As a recent college graduate who is busting their butt full-time for nearly no money, finding balance sometimes seems impossible. Between work, friends, exercise, errands, and social events, who has time for meeting new people? Narrow down ‘new people’ to the dating pool and your prospects are looking pretty slim. This is especially true for people that work odd hours or travel frequently. Try telling the person you’re attempting to set up a date with that you’re only free on Friday at 10:00 a.m. for one hour and see where that gets you.
Committing to dating can seem like a waste of time when you’re as single as it gets and have limited free time, but putting in a little effort can go a long way. Set a goal of carving out time each week to allow for going out, being social, trying new things and finally going on a date. We all need to work to live, but all work and no play isn’t healthy.
If heading to a bar after a long day at work feels like an intimidating place to start, stop by your local coffee shop to do work once a week or join a local intramural team, rather than heading straight home. Getting yourself out there, whether you jump straight into dating or socialize with other locals, is the most effective way to jumpstart your dating life. (Unless you have a friend that is going to introduce you to Ryan Gosling, then you’re golden.)
Once you’ve finally found the time to date, next is the challenge of navigating the dating pool. Today’s technology allows users to have constant contact with anyone at the tip of their fingers. With the presence of texting, social media, calling, and internet stalking, getting around to an in person date can be a tricky task.
Television and movies constantly poke fun at the concept of unspoken rules of dating and technology. Rules like waiting a certain number of days to text someone back, only calling for specific reasons, and not responding too quickly as not to seem too eager. This is most particularly a millennial concern because we’re all addicted to our various devices.
As a millennial in the dating pool, I say screw the rules. If someone contacts you and you want to respond, wait however long you please or don’t. Who cares? The fear is that whoever is on the opposite end of the conversation cares, that they are judging your timing or texting etiquette. They must care that you took five minutes to respond instead of 45 right? In reality, they probably never noticed, so relax and know that after high school that stuff doesn’t really matter.
If you are lucky enough to find a common time in your busy schedule and the other person’s, set up a date! Make it happen before the opportunity slips away. Don’t let the unspoken technology rules of dating or even online dating prevent you from getting to spend time with someone face to face. That is the end goal after all!
Technology is tremendous; it has the ability to host interactions over great distances. It also has the ability to complicate interactions. This goes for work related tech too! Don’t allow your work email to prevent you from being fully present in person. You worked this hard to make the free time, socialize and meet the right person, so don’t waste your efforts. Dating is hard enough; don’t make it more difficult that it needs to be.
Despite your hectic work schedule and busy social life, aim to make time for dating and meeting new people. If you don’t make it a priority, finding the time and the right person becomes a daunting endeavor. Worst comes to worst and you’ll make some interesting new friends in the process! Put yourself out there and see what happens.