Life in a big city is so rife with chockablock calendars that it is easy to neglect ourselves and become distracted from what is really important. With career goals and finances having the forefront of our attention, making time for a personal life can sometimes lead to feelings of guilt and anxiety; however, if your aim is to settle down and have a family, you need to shift gears and start making that your number one priority.

The most common complaint I hear from men (more than women, surprisingly) in the dating world is that the woman they are courting are showing little to no signs of a work/life balance, and are not setting a precedence for their union. I have spent countless hours coaching these modern working women on how to get out of their own way, to work less, and to sacrifice a night out with the girls or a work event in order to show that new man in their life that they appreciate him. The best way a woman can do that is by making room for him in her life – more than once or twice a week.

The early stages of any relationship are the most critical, the most delicate, and the time where you are setting the foundation for your future with that person. There is no time like the present to “prove” yourself as an attentive, selfless and flexible mate, so you need to sway with life’s changes and move things in your life around accordingly; at the very least during the first three months.

My theory is that most of tend to overwork and make ourselves less available to avoid intimacy, because if you stay occupied, your chances of getting hurt are lessened – or you will just be too busy to notice your own vulnerability. Neither is a healthy option though, and being unavailable or unwilling to make subtle shifts in your routine in order to make space for someone new is doing you, your relationship and your future a major disservice.

If you are concerned with your friends, family (or dog) being upset at your more frequent absence, explain to them that you are focusing on your next significant achievement: true love. So, put this new person first for the time being, hire a pet sitter, and know that if they all really love you, they will be fully supportive and invested in your happiness as well.

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