Three years ago, I started a lease on the car of my dreams. Well, almost the car of my dreams. I spent hours online custom designing it, and then went to the dealership and ordered it. Although it took three months to get, they literally built it for me, and I was even able to follow it through, online, the day it was built at the factory.

The day it arrived, the dealership anxiously called to let me know it was there. I rushed over and watched them unload it. After a few days of meticulous detailing, it was mine to take home.

I have loved that car for three years. Yet, like many things over time, it began to lose some of its luster. The paint didn’t seem as shiny, there was the occasional dent or two, and recently, a rock cracked my window from one side to the other. Suddenly, my new car was not so new.

And remember that “almost the car of my dreams”? Well, the one thing I wanted different was a bigger engine. More power. And suddenly, despite the compliments I still get and the new car smell it still has, all I could focus on was getting more power.

Knowing that my lease would soon be up, I began to shop for a different car. But this time, I would get one with more power. And so I shopped and shopped and shopped, with the perfect car in mind, and knew exactly what I wanted. Especially more power.

This search for the perfect car took me online, where my selections were better and I could reach clear across the nation to get exactly what I wanted. And I found many beautiful choices.

Not being brave enough to buy without actually seeing the car in person (which is possible to do), I selected two absolutely beautiful cars. Both were used (so I could get even more power at a reasonable cost) and both were within driving distance.

Car number one turned out to look much worse than it did online. I was quite discouraged since, while it had the power I wanted, it's looks, in person, clearly left something to be desired.

But no worries, there was still car number two. Which, by the way, had even more power and actually cost less, and was a better color. Yet, once again, in person, it didn’t look nearly as good as it did online.

Neither car was one I was willing to purchase, despite how great they looked online, and despite the fact they both had the one thing my current car misses: more power.

Suddenly, I started to appreciate my car more, even without extra power. Having seen those other cars, despite them having the one thing I wanted, I began to appreciate how beautiful my car really is.

Sadly, it would be even more beautiful had I taken better care of it. Luckily, I know a guy at Valley Auto Locators who does wonders with cars. He’s detailed my wife’s car before, and numerous other ones I’ve seen, and they’ve come out great.

I couldn’t help but think how this experience often relates to life and marriage. We’re excited about our new relationship and how fun it is, even if it’s not perfect. Maybe our spouse spends a bit too much money, or gained a bit of weight, or now has a receding hairline.

And despite the fact that they may be great overall, we just can’t help but focus on the one thing that drives us nuts. And, like many, you may be tempted to look online for something better.

Well, let me tell you, if a person can make a used car look brand-spanking-new, imagine what a person can do online to hide their past scars, both physically and emotionally.

I’m not saying online dating doesn’t work, but I am saying buyer beware. And that things online usually look a whole lot better, inside and out, than they do in person.

And the old idea that the grass is greener on the other side of the fence? Well, it’s probably because they take better care of it. Just like I should have done with my Mustang.

So on I go, keeping my Mustang and getting a little professional help to make it beautiful again. And as far as the extra power? Well, we’ll see, but overall I’m still way ahead of where I would be if I traded for something different.

So next time you’re tempted to trade up or look online for a relationship you think will be better, buyer beware. And know,there’s professionals around that can help you restore your relationship back to the beauty you once enjoyed. And, if you’re lucky, even add a bit more power than you had before.

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