If you’re a busy professional it can be difficult to make time for your friends, family and hobbies – let alone the dating scene. Maintaining a successful career often goes hand-in-hand with long hours, international travel, and taking your work home at the end of the day. With all that to contend with, the prospect of finding love might seem unlikely.
Here’s the good news – modern dating is a lot simpler than it used to be. Back in the day we may have relied on meeting other singletons at social occasions or getting our friends to set us up on blind dates, but today we can skip a lot of the hard work.
Our main piece of advice? Don’t shy away from using online dating sites and professional matchmaking services.
1. Sign up to a dating site for professionals
The best place to start your search for romance is online. Ten years ago, online dating was (unfairly) thought of as a refuge for the desperate – today it’s the norm, with one in five relationships in the UK starting online. The key to getting online dating right is to choose a site or app that is tailored to your needs, rather than downloading the first one you come across.
Sites and apps that offer online dating for professionals can be tailored towards numerous factors. Some focus on education or political views, while others are devoted to facilitating long-term relationships. The best dating websites for professional singles, though, are designed to make your life easier.
On Telegraph Dating, much of the hard work is done via a two-way matching system. The criteria you’ve listed on your profile is used to search for potential love interests, displaying them on your “My Ideal Match” page if their criteria matches with your personality and background.
To use the full features of this service you’ll have to pay a subscription fee, but in our opinion it’s more than worth it. Free dating sites tend to require far more input, and don’t offer the added benefit of tailored matches.
2. Create the perfect profile
Your online dating profile shouldn’t be something you dash off while you’re taking your tea break. Wait until you have a free evening or weekend and really get stuck in. List your interests, describe your lifestyle, and – most importantly – be realistic about what you’re looking for and what you can offer.
Whether you’re an ambitious go-getter seeking something casual and fun, or a busy CEO looking to make more time for a serious relationship, be upfront and honest! The same goes for any personality tests or questionnaires that you end up filling out.
Photo-wise, always aim to use something taken recently where your face is clearly displayed (preferably a solo rather than a group shot). If you can’t find a good photo, enlist a trusted friend to come round and take some flattering shots.
3. Look for someone with a compatible lifestyle
Remember when we asked you to be upfront and realistic in your dating profile and personality questionnaires? The same rule applies when you’re checking out other profiles. Even if you’re using a service that suggests potential matches, you’ll want to be judicious about who you end up messaging.
Let’s say a suggested profile ticks every box when it comes to looks, interests, and sense of humour – but they have a lifestyle that’s incompatible with yours due to their working hours or family commitments. In this instance, initiating a conversation is ultimately going to be a waste of time.
4. Make time for your profile every day
Once you’ve set up your online dating profile don’t let it gather dust. If you’re serious about meeting someone you’ll want to visit your account at least once a day, using your free time to check out your suggested matches, browse other members’ profiles, reply to messages, and initiate conversations.
The good news is that you can easily fit this task around your work commitments – the odd five or 10 minutes here and there at lunch, on your commute, or at home in front of the TV will do!
5. If online dating doesn’t work out, try a professional matchmaker or dating agency
As we’ve already said, online dating is the go-to dating style for modern professionals – but it doesn’t always work for everyone. The good news is that there’s another service you can try that won’t encroach on your working life: a professional dating agency.
As with online dating, professional matchmaking has come a long way since its early days. Today, services such as Mutual Attraction and Drawing Down the Moon are being lauded for their exceptional results. Typically these services offer an initial consultation, after which your matchmaker begins the process of looking for matches and setting up dates. Often these services offer one-on-one coaching, with your personal matchmaker on hand to chat and give advice before dates.
Matchmaking services are often used by high-net-worth individuals looking for a discreet way to seek romance, or wealthy entrepreneurs who don’t have time to arrange their own dates. Because the process is fairly in-depth the associated rates can be fairly high, but for professionals making a good salary it can be a fantastic option.
6. Commit to proper dates
Whether you’ve been set up via a matchmaker, or you’ve found someone special on a dating app, the next step is to actually start dating. As a professional with a busy career you might find it difficult to make time for dates, but it’s vital that you do.
Plan ahead, making sure you set aside a full afternoon or evening with absolutely zero work commitments. Your time might be precious, but there’s no point putting yourself out there if you’re not willing to make some compromises.
And when you’re on a date? Make sure you aren’t checking your phone every 10 minutes. Put it on silent, stick it in your pocket, and don’t take it out again until you’ve parted ways (or at least until they’ve popped to the loo). Work emails can wait!
7. Enjoy the little moments
If things go well and you end up in a relationship, remember that a little compromise will be needed. If you want to successfully juggle career commitments and home life you’ll need to work together.
When one or both people in a relationship is very busy at work it can be hard to coordinate schedules. You should continue to make time for proper dates, planning ahead to make sure you have free evenings and weekends whenever possible.
Beyond that, try to enjoy the little moments. If you’re both booked solid for a week, try to snatch short periods of time to spend together – whether it’s enjoying a lie-in on a Saturday morning, or getting together for a quick lunch in the week.
Quality time doesn’t have to mean spending hours together, especially when you’re both career-oriented.
If you’re single and interested in meeting like-minded people, join Telegraph Dating. With more than 220,000 like-minded single people, Telegraph Dating is the best place to find romance.