Knowingly or not, we all start with a wish-list.

In a safe neighborhood, close to work, southern light, hardwood floors, a full bath with tub, maybe a small study. A patio would be nice, but it’s gotta be under $1,700 a month.

checking off apartment requirements

Craig's List

He should be taller than me, make me laugh, have a positive outlook, enjoy good food and wine, want kids, love cats(or be open to learning to love them) doesn’t live with his parents, can support himself and maybe a family (so I have the option of staying home when we have kids).

What we want in a man - searching online


I’ll know the right one when I see it.

We believe our expectations are realistic.

It’s a renters market. It’s not like I’m trying to live in SoHo or Meat Packing. No way am I paying security deposit, first month’s rent, last months rent and a 15% broker fee.  It’s not like I’m looking for a water view and walk in closets!

I’m a catch! I work out, have a good job, am well-traveled and have a wicked sense of humor (I like to think). It’s not like I’m looking for a millionaire or require model good looks.

I only want what I deserve.

We diligently scour listings to find the right match.

Navigating them isn’t easy. Buzzwords abound. Quaint like a Parisian café along the Left Bank or quaint as in has lots of “character” (aka run-down).

Does “average” mean average. Or is it code for “I’ve had 12 too many beers every night since college and carry it around my belly like an inner tube”?

We’ve all come across that listing that seems too good to be true. Every requirement met.

Match.com search results

The trick is not getting too excited. No imaging what your kids will look like or where the sofa will go.  You’ll never truly know until you’re there in person. Photographs lie.

As years pass, friends and family tell us to be open-minded.

Brooklyn? Jersey City? What are you talking about I’m a Manhattan girl. I’ve got Sex In The City written all over me!

They may not say anything to you directly. But suddenly you’ll get set-up on a blind date and upon meeting said date immediately think “seriously? Is this what they think I’m worth? Don’t they think I deserve better than this?” (WARNING: When the only thing they can think to tell you about the guy is that he is really “nice” and “funny” run for the hills).

A friend of E___’s I met recently told me his theory about dating. “It’s about reaching your personal equilibrium,” M____ said. “We think we are about 20-30% better than we actually are. It’s about level setting.” Is he right?  Can someone like me who often undersell herself have an inflated sense of my “equal.”  Does this theory apply to house-hunting? Maybe we need to increase our budget by 20-30% to get an apartment even close to what we envisioned?

We persevere, unwilling to give up the dream of having it all.

We’ve all heard about the friend-of-a-friend living in some second cousin’s grandmother’s old apartment paying $900 a month for a two-bedroom with a terrace in the heart of the West Village.

We know of people who’ve found their soul mate in the most unexpected of ways. A girl from college met her husband-to-be (a very hot Italian) backpacking through Europe. She didn’t speak Italian and he didn’t speak English. I attended their wedding. They currently reside in Rome with two adorable bambinos.

When I mention these things to my friend N____ she quickly responds, “You don’t lead your life believing you’re going to win the lottery do you?”  “Um…no…” She has a point.

I have  a career, not just any old job.. I support myself. I don’t live foot-loose and fancy free convinced I’m sure to win the big one.

Does anyone who looks like me ever win the lotto?

Eventually, horizons are broadened.

I don’t really need a patio. And Williamsburg is only 5 minutes away from Union Square on the L. I’ve timed it. Numerous times.

The age-range on my match.com profile is expanded and height requirements lowered.   Maybe I should give Nerve a try. Maybe they aren’t all drummers living in their parent’s New Jersey basement.

I date sculptors living in studios decorated with found furniture; look at apartments in the hinterlands of Brooklyn. It makes me uneasy. It doesn’t feel right. I fear being molested after dark.

The truth.

At the end of the day the list is a bunch of crap. I could find the “perfect” apartment, or man, that delivers against all my metric for success but still – nothing. No excitement, no butterflies. Zip.

That’s because one very important (some would argue necessary) ingredient to determining if we will love a place or a man cannot be quantified. Chemistry.

The floor in the bedroom slopes? He’s shorter than me? Really? Who knew!  If chemistry is there, you can live without most of the things on that list. You won’t even notice they’re not there.

So there’s the rub. Chemistry is elusive. It’s not obvious. We may never find it if we stick to our lists too closely.

So what now?

I continue to believe the right guy is out there for me someplace. But like that lottery slogan goes “You‘ve gotta be in it to win it,” so I guess this means trying to find places single guys hang out (Sports bars? Ugh.).

Although, I do know a guy who met his wife in his living room. Seriously. His roommate’s girlfriend brought a friend over and the rest is history…

But since I don’t have a roommate (of the fur-less variety), I guess that means I’m gonna have to get out more!

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  • I wish you all the luck in the world in finding the perfect apartment and the perfect man. Actually, if you find the perfect man, the apartment can be less than perfect and happiness will still abound.

    • Ihavecat

      Thanks Karen Jo! I don’t think there is any perfection but hopefully the right match for me!

      Hope sweet Herman is still feeling better!

  • The perfect apartment is better than the perfect man. Why? Because the perfect man doesn’t exist!

