The Complete Guide to Dating as a Business Professional
You’ve conquered the boardroom, you’re the master of the TPS report, and you don’t take any flack from anybody because you’re the boss. But, for some reason, you can’t seem to get control over the task of finding someone special to be your partner in life. If this sounds like you, you’re in the right place. As business professionals ourselves, we know the unique challenges that come with dating in our world.
Whether it be your lack of time, need for control, or just…well, maybe you have no idea why you’re struggling with what looks on paper to be an easy task. Before we get started, let’s get one thing straight. It’s okay. There is nothing wrong with you. Thousands and thousands of other business professionals have gone through, are going through, and will go through the same challenges that you are facing right now. You will be ok, and you will find that special someone you are looking for.
Why are we so confident? We’re confident because we’ve been there ourselves and we know a lot of people that have been as well. All of them (except for maybe crazy Larry from accounting) have found the man or woman of their dreams and checked off the last box on their success plan. If you’re worried about Larry from accounting, he’s seeing a very nice lady now, so we have a lot of hope 🙂
As a business executive, you know the importance of doing your homework. Consider this your market research. We’re going to walk you through everything that you need to know to be successful dating as a business professional in today’s busy world.
Solving the Problem of Dating as a Business Professional
(The Short Version of the Guide)
This is the “I’m in a hurry and need answers NOW” version of the guide. If you have time, skip this and read the whole thing.
We understand that most of you are busy people. We also understand that some of you don’t have the time to read this entire guide. While we will implore you to do so, we still want to help for those of you that operate at 300 mph on a daily basis.
There are three things that you need to know to have more success in your dating life:
- Utilize technology to aid in your search efforts
- Internal changes to how you think and operate outside the office
- Be able to compartmentalize your work away from your relationship life
Utilize technology to aid in your search efforts
Online dating technology was built with people like you in mind. It used to be utilized only by the shut-ins that were terrified to leave the house. Now it’s being overrun by young professionals and seasoned businessmen and women who don’t have the time to date through conventional methods. Detailed profiles and robust search functions allow you to cut through the fat quickly and get to the people who are perfect for you.
If you’re interested in trying out an online dating site that caters specifically to people like you, we’ve included our favorite options below. These dating sites attract the highest quality members who are mentally and emotionally prepared to carry on a serious relationship. You’ll find plenty of like-minded people who are open to understanding your situation and getting to know you for who you are at the office and away from it.
Internal changes to how you think and operate outside the office
Inside the office, you can be the boss with the tough exterior who looks at everything in terms of dollars and cents. If you carry these practices outside into your dating life, though, you’re going to have issues. You can’t treat the search for someone special like you treat the search for a new employee. If you find yourself interviewing your dates instead of getting to know them, you’re setting yourself up for failure.
You also have to be able to allow a little uncertainty to creep and be ok with it. You can’t plan out exactly how the relationship will go and get upset when it doesn’t go according to your plan. You also can’t treat your potential match like one of your employees. If you’re constantly making charts and giving them internal performance reviews in your head, you’re setting yourself up for failure.
If these traits sound like you, you may want to skip the abridged version of this guide and scroll down and read the whole meat and potatoes.
Be able to compartmentalize your work away from your relationship life
Your work life is probably challenging. It probably keeps you on edge, steals your sleep, and can occasionally put you in a bad mood. If you’re allowing this work to come home with you, you’re going to struggle in the dating world. If you have a bad day at the office and then head out on a first date, you can’t let that affect how you act on that date. You’re going to have an awful time, and that date isn’t going to be interested in seeing you again.
Once you’re in a more developed relationship, these are things that can be shared amongst partners, but in the early search stages, it can’t be. You have to be able to keep your work life and your dating life separate or you’ll be doomed to keep repeating the same vicious cycle over and over again with no results to show for it.
Understanding the Challenges
The key to any great solution is understanding the problem first. Here’s how we plan on attacking this. We’re going to walk you through the reasons that you’re struggling (you may very well know these already). We’re going to discuss why things are more challenging for you as a business professional. This should help to start to clarify things enough for you to begin seeing some possible solutions.
Once we get done identifying and understanding the challenges, we’re going to tackle each one of them one by one.
You’re an obsessive planner.
