Apartment Hunting Is a Lot Like Dating…

UPDATE: The night after I wrote this post, I got a call from the manager telling me that the person they originally offered the place to was lagging on moving forward, so they’d be willing to run my credit and see what happens. Long story short, I ended up getting the place after all! See, guys. What’s meant to be will be.

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Sigh, I feel like I’m going through a breakup with a guy I’ve never even dated (again), but this time…there’s no guy.

It’s crazy how some things in life produce the same emotional response even though they’re vastly different situations–for example, apartment hunting.

I knew a while back that I’d be ending my lease at my current place and looking for a new one. My current apartment is great, but the location is a little crazy for this grandma. Plus, work is moving to a new building and I’m ready for a new environment.

The problem is I’m a planner, but with things like this, searching the market six months in advance isn’t going to do anything beneficial. Apartment hunting is more of a fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants type of thing. Anyway, the time came when I really had to go all in and figure shit out. So let me describe the last few weeks for you…

I was abnormally calm about everything. Even my friends were stunned at how nonchalant I was.  “Bruna, where are you going to live?” …”Oh I don’t know yet but it’ll all work out.” Say whaaaa?! Who was this person?

I saw a few places in the area I wanted to live in. They didn’t quite fulfill my needs. I’m picky with men, but I’m even picker with apartments. Whether it was the exterior, the small kitchen, the color of the carpet, the principal of the rent being so high when nothing is really being offered…I was coming up short.

Then, I began entertaining the idea of buying instead of renting. Big move. Literally. Over the span of 24 hours, I went from searching on HotPads, Zumper, Padmapper and Craigslist to Redfin and Realtor.com. I was having intense conversations with a loan lender and realtor. I was figuring out interest rates and loan packages and crunching numbers. I was getting pre-approved.  I was a fucking adult to the highest degree.

And it freaked me the fuck out.

For the first time maybe ever, I felt like I finally knew what it was like for a guy who wasn’t ready for a commitment. With relationships, I’d always go all in if I felt like it was worth it. But with this, even if I found a condo I liked (but not loved), I was having panic attacks. Seriously. I couldn’t sleep. I’d be on the verge of tears. Everything was just happening so fast.

I’m not ready.

So I backed away. Buying is not for me right now. This commitment, this marriage, is not for me right now. Maybe in a few years.

Then, I get a phone call from a manager at one of the complexes I had contacted: “Hey Bruna. You asked about a unit and we didn’t have anything, but one just opened up suddenly. Come check it out if you’re still looking for something.”

Hm, why not? I was at a wedding over the holiday weekend, so I had to wait a few days before I could see it. Once I went, I fell in love. Literally, I fell in love. Everything about it was perfect. The hardwood floors, the fireplace, the neighbors, the neighborhood, the management, the square footage…I had butterflies. I wanted it. I went full-force. THIS WILL BE MINE.

My dream man apartment.

I expressed my interest openly. I gave her my application fee in cash (I never have cash, but I somehow had the exact amount on me. It’s a sign!) and trusted her with it even though she said there was another applicant already, so there was a possibility she wouldn’t even run my application. Fuck that person, I’m going to get this. We’re meant to be.

I drove to the office. I filled out the application, got all the necessary documents scanned and sent over. Boom. Done. Now the waiting game. “I’ll be able to let you know by tomorrow night.”

Longest 24 hours of my life. I literally dreamed about this place. I made up all kinds of scenarios with it. I imagined myself cooking my friends a nice dinner before watching some Netflix by the fire. I imagined days by myself, reading on the balcony. I imagined becoming BFFs with the neighbors. I saw it all. This was meant to be.

I was so antsy about hearing back that I couldn’t wait any longer and text her first. “Just checking for an update,” I wrote her. Then the phone rings. It’s her. I’m nervous. The convo in my head goes a little something like this: “Congratulations Bruna! If you want it, the unit is yours!” YES!

The convo in reality: “Hey Bruna, I didn’t forget about you. There was a conditional thing with her application that required a higher security deposit, so we had to see if she’d be willing to pay it, and she is. So unfortunately, I can’t offer you the apartment.”

HEARTBROKEN. Seriously, I held back tears. It didn’t make sense. We were supposed to be together (the apartment and I).

“I can meet up with you later to give you back your application fee.”

I drove to meet her after work and it was like I was meeting with my ex to get my stuff back. There were a lot of sympathetic glances and apologies and lines of reassurance–“It’s not you, she just got to it first,” “If I hear of anything or if anything changes, I’ll let you know,” “I’m so sorry.”

Then there’s the sympathetic lines from my friends and family who knew I was looking forward to this place: “Something greater is out there for you,” “It’s OK Bruna, this wasn’t it.”

I also found out that the applicant is a girl who just broke up with her boyfriend and needed a new place to live. I couldn’t be that mad at her after finding that out. Still mad, don’t get me wrong. I hate her. But #theproblemwithdating.

The manager and I finally parted ways on that chilly night, and I drove back home listening to Adele as the scenarios of me entertaining my friends in my super-cool and chic apartment drifted away.

And just like dating, a part of me is still holding on to the hope that something happens and I get a call saying it’s mine. But I have to let go, and in these cases, time is of the essence. So, I’m checking out three places tomorrow morning, and maybe one of them will end up being even better.

Because as with all things, if it didn’t happen, it wasn’t meant to be. Even if you truly, whole-heartedly believed it was.

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