Whether you’re a single lady or currently in a relationship (or somewhere in between) finding time to date is HARD. It’s even more difficult when you work at a job where you’re regularly clocking around 50 hours week. In case you haven’t figured this out already by all the badass content you regularly find on Brit + Co, the ladies who work here are some of the hardest working professionals out there. So with Valentine’s Day just a few days away and dating fresh on our minds, I asked the B+C team to dish some advice on how they make time to date. Grab your notebook, your planner and open up your favorite dating app because you’re going to want to put these into practice ASAP.
Annie Kubena, Designer
I make an effort to actually be out in public and talk to people. If I am in line next to a cute guy or we are looking at the same piece of art at the museum, I strike up a friendly conversation. I really like to ask a new potential date the question, “What is your favorite Tom Cruise movie?” Whatever the answer is, even if it’s, “Hmmm, I’m not really a fan,” speaks volumes about a person. Still waiting for my future husband to say, “I really loved the movie Magnolia. His character was offensive, but his acting was probably some of the best I have seen.” Usually I just get a quick, “Top Gun!” That’s my cue to move on.
Maddie Bachelder, Creative Content Producer
It’s a bit counter-intuitive, but I make plans with friends! Most guys I’ve ended up dating I met at a friend’s party or at some occasion where meeting new people (and conversing with them!) is organic. I’ve tried dating apps, but they’re just so… unromantic to me. The same goes with meeting guys at bars. For some reason, meeting through a friend automatically eliminates the skeez factor, you know?
Lee Schellenberger, Kit Designer
I like to keep a couple nights a week free on my calendar anyway for some chill me-time, so if he’s worth giving up one of those valuable nights off then he’s worth a date!
Marianne Koo, Kit Designer
I feel like dating apps have actually helped me make time for dating. Apps are great screening tools and with some of the information that people volunteer in their profiles, I can make quick decisions on who I think is worth engaging with. I pretty much only commit to drinks for first dates, which is easy to fit into a busy schedule.
Also, having a fun opener is another great way I’ve weeded out the weak. My best friend and I use the same opener: “Cool Ranch or Nacho Cheese?” And we always get some pretty great responses (Doritos preferences can be very polarizing). Whether or not a guy will respond to a goofy question is pretty crucial in my decision to meet up for a date.
Kelly Bryden, DIY Designer
My main go to app is Bumble. I love to send funny pictures of dogs or animals. If the dude doesn’t like cute dog pictures I don’t like him. I also use it as a test to see how the guy will respond. My favorites are when the dude sends me a funny animal picture back. The guys that just say “lol cute” are super lame. I normally give myself Mondays and Tuesdays to book dates for the week. Wednesday through Friday are for myself to enjoy my normal activities.
Anita Yung, Creative Project Manager
I am joining a group challenge to go on one date a week! Online dating apps are really hard for me to stay consistent with but being a part of a challenge keeps me accountable. It’s helpful to exchange numbers and take the conversation OFF the app. Also to schedule a date ASAP. I mean, who wants to text for WEEKS and not meet? Is it me or is that weird? I rather an in-person meeting because you know right off the bat, if you connect with someone.
Misty Spinney, Beauty Editor + Stylist
I don’t pay attention to it…when something happens it happens and I roll with it. I don’t like the idea of “searching” for someone to date… too unnatural and forced for me. Call me old-fashioned, but I believe in meeting someone when it’s natural and spontaneous and random versus looking for someone online or whatever.
Marisa Kumtong, Designer
I feel like you definitely have to make time to be out in the dating scene when you’re single. I just took up a challenge to go on a date a week so that helps me get out there, but it definitely takes hard work! You have to put in the time to weed through people’s profiles but it is definitely worth it once you find the right guys on there! I promise!!!
A wise friend once told me to schedule a date before or after your plans with your friends. You won’t be as nervous because your night isn’t planned around this one date, and if the date turns out bad, you can get your mind off of it by having other plans with your friends. Also as a personal tip, I feel like it’s good to not put all your eggs in one basket, so I say go on as many dates as possible to not get overly excited about one guy… until it gets more serious of course.
Lisa Raphael, Editorial Director
I tell pretty much everyone I meet that I’m looking for The One (or at least, A One) and will pointedly ask cool acquaintances if they know anyone they could set me up with. If they say yes, I try to get them to make an intro there/then. It’s aggressive but if I had a date for every person who said “OH I have a guy for you!” and then flaked on making the intro I would, um, possibly be in a relationship.
