In teaching time management, Stephen Covey and Hyrum Smith taught four divisions for how we might categorize possible uses of our time:
1. Urgent and important
2. Important but not urgent
3. Urgent but not important, and
4. Not urgent and not important
Essentially, where most people get confused and waste their time is between Quadrants 2 and 3. Quadrant 1 will demand your attention. It creates anxiety. Quadrant 3 also screams at you because it must be done now or the opportunity may expire. A ringing phone is urgent. It is in Quadrant 1 if it is an offer for a job interview. It is in Quadrant 3 if it is a survey call. Quadrant 3 screams at you, even though it may not be relatively important. Quadrant 2 does not scream at you, even though it is important. Covey taught that a key secret of success is in prioritizing Quadrant 2 over Quadrant 3 -- even though Quadrant 3 is louder. What is in Quadrant 2? A few examples:
Creating processes in business
Of course, these priorities depend on your values. But the most important results of your parenting don't typically show up right away -- but are nonetheless very important. The health benefits of exercise do not typically show up right away. But over time a failure to exercise can create disastrous results, where exercise includes undeniable long-term health benefits. It is unlikely that failing to go on a date this weekend means that you will never meet your eternal companion. But I think you would agree that meeting an eternal companion and building a relationship is very important to most of us.
As mid-singles, we tend to be pretty busy people. In many areas, it feels like one person trying to do the work of two. It is often tempting to push off important self-care like exercise and sleep, to accomplish the more urgent items on our task list, even if many of the tasks are in Quadrant 3.
In my values system, dating is in Quadrant 2 for Latter-day Saint singles. It doesn't demand your attention. If you don't go on a date this weekend, nothing fundamental is going to change because of that. BUT, if you don't go on a date this weekend, nothing fundamental is going to change BECAUSE of that. (Yes, I am saying the same thing twice, but with different emphasis in the second sentence.) The stakes are very high in dating. But it also requires time and patience, and a lot of lesser priorities clamor for our attention. Almost every priority we have feels more urgent -- even if they aren't as important to your long-term happiness.
I am urging you to look at the priorities in your life, and make sure that where you are spending your time is in accordance with your values -- whatever that means to you. I am especially passionate about self care for mid-singles. Mid-singles with kids tend to put everyone else before themselves and operate from a chronically empty tank. If we focus more on Quadrant 2 and a little less on Quadrant 3, Quadrant 1 will start to shrink and demand less of our attention.
In my experience, you don't need to be obsessive about dating. You just need to consistently make time for it, just like sleep and exercise and other Quadrant 2 priorities. If you do that, I believe you are going to find what you are looking for.
The greatest example of God’s love for His children is found in the infinite Atonement of Jesus Christ. Love is a powerful gift that we all came to earth to develop and our Savior is the perfect example. When asked the greatest commandment, Jesus answered: “… Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself” (Matthew 22: 37-39). Loving God, ourselves, and our neighbors is at the root of all other commandments.
“Perfect love casteth out fear” (Moroni 8:16). Mid-singles are no stranger to fear that comes from loss associated with painful breakups, divorce, or death of a spouse. This can lead to self-doubt, self-loathing, and sometimes even self-destructive behaviors. We can also go looking for love outside ourselves, wanting a partner to validate our worth instead of first finding love and compassion for ourselves. Our worth is a constant, no earthly experience can ever change it. All we need to do is remember our divine worth and allow God’s love to help us conquer our fears.
God sent us here with all the love we will ever need inside of us. As we tap into His love, we find an infinite well-spring of heavenly help to support us as spiritual beings in our mortal journey. “God is love, and whoever abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him” (1 John 4:8). As we cultivate love in us, we stand in holy places and our access to the spirit is supported by the high vibrational energy of love where God resides.
“There was no contention because of the love of God which did dwell in the hearts of the people” (4 Nephi 1:15). This offers a beautiful vision of what marriage and family life, and even the world around us, has the potential to be in a future filled with love!
“Love in Later Years” involves all of the most important elements of love – love for God, love for ourselves by receiving the love He has bestowed on us, and sharing that love with those around us. Yes, we encourage dating and finding a forever companion, but love in later years is so much more than that. It’s about developing the root of all other commandments, which is love. Life, with all its challenges and blessings, is more joyful as we carry the love of God in our hearts.