Anybody you talk to about dating, from a professional dating coach to your best friend, will talk to you about time.
“How long have you been seeing each other?” They’ll ask.
“This kinda seems like it’s not worth the time.” They’ll speculate.
“The last thing you want to do is waste your time.” They’ll advise.
And they may be right! Time is of the essence in dating. First, because of the obvious reasons, which should not be discounted:
But then, there is one often-overlooked, not-so-obvious reason why it is so important to protect your time: The more time that you allow to pass, the greater the potential for emotional damage to accrue.
This reminder is applicable and useful whether you are single as a pringle, newly dating somebody, or already in an established relationship.
Let’s say you’ve been dating someone for 3 months. You quickly figure out they’re not right for you and you end the relationship. Sad, but you will be okay. You paid attention, made a decision, and moved on. You used your time wisely.
Now, let’s say you were to date that same person for 12 months, even though you’ve had a feeling they’re not right for you. You ignored your gut and stayed in the relationship, hoping that something would magically change or trying to fit a square peg into a round hole. You didn’t use your time wisely, and now you’ve got an additional 9 months of attachment to that person, experiences with that person, investment in that person, et cetera… all of which make leaving the relationship that much harder. It’s ok, we’ve all done this… but now you have incurred more emotional damage as a result of not being protective of your time.
Now, the tough thing is that in order to get to know someone, you have to spend time with them! There’s no way around this. What's more is that you have to spend time with them in-person, NOT over FaceTime or as texting pen pals, in order to figure out truly whether or not you’re right for each other.
But the trick is to spend just the right amount of time. Not a week less, not a week more. If your intuition is telling you that someone isn’t right for you and this situation has very little future potential, listen to it. On the flip side, if your intuition is telling you that spending time with someone is a good use of your time and this situation has high future potential, also listen to it.
Your time, just like your money, is a finite resource that must be wisely invested, meticulously managed, and fiercely protected. If you wouldn’t blow all your cash on frivolous things and rack up a bunch of avoidable debt, then don’t throw away your time on dead-end situations and rack up avoidable emotional damage.
Kevin from the Keys Team
Professional Dating & Relationship Coach