I’m Too Busy To Date. How Do I Meet Quality People If I Have No Free Time?

father and daughter quality time

I’m a 33 year old, single father with primary care of a 14 month old daughter. Her mother has a weekends-only job and never has her overnights or even in the evening. My question is: How do I even go about looking, when the only time I spend away from work involves my daughter? It’s me, I’m sure, but I don’t seem to even try when I’m out with my daughter, doing all the things it takes to keep my house, my daughter, and myself in order.

In the last three months, I’ve “went out” once. I have no problems meeting people in the regular bar scene….but I don’t seem to make the time. And when I do, the results aren’t the type I’m looking for anyway.

Mike B.

Dear Mike,

Great question. Important question. Simple answer.

Before I give it to you, I want other readers to ask yourselves if you can sympathize with Mike’s predicament. You don’t have to be the primary caregiver to a 14 month old; you just have to be too busy to find love.

Being busy is the greatest and most believable excuse for being single that you can find.

So…do you work a lot? Have lots of responsibilities? Hobbies? Friends? Obligations?

If you said yes to any of the above, this article is gonna be one great kick in the ass for you.

Make no mistake about it: being busy is the greatest and most believable excuse for being single that you can find. Which is why you’re not going to hear me suggest to Mike that he ditch his job, ditch his daughter and spend 24 hours a day finding love.

What I will suggest, however, is a re-evaluation of three things in Mike’s life

  • 1) His time
  • 2) His priorities
  • 3) His methods

Time is a precious commodity. Our lives our finite. Days end after 24 hours. And, as an adult, you have responsibilities that don’t simply abate because you wish them away. You still have to work to pay the bills. You still have to make sure your children get fed each night. That’s life, and it’s way more difficult to create opportunities in love when you’re pulled in so many directions.

But that doesn’t mean it’s impossible.

Consider these questions:

How many hours do you work each week? If you’re like most people, you’re home by 7pm. That means you potentially have 4 hours every night to devote to the pursuit of a relationship.

How late does your daughter stay up every night? Granted, you have to feed her, play with her, read to her, and put her to bed. But once she’s asleep, you should be left with a few hours to yourself.

Is it possible to create a more even custody arrangement? Hire a baby sitter? Ask your parents or the mother’s parents for a little relief? – Despite my probing questions, I want to acknowledge that if you have sole custody during the week and your wife works on the weekends, you have virtually NO breathing room. And instead of trying to create something out of nothing, you need to get your life into better balance before you worry about dating.

The greatest invention in the world for busy people who are looking for love is online dating.

Which is why I suggested a shuffling of your priorities. This is not to say that you should be any less devoted a father. But you owe it to yourself, your daughter, and your sanity to lead a life that does not eat up all of your free time.

I see this frequently with my hardworking clients, who put in 12 hours a day at the office, maybe fit in a workout and a meal after work, and start all over again the next day. Who could blame them for not having a love life? Yet it’s virtually impossible to break the cycle. Despite the fact that love is more important than anything, we maintain the mindset that work comes first.

One smart, successful client of mine always stressed about how busy she was and how this made her search for love particularly taxing. She had little free time and certainly didn’t want to spend it going out with strangers she’d probably never see again. She just wanted to cut to the chase and find a guy. One day, she informed me that she met an impressive man online, who claimed to be too busy to make a date with her. This pissed her off to no end. Yet she was unable to see that in 99% of the circumstances, SHE was the one who was too busy for the men who were courting her. It was fine when she was too busy for others, but when men were too busy they become “workaholics” or “aloof” or “emotionally unavailable.” It didn’t occur to her that she was all of the above as well.

If you’re a busy person, this should be hitting pretty close to home right now.

So ask yourself, if you were on your deathbed, would you whisper to your closest friend, “Now that I look back on my life, I wish I worked more 12-hour-days.” If so, keep doing what you’re doing. If not, it’s time to get a career that doesn’t require such slavish devotion. You may have a job, you may have money, but you don’t have a LIFE.

The last recommendation I have is for you to broaden your methods. The greatest invention in the world for busy people who are looking for love is online dating. Yet the most common complaint I get is that “it takes too much time and effort”.

Well, I’ve got 3 words for you: Suck. It. Up.

Anything worth having takes effort. You had to fight hard for your education, your job, your promotion, your pay raise. It wasn’t bestowed upon you merely because you’re worthy.

