Swiss Toni is a character in popular sketch show “The Fast Show”, he’s a second-hand car salesman who likens buying/selling second-hand cars to making love to a beautiful woman. I caught an episode at the weekend, and it strikes me that whilst flat-hunting isn’t much like making love to a beautiful woman (frankly, having never made love to a beautiful woman I’m not that qualified to comment), it is remarkably like the swings and roundabouts of online dating (upon which, dear readers, I’m infinitely better qualified to comment, and about which, frankly, I’ve had similar levels of (un)success).
You browse the websites. You see some interesting profiles, with little teasing phrases to tantalise you into taking your interest a step further (likes red wine / has plumbing for washing machine), then pluck up the courage to contact a few. You don’t feel too tarty about flirting with more than one at this stage, after all this potentially could lead to a long-term commitment but it’s also a huge scary unknown so it’s important to look as widely as possible. After the initial contact, you meet/view*, and really think something promising could come of this.
* entirely applicable to dates too, don’t deny it!
After a while (admittedly somewhat quicker in housing than dating, or hopefully anyway!) you intimate that your interest is more than just passing and you think about going a step further down the line. And that’s where it starts to unravel. He turns out to have unacceptably right-wing political views/it turns out to be sinking into the ground, and what looked so promising bites the dust all too quickly.
An alternative scenario is that just as you start thinking something promising could come of this and go to make your move, you discover that there is someone else on the scene who got in first.
And then the post-disaster analysis. Was I too pushy? Was I not assertive enough? Why do I always fall for the same type and make the same mistake? Am I aiming too high? Should I lower my standards? Should I cast the net wider?
Perhaps I should join an online dating agency again. If I get as many dates as I’m getting flat viewings (two more today, two more tomorrow) I’ll have a blast.