Falling in love with a new home is often eerily similar to falling in love with a person, a psychologist has explained.
Sabina Read said there were ‘dominant parallels’ between relationships and homes.
‘In looking for love, we want to find someone who makes us feel good, who is aligned to our values, who lets us be ourselves, who celebrates who we are,’ she told Daily Mail Australia.
‘And when we’re looking for a home, we’re looking for similar features. We want to feel like we’re at ease, like we belong here, and it’s easy to live in this home and it reflects our desires, our values and our needs.
A psychologist has revealed how falling in love with a new home is often eerily similar to falling in love with a person. Pictured is a young couple getting the keys to their new home
‘We are blinded in those early days in a relationship. And likewise, I think, we can fall in love with a house.
‘We can think this is the place where my career is going to skyrocket, or I’m going to raise my kids, or I’m going to find new neighbours and a sense of community.
Ms Read said that in housing, as in love, it could be wise to trust your gut instincts.
‘If something really doesn’t feel right, if it feels like that person is saying all the right things but perhaps underneath there’s a lack of authenticity, or if a home seems to have a lot of features you’re looking for but is next to a screeching highway,’ she said.
‘You need to tune into that. You can’t block out the noise of a busy highway just because you love your home madly.
‘And you can’t love a partner out of ways that might be particularly damaging, or ill-matched to your needs.’
But Ms Read cautioned against setting your heart on something far beyond your means.
‘You think this is where you belong, you think this is where you want to live, you think this home is going to bring you happiness, and then other pressures come with that, namely, financial,’ she said.
Psychologist Sabina Read cautions against setting your heart on a house or a love interest far beyond your means
‘We need to be honest and authentic with ourselves. We may have a fantasy to live in a certain way and a certain lifestyle.
‘But if it’s not doable on a day to day basis, it will take its toll, and the same could be said in relationships.
‘You can view someone from a distance and think “If I was with them, my life would be perfect”, because they’re cute or they’re particularly outgoing or successful or whatever it is.
‘But it’s overlooking the authentic connection and who we are and who they are for more superficial features.’
First impressions have long been valued in affairs of the heart, but Ms Read said they were also important in looking for a home.
‘We make a decision within seconds of meeting someone. Do I like this person? Do I trust this person?’ she said.
‘When we’re house hunting, we do something similar. (Sometimes) we pull up outside a home, look up at it and think “No, it’s not for me.”
A couple is pictured looking at an auction sign on display outside a house in the suburb of Beacon Hill in Sydney
But however much those first impressions matter, love and housing also need to be looked at in the long term.
‘We need to spend time either in a relationship or in a home to see how it feels. What’s it like when you walk into a home and feel the sense of light, or noise, or nature,’ Ms Read said.
‘And likewise, with a person, on a first date you do get an immediate sense of if there is a connection there.’
Ms Read warned without seeing someone in both good and bad times, it was difficult to really know them.
‘The tip is not to make knee jerk reactions, but to give yourself time to sit with a human or a home. We change over time, and our needs, values and priorities change,’ she said.
A psychologist warns that without seeing someone in both good and bad times, it’s difficult to really know them. Pictured is a young couple on a couch
The myth of ‘the one’ is common in love, but is also prevalent in the housing market.
‘So many people have this false belief that there’s one perfect person out there for them and that can apply in homes as well,’ she said.
‘People talk about their dream home, a dream partner, a dream job. And I think we really do ourselves a disservice to be so rigid in thinking there’s only one person that’s going to be a good match.
‘There are millions of people we could connect with in meaningful ways and in meaningful relationships across the planet. And there are many, many homes.
‘So if we become too fixed in our wish list – “he must be this”, “she must be that”, “the home must have this or that” – maybe we’re going to overlook certain home and partner matches because we’re too fixed in our thinking.’
As much as a person may get annoyed with their partner, that could also happen with a home, and in both cases some perspective was needed.
Sabina Read (pictured) said many people have a false belief that there’s one perfect person out there for them and that can apply to homes as well
‘If at the first sign of disappointment we run for the hills, we’re not appreciating or acknowledging that we are all flawed, we all have parts of ourselves that are frustrated or confused or yearning,’ Ms Read said.
‘Often when we see things in others that frustrate us, it’s because there is some part of that behaviour we don’t like in ourselves.
‘So instead of pointing the finger out in judgement, we can point the finer in in self-reflection.
‘You’re not going to find the perfect person, because you’re not going to be a perfect partner, and you’re not going to find the perfect home. There is always going to be some compromise that you make.
‘Leave room to grow with a partner to appreciate and explore changes. And likewise in a home, your needs over time are going to change.’
The season 14 premiere of Selling Houses Australia is on March 30 at 8.30pm on Foxtel.
Sabina Read’s tips on how to find a love match with the right partner – and home
Trust your gut: If you get the sense something isn’t right, it probably isn’t. An unsupportive partner won’t necessarily transform because you love them madly, and a home with an unstable foundation or incessant traffic noise won’t readily change just because you style it with passion and endless throw rugs.
Bring compassion and realism to your expectations: Seeking perfection will lead to disappointment and can fuel a tiring, futile and endless search for a person or home to complete us.
Play the long game: When the rush of the oxytocin love bubble takes over, we are blinded by love, making it hard to see any flaws or red flags. Only fools rush in, so take your time, date in a variety of settings, spend time with your new beau in the company of people who you love and trust. And in the case of house hunting, sit in the prospective abode, observe neighbours, watch where the light falls, and explore the local neighbourhood.
Make it your own: Relationship dynamics and ways of living are heavily influenced by our parents’ beliefs and behaviours. Create a relationship and a place to call home that reflects the way you want to show up in the world today, not necessarily the way you did as a child.
Be authentic with yourself and with others: While buyers strive to put their best foot forward, people-pleasing or hunting for real estate in a fancy suburb that’s beyond our budget will only do us a disservice in the long run. Like dating, when house-hunting we can be drawn into putting energy into being someone we think others want us to be, rather than tapping into who we really are.
Let go of rigid thought processes: Keep an open mind. It’s time to forget the notion there’s only one true soul mate or home that constitutes a perfect match for you.