How to Handle Being Too Busy For a Relationship
Updated: Jan 10
Are you or your boyfriend too busy for a relationship? Here are FOUR TIPS on how to handle balancing a relationship with career, ministry & life!
A lot of people--whether single or actually already coupled up-- think that they are too busy for a relationship. The truth is that when you have work, family life, and even ministry & a business to juggle, it can really be a challenge! Yes, the good thing is that it is NOT impossible to manage all of these things together -- there is no need for us to resort to the "I'm too busy for a relationship" trap! This means:
Singles: You don't need to always choose other things over having a partner in life. It is a blessing to be with a potential life partner!
Couples: You don't need to resort to breaking up because you're too busy for a relationship. You can make it work!
If you wait for perfect conditions, you'll never get around to investing in a relationship. There will always be something in life that will demand your time & effort. While being too busy for a relationship can be a legit excuse for some valid seasons (e.g. preparing for some board exam, going through major changes, etc), it doesn't need to be a permanent habit.
How to Handle Being Too Busy For a Relationship
Tip #1 when you're too busy for a relationship: It's a matter of priorities.
We sometimes 'wish' that we had "more time" like others who aren't too busy to be in a relationship. The truth of the matter is that we all have 24 hours per day. Nobody has more hours or less hours than us. It then becomes a matter of PRIORITIES--including how we spend our time!
When you say "you don't have time" for something, it usually just means that "it's not your priority".
So, if you want to address being too busy for a relationship, then you need to address your PRIORITIES.
Ask yourself: Are there minor things that are eating up TOO MUCH of my time? Could it be Netflix, leisure time, shopping, games? They could be good things at small doses - but if they are eating up your time to the point of you being too busy for a relationship, then they may be worth a revisit. If you want to make room for better priorities, then there are some things you may have to sacrifice.
Ask yourself: Am I really too busy for a relationship or am I just not consciously making it a priority? If something is of high priority for you, there needs to be an investment of effort, time and energy. As such, you may need to:
Deliberately make time for your boyfriend / girlfriend each day -- even just with a simple text to say that you're thinking of them, or a quick phone call
Set a date day every week where you spend undisturbed time with one another. No phone disturbances, no "shop talk" - just you too.
Use your time wisely and make time for what's important :) Decide that YOU'LL MAKE TIME for it, rather than just giving up with the thought that you're too busy to be in a relationship.
Psalm 90:12 - Teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom.
Tip #2 when you're too busy for a relationship: You can't win them all.
Let's accept it--we can't have it all! This is not to say that God wouldn't help us to do well in our career, our ministry, or our relationship. Yet, we need to acknowledge that as humans, WE HAVE LIMITS.
I learned from our Work-Life Balance class at work that it's OK not to be a "top performer" in all aspects of our life. In fact, that's the way it is! We can't be the best in everything and give ourselves fully to everything!
We need to LEARN TO SAY NO--even with work and ministry--so that we can make room and not be too busy for a relationship.
I can relate as I personally had to make sacrifices in my career so that I can devote time to ministry and to my relationship. I was juggling (1) my regular work, (2) work initiatives and clubs, and (3) building my network in the office--which were going to help with my career progression.
However, I got assigned to a national leadership role in our church group, and had to devote some time for ministry. Even if work was important, I had to give up items (2) and (3) to make way for something important. It slowed down my career growth in some way, but in the end, it was a good step, as I also eventually had time to date, and wasn't anymore too busy for a relationship!
Lesson there: Letting go of 2 somewhat important things at work, allowed for me to have time for ministry and to no be too busy for a relationship.
Now, I won't say that RELATIONSHIPS should be #1 priority ALL THE TIME. We have to learn to set our limits to make way for more urgent & important stuff in all areas of our life--be it for work, ministry or our relationship. I saw this tweet that best explains it, which I'll summarize below.
Basically, we are juggling multiple PLASTIC and GLASS balls in our life. Plastic balls, when dropped - don't break and just bounce back. Glass balls, when dropped - break! Ultimately, it's NOT that work is a plastic ball and our relationship is a glass ball. Rather, each of these areas (work, ministry and relationship) have their own plastic balls and glass balls.
If we have a glass "relationship" ball that we need to maintain by dropping a few glass "work" balls, then we need to accept that. Also, there will be times when we'll need to drop a plastic "relationship" ball, to make way for a glass "work" ball - and that's OK.
So, if you're thinking that you're too busy for a relationship, but in fact, you're just scared not to "do well"--then do some reconsideration.
Tip #3 when you're too busy for a relationship: Integrate your relationship
One of my most favorite terms that I learned from my job is the idea of "work-life integration". It means being able to synergize your work life with your daily life in a way that complements both areas.
For relationships, I'm kind of "adopting" the term in a way because one of the most important things to do when you feel that you're too busy for a relationship is to INTEGRATE.
For me and my then-boyfriend-now-husband, it could be as simple as the following:
Heading to a coffee shop to be together, but with me doing my ministry tasks, and him doing some work.
Visiting a friend's dad in the hospital together to share God's Word and pray for them, with the added bonus of time together during the long commute & the meal afterwards
Helping each other out with work tasks - to double as actual work accomplishment and bonding together
Before dismissing immediately that you are too busy to be in a relationship, be creative and find ways to get to spend time with your partner while integrating your other tasks. Different areas don't need to compete with one another if you're able to get a good meshing togethering of things :)
Tip #4 when you're too busy for a relationship: Understand, and be mature about it
Despite all the recommendations above, there will for sure still be some instances where your partner may really be too busy for the relationship. In such cases, you need to be understanding and mature about the situation.
We are not little tweens anymore who need to text or chat 24/7 or call each other for long hours daily. We have 'adulting' stuff to do--and we need to understand each other's burdens.
Remember: Not being able to talk to each other every moment and not being able to see other everyday does NOT necessarily mean there is no love.
There will be seasons that people will be busy, and we are to understand them and support them as such. If it becomes too much of habit though and you are drifting towards being too busy for a relationship all the time, then go back to Tip #1 ;)