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How To Approach Dating If You’re Too Busy To Date

Written by Sarah Jones
Dating Coach for Introverted Men at Introverted Alpha
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Balancing a career, social life, quality time with friends and family, self-care, hobbies, and adequate sleep is enough to keep anyone occupied. How much more if you add dating into the mix? Whew!

You may have wondered if you are too busy to date in the midst of a full schedule, even though your heart desires companionship.[1] But just because you’re busy doesn’t mean that you can’t date. There are some things you can do that will help you grow your love life despite having only minimal time for dating.

In this article, I will share with you nine tips on how to approach dating if you feel you’re too busy to date.

Tips To Approach Dating if You’re Too Busy To Date

1. Are You Really Too Busy?

Sometimes, avoidance can be a coping mechanism to focus our minds on other important aspects of our lives to steer clear of any potential feelings of rejection or broken-heartedness.

As human beings, the desire to feel wanted by someone is part of our human nature, so these feelings are normal. However, to move forward in life, you have to take risks which include being a bit vulnerable by putting yourself out there.

The first step to approaching dating if you’re too busy is to determine if you are really too busy.

Are you focusing all of your time and attention on other areas of your life to avoid the feeling of heartbreak? If you find this true, you may find it helpful to speak with a loved one about how you’re feeling.


A licensed therapist can also help you get to the root of the issue if you sense that you need some extra support in navigating these feelings. Once you’re honest with yourself, you can show your genuine heart around others, which is refreshing and joyful.

2. Be Honest With Your Date About Your Busy Schedule

Being upfront is an important virtue to abide by when navigating the dating world. Potential dates seek dependability and comfort, and if your schedule is too busy to give them that, they will appreciate your openness.

When speaking about your busy schedule, be mindful of how you do so, and when you do have the availability to make plans, make sure you stick to them.

Of course, other obligations can come up. Yet, if you tend to regularly cancel plans with your date, they will understandably sense that they are not a priority in your life.

If you’re in a busy season at work or have a lot of family commitments for the next month, communicate those plans with your potential date ahead of time, and be sure to take their schedule into account as well!

We are all prioritizing certain aspects of our lives. If you frequently bring up how busy your schedule is, your date may sense that you think your schedule is more important than theirs.


Of course, you very likely do not feel this way, so be mindful when discussing your schedule, and ensure your date understands your interest in them.

3. Date Someone Who Is Understanding of Your Schedule

Depending on what aspect of your life is taking up the most of your time, find someone who understands that you won’t be able to spend as much time with them as you’d like.

According to millennial dating expert Erica Gordon, “The right person will encourage you to hustle, and won’t come down on you for not being available enough. A very secure person with the ability to trust will be able to trust in your relationship even if you don’t have a ton of time for them.” [2]

On the first date with someone, if they don’t seem to understand that you have other priorities that are taking up more time in your life right now, then they may not be the right person for you.

If you date someone who is patient with you and your life obligations at the moment, there will be less pressure on the relationship so the two of you can more easily relax and be yourselves when you spend time together.

4. Manage Expectations

Aside from open and clear communication, another key aspect of dating is simply managing expectations for both yourself and your potential date.


When you’re upfront with your date about how much time you can devote to dating, you will feel freer to work late or spend time with your family without your potential date feeling neglected.

Be sure to discuss your busy schedule when making plans, and word your communication in a way that will help the other person feel valued. Consider something like, “I am currently in my busy season at work, so I don’t have as much free time as I would like during the week. However, I would love to get drinks on Friday!”

Sharing these details allows your date to know that you are in a busy stage of your life while still letting them know that you’d like to make time for them.

5. Keep an Open Mind and Exude Positive Energy

Another tip for dating when you’re busy is to keep an open mind and stay positive. When you look for opportunities to meet someone and you have a positive aura about you, you’ll attract the right kind of person.

According to dating and relationship expert Lisa Concepcion,[3]

“If you’re in line at the bank looking at your phone, you’re in a closed energy. If you’re talking to the person in front of you, showing them a picture of your dog and seeing theirs and having a nice neighborly conversation, your energy is open. It sends the message to the universe. ‘I like people. I am open to meeting great people.’”

Keeping that positive mindset and open energy will draw people toward you. You are less likely to be approached if you are looking down at your phone or waiting for your coffee order with your AirPods in, so reduce any potential distractions and make a point to enjoy your surroundings.


“These days, people think that the only place they can meet people is on a Friday or Saturday between 8 p.m. and midnight,” Concepcion added. “When you dispel the notion that people are only looking to meet others during those ‘prime time’ hours, you’ll start to notice those around you more.”[4]

6. Consider Online Dating

Online dating apps are a wonderful way for busy people to connect with potential dates! You can date on your own time and schedule, replying to messages and perusing available singles in your area.

Dating apps are a great option if you don’t feel as though you have the time to go out to find potential dates in person.[5] Still, be prepared to take the conversation off the app and into the real world to get to know your potential match better.

Soon, you’ll want to meet the person on the other end of the dating profile, so make sure you’re prepared to make room in your busy schedule to firm up plans you can follow through on.

As long as you’re upfront and communicate openly about when you can meet, the right person will understand.

7. Schedule Time for Dating

While scheduling time in your planner for dating is not one of the most romantic ideas, devoting time to scheduling your dating life might be a great option if you need to plan your week in advance.

If you find yourself struggling to set time aside during the week to go out on dates, experiment with scheduling time in your calendar as you would a meeting.


Start with small steps by putting aside one hour a week for a coffee date or quick lunch break. Or, if you’re newer to the dating scene, take an hour to spend time on dating apps replying to messages, and looking through others’ dating profiles.

Once you commit to the time you set aside each week, add another hour to your planner for dates. Taking reasonable action steps will prevent you from feeling overwhelmed by attempting to go out on all the dates or reply to every message, and you’ll be more likely to hold yourself accountable to manageable goals and expectations.

8. Pick a Flexible Day and Share a Meal With Someone

We all need to eat, so why not share a meal with a date? Find your most flexible day that you can dedicate at least one hour to spend time with someone you’re interested in.

Perhaps you know Wednesdays are your lightest days at work, and you can leave the office an hour or two earlier than usual. Ask a date to meet you at a restaurant by the office for dinner. The reason is that you can always head back to the office afterward if you have work you still need to finish up, and your date will appreciate the effort to meet up despite your busy schedule.

9. Find a Shared Interest or Hobby With Your Date

Happily, the best kinds of dates don’t feel like work. If you find yourself struggling to balance your work, family, friends, and dating life, you can find someone that shares a love for hiking or really enjoys cooking.

When you incorporate your dating life into your already-established routine, you’ll enjoy getting to know someone while also participating in an activity you love. If you enjoy hiking and cooking, plan a third date with a fellow hiker at a nearby trail or go grocery shopping together and pick out items the two of you can make for dinner.


Showing your date that you’ll make time for them despite your busy schedule will go a long way, and they’ll appreciate the effort to plan a fun date without feeling as if they’re taking too much of your time!

Final Thoughts

We all go through busy seasons of life. When you’re open and put effort into making time for someone you’re interested in, you can rest assured that you’re taking the right steps to best connect with the person who is an ideal match for you.


Don't have time for the full article? Read this.

How To Approach Dating If You’re Too Busy To Date

Decide if you really are too busy to date or if you’re simply filling your days with activities to avoid any potential feelings of rejection.

Experiment with online dating.

Keep an open mind to meeting people while enjoying your daily activities.

Schedule time for dating even if it means to block out time in your calendar.

Featured photo credit: cottonbro via pexels.com


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