family, that becomes the driving force in the decision. You can find the perfect home but if it’s 45 minutes away from mom when the wife wants to be within 10 minutes, you are not buying that home.
When someone is close to their family, you should expect and learn to accept interacting with them on the regular basis. Summers are full of picnics, cookouts, gathers, and spontaneous moments. There will be no shortage of parties celebrating birthdays, graduations, anniversaries, holidays. You don’t have to attend them all, but you should accept the fact the invitations will never stop coming.
- 5. The longer the list of must-haves, the harder it is to find a home
The reality that every home buyer eventually comes to understand is that they will not get EVERYTHING they want. Even buyers with million dollar budgets find something missing in most homes they view. The best approach is identifying what is really important and what you can change over time. Some homes are too much of a reclamation process while others just need cosmetic changes.
People are no different. No one person brings everything to the table. If your list is too long then no one will live up to it. You’ll eliminate most people half way down the list because we all have flaws and shortcomings. Life does this to us. We go through loss, divorces, disappointments, heartbreaks, letdowns, and setbacks. We are an accumulation of experiences and they manifest themselves differently in different people.
Having a short list, some guiding principles, and an open mind is a great approach. Knowing yourself and what you are able to accept is just important as getting to know a potential partner. A young lady who wants to live in rural Montana, raise cattle, attend church three times a week, and have six children has no business marrying a rock star living in New York City who loves the limelight and attends every social event possible.
Buying a home is a life-changing decision and has far reaching implications. People tend to understand this and govern themselves accordingly. Rarely, have I watched House Hunters and thought, they didn’t think that through. Relationships are just as critical, yet, many of us don’t put as much thought into choosing a life partner. Hopefully, this post is a guide to help someone avoid investing in someone with great curb appeal but has an infested personality. Happy Hunting.