Table of Contents
- How to Date When You Work Nights
- How to Date When You Work Nights: Wrap-Up
Believe me, as a dating coach I’ve heard every reason there is for why someone hasn’t been reaching their dating goals. But I have to say, one of the toughest dilemmas is this: how to date when you work nights.
I agree that it’s not easy, but it can be done. When I was single a few years ago, I worked nights at a swanky restaurant and bar here in San Francisco. I was definitely a night owl, so to me, there was nothing better than grabbing drinks with a co-worker or two until 3 a.m! That being said, I also still managed to date. It was the beginning of my 100-date experiment, in fact.
So, in this article, we’ll discuss some of the things I did to successfully date while I was working nights. Hopefully, it helps you see that you can reach your dating goals without changing your work life.
If you work nights, the total amount of time you’re able to link up with a nine-to-fiver is limited, so you need to be highly efficient with your time. Try this list of tips if you’re working nights and struggling with dating.
Sometimes people are surprised when I recommend scheduling first dates for Saturday afternoons. But there are many reasons for this.
First of all, whether you know it or not, women always have safety in the back of their minds when they decide to go out with you. They’re looking for any sign that you could be psycho… because honestly if you are, they’re toast.
Fear of being attacked is very real for women. So, why am I saying all this? Because if you want to ease any fears she has subconsciously, you need to schedule your date during the daytime. Since you work nights, mornings probably aren’t a great option for you — but a mid- to late-afternoon date works great.
And yes, it should be a Saturday. If the person you’re dating works 9 to 5, they likely won’t work on Saturdays (which is why it’s the day most people feel happiest!). This will contribute to the mood when you’re out together. Who wants to go out on a Sunday when they’re already thinking about work? Or much less Monday, when their week might have already gotten off to a bad start?
Finally, If you’re adhering to my MegaDating strategy, you’ll want to “stack” dates whenever possible — and Saturdays will give you the biggest time window for that. Stacking dates is what creates momentum in your dating life, which is that feeling of irresistible confidence you exude when you have no shortage of female attention.
To stack dates, you’ll basically want to set up two dates in a row — on the best day possible, which is Saturday afternoon. Schedule them right before you start work so you have a reasonable “out” in case things go south. So, say you start work at 6 p.m. Set up your first date for 3 p.m., and then your second one for 4:30 p.m.
If you’re stacking dates, here’s a tip: Bring a laptop or work bag with you. Let your date know you only have an hour to hang and then you gotta get back to reading, writing, studying, or whatever it is you’re doing with your laptop/workbag.
You might think this is harsh, but it’s not. First dates can be a crapshoot, so while you want to make a good first impression, you also shouldn’t over-invest. What if she turns out to be nutty, or simply someone you’d rather not see again? Spending a lot of money or going extremely out of your way to meet her would be a bad idea. So there’s no shame in making it as convenient for yourself as you can.
And don’t worry: A coffee date will give you plenty of time to see what kind of person she is. You don’t need a full dinner for this. On the first date, you should only aim to build a basic level of trust and rapport anyway. You can accomplish this in about an hour — which is the most amount of time I’d ever spend on a first date. Also, I always recommend guys spend $10 max on a first date, which is the perfect amount for a coffee shop date.
If you’ve been wondering how to date when you work nights, you may still be afraid your work schedule will get in the way — no matter how many Saturday afternoons you clear out for it. Again, I won’t lie to you. Working nights is definitely an issue.
This brings me to another strategy I teach when you have an obvious “flaw” in your dating profile: Hang a lantern on it.
“Hanging a lantern” on your problem quite literally means what it says: Shed light on what’s wrong with you. It’s recommended for many situations but was originally a political tactic, where one candidate would reveal their own major weakness before their opponent had a chance to use it against them. I think it’s a brilliant way to address something head-on while taking the negativity out of it at the same time.
So if you know that your schedule is going to be an issue with her eventually, why not bring it up right away? If nothing else, it’ll make your dating efforts more efficient, since you’ll weed out those women who may have a problem with your schedule.
When you bring it up to them, I recommend that you say something very subtly first, and then gauge their reaction through their body language. For example, you could casually mention, “Right now while I’m getting my MBA, I’m working nights” or “I’m working nights right now. Let’s grab a coffee Tuesday at 2 p.m. at Mission Coffee if that works for your schedule.”
