My partner and I just went through the strenuous process of apartment hunting and I realized along the way, that there are many similarities between apartment hunting and hunting for a compatible partner. These similarities are applicable both in vanilla and kinky relationships, but I believe, they are more pronounced in kink.

When you begin apartment hunting, you go into the process with a list of criteria. My parameters were broad. I had a radius to work and my best friend that I wanted to stay within, I had a price range, and I wanted the place to ‘feel like home.’ Honestly, these are pretty vague guidelines. Maybe I should have been more specific, maybe that would have prevented me from looking at so many apartments I didn’t like, or maybe being so vague allowed me to tighten up my parameters as the process went on by learning what I didn’t want in the apartment.

Now, despite this positive spin that I put on looking at apartments I didn’t like didn’t make it any less painful. The first few apartments were comically horrible, places that look ‘okay at best’ online and even worse in person. Chief and I laughed at the paint, the tiles, the horrific landlords, but by the end of the first day, I was already in tears.

The last apartment that we looked at on the first day had some of the amenities that we had, at that point, decided we wanted. It had some nice woodworking, it had a bathroom big enough to stand in, and a bathtub (I love baths), and the landlord was so sweet and nice and accommodating. I was ready to accept on the spot – thank god that Chief pulled me aside to talk to me. He pointed out that the kitchen was so small that it had three cabinets and that the stove and refrigerator were in the kitchen. I shrugged it off at first, but then he pointed out how much we love to cook together, we couldn’t do that here. He pointed out how ugly the paint was and how I would hate it within the month. He brought me back to my senses, and though I was grumpy and angry for the next hour, I am so glad that he made me wait to place money on something that really wasn’t what we wanted.

I think that many people go through this with relationships. You go into them with some expectations and when they are not met at all in the first few relationships you laugh about it with your friends because how they dressed, how they acted, or any manner of other characteristics were so far off from what you were looking for. But then it gets a little harder when you keep trying and it keeps not working out. I started comparing my apartment hunting success to others – why was my best friend able to find her dream apartment on the first try and I wasn’t finding anything even close?

These comparisons and frustrations are even more pertinent when it comes to relationships. You wonder why others are so happy, why they are so lucky, and why you are still struggling to find something – but don’t worry, you WILL find something, it may just take a little time.

Now I was ready to give up and wait a little while to continue looking. I figured I could continue to live where I was and I would eventually start looking again and find something in some future point. Then my friend sent me a link suggesting that I check out an apartment. It looked amazing online – it was a one bedroom, it was very close to a very happening part of town, it looked well maintained.

Now here is where it was tricky and very, very similar to relationships. I had to work really hard to get the apartment. The receptionist who I called was very rude, promised to show me the apartment and then cancelled. I wasn’t able to reach the landlord directly for three days. When I finally found his direct number the only time he could meet was at 6:45am the following day – which meant that I needed to go into work late (normally I go to work at 7) in order to see the apartment. I was nervous, but I agreed. It was the place – it superseded my expectations. It had exposed brick and exposed beams, it had an open kitchen floor plan, a bathtub, and a spacious bedroom. Now, honestly I did have to make concessions as well – it was more expensive than I was hoping, the bathroom was small, and it was on the third floor, but we found our new home.

The same is true with good relationships. They will come to you when you aren’t even looking for them, suddenly one will just cross your path. You will have to work to make the relationship function in the perfect way and you will have to make some concessions.

Be careful with the concessions you make because your parameters are there for a reason, but if you should feel comfortable with a little give and take. Don’t change who you are no matter how perfect someone seems, but don’t give up or settle for something that is less than what you are looking for. Hold out for someone who embodies that exposed brick and beams (or whatever your equivalent is!! They are out there somewhere.