Too busy to find love? Time for a new year’s resolution!
‘I want to meet someone and get married, but I simply don’t have time for online dating and singles events,’ said the Facebook message. ‘What with working long hours and volunteering at church, I don’t have much spare time. Besides, I believe we should be good stewards of our time, and there are better ways to use it than chasing around trying to find a partner. There must be another way.’
It’s true that dating websites and singles events can get time-consuming – they can take over your life if you’re not careful! It’s also true that these methods for meeting people aren’t for everyone, and there are other ways to expand your Christian social circle. However, they ALL involve an investment of time and effort.
While researching his book Why Men Marry Some Women And Not Others (yes, it’s that book again – can you tell what I’ve been reading lately?), John Molloy uncovered some interesting data. He discovered that the women in his study who got married were no less busy or successful in their careers and other endeavours than those who remained single. In fact, they often had busier schedules than their single sisters. ‘The difference was planning,’ says Molloy. ‘These women went about meeting a husband in the same way as they went about succeeding in their careers, carefully allocating their time so they had a social life.’
In other words, it isn’t either/or, but a matter of balance, good time management and valuing your own future happiness enough to invest time in it (and of course, the same applies to men). And what better time than new year to make changes to improve your work/ministry/life balance and create space for love? Especially as membership of dating websites peak at this time of year, as everyone else does the same!
Among my friends and family, I’m notorious for taking on too many projects and responsibilities, leaving little time for myself – but all my achievements won’t keep me warm at night and love me in my old age, will they? So when I joined the Christian dating scene, I diaried in time to devote to building my long-term happiness. As one friend told me, ‘If you’re too busy to have a life, there are things in your schedule that God didn’t ask you to do.’
The suggestion that we don’t have time to look for love misses another very important fact. Relationships themselves are very time-consuming. Getting to know someone well enough to commit to marriage requires many hundreds of hours spent sharing experiences and inner thoughts, and testing whether you’re compatible. I’ve learned that to nurture a relationship, you have to make changes to your life and free up plenty of time to devote to it. There’s really no way around that.
It doesn’t stop once you’re married, either. Christian relationship counsellor Willard F Harley, author of His Needs, Her Needs, says married couples need to spend a minimum of fifteen hours quality time together every week, alone and undistracted by other tasks, to maintain a healthy, bonded relationship. Fifteen hours sounds like a big ask (who has that kind of spare time?!), but Harley insists that if you can find that time when you’re dating, you can find it when you’re married – and what’s more, your marriage depends on it.
So I’d gently suggest that if you’re really too busy to look for a mate, then you’re too busy for a relationship at all. But it’s a new year, the perfect time to reassess and let go of some of your regimes to free up time – not only to meet new people, but so you’re ready when love comes calling.
On the other hand, some of us use ‘time’ as an excuse when we’re subconsciously avoiding relationships due to fear of rejection or being hurt. If that rings true for you, seek prayer and counselling to help you deal with your fears, and make 2016 the year you’re ready to find the love you deserve.
Have you made changes in your life to find and nurture love? We want to hear your stories.