Mom, I’ll say as calmly as possible, I don’t have time to date.
What do you mean you don’t have time? She says, practically calling me out on my bluff. As if I don’t have a full-time job, a perpetual list of errands to run, and an overwhelming desire to spend my free time taking naps and watching Breaking Bad.
After using the “I don’t have time” one-liner over and over again, it started to sound funny. It started to resonate in my stomach and sizzle with guilt. It started to be all that it really was: a very lousy excuse.
So, here are three ways to make dating more central in your life—if you want to make dating more central in your life.
1. Add it to your schedule.
Block off one night a week (or if you and your calendar find that to be too ambitious, block off one night every other week). But designate some time in your life for potential first dates or for potentially grand second or third dates. The second season of Mad Men, that spot on your couch where you seek solace, your pile of laundry, will all be waiting for you when you get back. Don’t worry, you will figure out a time to give into those obligations as well.
2. Stop making excuses.
Dating can be awkward or scary or thoroughly exhausting. But it can be a lot of other things, sometimes, too. It can be so overwhelmingly exciting and fresh and make you feel like you just downed a 5-hour energy drink when you didn’t. When all you did was spend two hours lost in conversation with someone who just understands you. Sometimes you’d rather spend your Friday night rolled up like burrito in your jersey sheets flipping through a Jonathan Tropper novel instead of putting on a face of makeup and trying your luck with a stranger. I get it, trust me. And sometimes you can and should just do that. But not always. Trade “I don’t have time” for “I’ll give it a chance”.
3. Make the first move.
Shake hands with the strangers who are already present in your everyday life. Say hello to them at networking events, while you’re out with your friends, when you’re standing 15 deep in a line to get your morning coffee. Stop looking down at your phone and start meeting people.