Date Hack: How to Find Time To Date


Dating expert Charly Lester streamlines your love life with #DateHacks.

We all know that sometimes dating can feel time-consuming.  Finding the person you want to spend the rest of your life with shouldn’t be a flippant decision.  But as a busy person, already living a full, complete life, how can you find time to date without it feeling like a second job?


Make the online experience enjoyable

Don’t let searching for a partner feel like a chore.  Make the experience enjoyable by integrating online dating into your spare time.  Surf the net while you listen to your favourite record or watch a movie.  Check out profiles with a glass of wine in hand, or with a good friend by your side.

You’ll be surprised by how many of your non-single friends want to get involved with your online dating life.  Not only can they help you write your profile, and check that the finished piece sounds like the person they know, but they will also enjoy vetting your matches’ profiles!


Do things you want to do anyway

When it comes to planning your next date, don’t be restricted by ‘standard’ date ideas.  Is there an exhibition you wanted to visit, or a show you were trying to see?  Your spare time is precious, so make the most of it by incorporating dating with your social life.  If you’d rather not waste your time having awkward drinks at the local or coffee with a stranger, don’t date that way!


The great thing about choosing dates which are activities you’d normally do, is that you’re immediately showing who you are.  If your match doesn’t appreciate your choice of date idea, that may help you work out how suited you are to one another.


Date around your schedule

First dates don’t just have to take place on weekday evenings.  If you’re struggling to find time to meet matches after work, why not plan dates at quieter times in your week?   Saturday afternoons are a good option, as they don’t interfere with evening plans.  Or if you know a good brunch restaurant, try meeting there one weekend.

Going on a daytime date, when you already have evening plans, can work well because there is a predetermined end to the date.  Meeting during the day means you’re less likely to get drunk, and if things go well, you’ll leave the other person wanting to meet up again.


Enjoy the dating experience

Use dating as an excuse to explore the city you live in.  Don’t restrict your dates to the same pub or restaurant.  Be imaginative.  A number of factors can affect how enjoyable a date is, not just the person you’re on the date with, so make the most of the entire dating experience.  Be a tourist in your own town, and check out places you wouldn’t normally have the opportunity to try.  You’ll be surprised what a good date venue a zoo, park or landmark can be.


Know when to give yourself a break

Dating is time-consuming, and it does require dedication.  Sometimes you’ll feel like you don’t have the time or the energy for it, and that’s fine.  Don’t force yourself to meet up with new people when you’re stressed with work, or too busy with other commitments.  It’s fine to give yourself a break for a couple of weeks, and then get back in the swing of things once you have more free time.


Charly Lester is one of Britain’s most recognised dating experts.  The founder of the UK Dating Awards, her blog 30 Dates is one of the most successful British dating blogs ever. The former Global Head of Dating at Time Out, Charly’s advice has appeared in most national newspapers, and she regularly appears on Radio 4’s Woman’s Hour.

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