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February 11, 2024 6 mins

A listener asks how to find time to date

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Speaker 1 (00:03):
Welcome to Before Breakfast, a production of iHeartRadio. Good Morning.
This is Laura. Welcome to the Before Breakfast podcast. Today's
tip is about how busy people can still make time
to meet someone special. Valentine's Day is coming up, and
if you're in a happy couple, that's awesome. But many

(00:25):
people find themselves in different stages of life, and I
recently got a letter from a listener who'd been on
her own for a while. I was trying to figure
out how she could make time for dating. Our listener's
husband had died a few years ago, and she's now
raising her nine year old daughter as a single parent.
She says that I'm ready to date, but find it
difficult to muster the energy to find someone, let alone

(00:48):
go out on a date. It seems like online dating
is the thing to do now, but she says that
it feels very weird to me since she met her
husband when this wasn't as much of a thing as
it is now. I'm usually tired work and extracurricular activities
with my daughter and the usual home duties, She says.
My commute is at least an hour each way to work.
I finally get an hour or so of me time

(01:09):
in the evenings after I put my daughter to bed,
but I'm also trying to read, shower, and do other
focused tasks that I can't do while she's away. So
what do you suggest? How can I carve out dating
and social time. How much time should I commit to
these tasks or do I just live life and hope
someone falls into my sights. I think this is a
great question. Plenty of people with jobs and family responsibilities

(01:33):
would like to meet someone special, but because of those
jobs and family responsibilities, dating can seem like one more
thing on the to do list. And like our listener,
I got married before online dating was as big a
thing as it is now. But I've talked with a
lot of people about how they approach it, and I've
studied people's time logs to see how it's been incorporated.

(01:54):
The good news is that it does make the process
of meeting other single people a lot more of a
fit than in the past. Setting up first dates at
least is relatively easy, and since that's the case, I
recommend taking a very strategic, numbers oriented approach to this project.
Our listener could sign up for a few services that

(02:15):
friends recommend, and then give herself a target of going
on one first date every two weeks. She could do
this right after work or possibly over lunch or coffee,
so she wouldn't have to worry about finding additional childcare. Now,
to be clear, most of these dates will be mediocre
at best, but the upside is that it's only two

(02:37):
hours a month, so it's hard to feel like you've
wasted too much time. If nothing else, our listener can
try to find humor in the experience, or maybe meet
people who might be interesting professional connections. Now, they probably
won't all be terrible, of course, and this is where
the numbers game comes in. If our listener goes on
twenty four first dates in a year, the odds are

(02:59):
reason snible that she'll have at least a few dates
with people she wouldn't mind seeing a second time. Now,
let's say that one in four of those works out great. Well,
now she's going on six second dates in a year.
What if three of those turn into a third date
and one or two of those might be a reasonable
fourth date. Now we're getting somewhere. The key is to
be consistent with first dates until you meet someone who

(03:22):
makes you want to not be consistent. About going on
first dates anymore. Of course, online dating isn't the only
way to go. Our listener said that some friends had
suggested meetup groups and the like, and I think it's
smart in general to build an active adult social life
as a single parent, not even necessarily for dating purposes,
but just because it's fun. The more people you know

(03:44):
who like similar things to you, the broader your network
will be. And no doubt some of the people in
these networks know people that they'd be willing to set
you up with, so that helps with keeping up the
volume of first dates too. Of course, all this is
slightly more complex as a single parent. Divorced parents who
share custody can at least try to schedule their dating
lives around the times when their former partners have the kids.

(04:07):
Our listener is going to need to be more proactive,
but I'm guessing that over the last few years of
solo parenting, she's made some arrangements with friends and neighbors, relatives,
and paid caregivers who can step in for a few
hours when she needs it. And the good news is
that in a few years her daughter will be able
to take care of herself for short periods of time,

(04:27):
and that will open up a lot more possibilities. As
for just hoping someone wonderful will appear, well, it's always possible.
Meeting someone wonderful does involve some amount of luck. But
here's the thing. With luck, we can nudget along. Someone
going on twenty four first dates in a year is
far more likely to luck out and meet someone wonderful

(04:47):
than someone who sticks to the same routine of work
and home chores as before. I'm happy to report that
I heard back from our listener that she was willing
to take this on as a project. A goal of
one date every two weeks sounds doable and not so daunting,
she says, I think I could do that, and if
she does, I'm sure that luck will bend her way
after a while. In the meantime, this is Laura. Thanks

(05:11):
for listening, and here's to making the most of our time. Hey, everybody,
I'd love to hear from you. You can send me
your tips, your questions, or anything else. Just connect with
me on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram at Before Breakfast Pod

(05:33):
that's b E the number four then Breakfast Pod. You
can also shoot me an email at Before Breakfast Podcast
at iHeartMedia dot com that before Breakfast is spelled out
with all the letters. Thanks so much, I look forward
to staying in touch. Before Breakfast is a production of iHeartRadio.

(05:57):
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