9 Emotional Stages Of Buying A New Pair Of Shoes, Because It's Tougher Than You'd Think

I don't just buy shoes, I invest in shoes. So you can imagine how much time and effort goes into the process, not to mention the intense emotional stages I experience before I decide to buy new shoes. When I go shopping, I like to look at items with a critical eye. I inspect the lining of dresses, I will wiggle every which way in jeans, and I always take at least 11 selfies in a hat before I form an opinion on it (I know that sounds excessive but let's be real, we all do it). But when it comes to shoes, the ordeal is a little different.

With shoes, there's guaranteed to be an extra struggle or challenge beyond just trying them on and deciding whether they're comfortable or not. Shoes are their own beasts, often proving to be the most difficult items to shop for. This may only be true for me, but when I'm attracted to a pair of shoes, I convince myself that I need them in order to go on with my life — that I could not (even if I wanted to) survive without them. Their price is not an issue, because any restriction resulting from my having them on my feet is nothing compared to the nightmare of living without 'em.

Obviously, I'm a little shoe obsessed. But I think we can all agree that shopping for shoes is a particularly difficult feat. That A-line dress looked funky on my curvy hips so I'm not too sad about leaving it behind. But those pumps that are way out of my budget but make my legs look miles long and would improve my life, making me Beyoncé every time I wear them? I will be thinking about those shoes for the rest of my life. I guarantee it.

So, in an effort to sympathize with anyone who is just as shoe-obsessed as I am and regularly deals with the super emotional experience of it all, here are the nine emotional stages of buying — or investing — in a pair of shoes. Because in the end, the emotions are all worth it. Right?

So. Worth. It.

1. Anticipation

The great thing about shopping is that you never know what you might find, so you're always eager and excited to get searching for your new favorite wardrobe item.

For me, shopping is somewhat of an event. I like to set some time aside and really get lost in the new products, the experience of the stores, and the anticipation of what pair of shoes I will go home with. Of course, at this stage I'm totally oblivious to what is about to happen. But that's OK, because there's no way I could prepare myself for it anyway.

2. Joy

Let's say you have been walking around the mall, totally uninspired by what you're seeing. And then, suddenly, you hear an angel's voices, you see a bright light, and you're lead to easily the most beautiful pair of shoes you have ever seen in your whole life. Yes, this has happened to me. No, I didn't faint out of joy. But I wouldn't have been surprised if I did. Because the happiness you feel when you find a beautiful pair of shoes is indescribable.

3. Love

And a close second after joy is absolute infatuation. Call me crazy but I have definitely fallen in love with shoes before. At this stage, you're trying on the shoes. And you can't believe how it's possible, but they look even better on your feet than on the rack. They're basically made for you, and you are consumed by their beauty and perfection. There, there. It happens to the best of us.

4. Confusion

And then reality strikes in. Because as beautiful and gorgeous as those shoes are, they're either painfully out of your price range, totally uncomfortable, and/or utterly impractical for your life. You might ask, why do I need $4,000, 8" platform heels in snake skin? Because my life depends on it, obviously.

While, in retrospect, it becomes easy to see how absolutely wrong those shoes are for me, in the moment nothing can stand in between me and them.

5. Hatred

But reality strikes once again, because you realize that you just can't. Whether you can't afford it, or you give in to your friend who's calling you crazy for even thinking about buying them, you walk away and all you feel is utter hatred.

Why did they enter my life if I couldn't have them? Why did they present themselves if I couldn't enjoy them every single day? Why? Why? Why?! As much as I have loved shoes, I have hated them as well.

6. Sadness

Be strong. Don't let those shoes rain on your shopping parade. They're just a pair of shoes, and you'll survive without them. Or maybe not. Because with the way you're crying, you would think that you were five years old and your mom told you you couldn't have dessert after dinner.

Being sad is OK; I know I would be sad too. The chances that you can't stop thinking about those shoes are high, but try and get them out of your head.

7. Regret

Or don't, and just buy them on a whim. At this stage, you either feel regret for buying them, or for not buying them. Either way, you made a decision and it's one you have to live with.

Because I'm not at all strong when it comes to shoes, I usually hand over a pretty penny for a good pair, and then wear them as much as possible for the next week or so before it becomes too much. And if for some reason I don't go home with the shoes, I try not to think about them, but still regret not having the guts to buy them. Sighs. It's alright; either way, it's best to stick with your decision.

8. Satisfaction

Congratulations! You have the shoes and now you can live happily again! Or, you did the wise thing and walked away from your pedi-friends.

If you did the former, you're probably on a major high just looking at those shoes, and you have most likely already planned nine outfits with your new shoes and imagined 13 different Instagram photo possibilities.

If you did the latter, you're reveling in your strength and happy that you maintained your finances. You're probably a little sad and bitter about it, but you have so many shoes already, you'll just distract yourself with those. Either way you go, you're satisfied with your decision.

9. Acceptance

And finally, the last emotion you're guaranteed to feel is acceptance. Because after all of these different stages, and after all the things you have felt just because of a pair of shoes, you're happy to be done with it all.

You accept that it happened, but you're through with a pair of shoes tugging on your heart strings. Whether you invested in the shoes or not, what's done is done.

Now it's back to real life.

Images: berylchan/Flickr; Giphy (11)