Yet somehow, in the dating field, everyone seems to think that love should just happen organically. No searching online. No back and forth emails. No screening phone calls. No awkward first dates. No disappearing third dates. In the mind of a busy person, Mr. or Ms. Right should materialize from thin air and come pre-ordered for chemistry, compatibility, values, goals, and humor.



Online dating gives you far more power and control over your own destiny – but only if you do it right.

Finding a life partner takes a LOT of trial and error. I went out with over 300 people over 15 years before getting married. I’m positive you could do it in less time. But to think that you’re going to find a relationship when you go on two dates a year? Yep, that’s crazy. Maybe you’ll get lucky and fall in love on your twentieth date. But at 2 dates a year, my friend, that won’t happen until 2018.

Understand, to find love, you have to create room and opportunity. The genuine desire to find love is useless if you never go on first dates. And online dating is useless unless you have time to get away from your job or your 14-month-old baby for a few hours.

I am very sympathetic to anyone who feels trapped. Work is consuming. Fatherhood is consuming. But nothing will change unless you make a decision that it’s a priority to change. Your excuses for not dating, Michael, are unassailable. You are in an impossible position as it currently stands. Which is why you have to make a fundamental shift that creates more life balance. Unless you do, nothing will change, and you’ll be in the same exact position next year and the year after.

I can’t tell you how many people call me for dating coaching, decide to save their money and do things their way, and call me again two years later. Now they’re two years older, two years more frustrated, and two years less marketable. Why? Because they wanted results, but they weren’t willing to work hard to achieve them.

If you are busy and you want to have a love life, online dating is the best way to go. Matchmakers are fine, but guess what? You’re paying $5000+ to get set up with 10 people that you might not want to go out with. Online dating gives you far more power and control over your own destiny – but only if you do it right.

I’ve staked my entire livelihood on the premise that ANYONE can have success online, thereby avoiding matchmakers, blind date set-ups, and weird singles events.

Click here to create an instant love life from anywhere in the world, no matter what your age.

Just know that change happens when you want it to happen.

Until then, you can tell yourself you’re too busy. But you and I both know better.

You’re probably not dating because you don’t want it bad enough.

Your friend,


Join our conversation (46 Comments).
Click Here To Leave Your Comment Below.


  1. 1


    Do you really think we are “less marketable” two years later? I am 44, divorced after an 18 year marriage. I bought your “Finding Love Online” program. It’s great. Prior to that, I did meet someonw on match and had a relationship that lasted over a year. He is 51. Since your program, not only do I have older guys, and the usual much younger guys contacting me, I actually have several 44 year old men contacting me. And men ranging from 40-48. I have been dating a 44 year old for a couple of months. So far so good. Please don’t try to make us feel terrible because we are older!

  2. 2
    Karl R

    It’s easier to find time if you can “double-up” on certain things. For example, I get most of my exercise through yoga and dancing. Both allow me to meet lots of women while staying healthy.

    If you meet someone who works near you, ask them out for a lunch date. Of the women I’m going out with currently, two work within 3 blocks of me.

    You can also network through people you already know. My boss set up one of his clients with one of our vendors.

  3. 3
    Evan Marc Katz


    Thanks for the kind words about Finding the One Online. The feedback has been tremendous and I appreciate you trusting me to help guide you through that process.

    That said, I was in no way trying to make you feel bad for being older. My job is to observe the world as it is and report back to you. And thus, it is not my OPINION that people get less attention as they get older; it is a FACT. Everyone covets youth. You do, too. You’d rather be with a 44 year old than a 54 year old.

    So when I say that you’re less marketable, that’s a statement about the world – not about you as an individual. What I DO say in Finding the One Online is that it doesn’t matter what the world thinks. If you follow my directions, you can turn yourself into the most likeable, marketable, dateable 58-year-old, thereby differentiating yourself from your peers and getting the positive attention that you desire.

    I hope that makes things a bit clearer. Keep up the great work!


  4. 4


    I’m a single mom with 4 kids and two jobs. The best advice I got on dating, or anything else for that matter that would only have to do with me is to think about this:

    If you’re in an airplane with your child and the oxygen masks come down because the cabin is losing air pressure, you’re always told to put on YOUR mask first. You’re no good to your child if you don’t take care of you before you figure out how to take care of them.