I’ll also try to gently double book (ex: get a drink with an understanding, married friend and then tell a guy to meet me at same or nearby bar a little later). I have one friend who has met five guys I’ve dated. I guess she’s not exactly a good luck charm but with this schedule, I get the chance to do it all without feeling cheated of my time.
Angela Velez, Community Editor
I use the same approach for dating that I use for all the activities I don’t particularly enjoy doing, but are good for me (i.e. going to the doctor, listening to my voicemails, etc.): by setting clear goals + holding myself accountable. Sometimes it’s as basic as “go on X dates in a month,” or “message X people on some app”. Then I tell my friends, so they can check in on me and make sure I’m following through (by asking lots of nosy questions). Even if nothing works out with your dates, you still feel proud of yourself for accomplishing a goal.
Beth Wischnia, Associate Editor
I am very old fashioned and pretty traditional when it comes to dating which is why I am so terrible at dating apps. I prefer for things to happen naturally IRL. I am that girl who forgets about the dating apps. But then I’ll log on and try to make up for lost time, ha! I’ve had a pretty epic relationship that started when I used Tinder in Finland and have also had a pretty great six-monther I met on Grouper back in the day. While those dating app guys were fun, my best relationships have been from IRL meetings.
Mariaclara Golfo, Product Design
My boyfriend and I have something of a routine set in terms of when we see each other. We spend one (at times two) weekday nights together. It all depends on the mood but often times I cook dinner for us and he assists me and washes up. We then talk, read or stream something, or a combination of all three.
We recently took dancing classes one night a week with a Groupon that I’m hoping we continue with! I wouldn’t say that we have a set day that we go out on a “date night.” We do make it a point to explore our new city, as we both moved here a little over six months ago. I hope our adventures and chill sessions continue as it seems to work for us :)
Alonna Morrison, Production Designer
My boyfriend and I have a date night every Friday. We surprise each other with a new place to go eat or a fun activity that we haven’t done before. We are both designers, so we do design challenges together once or twice a month. It allows us to get a little competitive, while appreciating each other’s creative perspective.
Brittany Griffin, Photographer
We try new things all the time, I think both of us are very good at remembering the other one saying “I’ve always wanted to try such and such” and then the next time we have time we go and do those things. We love to explore and there’s a lot of California I haven’t seen yet so he usually takes me to new places. We have similar hobbies and interests so it makes it easy for us to find something we both like. We also try to make sure we are hanging with each other’s “groups” on a regular basis and take some off nights to hang with other friends or have our own time. It makes you want to see the other person soon after times like that.
Alex Plante, Brand Partnerships Manager
I’m married and we’re expecting our first baby in July so it’s more important than ever to have quality date night time. Most weeknights we are guilty of working late and then just plopping on the couch watching TV. Since we’re sitting next to each other, it seems like we’re “together,” but we’re actually not exchanging one word! So, I make it a point every night (either during dinner or right before we fall asleep) to have what I call “connection time” where we actually face each other, no phones, no TV and really talk. Days are busy here in Manhattan and some days we’ll go without connecting at all, but you can’t beat yourself up! (Photo via Tania Lezack)
Nicole Emanuel, CFO
My husband is a great cook so we mostly eat at home. However, we love food! So we book events and reservations early on and whatever we get is when we go out. We try to go out at least once a week but sometimes more.
Tammy Evrard, Brand Partnerships
My husband and I fell into a rut after our second lil’ monster was born in May of 2014. We would get the kids to bed, clean up the house and then zone out with our mobile devices sitting next to each other in bed with the TV on. In fall of 2015, we made a point to put in a little extra effort. We put a limited phone rule in place for after a certain time of night. Meaning, my work-a-holic self would have to actually put my phone down and engage in a conversation about something other than kids and work. We also put a “no-shop talk” rule in place, neither of us would ramble on about work beyond a quick check in of the day.
We also started Blue Apron. After the littles go to bed, we come back down to the kitchen and make “Dinner Part II” for the adults. It’s been a fun way for us to cook and learn something new together. On the days that we commute together – our adult time in the car (post school drop off) is so important! I don’t care if I sound like I’m 16, I like to hold my husband’s hand in the car for 5 minutes and talk about what we’re going to do that weekend or evening. Planning ahead and creating scenarios to look forward to has been a win for us.