If she gives you positive body language cues, such as direct eye contact, leaning slightly forward, open posture, and an authentic smile, then you can be sure that she’s willing to work around it. On the other hand, if she gives you negative body language cues, such as keeping her arms crossed, leaning back, averting her eyes, or crossing her feet, then take that as a sign that she’s not interested.
The thing that sucks about being up until 1 a.m. working is that it can be lonely. If you’re not living a late-night, social lifestyle like I was, those hours can be even lonelier. Now let’s consider the idea that you’re dating someone who works 9 to 5 — that’s definitely a recipe for some annoyingly clingy after-hours texts.
Don’t do this. For one thing, it’ll sabotage any sexual attraction she already has for you. Being too available and “in her face” all the time ruins any mystery or fantasies she might have had about you, replacing them with an image of a sad, desperate dude who pines away for her at night. Not sexy. Instead, text her with intent.
What does “texting with intent” mean? Just make sure you only text her for a specific reason. Instead of sending mindless messages like “you awake?” or “what’s up cutie?” try to avoid texting altogether until you absolutely need to. Another good rule of thumb when it comes to texting is avoiding what I call “H” factor texts. These would be messages that start with “H,” like “hey,” “how’s it going,” “how was your day,” or “happy Monday!” These are generic, boring, require little more than a one-word answer, and will likely just irritate her.
Instead, you should text her when you have something important to say. For example, you might remind her of an upcoming date with a message like: “Cindy, looking forward to seeing you tomorrow night :)”
The bottom line is, ask yourself what your intent is behind any text you send. If you can’t answer the question… don’t send it.
When it comes to the question of how to date when you work nights, the easiest thing is to look for direct compatibility. By that I mean, find someone who also works nights, or at who at least understands your schedule. There are plenty of people out there with nontraditional work schedules. It could be a flight attendant, doctor, or nurse, for example.
Or maybe someone at your job would be worth pursuing. While dating a coworker can be tricky, it’s definitely an option. First, just be sure she’s not your boss or subordinate… that can cause a ton of problems. Obviously, you should also be sure she’s not married or otherwise taken. If you haven’t figured this out yet, ask her simple questions about what she does in her off time and see what she says. Keep your ears open for any mention of someone she’s living with.
Once those basic requirements are met, see if she wants to get a drink after work. It can’t hurt! Just be sure not to use your company email or messaging app to contact her — the last thing you need is someone else seeing your conversation and rumors to start flying. To make sure she knows it’s a date (and not just an office gossip session) try to pick a place that’s not your usual after-work hangout. Finally, in case it doesn’t work out, be on your absolute best behavior so that things don’t get awkward when you see each other again on the job.
Sometimes, no matter what you do, your work schedule will be an issue. I remember before I went full-time here at emlovz, I worked as a property manager, which included weekend work. (Oh, the things you do to grow a startup!) The problem was my boyfriend had a 9 to 5 job, so we’d rarely see each other.
So what did I do? I scrambled my way out of that job and found one where we could have weekends off together. I was willing to do it for love.
If you’ve been working nights for a long time and think it still affects your dating life negatively, think about making some changes. What can you do to change your nightshift life? Can you ask your boss for a daytime or even swing shift? Can you find a new job altogether? Is this job your passion?
Making love a priority in your life will bring the best opportunities to you. It can be a tough decision to shift your career into a different gear so you can find a partner, but you’ll know when it’s time to make that decision. What other jobs might work for you so you can make room for your future girlfriend or wife?
Figuring out how to date when you work nights isn’t easy, but it’s worth it. Whenever things get hard in your dating life, just remember that everything you want is on the other side of whatever you’re not willing to do. In other words, if you don’t make adjustments for your schedule, then you’ll keep getting sidelined by the very women you’re hoping to attract.
Why let that happen? Even if your schedule isn’t entirely under your control, you always have a choice. Instead of rolling the dice and hoping for the best, try to work some of these strategies into your dating approach. You may find that the slightest tweak is all you need to turn things around and breathe new life into your dating options.
Also, you don’t have to do this alone! As a coach, I can also help you think through how to date when you work nights. I help my clients develop strategies to solve all sorts of dating issues and can work with you one-on-one on a strategy that works for you specifically. My three-month Signature program could also be a great option if you need ongoing coaching support. Book a call with me today.
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