    For 2 years I got 2 breaks a month from my kids while their dad took them overnight but brought them back barely more than 24 hours later. I was so tired during those times I did nothing but enjoy the quiet in my house and not having to be anyone’s mom. I understand where you’re coming from but I also know how entirely burned on out on everything you’ll become if you don’t make time for you.

    Put yourself online, invest some time in e-mails and phone calls, then get that babysitter like Evan suggested and take some woman on a date. Not once a year, but once a month, at least. Your daughter will be better off for having a dad who knows how to take some time for himself, and you’ll be happier too.

  5. 5

    I have a good male friend who is 44 y.o. and has a 4 year old daughter. He happens to be happily married. But he does say that his adorable daughter actually is a “chick magnet” when he is out about town with his daughter, and his wife is busy somewhere else. Women love babies, and are often drawn to a man who is caring for his child.

    Also, I would think that there are more single women with their kids at the playground on Saturdays, than there are single men with their kids. You might meet a woman with a child who understands the demands of parenthood, and can be flexible with “the dating game.”

    1. 5.1

      if only he lived in Texas lol good men who are great single dads who are looking for single moms are hard to find here

  6. 6

    Mike B;

    People want other people to pay attention to them. If they don’t get attention from the person they are dating they will find somebody else to date. You will be competing with men who do have that time to give. If you don’t have time to meet people, then you don’t have time to date people and you don’t have time for a relationship.

    Take Evan’s advice. Reevalute how your manage your time.

    My apologies if I come as being a hard ass. In my opinion that is just the reality of the situation.

    I just let go a woman who I met through Match who great potential and who felt the same way about me. I got tired of being sandwiched in between things, having dates rescheduled at the last minute or having to schedule seeing her more than a week in advance. Given that I haven’t been seeing her that long, that it looked like a pattern in her life and that there are other women wanting to date I decided to put an end to it before we became more entangled with each other.

    1. 6.1
      Evelyn Neal

      I was going to say the same thing, Steve.   If Mike doesn’t have time to find someone, how will he have time to be with someone? Does he want to just pick someone he can “claim” but never spend any time with? Or perhaps he wants a wife, stepmom for his daughter?  

  7. 7

    I know how it can be. I was at a point where I was working two full time jobs. The first job, people kept quitting or not showing up at all. For 2 months, I was working 20 hour days 4 days a week, then I would go work 13 hours a day at my second job the other 3 days a week.

    When I was not working, all I wanted to do was sleep.

    When you have a lot on your plate, you are going to be frustrated and grumpy.

    I found that if I made goals, I made lists of when I wanted to accomplish things, they were easier to meet.

    Some days it feels like there is not time to breath, eat, or sleep. It will pass.

    I have gotten to the point in the last few years where I try to get out once a month just to get away from everything. It might be to go shoot a game of pool or go for a long walk. Just to get away from it all really clears the head.

    When you meet someone, be up front about how you are busy. It will make it easier to let them know that you are not blowing them off and make them angry towards you. Tell them that you have to work long days, but you would like to see them once a week or every other week. Let them know up front so that the other person knows where you are coming from. When I was younger, I tried to call a woman 3 weeks after I went out with her. I told her that I had been working 7 days a week because of my place of employment. Guess what, she was pissed that I had waited so long.

    Keep in contact, let them know that you are thinking about them. Send an e-mail once a day or a phone call. Keep the contact going and set a time and date when the two of you can at least watch some television together. This thing should not be a job. IF you treat it like a job, then it is not going to be enjoyable to either party.

    For me, I go out once a month. Everyone that I meet wants to hang out a few hours a day and half the day on the weekends. I work all weekend long and all throughout the week. For me, I have not found someone with a similar life style or who wants to go in the same direction.

    Just keep in mind when you are looking for someone that the two of you should have common goals and lifestyles. Someone who works 40 hours a week and has no other commitments is going to get bored with someone who works 60, 80, or 100 hours a week.

    When I was 18, I was working full time and taking a few classes in my spare time at night. I met a number of young women that wanted to go out. We would go out a few times, and they would want to spend more time with me. I could afford my weekends, as long as I had a few hours a day to study. Come the end of the semester, my weekends were locked up with final papers and studying for finals. I was honest with them, my college came first, but I enjoyed their company. I could hang out with them on the weekends, but I really needed time to study to get through school.

    None of those relationships lasted. Almost all the women that I dated where in the same position. They dropped out of school so that they could have more free time. Their free time was more important than getting their degree.

