We all get overwhelmed with work and family obligations. You may stay late to finish a project or put in extra hours to help ensure that promotion, or maybe you’re a single mom or dad with no time to yourself.
While it’s important to move forward in your career or to be a responsible parent, you might want to consider whether you’re ignoring your personal life in the process.
Being too busy is an easy response and we can all relate. But sometimes we use it as an excuse when we don’t want to put forth effort in dating and meeting new people.
Instead, we assume the right person will come along at the right time, with little or no help from us.
We don’t leave our careers to chance, hoping the right job will come along without any work on our part, so why do we do this with our love lives?
If you want to find a long-term relationship, then you have to make it a priority. Dating can’t be something you squeeze in once or twice a month.
If you’re online dating, then you have to check in regularly for it to bring any results. This means you have to make time for it like you make time for work. You’re not trading one for the other, but you’re creating more of a balance between personal and professional goals.
Following are some suggestions to help you prioritize:
1. Create time in your schedule for dating.
It’s hard to make time for anything, but look at it this way – when you meet someone who makes your knees weak, suddenly your calendar clears!
If you spend an hour watching TV or checking Facebook in the evening, you could also spend that hour online dating or meeting someone for a drink. Find time in your schedule and make it consistent.
2. Understand other people are busy, too.
Many daters have a double standard. They schedule dates and cancel at the last minute because a work meeting comes up, but if someone else cancels on them, they get frustrated.
If you are going to cancel and reschedule, then expect it from others. If you respect other people’s time, then they will treat you the same. It goes both ways.
“Do you want to be in the
same place a year from now?”
3. Establish boundaries.
Sometimes we feel obligated to stay late at work to prove to our supervisors how hard we’re working. This is especially true when you’re single – after all, you don’t have family obligations.
But this doesn’t mean your job is your life. You have to create your life, and this means setting boundaries with your job.
Leave work at six to meet a date for coffee. Spend your weekends meeting new people and doing things you like outside of your career.
4. Don’t use work as an excuse.
Dating can be hard. There’s no question about that. It takes time and effort and doesn’t always go well. But when you click with someone, it’s amazing.
Ask yourself, “How could I click with someone unless I put in the time and effort to meet them in the first place?”
5. Hire a babysitter.
If you can’t afford it, ask family members or friends to help take care of your child a couple of times a week so you can go out. There’s nothing wrong with taking some time to cultivate a romantic relationship, even when you’re a single parent. In fact, it’s healthy.
Don’t be afraid to ask for support – you’d be surprised how many people are willing to give it.
Perhaps the most important question to ask yourself is, “Do I want to be in the same place six months or a year from now?”
If you don’t, then make dating a priority and allow yourself to have a personal life without letting your job or your family be the only factor worth considering.