A few years ago, I needed a new car. I had finally killed my college vehicle that had become my second home and a loving graveyard for all of my mix tapes and fast food wrappers.
Overwhelmed, I quickly went to the nearest dealership and test drove two cars. Within a half hour I was talked into potentially buying an orange Honda Fit by a salesman. Could I get it in the color I wanted? No. Was it long enough for my pencil arms? No. Was it the right price? No. Did it have a hatchback, a good warranty, and smell super nice? Yes. Lets take a second to let the stupidity sink in.
I really wanted this car. More than I wanted the one other car I drove. I was convinced it was the best new smelling car I could get and because negotiating makes me uncomfortable, I made the decision that I was going to get this car no matter the price.
Until, a friend called me.
“I can’t let people think I would hang out with someone who drives an orange Honda Fit,” he said. “I’ll help you shop tomorrow.”
Ironically enough this orange-Fit hating friend was a red head, but he was also insanely good at getting what he wanted. The next day he taught me one thing that has changed the way I buy cars, but more importantly, changed the way I date. It’s called: walking away.
After spending an entire day at dealerships, I learned two things:
- There were more fish in the sea, and more cars in my budget than I had initially researched
- Salesmen negotiated the best deals and made better recommendations if they knew you weren’t afraid to walk away.
It wasn’t a game of cat and mouse or a game of who cared less. It had nothing to do with either. It was a game of not settling, and getting exactly what I wanted.
I drove a bunch of cars and my friend quickly helped me make a list of what I had to have and couldn’t live without. Once I finished my checklist it made it simple to talk to car salesmen. Can I get it in this color? Yes. Can I get it for this price? No. WALK AWAY.
Not really. Not all women are built like red-headed men. We can sometimes get attached to things more quickly. You could give me a rock and by the end of the day I would have given it a name and be emotional about leaving it outside in the cold. So, it doesn’t come naturally for me to find a car, get attached to the sunroof, and pretend I am not crying inside as I walk away from it because the salesman wouldn’t fix the dent in the bumper. What if he didn’t come back with a counter offer? What if I didn’t find a car I liked as much? And most importantly, what if I never got to experience driving through Las Vegas with my torso through a sunroof?
I didn’t believe in the system until one day I finally got the car I wanted.
And I didn’t believe they system applied to dating until a couple years ago when I used that car to drive away from someone that I honestly believed I couldn’t live without.
Over the years, I have seen many friends stay in dead-end relationships and settle for what they don’t want because they are scared that if they walk away they won’t find what they are looking for. But the truth is: if you don’t walk away you GUARANTEE that you won’t find what you are looking for.
There are men that won’t commit to you, because they know you won’t walk away. There are men who won’t allow you to be true to yourself, because they know you will cave. And there are men who will continue to hurt you because they know in a game of chicken you would lose willingly.
I know because at different points in my life I have been there.
But I am grateful for the friend I had that told me Honda Fits were ugly. Just like I am grateful for the friend that helped me drive away from someone who was a really great person, but couldn’t give me what I wanted.
In short, if you need to buy a car or find a soul mate:
- Find out what will make you happy
- Ask for it
- Be true to yourself, and walk away if you can’t get it
Some guys don’t counter offer.
Some guys don’t follow you when you leave.
But inevitably one guy will step up to the plate if you give him a chance. And these boots were made for walking toward that one.