When you are running your own solo practice, the subject of work-life balance often arises. We discuss prioritizing work with date nights, family time, school plays, exercise, etc. For the most part though, the discussion revolves around couples and concerns regarding marital quality time and children.
For some reason when you are single no one talks about the work-life balance of building your business and trying to find a suitable partner. I think people assume that single people are living footloose and fancy-free and are simply too busy with their jet-setting lifestyle to settle down. They imagine that we are taking long weekends at the beach or on ski vacations in Colorado. (This is completely true. I’m typing this post from the bear skin rug at my ski chalet in Switzerland right now. Or maybe I’m at my office in Jersey. Who can tell?)
The truth is most of us single solos are simply working. Sure, we may be without a partner or a child depending on us for food, clothing and shelter, but when you are single and ambitious, it is easy to turn your attention away from the life part of work-life balance too; especially when it comes to dating.
With your practice, there is a never-ending list of things to do like business development, client work, record keeping, marketing, social media, and sales. But there are steps, metrics, courses, and books for your work that makes the process and end goal seem clear. Dating, on the other hand, doesn’t seem as straight forward. Primarily because there is another person involved and you can’t make decisions for them as you can with your solo practice. There are also the issues of meeting new people, compatibility, feelings, life goals, and attractiveness that each need their own time and attention during the dating process. Sometimes it feels like it’s just easier to focus on work.
Furthermore, as a single professional attorney, things are even more complicated. Your clients come to you for your professional legal expertise, but they also hire you because they think you’ve figured it all out. To them, you are the list maker. You are organized. You remember dates, deadlines, create itemized checklists, workout, and eat an organic, gluten-free diet.
With these perceptions, there is some hesitancy with signing up for the latest and greatest dating website. Do you really want a client, prospective client, or adversary to find you on a dating site? Should you care if they do or what they think? With social media blurring the lines of professional and personal life, that’s a tough call.
What I do know is that social media is a vital part of my marketing strategy while having prospective clients find me on a dating site is not. So although I’m not against online dating, I’ve found a few innovative dating approaches that are less cringe-worthy than most. I haven’t tried them all, but they might just help you put the life back in the single work-life balance equation too.
- Underground Unattached – Underground Unattached is “A Unique Dating Experience” as noted on it’s website. The company pairs 20 men and 20 women together that are specifically picked by the founders Christina Weber and Shaun Derik for an evening of unique social activities and games. These aren’t your run of the mill company sponsored icebreakers. The activities foster real conversation and engagement. The best part is there is no need to create a public online profile. Instead, Underground Unattached requires that you fill out an application, have a telephone meet and greet session with someone on the team, and give them access to your social profile. Then they do all of the pre-screening for you and decide who will get an invitation to the curated event. They bring together people that are ambitious, fun and generally great to know. Currently, they have events in NY and LA only.
- Grouper – this app helps you utilize the “wingman” approach to help you connect on a date. The concept is pretty unique. They match you with someone based on your interests and profile. Then you set a time for you to meet for drinks. You bring 2 friends along, and your match does the same so that the 6 of you are hanging out together. This takes the edge off of meeting someone alone. Best of all, if the match is a flop, you get to hang out for the night with your friends, which, for me, is always a good time.
- Eflirt – business and personal coaching is all the rage at the moment, and for good reason. Coaches help you set and meet a specific goal in a defined amount of time. Eflirt provides that experience via the online and social media dating world. This service is designed for busy professionals who don’t have the time to spend hours online checking dating profiles and responding to messages. Instead, they help you use social media as a tool to meet a compatible match. They identify dating and social media sites that work with your lifestyle and manage those accounts for you.
Since my work here is done, I’m off to the slopes aka finishing my review of this contract, but please let me know your thoughts. What is your advice for the single solo today? I’d love to hear from you.
All opinions, advice, and experiences of guest bloggers/columnists are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions, practices or experiences of Solo Practice University®.