“It’s not you — I really am just too busy to date.”
Whether you’ve said this yourself or you’ve been on the receiving end of it, feeling too busy to find love is all too familiar for many of us.
People are incredibly busy, whether with work, travel, family, kids, even just commuting. This does mean, of course, that busyness is a convenient (if not flimsy) excuse to not meet for coffee, a drink, dinner. But what about when you have a genuinely hectic schedule but really want to date?
Never fear. Hope is not lost.
1) Plan achievable goals
There’s no reason to not approach dating strategically, just as you’d approach anything else in your life when you have a clear goal in mind. Serendipity and meet-cutes are all very well, but they’re statistically improbable. If you want to meet someone amazing, you do need to put work in.
Think about it: where do you want to you be in 6 months? A year? 5 years? What measures can you take to ensure that these plans will come to fruition? Make tangible, realistic aims. Instead of proclaiming “I shall be married within 2 years” from the nearest rooftop or whispering “I’d rather like a boy/girlfriend within 6 months” to your cat at 2 in the morning, break those plans down into smaller, more manageable chunks. Instead, aim to go on at least 1 date a month. Do you have a single friend? Why not endeavour to have a weekly update (over a bottle of wine, of course) on each other’s progress?
2) Be more flexible
Are there times in your job when you can work remotely? Take your laptop to a coffee shop, rather than sitting at home on your own. Are there ways to increase your efficiency within working hours without decreasing productivity? It’s only when you realise a new priority in your life that you begin to reassess where your time’s being allocated and conclude that yes, actually, you can work faster, freeing up your evenings for dates.
Do you work near a potential love interest? Why not meet for a coffee or lunch during your break? Do you live nearby? Why not go for a run together or synchronise your gym workouts? There’s no reason whatsoever to adhere to the tradition of dinner and drinks — do whatever you can to take the time. In fact, by suggesting a more unorthodox way of meeting up, you demonstrate initiative, not to mention your commitment to getting to know them.
3) Reevaluate your schedule
If the Queen invited you to tea tomorrow afternoon, chances are you’d somehow find a window.
Consider every aspect of your life at the moment. Are they all absolutely unavoidable, or just things that make you feel safe because they’re familiar? It can feel risky to upset your routine, but love is rife with uncertainty.
Consider committing even just a small window every day to actively looking for a date. You could look into online dating (or, if you already have a profile, actually sift through the backlog of messages from potential suitors). Even better, why not actually say yes to that party you’d rather sack off so you can indulge in a Netflix marathon? Remember: you will always meet people circumstantially, but you have to put yourself into a circumstance first.
You can make time
If you’re serious about dating and finding a partner, you need to consider precisely what you’re prioritising in your life at present. If you can make time for Her Maj, you can make time for your potential boy/girlfriend. It is possible to have a thoroughly fulfilling career, a happy home life and a cinematic romance.
The destination is less important than the journey. By making a concerted effort to meet people, you never know whom you’ll chance upon — but that kind of meeting can come about only if you’re already out there.Love is never free of risks, but that’s just how it is. ‘Tis better to have loved and lost/Than never to have loved at all? Well, that’s for you to decide — but, whether or not you concur with Alfred, Lord Tennyson, taking a long hard look at what’s truly important to you and implementing some simple lifestyle changes can work wonders for your love life.