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Too Busy to Date?

One complaint that I hear a lot in Manhattan is that singles feel that they are too busy to date. They all have demanding jobs, an active social life, hobbies and family responsibilities. It takes all of their effort just to keep what they already have, going.

I understand that jobs in the city require substantial time and dedication, especially during this economy. But just like anything that you want to be successful at in life, dating requires time and effort.

So, is it just the realistic constraints of time and money that prevent single workaholics from actively looking for love? Sometimes…but often successful people hide out where they are comfortable. Their work becomes part of their identity and it makes them feel good, since they do it so well. It’s easier to remain where you are successful, receive acclaim and are promoted, than to risk the messiness and rejection of dating.

Sometimes these singles are also repeating a parental pattern of emotional unavailability. This was what they experienced regularly, so it’s natural that this is what they will recreate in their lives, if they do not become conscious of it.

If any of this resonates, here is your opportunity to recognize your defensive pattern and to decide that you want to consciously create more intimate, fulfilling relationships in your life.  You do not have to work all the time like your parents did. You can take responsibility for choosing what kind of a relationship you’d like to create now and then  work on manifesting it. You can apply all your smarts, verve, endurance and dedication to creating the love life you want.

If you go to therapy, you can examine why it is more comfortable for you to be known at work than to be in an intimate relationship with a partner. You can begin to work through any relationship fears and limiting beliefs that stop you from finding one. For example, some people were taught that they should never show vulnerability or depend on another person. So, part of them feels that there is no need to have a mate because they’re so used to doing everything on their own. This feels safer and more expedient.

If any of the above rings true, recognize that there is another way. Once you become aware of your limiting beliefs about love, you can examine how they don’t serve you, begin to challenge them and take down some of your protective walls. The first step in awareness is to admit when something is not working.

I recommend a three step process to start:

  1. Admit that you hide in your work or other areas of your life to avoid dating and intimacy. And level with yourself that you DO care about it.
  1. Identify the fears and limiting beliefs that you have about relationships and dating. Then challenge them and begin to work them through. If you need help with this step you can go to therapy or buy my book, ‘Dating from the Inside Out’ published by Atria Books, which has exercises to help you understand how and why you defend against love.
  1. Begin to take new action. Perhaps this means leaving work at 7PM instead of 11PM. Maybe you can make a Dating Action Plan to go out twice a week to a singles event or party. Just like your actions are consonant with your goals (and results) at work, they should also match when it comes to finding a life mate if you are committed.

When you take a good look at your love life, you can discern if you like what you have manifested. Sure, there are pro’s to being alone and safe… but are you lonely? What might you gain by letting someone really know you and help you? Might your results improve if you put yourself out there? Perhaps it’s time to create a new definition of success that includes wonderful relationships.

Every good leader in business knows that they are only as good as the team with which they surround themselves. Perhaps it’s time to think about who you’d like to add to yours and why.

If you choose to take action in this direction, please share your comments and experiences on this topic.

My Best in Love,



* You may use excerpts from this with the bio below.

Author Bio:

Dr. Paulette Kouffman Sherman is a psychologist and author of ‘Dating from the Inside Out’ and ‘When Mars Women Date.’ She’s been an expert on the CBS Early Show, the Curtis Sliwa show,, USA Weekend, the NY Post, Newsweek,, More,,, Better Homes & Gardens, Reader’s Digest, Redbook, Glamour, Forbes, Woman’s Day, Men’s Health, Seventeen, Complete Woman, Elle Canada, the Huffington Post and the NY Times. Learn more at:!

My Dating Books on Amazon:

Dating From the Inside Out

When Mars Women Date:

A Shared Vision:: 100 Exercises for Couples to Co-Create The Lives of Their Dreams

100 Ways to Treat Your Mate Like Royalty: Under $10

Dr. Sherman offers Mars women one-on-one coaching by phone or face to face in her Manhattan office. If you’re interested in coaching with her, please fill out the Private Counseling form here

She will also be facilitating groups and tele-classes for Mars women as well. If you’re interested in participating, please fill out the contact form here