Snowed under at work, non-stop at home – you have a thousand things on your To Do list with a higher priority than “Find The One”. But could you be using that as an excuse not to start dating asks match.com’s relationship expert Kate Taylor.
When people say, “I’m too busy to date!”, it’s never that simple. Busyness is usually a cover for one of the following reasons why people aren’t looking for love. Often, what feels like the worst time to find love is the time when you need it the most.
1. “What do I have to offer a partner?”
When your life is full of responsibilities and commitments, you might feel it’s only fair that you opt out of the dating scene.
From the outside, dating websites and the world of love appears languid, suitable only for those (young, or rich, or retired) people who have years to spend sipping cocktails, enjoying nine-hour candlelit dinners or walking hand-in-hand at a snail’s pace across a beach. When your life is already hectic, is it really right to expect someone to accept the few crumbs of time and energy you have left? OK, stop. Think. Most relationships are conducted by people just like you.
In real life, love and dating aren’t a romantic film – they’re people connecting with each other from within full and fulfilling lives. In fact the best relationships occur when two busy people collide – they don’t get stuck in a rut, they move, share, grow and learn together. And they understand and tolerate the pressures on each other.
Today’s technology makes it easier than ever to stay in touch with the people you’re dating, so even if you only have one or two nights a week to meet in person, you can still connect daily. And I’ll be honest – busy people have always been, and will always be, more desirable than people with nothing to do. Your busyness will make you a low-maintenance partner who’s not needy or demanding. It’s hot.
2. “When would I fit in a date?!”
I get it. You’re up early, you’re in bed late. Weekdays are all about earning money, weekends are all about sleep, friends, family, or still earning money. Dating seems frivolous – why bother?
Well, recent research from the ONS shows that people in relationships score higher on the happiness scale than singles. There is nothing more important than your happiness, surely? Not convinced? Try this. In the annual LoveGeist survey conducted by match.com, we found that people in love were more motivated to do well at work, and felt they achieved more, than their single counterparts. Having a partner behind them gave them the strength to succeed.
Convinced, but still don’t have time for dating? Consider rejigging your schedule. Online dating gives you the freedom to look for love from the office, your mobile, the gym – anywhere. And once you’ve found it, you can creatively carve out time to meet; breakfast coffee-dates, lunch or grab an early bird dinner at 6 o’clock then head back to work if you have to! Look for partners you can do things with – for example, if you both enjoy going to the gym, you could make your gym classes a time to further connect with them.
Search for people who live in your town so you can always meet for a quick drink in your local. Once you’ve met someone who makes you happy, you’ll make time to meet them. I know.
3. “I’m more efficient on my own.”
In The Thomas Crown Affair, Rene Russo’s character memorably states, “Men make women messy”. When we’ve been in the wrong relationship, we’ve all seen how it affects our concentration, our moods, our productivity. The wrong partner can severely damage your game. After an experience like that, who could blame you for avoiding the whole idea? But, when you meet the right partner, everything changes. The right partner will make you feel confident, and you’ll find yourself striving for new goals you’d have scoffed at yesterday. The right person for you will listen. They will be there. The two of you will be far stronger together than either of you are separately.
Before you meet the right one, you’ll never realise how limited your single-mindset might be. Dating and finding a partner with whom to share ideas and plans can prove invaluable to your success. Think about those Oscars speeches – nobody ever stands up and says, “I did this alone. Yay me!” Life is about collaboration.
If you can identify with any of the excuses above, then take a step back from your busy life for a second and promise yourself that this is your moment to make a positive change, to start dating. If you put the same effort into your love life as you have been into other aspects of your daily life, you’re sure to soon be reaping the rewards.