There’s no question that there are some circumstances in life that make a person too busy to have the time to date. For example, being a single parent with two jobs can make dating difficult or even impossible. There are also times when a person is working full-time and attending school, and these circumstances can make it hard for a person to squeeze in the kind of free time you need to invest in a new relationship. But let’s be honest — many of us use or have used the excuse that we are too busy to date when what we’re actually doing is trying to avoid dating. I have highlighted some of the most common excuses people tell themselves about why they’re too busy to date. If you are using one of these excuses now, ask yourself a very basic question: Why am I postponing finding someone with whom I can have a real emotional connection?
“I work too much.”
If you’re using this excuse, let’s get specific. How many hours each week are you working? Forty or sixty? Seventy or eighty? If you are working seventy hours per week or more, you probably are working too much to date. The reason why you can’t work that much and also have a good and balanced dating life is because your mind and body are likely too drained to give much to anyone new. At the same time, you should understand that working these kinds of hours should only be a temporary situation. Working extremely long hours for years on end may deliver you to the ER with a coronary, so make sure you control those hours so that working like a dog doesn’t hurt or jeopardize your physical or mental health.
“I live in the middle of nowhere, and I don’t have time to drive back and forth to date someone.”
Geography matters in dating, so I understand the root of this complaint. It may be true that you don’t have the time to “commute to a date” six or seven nights per week, but what about once per week on the weekend? If you’re dating someone, I don’t believe that you should start seeing someone every single day from the get-go, so doing your dating on one weekend day can ensure that you don’t move too fast.
“It feels like a part-time job to constantly check my emails from my online dating profile, and I don’t have time to deal with that because my job is so demanding.”
It’s true that managing communications with online dating can sometimes feel like a lot, so come up with a couple days each week when you will message people and when you will review your messages from others. For example, check your mail on Wednesdays and Saturdays so that you don’t feel like you’re developing an OCD-like checking compulsion!
“I already spend my little bit of free time with my best friends, so dating would mean that I wouldn’t have time to see them anymore.”
When you start dating someone new, you experience a sort of transition period in your social life. For a while, you may spend more time with the new date and less time with some of the people you socialized with before you met someone. Remember, however, that the honeymoon phase of dating doesn’t last forever, and things balance themselves out in your social life after a while. Once you know your date a little better, you can start hanging out with your date and friends together. I strongly advise against people postponing a romantic relationship to stay close to their friends because, sooner or later, most people end up spending most of their time with their romantic partner as opposed to their group of friends.
“I don’t have time to date because I have a kid.”
If you have a couple of kids and work full-time, dating is really, really hard. Even then, you can do it if you have resources to help: extended family to help or money to pay for babysitters. If you only have one child, you can find time to date but you need to be more creative to make it work. You can ask friends or others you know and trust to help cover some of the childcare when you’re not working and your child is not in school. Dating doesn’t necessarily mean being gone all weekend; it can mean being gone for an hour and half to have a nice dinner. Many times, people with kids use this “I’m too busy excuse” to mask the larger fear: that no one is going to want to date them because they have a kid. Trust me when I say that there are plenty of men and women who would be fine with dating someone who has a child already.
Bottom line: Unless you are so busy that you really only have time to work and sleep, you can probably come up with an hour or two each week to invest in dating. My hope is that you give yourself the chance to date because finding someone good can be one of the most comforting things in your entire life, and you deserve it!
About the Author:
Dr. Seth is a licensed clinical psychologist, author, Psychology Today blogger, and TV guest expert. He practices in Los Angeles and treats a wide range of issues and disorders and specializes in relationships, parenting, and addiction. He has had extensive training in conducting couples therapy and is the author of Dr. Seth’s Love Prescription: Overcome Relationship Repetition Syndrome and Find the Love You Deserve