I had to rethink so I could make time to date effectively. Before I first started dating my husband after meeting on Christian Connection, I was fed up with the amount of time that I thought I had wasted trying to find someone, going through the same conversations, the same small talk, the same ‘getting to know you’ tactics.
I was on tour in a show at the time and hardly saw my family and friends, so my time off really was precious, and I wanted to spend it with them. However, that time away from home was not wasted as otherwise I would not have gone online when I did and then found my future husband and gone on our first date!
It was also important to me to find a life partner so using some of my time off for going on dates was a step towards that. It took me long enough to create an online profile, let alone start scrolling, writing, keeping up with messages, meeting up for cups of tea and starting all over again!
Make some healthy Swaps
Try swapping some of the time you spend on social media looking at other people’s lives, for looking through Christian Connection or responding to messages, involving yourself in your life rather than someone else’s.
To really get to know someone you need to put aside some time to be able to respond to messages and answer questions, as well as ask your own questions. Delving in deeper, understanding who they are, their past, their faith, their walk with God, all takes time, and relationships are more likely to develop if you take the time to listen and understand and respond.
If someone feels that you don’t have time for them to get to know them and focus on them, there’s a possibility that they will look elsewhere.
Sometimes this means a sacrifice – when we were dating, we were opposite ends of the country and my husband had to sacrifice early nights in order for us to be able to talk after I finished work late at night, and I had to sacrifice lie-ins in the morning in order to be able to speak to him before he started work.
If we didn’t use our time in this way, we would never have spoken to each other and developed our relationship. Further down the line, consider how you can manage your time and where you can give your future partner a bit more time to prioritise them.
Rethink your priorities
Work out what are the priorities in your life and how to balance them. For example, do you really need to watch second football match of the week, or binge a Netflix series when you could use that hour to create an online profile, chat on the phone to a prospective date, or make time to meet in person?
God, family, church and friends are all priorities but one day a future partner could potentially become your family, so it is worth investing the time to find one. Have the long-term view to help you to prioritise your day.
Put God first and then it’ll be easier for the rest of the day to fall into place. Practically writing down what you want to achieve, organising your week, who to see and what time you have helps to focus what time you have left. To truly get to know someone, you need to invest time and it has to be a conscious effort.
As long as you can focus on listening to a date with attention there are ways to utilise your time and multitask. Perhaps you can leave a voice note or make a phone call whilst chopping vegetables for dinner. Or if you are having downtime watching television then you can create your online profile or scroll through potential matches.
There was a time in early marriage when my husband and I had to phone each other when we were both travelling due to different work hours – I was on a train and he was in the car, otherwise we wouldn’t have managed to speak to each other that day.
It was a priority that we did speak and we made it work, but we had to make the most of the time and multitask – travel and talk! If exercise is your thing, then you could make a phone call on a walk, or even make a run or a walk a date.
If you’re passionate about something, then you’ll make it work. For me, finding time to date in our ‘getting to know you’ days, with one day off a week when I was the other side of the country was not easy, but we both wanted to make it work so we did.
You’ve got to be logical, too. Don’t spend all your time dating and not creating a life for yourself by enjoying hobbies or seeing friends. It can be disheartening when you spend a long time online dating only to find it fizzles out, or it’s not working straight away. You then wish that you had spent the time elsewhere.
I remember feeling frustrated that I’d spent the time explaining who I am and what I do for the hundredth time to a stranger online, when I should have invested some of that time with friends and family. However, had I not done that, I wouldn’t be where I am today with a godly husband by my side. It’s a healthy balance both ways.
Sometimes we feel that we are juggling too many balls in the business of life that we occasionally drop one. If that’s the case, work out what can be dropped and it may just be for a season.
Time goes so quickly, that investing your time in seeking God and His Word is the best way to utilise your time. Fall in love with Him first, and then you’ll be ready to meet someone who shares your passion.