2018 is a great time to be single. Anyone looking for romance can easily get on a dating app and meet people quickly and (relatively) easily. The only problem is that between family, friends, job and maintaining your health, you’re probably too busy for the current people in your life, let alone someone new. At least that’s what you’re telling yourself, but dating and romance are part of any healthy, well-balanced lifestyle and it’s time to make time.
If you think you’re too busy to date, we’ve compiled a list of tips to make things easier:
1. Calendar it.
Wake up? Calendar it. Go to the gym? Calendar it. Work meeting? Of course, calendar it. Calendars rule the lives of the busiest among us, so pencil in some time for romance to actually make it happen. An active dating life is healthy and fun, but while you’re still getting over that mental block to make dating a priority in your life do some basic rescheduling and mark down some time for a date in Google, on your fridge, in your diary—whatever works. Now it’s set in stone. You have to go. If you’re still worried about your busy life, feel free to keep the date short. Nobody says a date has to be longer than an hour or two. Do what feels right for you. The important part is getting there.
2. Make a date a week.
This one is pretty self explanatory. Set a minimum amount of dates per week or per month. One per week is a pretty good starting point that most busy people can accommodate if the dates are kept short. Of course, you can always modify this one depending on how busy your schedule is, but most of us really do have a spare hour or two lying around here or there. Convincing ourselves that we do is half the battle. Keep to your minimum and soon enough, you’ll be romancing with the best of ‘em.
3. Commit to less.
This tip doesn’t mean that you should commit to fewer dates. This means that you should commit less to each person that you date, or at least commit more slowly. If you decide you like someone you’re dating, there’s no need to jump right into official relationship status. Take your time getting to know the people you date. This is a good tactic for not getting bogged down when your main priority isn’t dating or when you’re looking for a long-term partner. In the case of the long-term fling, committed relationships usually take up more time. Lowering your commitment level will allow you to spend less time dating and more time on your career or wherever else your priorities may lie. If you’re being pulled in eight different directions at a time, you’re probably not looking to give away precious hours to somebody you just met.
4. Put yourself first.Okay, so this one may seem contradictory to some of the other advice, but bear with me. Let me start by saying, it’s definitely important to make and keep commitments in your romantic life. But, if you’re really busy working on your career, your life is probably already filled to the brim with a number of important obligations. Make sure that dating doesn’t become an unreasonable source of stress for your life. Don’t overcommit yourself. Finding love is about having your life flourish, not having it fall apart. Take leisure time to go out on a date, relax, and maybe meet someone good, but not to the point that it stresses you out. Let dating be fun, not a burden. Take care of yourself first.
5. Be upfront.
Whether you’re a senior exec at your company or a single parent running the kids from soccer to piano lessons, you have priorities above dating. You’re busy. That’s why you’re reading this. You want to get out to date, but not at the cost of the things that are important to you.
So it’s up to you to figure out exactly how much time you have, and it’s your responsibility to let your dates know. Get on the same page. If the person you’re seeing wants to get married by date number four, it’s best to say you don’t have that kind of time and be upfront. People respond well to honesty, and it will let you both come to your own conclusions about if the relationship is what you’re looking for.
Just to wrap up: no matter how many dates you go on a week, it’s important that you’re getting yourself out there. If you’re not out dating, take a look at what’s stopping you. Most of us can find a few hours a week to break our routine and try to meet someone. We’re not too busy to date—we’re just busy and not making time to date. Let’s draw that distinction and try to get you dating anyway. You’re busy. We all are. But romance is important, let’s act like it.