Trying to find time to date can be an exhausting and discouraging experience. Many us are busy putting in the hours at work, and one of my client’s most common complaints is that they are simply “just too busy to date”. With a hectic schedule, it’s understandable that your dating life may be squeezed, but that’s no excuse for it to be non-existent!
If this sounds all too familiar, then let’s start by assessing where your dating life sits on your list of priorities from the most important to the least important. If you’re honest with yourself, you may conclude that there are many more tasks taking precedence over your dating life.
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Our day to day activities often do not reflect out true priorities. To have an active dating life, you need to make the conscious decision that you will invest time and make it a priority. Instead of pushing back dates, you will need to make a proactive choice that they come first. Sure, this will come with some sacrifice and compromise as other priorities are pushed down the list. But I assure you that in the long run you will understand it was a worthwhile investment of your time.
Create Deadlines: Commit To ‘A Number Of’ Dates A Month:
Give yourself a time frame from when you send that first message to when you would like to meet up. This is important for a couple reasons:
- You weed out singles who might waste your time through flakiness
- You get to meet more people, giving you a better chance at finding that one!
How many dates can you realistically commit to each month? Even if this is just 1 or 2 dates a month, you might need to switch up some of your commitments, but welcome this change of schedule with excitement instead of resistance or resentment. After all, the reason you’re doing this is to bring more joy and fun into your life.
To further create accountability for yourself, consider telling your friends or coworkers about your upcoming date(s) to encourage and inspire yourself to proactivity.
When it comes to setting up dates, why not be more forward and suggest meeting up that day or the next? It creates spontaneity and adventure and offers an opportunity to avoid premeditation – making the date much more natural and ‘real’. If this approach isn’t for you or doesn’t fit your lifestyle, then aim for a two-week maximum timeframe. This gives enough time for some healthy anticipation to build, but not long enough that you lose momentum.
Set Relationship Goals: Short & Longer Term
Don’t focus on high level goals such as:
- Getting into a long-term relationship in a single year
- Be happily married within three years
Instead, break these down into achievable short term goals:
- Going on at least two to three dates a month.
- Messaging at least 5 people you’re interested each week
Having a vision of what you want is crucial, but simply wishing for something isn’t going to make it happen. Like any other desire in life, you must be willing to put in the work and make any necessary sacrifices. If you fulfil your short term goals, you set yourself up for longer term gain, especially when it comes to dating. And, as always, push yourself.
If you’re feeling motivated, inspired and on top of your game, then use that energy to go on even more dates and really put yourself out there! Many people experience bursts of ‘dating inspiration’ where you experience a set of really positive dates; this is often self-perpetuating, as your positive energy makes for a more exciting dating experience, so make sure you ride the wave.
Be Selective & Tailor Your Dates:
Too often people assume that to have a more active dating life it means saying yes to any dates that come their way. While this may not be the worst advice for extremely picky daters (to widen your experiences), this is definitely not always the best plan of action. Your time is still valuable and constrained, so be proactive in screening and making sure that these dates will be worth your time. If you have time, give your potential date a quick call a few days before the date to build rapport and chemistry, and make sure this won’t be wasted time.
Make sure you know what you are looking for in a partner ahead of time. Be as specific as possible, and don’t be afraid to dream big! Next, ask yourself what kind of person you would like to be in this dream with your ideal partner. Focus being the best you, and the right people will come along! You must be clear about what you are asking for, and willing to work for it!
Put Time Constraints On Your Dates:
It can be near impossible to free up an entire evening for a yet another date. So, setting up dates that are ‘time constrained’ will keep your dating life active but not overwhelming, and also encourage you and your date to make the most your time together.
Coffee, lunch or happy hour dates are a great idea for when you don’t have a lot of time to spare. These can be as casual or intimate as you would like and offer a lot of flexibility. You can also combine a common interest that you two share. Go for a wander around your favorite park, an art gallery opening, or a yoga class followed by coffee. These are all excellent ideas to not only spend quality time and conversation with your date, but to consolidate your schedule and utilize your time effectively.
Prioritisation Is Key:
Ultimately, having a more active dating life comes down to prioritisation of your dates and messaging people online. These are tips to encourage and inspire you to make it easier for you, but remember that action creates motivation. Start fitting dates in where ever you can, switch up your mindset and soon enough your dating calendar will be full.