    Then again, I don’t think I need a man to make me “whole” or “happy.” So, I have stopped looking. Sure, it would be nice to have someone to talk to late at night and go to dinners and movies with.

    But, you know what? I’m happy just the way I am! I figure if I stop looking, and someone happens to come along, it will be more meaningful because it was meant to be.

    Why take the time to search for happiness, when happiness should find YOU?

    • Ihavecat

      Thanks for reading and posting Mandy! I have to have faith that things will work out the way they are meant to be!

  • That sounds similar to what the PM went through. She kind of obsessed about the whole man thing for years then one day when she was swimming in the ocean she decided she may be single the rest of her life or meet someone when she was 50. She let go of the whole issue and stopped thinking about it. She met the Music Man one month later. He said she exuded a wonderful aura of happiness and calmness. She really feels that that would not have happened if she was still in her *needy* mode.

    Purrs, Shade

    • Ihavecat

      Funny how life works right? I’m trying to focus on the wonderful things in my life and I’m not unhappy by any means. But I do wonder if i have to give it a bit more effort. I hear you on the “needy” thing but i feel like now I don’t even force myself to do things where “encounters” might occur?!

  • Jilian

    I was exactly in the same place. At age 56, divorced 23 years, I found the perfect apartment and I was happy in my single state. Then I decided to look on Yahoo!Personals. I wanted someone 5’11” or taller, brown eyes, 50 – 65 yrs. old, etc. The guys that I met were boring and “old-minded.” Then one day I got a response from a fellow that asked if the 5’11” was “written in stone?” His photo was intriguing. He was wearing a gray top hat and had a big white mustache. (I’m a sucker for mustaches.) But he was only 5’7″! Well, he is the sweetest, most fun loving, “gentleman” I’ve ever met! Long story short… We were married last month after dating two and a half years.
    I’ve never been happier.
    So keep hanging in there. When it’s meant to happen, it will!

    • Ihavecat

      Jilian, I read your comment to my sister and we BOTH agree that it’s the CUTEST story ever (my sis has a thing for mustaches too!). Thanks for reading I HAVE CAT and for taking the time to post a comment 🙂
      And not to mention for the encouragement!

  • Or, he could be the plumber who shows up to fix a leaky faucet. 🙂

    • Ihavecat

      I like your attitude Cheryl! Of course in NYC we have supers to take care of that kind of stuff and I’m not sure he’s the right guy for me (not to mention he is married with 4-5 kids) but I get the spirit of your comment! 🙂

  • Debbie B

    There is no “perfect” man, only “perfect” cats.

    • Ihavecat

      I agree there is no perfect anything!I think so much is about chemistry! 🙂

  • Hang in there … when things are right I, you will know it. 🙂

    My wife and I knew each other YEARS ago, but just as colleagues. Fast forward about eight years: we ran into each other at the animal shelter where we both volunteer, and became friends. About a year later, the light went on for both of us at about the same time; we will celebrate our third wedding anniversary in September. Kind of a roundabout and imperfect way of finding each other, but it was perfect for us.

    • Ihavecat

      I LOVE this story! Thanks so much for sharing! Gives a gal hope! 🙂 Best laid plans right! LOL!

  • So. Feel. You.

    I just signed up for eHarmony a couple weeks ago. Just to see if maybe there perfect guy is a few minutes farther away than my local circle takes me…

    Must love cats. I haven’t lowered my height requirements (yet)… I like to wear heels. Tall heels. Tall, hot, gorgeous heels.

    Good look to all of us. Crazy cat ladies need love, too, right? 😉

    • Ihavecat

      Good luck- let us know how it goes!

      What about short guys who are OK with woman who are taller than them? That’s GOTTA mean they have a good sense of self no?! 🙂
      Thanks for reading and posting Dorian!

  • Best of luck to you in your search

    • Ihavecat

      Thanks! and Thanks for reading as well as taking the time to comment! hope you come back and visit again!

  • Don’t know how it took me so long to find your blog!!! (Or should I say your great website!!!)

    I just subscribed to your postings via email, I am so happy that I did!

    Love it!

    All the best!

    • Ihavecat

      Hi Caren! I’m so excited you found me and that you like I HAVE CAT! I think technically it is a blog. I’ve been a been slack in terms of updates that last month because I was on vaca and then traveling for business but I vow to get back on-track! Thanks for signing up to the email alerts and I can’t wait to check out your blog! Hope you check out some of my older posts too!

    • Ihavecat

      oh, and if you are on Facebook you can check out the I HAVE CAT fan page! more daily updates – news, cute stuff etc there!

  • I will!! I also “liked” your page on facebook! My name on facebook is caren osrin gittleman

    I will check out some of your older posts as soon as I get the chance! I love your blog!!

    • Ihavecat

      Hi Caren! Now I am putting two and two together and “know” who you are! Thanks so much for visiting my blog! can’t wait to read more of yours! 🙂

  • tell me about it! It is so hard to keep everyone straight between Twitter, Facebook, multiple names that people have on Twitter, following blogs………I get so confused it is unreal!!!

    I love your blog and subscribed to it! You will be hearing from me again! 🙂

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