Ashley Perlman, Brand Partnership Planner
We have a weekly “Thursdate” night (date night on Thursdays). We use this evening for just us time. Weekends are usually filled with friends so we want to make sure that we allocate time for just us. We take turns figuring out what we will do each week. We do everything from attend concerts, local events, three-hour long dinner dates, etc. Sometimes we hop around to different restaurants and bars and “travel the world” by going to different types of places. For example, we’ll start in Thailand at a Thai restaurant for apps, head to Japan for sushi, then end in Italy with some gelato. Having something new and fun to look forward to each week keeps things fresh and exciting!
Paige Sager, Brand Partnership Planner
Jon and I love the movies! I’m a real homebody by nature, so it’s easy to just watch a movie from home. But we try to go out and see a movie at least twice a month. He always buys the movie tickets and I always buy the snacks.
Anjelika Temple, Executive Creative Director
In general, we always like to block off nights that we plan to hang out, even if we don’t have a set plan. We do the same thing with weekends because we tend to get booked up with lots of gatherings with friends and family on the reg. I tend to rely pretty heavily on my calendar, even for finding free time. So if we block times that we are planning to hang out, we know that we will!
Last year, I wanted to take our hangtime to the next level and gave my husband David the gift of 50 different dates for the year. On (almost) every Tuesday of 2015, we did something different. Sometimes it was just going to a new restaurant, we went to a bunch of concerts by bands we’d never heard before and so on – basically any evening activity that was possible on a Tuesday. Admittedly, there were a couple of reservations that we canceled so we could snuggle on the couch (or in young persons speak, “Netflix and Chill”) but it was an awesome way to spend more quality time together.
Ashley Stern, Brand Partnerships
We adopted this tradition from our friends called “Secret Loc.” You research a cool spot for a date night – could be a hole in the wall dumpling spot, an underground bar, a pop-up restaurant – and send the address of the location to your SO the morning of your Secret Loc night. The other person is not allowed to Google the address, no cheating! You both meet up at the address at a designated time and surprise your date with a secret adventure. This is a fun way to explore new spots in your city and there’s no fighting over whether you’re going to have Thai or Mexican for dinner!
Kimberly Wang, News Editor
Both of us have pretty busy schedules though I’d say his is worse since he’s a medical resident and therefore his schedule varies week by week. When we see each other tends to revolve around his days off — it’s rare to get to spend the weekend together so when we do, we like to do it up. We’ll catch a last minute Broadway show (you can get them for cheap that way), go out to dinner or hang out with friends at a bar. When the weather is nice, we’ll take a blanket out to Central Park and bring my dog. Otherwise, we’ll watch a movie on Netflix and cook at home. It really doesn’t matter HOW we spend time together, so long as we do.
Brenda Lawrence, Community + Marketing Associate
I think for us it’s important to always being in constant communication, even if it’s short and silly. We text each other when we get to work to say how the ride was, we text what we had for lunch, what we’re excited to be working on today, we text how our meeting goes, what new music we’re listening to… and on and on. We may not have time to write a whole monologue for how our day is going, but a quick message, even about lunch, keeps us connected. For us, being in constant communication, even around our busy schedules makes us feel like no matter what’s going on in the other person’s day, there is always someone there waiting to chat.
Ashley Reed, Offices & Operations Manager
Every Monday night is game night with the family member of the week getting to select the game! Choices can be pretty interesting considering that our family of four consists of a Newfoundland and Golden Retriever…
Yising Chou, Designer
We don’t often get time together throughout the week, so we spend the entire weekend together. Our weekends often feel just as busy as the weekdays, but we do all our tasks together. We run errands, clean, cook, eat and spend time with our friends together. Of course, in between all of that, we set aside a block of time to just relax and talk. We update each other about our weeks – what we did, funny things that happened, lessons we’ve learned, interesting books we’re reading, what we’ve been thinking about. I find that being intentional about having these conversations is really important to sustain our connection and nurture our friendship. Even if we’re doing a lot together, we also need the time to just enjoy each other’s presence and listen to each other.
Katie Bond, Community Editor
To be honest, most weeknights are usually spent chilling at home and cooking dinner or ordering takeout — with the exception of Taco Tuesday, of course. After a long work day, that’s just what we want (and need!). Our QT is centered around our weekends, where we like to spend mornings making pancakes or waffles, getting outside and hanging out with friends. We also love a good adventure so are always trying to find time to make weekend road trips up the coast for some camping/surfing with our black lab, Fred. Whatever we end up doing, our favorite adventures together are spontaneous and full of doing things we both love.
How do you make time to date? Share a 140 character tip with us on Twitter @britandco.