Dating, in general, is tricky, especially if you live a busy, jam-packed life. We’ll start by reminding you of the classic saying, “You make time for those who you truly care about and want to make time for.” We live in a fast-paced world, and we’re all busy—perhaps different degrees of busy, but that’s not the point. Whether it’s a job that’s time-consuming or a family situation that requires extra attention, we’re not here to judge what fills your schedule. That said, if you’re single, busy, and looking to carve out more time for your love life, today’s post is for you. Ahead we’re sharing 10 tips to help prioritize and navigate the world of dating.
Clarify the best way to communicate.
Are you a big texter? Do you prefer a phone call or face time? If you’re a busy person, most likely a phone call will be the best way to make set plans. It’s important to acknowledge and address it by saying something like, “Hey, I’m not a big daytime texter. Can I call you tonight and we can figure out plans?” Our editor, Michelle Scanga, adds, “I’ve been in situations where I’m into the guy but completely forget to respond to a text. Since I text so much during the day for work, it can easily slip my mind, and then I accidentally leave him hanging. I’ve learned that if I say it first thing, like, ‘Hey, won’t be available so much during the day to chat,’ it makes it smoother when starting the conversation by being honest.”
The things about dating apps…
We’re not against them, but if you’re a busy person, dating apps might not be the best avenue to meet a potential s/o. It’s a time-consuming process swiping, matching, small chat within the app, then switching over to “Can I have your number?” Then you start the small talk conversation all over via text until you make plans for date one. It’s not a hard no, but you definitely have to be patient when it comes to using apps to find a potential love interest. There, we said it.
Strategize your schedule.
There’s nothing wrong with planning an early outdoor dinner with friends or co-workers and then double-booking by having a date planned after. Look at it this way, you’re using your time wisely in the sense that you’ve already left the house, put on makeup, etc. Obviously, give your friends a heads up that you have plans set at XYZ time, but if your social calendar is packed during the week, this is a good way to squeeze in the best of both worlds.
Make a pact with a friend.
Have a friend keep you accountable by setting a goal of X number of dates per month. Since we’re still in the middle of a pandemic, this doesn’t mean they have to be in person—they can be a FaceTime date or a socially distanced walk around the park.
Set actual plans.
This means sending a date, time, and place that works for you. If you simply say “I’m free on Tuesday,” you yield three or four more text messages to follow. Be concise and efficient with your text lingo if that’s how you prefer to communicate. Might feel aggressive, but it works and gets a date on the calendar.
Establish guidelines for the relationship sooner than later.
If making time to spend with a potential partner is difficult to achieve, then it might be useful to establish where you both want the relationship to go. It’s OK to be straightforward after a couple of dates to see if you’re on the same page or not. If you’re not, then it’s best to find out before you spend too much of your valuable time with the person.
Consolidate common interests.
If you both like a certain show or enjoy hiking, consider planning a date around one of those activities. You’ll get to know the person a bit better and knock off one of your favorite weekly interests at the same time.
Just because you want to be actively dating that doesn’t mean you have to say yes to every coffee or first date. Yes, we’re always in support of being open-minded, but if it comes down to not having enough time, cut the losses and be choosey with who you spend your free time with.
Adjust your priorities.
As we mentioned earlier, you make time for the priorities in your life. If dating is falling lower on the list than you’d like, take a hard look at where you’re spending most of your energy and reevaluate how you can make more time for what truly fulfills you in life. You can start by scheduling date nights in your calendar so that you can hold yourself accountable.
Express your feelings.
After you’ve been on a couple of dates and you feel you’re hitting it off with this person but perhaps work life is getting in the way of making future set plans, be upfront and say something like “I really enjoy spending time with you and would like to continue this, but right now I have XYZ deadline coming up, so I won’t be as available.” Hopefully, the person will respect your honesty and hard-working mentality and understand that it’s not personal, and will find a way to be patient with you until your schedule frees up. If it’s meant to be, they’ll understand and support you.