Regardless of what field you’re in, you’re taught to forecast. You’re taught to look for every possible thing that could go wrong and create a contingency plan for it. This helps your company to be best prepared for whatever the world might throw its way. It’s usually automatic that you use this sort of planning and forecasting in all other areas of your life.
Here’s the problem. This sort of planning procedure is cold and does not take emotions into account. If you try and apply this to your dating life, you’re going to be overanalyzing situations that you need to just let happen. You might think of some potential bad scenarios that could happen and talk yourself out of a date. You could end up treating someone differently due to a fear that if you don’t, you might be forced to deal with a possible negative outcome. All of this is toxic to relationships and sets you up to only focus on the negatives.
Be aware and don’t be an obsessive planner.
Realize that dating involves peoples. It involves feelings and has to interact with life. This means that uncertainty is going to be a necessity. You have to be ok with some degree of uncertainty and realize that you’re going to have to take a risk and make yourself vulnerable if you have any hopes of succeeding.
In business, we don’t take risks where they might turn out horribly. We are much more calculated than that. We are asking you to let that go a little bit. Not completely, but at least enough that you put yourself out there and allow yourself to be in situations where things might not work out perfectly. You have to curtail your overanalyzation, or you’re setting yourself up for failure.
How do you do this? It’s simple. Be aware and stop your brain before it starts snowballing down the hill. Cognitive behavioral therapy teaches people to catch negative thoughts before they grow into terrible, irrational ones. You need to stop your brain before it runs rampant and continues to ruin your dating life. You’re smart, but so is your brain. You have to be one step ahead of your brain and realize that risk in this situation will be necessary.
We aren’t saying you have to go out with Jack the Ripper. We’re just saying to let your guard down a little bit and embrace the uncertainty.
Your investment priorities are out of line.
In a work-focused society where we are all pushed always to be competing, it’s no surprise that we invest most of our times and effort into our work and our careers. We’re always at the front of the rat race trying to get that cheese. As business professionals, it’s what we’re conditioned to do. The problem with this is that the things that suffer are the things that should matter the most to us.
Our dating lives, our family lives, and sometimes our happiness fall to the side in search of that big pie in the sky. We constantly tell ourselves that we will get to dating and finding that special someone “as soon as work lets up” or “as soon I finish this next big project.” The problem is that work seems to be never-ending and as soon as one project finishes up, something else comes up…and then something else…and then something else…and before we know it another year has passed, and we’re still alone.
Invest in yourself.
As business professionals, we are all also trained that we should be pouring our resources into our top asset. Whatever our biggest performer is should be getting all of the resources, help, and assistance it needs to keep pumping. Is our work our biggest asset? Our computer? No. It’s us. You are your biggest and most productive asset. The sooner you realize that, the sooner you’ll be able to find more time to search for someone special.
What’s great about this solution is that we aren’t asking you to break what you’ve been taught in business. We WANT you to invest in your best asset. We WANT you to put time and effort into your best asset. The only thing that we want you to do is to realize that YOU are your best and biggest asset.
You need to do what you have to in order to keep yourself chugging along. This means taking into account what you need to be happy. Your emotional stability is crucial to your success in business. If you’re unhappy and have no support system, you can only go so far. You may be fine now, but eventually, it will wear on you and you’ll break down and be completely useless at your job and struggling to find love because you’re so out of your groove.
Take the time to realize you are #1. Your work will always be there. We aren’t saying to neglect your work; we are just saying that you need to focus on your biggest asset first…you.
Your schedule is booked solid.
Being successful in business is not something that happens without a lot of work. What does work equal? Work equals effort and time. The problem is that we allow ourselves to be worked silly. We allow the bulk of our time to be consumed by our jobs and we leave no time for dating or for us to find love. If there was one thing on this list that we hear the most from business executives and professionals, it’s that they don’t have enough time for dating.
Make time for what is truly important to you.
Here comes some tough love. The fact that you say you are too busy to find love is not a reason you are failing; it’s an excuse. When you have to get something at work done, you figure out a way to move things around, and you get it done. When was the last time you told your boss or your employees that you couldn’t do something because you didn’t have enough time? Probably never. You figure out a way, and you make time.
Why? Because your work is your priority and you do whatever it takes. What you need to do is realize that you should be your priority and make time for yourself. If you need to get up 15 minutes early to go through online dating messages, do it. If you need to stay up a few minutes later or check messages on your lunch break, do it.
