After an average work day, my evenings have a certain rhythm to them. Typically I have an errand or two to run on the way home. With places opening up more, one or two nights a week I go out with friends for dinner or do a fun activity together. Then I come home, get the mail, and figure out what I am making for dinner.
After dinner and some general puttering around my apartment, I will watch a bit of Netflix or Amazon Prime. I will wind the day down with some prayer or reading before I turn the light out.
Sound pretty typical, huh? Does that resemble an average day for you?
Oh, wait! I did forget something. How can we actually make some intentional time in our day for online dating?
What we spend time doing gives us a sense of where our focus and priorities lie. Finding a good relationship takes time. For most of us, time is not something laying around like a loose change you find in the bottom of your purse or coat pocket. This is true for all of us, especially those who are single parents.
So how does one make the time and manage your time to get the most of online dating?
While I don’t think there is a necessarily fool-proof way of making time for online dating, here are a few principles that I have found helpful in my own online dating experience.
1. Carve out a set amount of time
During my experience with online dating, I set a timer, usually forty five minutes to an hour, each night after dinner. This was my focused online dating time. I would search profiles, send messages, and respond to messages I received. Once my nightly timer went off, I was done for that night. Even if my efforts did not seem to bear fruit right away, it was a good practice. At least I was being focused and intentional about connecting with men I was interested in getting to know further.
I think it can be easy as a single person for the sole focus to become “finding” your special someone. I found that setting aside a bit of time each night to work on online dating gave me time to focus on dating without becoming overly focused on it.
Whatever you do, make sure that at least some time is structured and built into your daily schedule for making connections in online dating.
2. Don’t keep things virtual for too long
Make a good use of the time you have. Don’t keep things virtual for an unnecessarily long time. If the man or woman you are connecting with lives within driving distance, arrange to meet them sooner rather than later. This is especially true if things are going well! If someone lives further away from you, see if they want to connect over video messaging or FaceTime.
Spending a lot of time corresponding with someone that you won’t have in-person chemistry with is not only an emotional downer, but a huge waste of both people’s time.
3. Grow in patience
Patience is a virtue I need to constantly grow in, but a helpful one to remember as you begin to connect and interact with people online. If you send someone a message, there’s no need to check your inbox every hour on the hour for a reply. Continually doing that is just not an emotionally healthy practice. Not to mention, every time you log in and there’s no response, it can feel like a rejection even though it isn’t.
I know I have made my share of mistakes learning this the hard way, so just trust me on this.
4. Remember to be open
Be open to connecting with lots of different people and going on lots of dates. I’m not telling you to be dishonest or play games with people. However, I am encouraging you to have fun and enjoy dating, yes even the times it doesn’t go the way you imagine.
If you feel comfortable meeting someone for a date, be open to taking things offline and getting to know each other further. Be open to letting yourself be surprised. I’ve had my share of less than great (and sometimes weird!) dates. But don’t let past experiences color your future. I’ve also been pleasantly surprised by some of the men I have met and dated from online dating platforms.
Be open, show up, and remember, there is no formula for life.
How are you making time for online dating in your life? Are there any helpful things you have learned in managing this with everything else in your life?
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