You Can Totally Be Too Busy for a Relationship

Korin Miller
Glamour
You Can Totally Be Too Busy for a Relationship
Sounds like a cop-out, but experts agree!

By Korin Miller. Photos: Courtesy of CNP Montrose.

There are some dating clichés that are all too familiar—“it’s not you, it’s me” and “I really like you, but I’m not ready to be in a relationship” immediately come to mind. And now there’s a new one making the rounds: “I’m too busy for a relationship right now.” It has all the makings of a dating cliché, but experts say it might be more than just a flimsy excuse.

“I actually applaud people who recognize that, because otherwise they are just going to frustrate a partner,” says licensed clinical psychologist Ramani Durvasula, Ph.D., author of Should I Stay or Should I Go?. Maybe someone is studying for the bar exam and barely has time to take care of themselves, or has a job they know requires all their time and energy right now. Whatever it is, they’re able to recognize that diving into a relationship just isn’t sensible at this point. “Some people may also have been burned in [the past], where their schedule may have wrecked a relationship and may be more cautious as a result,” Durvasula says.

Jocelyn Charnas, Ph.D., a clinical psychologist in private practice in Manhattan, agrees. “There can be some reality to the idea of being too busy to date,” she says. “It often turns out that the time when we’re trying to establish our career and identity is the same time that we’re supposed to be looking for a mate.”

Of course, there’s also the chance that someone is just feeding you a line. “We’re looking at two options: One being that there’s reality to it and they’re not willing or able to invest time in a relationship, or the other being that it’s a kind way to deliver the message that they’re not that into you,” Charnas says. “It’s a clear message either way.”

While it can be tempting to want to wait it out—especially if the two of you seem to hit it off—experts say it’s best to cut bait and move on. “Do not think that you will change their mind,” Durvasula says. “It won’t work, you will get hurt, and you will be disappointed.”

Charnas points out that there’s not much you can do about it either way. “Whether it’s an excuse or reality, the message you should be getting is that this person isn’t the right one for you at this time,” she says. Besides, you know your worth, and you wouldn’t want someone trying to squeeze you into their life regardless.

If you’re really into them and you feel like they’re really into you, too, Durvasula recommends “compartmentalizing” them—meaning, put them on the backburner and go about your life. If their schedule opens up in the future and they pursue you, great. If not, you’re too busy with your own thing to worry about it anyway.

This story originally appeared on Glamour.

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This story originally appeared on Glamour.

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