Never mind the optimism and hopeful anticipation of arriving at a new destination, beginning a new phase in life, or finally having more space for all those shoes you bought: before you can get there, you have to find the right there. Can you tell I'm looking for a house and not keen about the process? Knowing our lease is up on May 31st and not knowing where I'll be living the day after is a major source of stress for me. And we're not even moving internationally this time.
Traversing the Atlantic from Spain to Mexico without an abode to walk into was easy compared to this. Guess I had too much other stuff to worry about at the time, like visas and spiders. Now we've been looking at about a hundred properties online, a dozen in person, and we're real estate clients from hell: everything we've seen was either nice on the inside or in the right kind of neighborhood, but not both.
Thankfully, I have type language to explain what's going on. Instead of telling you four-letter codes, let me describe some typical preferred behavior.
When it comes to making purchasing decisions, I'm quite straightforward and direct. I appear pretty high energy, usually know exactly what I want to buy, where it is located in the store, and make a bee-line for it. I'm all about making quick decisions and moving on to the next item on the agenda. No need to discuss too many details, once I know what works I'll go back to it. For bigger items, I tend to get a vibe or a feel and it either fits or it doesn't. For example, when we were going to buy me a car, I got so overwhelmed and frustrated with learning about all the facts and figures that I decided I'd simply keep the car we already had and made my husband find a car that he would drive. This solution worked well for both of us.
My husband's pace is slower. His energy is more contained. He is the most calm, quiet, agreeable, and laid-back person I know. His decisions integrate all available information, and he has no problem spending hours reading nutritional labels, car fact sheets, or in this case, real estate websites. He's very comfortable researching and integrating all available information. Once he has a baseline, there is time for refining, clarifying, and establishing an order of preference. Given his cultural background, he's a little more comfortable getting closer to the May 31 deadline before making a decision as well.
Have you recognized anyone you know in my brief descriptions? I know and have heard of many couples who have the same make-up: extraverted "active/doing" female and introverted "re-active/thinking" male. My interaction style is called In-Charge, his is called Behind-the-Scenes. At first glance, they seem to be complete opposites, but they do have one thing in common: focus on the result. For the In-Charge style, a result has to be achievable and the focus is on the creation and production of the outcome. For the Behind-the-Scenes style, the result has to be of the highest possible quality.
I may be getting anxious about the looming deadline (because let's face it: for me, the real deadline is at least 5 days prior to allow some wriggle room). But I absolutely do appreciate and recognize that with my husband's patience to wait it out and not settle prematurely, he is saving us from signing a contract to live in a place we might end up hating two months in. The thing about an In-Charge quick decision is this: if you hate it, you can change it - just go with something. This decision-making style is not effective in these circumstances. A year-long commitment deserves some more detailed attention, and I'm glad I can rely on my hubby to fill in those blind spots for me. Now if we'd only be able to buy our groceries my way...
PS - Since I'm all about Type AND Culture, here's a great article recently published on the Wall Street Journal about different cultural approaches to renting vs buying a home.
Thanks to "digitalart" for the pic!