So Apparently If I Really Cared About You, I Would Make More Time For You
This is my attempt to debunk a myth, or at least, what I believe to be a myth. If I had a dime for every time it was floated around like gospel, I would be rich.
To hear some tell it, we make time for the things we care about.
Simple enough, right? I believe so, but could it be too simple?
Over the years, this adage has gone from a somewhat logical theory about why another person isn’t as available as we like them to be, to pretty much the only theory. And it’s not to say that it’s wrong, because let’s face it, in some cases it makes perfect sense. But there are many times when it’s flawed; not entirely incorrect but slightly off-base.
What I am attempting to debunk is the myth that everything we devote our time to is something we care about more than the things to which we don’t devote our time. Our time is valuable, but where do any of us get off determining that value for someone else? Every time a woman has told me about my time, I have to remind her she’s wasting valuable minutes together talking about what we’re doing when we’re apart. Certainly my time is too valuable to waste it doing that, but I also hope she understands, the time together is actually the time I cherish the most, but due to a packed schedule and various other demands, it is less time than I have.
Some folks don’t understand. They will still look at this as some sort of slick talk being used to get out of spending time with someone we’re dating. But I have bad news: Time is starting to work against those who miscalculate its value. What I have learned is to some people, they place such a high premium on time, any amount will due.
Of course we’re talking about the quality-time versus quantity-time debate. Much like the whole question of time value, this classic matchup between quality and quantity is fairly subjective. Take me for instance: Professionally, my job requires a lot of waking hours socializing, so I’m usually good for hitting up several different events. Because I’m single, I take a similar approach to spending time with whoever I’m seeing. If I have plans with one girl in the evening, I may ask the other girl if she’s busy for lunch. There may be a girl I see after work any day M-F, but another girl gets days that begin with the letter “S”.
This is not to say any girl I date is falling for some time scheme (A lot of my time is spent by myself because, while yes, it does suck every now and then to be alone, it is the path of least resistance.); it’s just to say, no amount of time spent can be trusted to be more genuine and authentic than the other. The woman at lunch may think she is getting the short end of the time stick, while the girl who gets to spend the night is getting more, but that dog doesn’t necessarily hunt. Pay attention to the fact that we could be spending lunch time and after work time together, and yet, we’re not.
My point is, time is so fluid, using it as a gauge to measure whether or not we care about someone is like sticking our hand outside to get an idea of how cold or warm it is.
Instead of quality time versus quantity time, focus on the difference between making time and creating time. That’s like the difference tacos made with packaged shells and tacos with the hand-made tortillas.
Making time for someone is fitting them in our schedules. It is looking at the list of things to do and/or attend, and squeezing them in where we can. Creating time is about taking care of the things we’re obligated to take care of so we can spend time doing what we want most.
To put another way: If we call someone on Monday to ask them what they’re doing on Tuesday, that’s because we see a hole in our schedule and we can make some time to spend with them. We know they’ll be pleased, simply because, that’s all people want sometimes; five minutes here, 30 minutes there. That’s what coaches call garbage time.
But if we call someone one on Monday to find out what their plans are on Saturday, it is probably because we want to spend the highest quality of time with them and we can work all week towards creating that time. Our schedule doesn’t include them, it starts with them.
Don’t get me wrong, tacos are delicious even in some pre-packaged shells, but have you ever had tacos made from tortillas made by hand? Exactly.
We spend most of our days doing something we don’t want to do. Even if we love our jobs, we love our friends more and would probably rather be barbecuing with them, then talking to our cool co-worker at our cool job. As another old saying goes, we do what we have to do so we can what we want to do.
If we can’t spend time with someone, there’s a good chance we’re spending time doing something we don’t want to do. On the off chance we’re not, it’s still not important what we spent time doing when we weren’t spending it with together. The time we schedule with someone doesn’t say nearly as much as the time we scheduled for someone. It’s not so simple that if we cared, we would spend more time. The real problem is when the person we spend time with cares more about the time itself or lack thereof. Yes, time is valuable, but it should never be more valuable to each other than it is to ourselves.
And so I’m ending this post here. I would say more, but I have to go to work, so really, I don’t have anymore time to give.
Thank you for your time.