Online dating is a godsend to busy business professionals because it allows you to sort through matches much more efficiently. This efficiency allows you to make sure that when you do go on a date with someone, there is a much higher chance that they will be a worthwhile match. If you’re just going out with randoms that you know nothing about, you’re going to end up wasting a lot of time and ultimately getting frustrated with the process.
Utilize online dating to simplify the search process. After that, you don’t have to go on super-long and drawn out dates with people. Go out for coffee and tell them beforehand that you will only have 20-30 minutes. (Don’t tell them when you get there or it will seem like you aren’t interested). If they can’t respect the fact that you are a busy professional and are doing your best to make time to see them, then they aren’t right for you anyways.
You have higher quality standards.
Let’s be clear…having high-quality standards is totally fine. In fact, it’s awesome. There is no reason that you should ever consider settling. You work hard to be who you are, and you deserve someone willing to work just as hard for you. The problem, though, is that business professionals have a tendency to use work standards for their dates. They have a problem with interviewing dates instead of getting to know them.
High standards are okay, but you need to make sure they are realistic.
Just because you’re super successful in business does not mean that you should look down on people that aren’t. People can be on two totally different levels of work success and be completely perfect for each other. Maybe the person you’re talking to is successful in their spiritual life or successful in their hobbies. Maybe they are successful in who they are as a person and don’t put all of their focus into their career.
You have to realize that you’re not looking to “hire” someone for your boyfriend or girlfriend. You’re looking for someone to be a special person in your life, not fill a role that has a vacancy. Get rid of your checklists and start accepting people as people. Realize that they may be different from the traditional executives that you deal with at your work on a day to day basis. The quicker that you can do this, the quicker that you’ll realize there are some amazing people out there waiting to meet you.
You can’t compartmentalize.
Keeping your work life and your home life separate can be a challenge when you never get out of work mode. When you leave the office, you should be able to forget about work and shut it down until you get back to it the next day. This can be especially hard for entrepreneurs and people running their own businesses.
While you may think that it’s ok, it’s not normal. Well, it’s normal if you want to be a workaholic forever but it’s not normal if you want to have relationships and potentially build a life and possibly a family with someone you meet. Imagine how much fun you must be on a first date when all you want to talk about is work or even worse, you have to take work calls. If work is following you on your dates and affecting your mood, you’ve got a serious problem that is turning you into a serious buzzkill.
Learn to leave work at work.
You HAVE to separate work from home. There is no magic fix here except that you need to be aware of the issue and get it corrected. Being aware that there is a problem and seeing how it is negatively affecting your personal and dating life is the first step. Once you see this, hopefully, you can start to work on curtailing the issue before it keeps ruining the people that you meet that you’re interested in.
Remember, your personal health and happiness are important to keep you in the game and keep your motors running. If you are such a workaholic that you have to tell yourself, you must do this to stay in tip-top shape, then go for it. Professional athletes have to get massages and do things to relax their minds to stay ready for competition. If all they did was train 24/7, their minds and bodies would fall apart.
This can happen to you if you don’t take care of yourself. When you leave the office, leave work there. This is ESPECIALLY true when you’re talking to a new match. Don’t let your work failures or successes affect your mood or how you act around them. Be yourself and know that the work will all be there waiting when you get back to the office Monday morning.
Our Final Thoughts
Here’s what it comes down to. You need to get your mind under control, stop making excuses, take advantage of online dating, and make the time to find that special someone. If you’re reading this guide, it’s clearly something that is important to you.
If you need actionable steps, here you go.
- Click the links at the bottom or scroll up and choose one of the dating sites that we recommend for business professionals. Create a profile and get some feeler messages out to get yourself in the game. These take time to get responses, so that’s why we’re doing it first.
- Take some time and reflect on where your life is and where you want it to be in 1, 5, and 10 years. You answer that question at job interviews, but now we want you to answer it for your entire life. If love and family are on that list, then it’s time to make a change.
- List out the ways that you can change your specific situation to start changing how you act and making more time for dating. Make sure that these are specific to you and your situation and they are things you can accomplish.
- Hop back online and respond to some of those matches you messaged. Then, ACTUALLY go out with some of them. Make the time and give things a chance to happen.
Remember, uncertainty and risk are going to be part of the equation. A hiker will never get across a ravine unless they take the risk and jump. The risk and uncertainty are part of the solution.