Remember the last time you just worked 9-to-5 for a whole week? Neither can a lot of people. It seems that many of us (I’m looking at you, fellow New Yorkers) are now more focused on our careers than our relationships. According to a recent Gallup poll, the new average work week is now closer to 50-hours. Meaning, you’re working closer to a six-day week in your full time job than 20 years ago.
So, with work taking up all your precious time, how can you possibly fit in a decent love life?
1. Use modern tools.
When pinched for time, the smartest thing you can do is to use all the available dating tools in your arsenal. Just like how LinkedIn has helped match the right employee to the right employers, creating an online dating profile allows you to expand beyond your personal network to meet people who are interested in you.
Not to mention that online dating shaming has all but disappeared. According to a Pew Research study, “11% of American adults—and 38% of those who are currently ‘single and looking’ for a partner—have used online dating sites or mobile dating apps.” And with more singles choosing go the online dating route everyday, it’s very likely that the perfect match is just a few clicks away.
2. Choose the best service.
Nothing is worse than opening your dating inbox to find it chocked full of spam and indecent proposals. No shirt? No thanks! You wouldn’t settle for junk in your personal email, so don’t lower the bar for your love life. Mesh can automatically filter your messages based on your preferences and save you time. Set your Dealbreakers and Mismatches from the start if you already know what you’re looking for.
3. Be optimistic.
We all know the importance of keeping a positive mindset. But how do we get there?
The first is body language. Small things like standing upright, smiling and not crossing your arms convey openness and positivity. As the old adage goes, “Fake it until you make it.” If you keep acting positive, soon you will be. The second is to find something that makes you happy -may it be photos of your family or the scarf your bestie knitted for you- and hold on to it in difficult moments. Don’t let a stressful day at work ruin your date. Socializing when you’re in a good mood will almost always get better results. Finally, take time to be physically active. For inspiration, remember Socrates’s quote, “It is a shame for a man to grow old without seeing the beauty and strength of which his body is capable.”
4. Plan ahead.
Getting a date is only half the battle. Don’t expect to get lucky in love when you’re just winging it. Remember Seneca’s quote, “Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity.”
If novel dates are what you’re shooting for, add a twist to something simple like grabbing ice cream in the park to share a story about yourself for every different topping you eat.
5. Be yourself.
You didn’t get where you are in life by going with the flow and blending in. Your personality should always be your selling point, especially during the initial getting-to-know phase. If you aren’t meshing with your date, maybe it’s time to check your other messages.