“I’d kiss a frog even if there was no promise of a Prince Charming popping out of it. I love frogs.” ― Cameron Diaz

My single friends often ask, “How can I find time to date when I am so busy?”

You can, and it’s easier than you think.

I speak from experience.

In my 40s, I found myself suddenly single.

At the time, I was managing a sales engineering team that spans several continents. On top of this, I had to deal with an unethical, incompetent manager. Life was stressful, to say the least.

Despite the hectic work situation, I made time for dating because being happily married is one of my life goals. I promised myself that no matter what, I will go on at least one date a week.

That year, I met the man that I would later marry.

According to the Harvard Happiness Study that spans almost 80 years, close relationships, more than money or fame, are what keep people happy throughout their lives.

Marital satisfaction, in particular, has a protective effect on mental health.

If a great relationship is what you want, but you’re strapped on time, efficiency in dating is key.

Here’s how in five simple steps.

The One List That Rules Them All

“If you don’t know where you are going, any road will get you there.” ― Lewis Carroll

The first mistake people make is not knowing what qualities they are looking for in a partner. As a result, they are easily distracted by shiny objects.

Later, they realize that their partner lacks several vital qualities, so they try to change their partner.

Trying to change others rarely goes well.

Instead, before we start dating, create a “love list.” Jot down all the qualities that matter to us in a partner, and decisively cut candidates that do not meet this bar.

For more on creating a love list, see tip #8 in “ How to Heal a Broken Heart.”

What’s The Body Count?

“There is no one busy in this world; it’s always about priorities. You will always find time for the things you feel important.” ― Nishan Panwar

Dating is a numbers game. We have to plan on kissing a few frogs before finding our dream partner, and this takes time.

Sitting at home, expecting magic to happen, is not going to work.

We have to be out there and meet people.

A rule of thumb is to set up at least one