    If you do not have the same goals, the same life styles, the same drive to go in a direction, then the relationship in not going to work out.

    There is only 24 hours in a day. If you try to do double duty, I have found, not just with myself but others, that the work that you do suffers. Most of the time, you have to go back and do it all over again. When you have to do it repeatedly, then it really cuts into your time.

    Try to think ahead and get things done before you have to have them done. It will help so that you are not late for a date. Be truthful to yourself and be truthful about how much time things take to accomplish. Get things done, work ahead, time will open up once a week.

    Find someone who has a similar lifestyle. If you have not had a chance to get away in years, then you are going to be a bad match for someone that likes to go on vacation, sky diving, hiking, or do other things every weekend. She might be a great person to be around, but she is not great for you.

    We all need to make money. The way things are now, a number of employers expect you to live at your job or they will find someone else who will. It is life and it is the way things are. What we find outside of our job can makes things that much better.

  8. 8

    I agree with evan’s comment with a caveat-it depends on how old you actually are. For instance, if you are a woman 30 or older, then yes, you would be considered less marketable as you got older to men who want children because of the childbearing factor. Even you are a man over 45, same thing. THe last guy I dated was 53 and he’s less marketable with every MINUTE that passes. LOl, it’s true.

  9. 9

    Concerning Evan’s blog entry itself. I’ve become very leary of online dating. There seems to be a few diamonds to be had, but the problem is you have to dig through piles and piles of garbage just to encounter any of them.

    Every single man that I have met on an online dating site has been a creep. I’ve been on two of them: Match.com (long time ago) and Plenty of Fish.

  10. 10


    I’ve been reading your blog for ages and like most of your readers, I often find your advice insightful and very helpful. There is one point that you stress — a point which you stressed to this busy dad — that I just don’t understand. Why do you always suggest that online dating — except for fat women — is the best dating option? Given that you yourself didn’t find your wife online and moreover, you’ve said that doubt that you would have found her online, I really don’t understand why you don’t ever acknowledge that there are in fact other effective ways of meeting people and that it might be best to employ multiple avenues rather than just one. You’ve written that online dating gave you a love life, but it didn’t give you the love of your life. If something other than online dating worked for you, why isn’t that a viable option for others looking for love? Just curious.

  11. 11

    There’s millions of single mom’s online that THINK they have time for a relationship when in fact all they have time for is an “occasional” date. I say single mom’s because for the most part they usually get custody after divorce. So the men get every other weekend and MAYBE 1 day a week which leaves them a lot more time to date than their ex wife. I know I’m generalizing here but this is exactly what I’ve found after 30 yrs of dating. This is probably why I meet so many divorced women who’s ex husbands are already remarried while they don’t date because they say “I’ve been raising my kids”. Evan’s right you have to MAKE time and you have to really desire being with the opposite sex and do it. Before online dating it was a lot tougher. Now every single mom/dad can shop online without ever leaving the house but of course you still have to make time to actually GO on the date and a second, and a third and so on if the miracle happens and it gets that far ….LOL

  12. 12
    Evan Marc Katz

    Fair question, Kenley. Here’s my broad answer:

    I don’t think online dating is the be-all, end-all. I think it’s a flawed medium that allows for too much choice, too much lying, and lots of disappointment. When I advocate for online dating, it’s because it creates massive amounts of OPPORTUNITY where previously there was none.

    It doesn’t take a dating coach to say, “Go to art events! Take up golf! Grab a girlfriend and go on a singles cruise! Start looking closer at the men in church!” “Where do I meet good people?” is the most popular question I get and it’s kind of a non-starter.

    People are EVERYWHERE.

    But if YOU’RE not everywhere; if you work 10 hours a day, have other obligations to kids or pets, have mostly married friends, and are over the bar scene, I’ve gotta tell you, online dating will create more possibilities for you than any damn salsa class.

    My job is to present a new paradigm thru which you view attraction, men, and dating behavior – one that is self-aware and empowering. The only reason I urge people to date online is that I can’t do much dating coaching unless you’re actually DATING. And if your biggest complaint is that you never meet anyone to date, guess what? There are more singles on Match.com than you can find in 20 years of small local cooking classes, filled with 80% women. As I see it, you might as well learn how to make Match work better for you. And if it’s just a supplement to all the various ways you meet men in real life, great. If you don’t need online dating at all because you have SO many options in real life, even better! I’m all for organic connection. It just doesn’t happen nearly as much as we’d want it to.

