Thursday, May 22, 2014

Advice: Balancing dating with a busy schedule

Sarah asks:
What's the best way to balance momentum in early dating with a busy schedule without 'running over' the other person? You can't really pull out the agendas and lay out for them the free days for the rest of the month. And I don't want to be only dragging them to things I've already planned all the time. That would drive me crazy to be on the receiving end of that. But I feel awful if I've been on one date and would like a second and lo and behold my next open time slot isn't for a week and a half. And if that's the case for reasons beyond your control, what are some good ways to keep it rolling until then?
Date Me, D.C. says:

Well, I've got an answer for you, but you're probably not going to like it. You've got to prioritize dating just as much as you're prioritizing everything else. What that means is that sometimes, you've got to cancel plans or say no to other things to keep a spot in your schedule for someone you want to meet up with.

**cue readers clutching pearls and gasping in horror**

I know it's girl blasphemy to say that. We're not supposed to give up any time in our precious schedules for a MAN. Ugh, who could possibly imagine?!?!

But in all seriousness, I don't understand why people treat dating like it's this thing that's totally and completely different from everything else you're doing in your life. In my view, it's just another activity you've signed up to do, and if you want to keep your membership active, you've got to figure out a way to fit it into your schedule.

Relationships require a lot of prioritizing. You'd drop everything you were doing in an instant if you found out your significant other had gotten into a car wreck and was in the hospital, right? No matter what you were in the middle of, you'd figure out a way to get there. That's the most dramatic example, obviously, but consider maintaining friendships. If you never sought out plans to hang out or otherwise contact a person, at some point you would no longer be friends.

The same goes for budding romantic connections. If you never give that person the time of day, at some point he will no longer be interested.

What's scary, I will concede, is that even if you DO give him the time of day, at some point he may also not be interested. And that sucks, and I get it. You don't want to waste your time on someone who ultimately does not want to be with you.

But unfortunately, there's no way to know what will happen before you give it a shot. So, if you like the guy, take an honest look at your schedule. Will someone die if you miss this event? Will you get fired if you miss that? If the answers are no, perhaps you can send your regrets and go on a date instead.

Remember, you can ask questions anonymously by clicking here or by emailing me at


  1. I was just thinking about this today as I was trying to schedule an OKC date around my day job and blog obligations! I agree with you here - I usually try approach dating as another job.


  2. Or just be completely honest with the dude, especially if he's into you. Tell him the truth. "Y'know the next 10 days are crazy busy for me but how bout we meet up that Saturday?" Or whatever. From my personal stand point he'll probably appreciate the honestly and the fact he doesn't have to guess if you're into him or not since some women try the "let them down gentle" approach and just make excuses for not going out.

    1. Well, I think a big part of the issue for this particular questioner was that she was doing that -- saying, "hey, I've got all these commitments so can we meet in three weeks?" and her gentlemen callers were taking that as a brush-off because a common excuse from women who don't want to go on a date with you anymore is "Sorry I can't hang out -- I'm just so busy!"

  3. I agree with this, especially because at least a couple guys lost interest in me because I was always too busy working. On the other hand, I had a friend (emphasis on past tense) who spent all her free time with her boyfriend; if they ever break up, I will not be interested in hanging out with her because she never made our friendship a priority.

    1. Truth. I think everyone who gets a new relationship is guilty of this to some extent, and I include myself in that. The key is realizing it, apologizing, and then making tangible efforts to correct your course.


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