When a friend was complaining recently about how much she has to multi-task, I thought about the fact that there really is no such thing as 'mono-tasking' in today's culture. We are all over over-scheduled, hyper connected and busy. The song '9 to 5' hardly resonates for the average American worker. We are working longer hours than ever before (often continuing to do our work into the night); and even though many strive for better work-life balance, we do a poor job at creating it. We may excel at our careers, but if someone reviewed the way a number of us showed up for our own lives, we would get a failing grade!
The people who say that finding love is their ultimate goal complain about having too few options, too little time and the fact that nothing works. When I delve a bit deeper and ask about the time and energy they have put forward in pursuit of their biggest goal, the answer is surprising. The average dater I have spoken with puts only a few hours a month into his dating life, even though these same people claim that finding love is their biggest priority. What they say they want and what their actions demonstrate do not always add up. On a weekly basis, it seems that these people give precedence to almost every other 'to do' that they admit is less important. Of course work needs to be done and chores need to be completed – but boundaries also need to be created if one wants to find balance.
In defense of his ultra light dating schedule, one guy I interviewed said, “Who has the time for a lame date?” and another admitted, “I'd rather take a nap in my bed than a nap on a date with someone I don't like”. Both these people's comments are valid. The dating process can be draining and dating fatigue is common. The bizarre reality about dating is that most dates are designed to fail – that's the nature of dating! Everyone I know in happy relationships found their partners after a series of dates that were less than memorable (or so awful, they were hard to forget). Having resilience (and let's face it, a sense of humor) is a big piece of the dating equation.
Only by putting forth effort – time and energy – will dating work. Successful dating requires both physical effort: clearing time in your schedule and showing up for dates (like the ones conveniently planned by It’s Just Lunch!); and mental effort: adjusting your attitude so you can approach the process with excitement and curiosity.
When you are looking for love and overwhelmed by your overbooked calendar, consider: What do you have to say no to in order to say yes to your priority of finding a loving partner? You may have to say 'no' to working past 7 pm or working every weekend. After all, how do you expect to be in a relationship if you don't even have time to date?! Or - you may have to say 'no' to the attitude that the pursuit of love is too tiring to be worthwhile. If finding a partner is one of your primary goals, find the time and space in your life to express that.
Andrea Syrtash is a dating and relationship expert, advice columnist and author of the new book, "He's Just Not Your Type (and that's a good thing)". Andrea has made Google 'hot trends’, ranking in the top 100 things googled on particular days between 2007-2009. She has no idea how that happened, but appreciates the (very postmodern) honor. For more visit www.andreasyrtash.com