    Thanks very much for your thoughtful question.


  13. 13

    I can only agree with Corrine about online dating. If you’re out there looking for real romantic, long-term connections there’s a lot of chaff to sift through before you find any wheat.

    In fact, it was my complete failure to find anyone worthwhile through online dating that lead to my adoption of a promiscuous lifestyle, and ultimately to my founding of a bunch of dating sites focused on casual encounters/hookups.

    I guess it looks kind of sad when I write it down like that, but I’m not sad. Anonymous sex fulfills me in a way that long term relationships never did. I guess it’s a personality thing and an expectations thing. YMMV.

    1. 13.1

      I agree with Casual Encounters Blog….. Real relationships require a plethora of mental fortitude, energy, and time that I’m not willing to spend. I’m more than satisfied with hookups and anonymous sex. Casual Dating eliminates all of those things as it’s less intense and I don’t have to make a relationship a priority.

  14. 14

    Though I’m sure there are creeps on online dating websites, I know that there are creeps out there in the real world too. I can usually figure out the men to avoid online usually just via their profiles, and perhaps with an e-mail or two. But even though it hasn’t worked out with every guy I’ve gone out with, none of them would qualify as creeps. They just weren’t right for me. And right now I’m seeing a great guy exclusively…and we met online. But the caveat is, you do have to put forth some time browsing online, you can’t just sit there like a lump (unless, perhaps, you’re Christie Brinkley).

  15. 15

    One can never be too busy too date.
    Try to allocate time to finding your ideal partner.
    Before you head off to clubs and bars,sit and think about what your ideal should be like.Try to nail it down and be realistic.
    Try not to focus too much on the hair,legs ,but focus more on the characteristics.

    Speak to people at work and even tell your friends that you are single and looking for a woman who has brown hair and one who will accept your daughter.

    You can also sign up on dating agencies,although you might have to keep a good eye on things.When you try these methods more people will become aware of your situation.

    Some of your friends might even go out and look for your ideal partner.This means that you don’t have to lift a finger at all.

    Please stay away from sex sites as those woman are trouble.
    If you looking for sex,then by all means click to receive.

  16. 16

    If I can do it, ANYONE can!!!!It’s near impossible to date when you have a full-time job, a home to maintain, 3 kids to raise (w/ 97% custody), and all children are in activities (karate, baseball, musical theatre.) But, it is possible, because I am doing it. It is a commitment to myself, that I must put some time and energy into a fulfilling personal life. I swap babysitting, and find creative ways to sneak dates in- without the children ever knowing. I admit, it takes a special partner to be able to understand that they can not call you on Saturday morning and whisk you away for the weekend. It’s not possible, and dates require more planning. Last minute stuff usually doesn’t work. But if I can get out once a week, it puts a spring in my step and I am happier for it. Definitely worth the effort. Make the effort!!!

  17. 17

    I agree w Maria, if something is important to you you’ll figure out a way to do it. I have a cousin who’s divorced w 3 kids and managed to get remarried.

    Maybe do activities w your kids where you could meet other single parents (skiing? playground?), or hire a baby sitter one night per week and go out w friends.

  18. 18

    If you WANT a relationship and you’re saying that you don’t have time to pursue one, it’s like saying that you don’t have time for your own personal happiness.

    If that’s really your situation, you’re doing Life wrong and need to take a long, hard look at your priorities.

    CasualEncountersBlog´s last blog post…Rule 34 (As if we needed any further confirmation.)

  19. 19

    Who wants to date someone who has “once a week” for 3 hrs when there’s so many that have so much more time ? You can’t have a real relationship seeing someone for that little time. What you have is a “date”. “Oh thank you so much for squeezing me in to YOUR busy life, I feel honored” and don’t worry the other 6 nights a week I’ll stay home and watch TV and not date anyone else….LOL Puhhhleeezzzzz
    NEVER AGAIN will I hear these famous words “I don’t have time to be in a relationship” after I invested 5 months…….No Thanks,been there and done that.

    1. 19.1

      u must not be a single parent but I am a single mom and I somewhat agree on what u said ,,, I try to avoid people with a negative mindset .. im more happy single then wasting my time on JOKERS WHO DONT UNDERSTAND ME my situation OR SINGLE MOTHERHOOD IN GENERAL,,…. so yes your right

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