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Tuesday, 22 February, 2000, 18:36 GMT
Too busy for love?

Too busy for love?

Do you spend so much of your life at work that your social life has gone out of the window? Do you find yourself taking more than a passing interest in the singles ads in the back of newspapers?

According to a new report, teachers are so overworked that they are the biggest subscribers to the UK's largest dating agency.

Is it just teachers who have forgotten how to have fun? Are dating agencies becoming a more acceptable way of looking for love? Are we letting work take over our lives? Send us your views and experiences. HAVE YOUR SAY

The prospect of poor pay, long hours and no respect or thanks from the pupils or the government I think it is amazing that anyone wants to be a teacher anyway.
Steve D, UK
Judging by the small minded tone of some of the previous comments, it sounds like a few people need to open their eyes a little and not just assume teachers are constantly moaning because of these reports. I have had several housemates previously who are teachers, and they all worked very long hours for no or little thanks from their pupils and poor support from the government and society. Judging by this, the prospect of poor pay, long hours and no respect or thanks from the pupils or the government I think it is amazing that anyone wants to be a teacher anyway, and for this give them a break and a load of respect! Why don't people realise that teaching is an incredibly important job, and give those who do it the respect it deserves, so think before you talk! And no I am not a teacher - I could do without an early heart attack thanks!
Steve D, UK

I'd rather be single than give an agency money to set me up with some guy. If you want to meet people then you need to have a more active social life. Join a choir, a sports team, take a class in a subject you've always been interested in. For God's sake - these things only take a couple of hours a week. If you can't spare even that then you must be so incredibly boring that even if a dating agency did find a Mr/Ms Right they would probably not like you anyway. There's more to life than work - get out there and enjoy yourself. Life's too short!
Kate, UK

Choosing between a job and a life is pointless, as the classic hierarchy of needs illustrates; money is no use without a satisfactory personal life.
Max, England
Anyone who works so much that it precludes a love life, may like to consider whether it'll have been worth it when they're seventy, rich and still alone. They might also consider whether it's their personality, not their occupation, which prevents them getting a life. Jamaican Bob should devote some of his sport time to socialising. Choosing between a job and a life is pointless, as the classic hierarchy of needs illustrates; money is no use without a satisfactory personal life. I have sympathy for anyone who works so much they have no life, but only if they're on minimum wage. For the rest of us, changing jobs is the only answer. Make love, not money.
Max, England

A society, where dating agencies have become a more acceptable way of looking for love, tells you that morality is on the brink of collapse.
Tajudeen Isiaka, Nigeria

Perhaps if teachers stopped feeling so sorry for themselves, other people may take an interest in them
Jenni, UK
Could it not be because teachers are boring, small-minded and unable to develop interests outside their work through lack of self-motivation? I work long hours (10-13 a day) but still have time for a social life both with work colleagues, through Church and through various clubs and activities. To my knowledge, teachers only attend school five days a week and all cars in our local school's car park are gone by 5.30-6pm. Working at home can be fitted in around other activities. I also only get four weeks' holiday a year. Perhaps if teachers stopped feeling so sorry for themselves, other people may take an interest in them.
Jenni, UK

I work all day everyday and the only free time I have is spent watching sport inbetween both jobs. It certainly has affected my social life and I constantly read the personal ads in the back.
Bob, Jamaica

People seem to lack skills in talking face to face these days. They probably spend too much time on electronic chat lines and find real life too different. They should go to a dating agency - if that will help them talk to someone.
Dave, UK

The teachers in my school seem to work hard, but they always have time for leisure┐many of them are married already and the ones who are single go on holidays frequently or at least once in a while. Maybe some teachers want progress from students so much that they will sacrifice anything. After all there is a trend to work hard to succeed these days.
Selena, Hong Kong

I'd like to say something, but I'm far too busy!
David Waite, England

It's not just the singles who are affected. Excessive working is also hard on existing relationships. It's the problem of finding the balance between a challenging job and a satisfying love life. I think it has to do with the fact that the real interesting jobs ask for a lot, or is that maybe just a myth? I blame bad management in many cases. Good managers should make sure that their workers are balanced, but they only see short gains and are too lazy or incompetent to get involved in real people management - hard to believe in this time and day. I would love to spend more time with my husband, but we both travel a lot at different times and both would hate a boring 9-5 job. But this can't be all, can it?
Natascha, UK

I am a graduate student, which means that I work insane hours. Although I find time for fun with friends and colleagues I find it hard to have/start a relationship with someone. This is simply because I don't have the schedule that supports the time required to invest in a relationship. My problem is not that I hate working long hours, but more that I need to find someone with an equally hectic schedule who understands why things are the way they are. By the way, I am split on the teacher issue. Whereas I know they work hard, I don't think that they work any harder than most. I don't think anyone should be complaining.
Mary, Canada

I don't think it's because people are too busy to look for love, I think the British are just miserable and unfriendly to each other. You guys don't even say hi to people you see everyday in the elevator for example. So, stop being so miserable and maybe you'll make some friends!
Tom, Canada

One research paper suggested that you are most likely to meet your future wife at work, so working long hours should in fact give you a better chance of finding love.
Stuart Gale, England

I'm dating a teacher and she seems to have much more spare time than me. She goes into work 30 mins later, gets home an hour and a half earlier - plus gets much more vacation than I do. I don't see why they should have any problems.
Mark, USA

Although I think the working hours factor does play a roll in this topic I also feel geography is another major contender. A far greater percentage leave the place of their childhood and family to pursue a career. Where in decades past introductions were made through a common and well established social circle consisting of a variety of generations, this is no longer the case in many people's lives. I do think an active social life and diverse hobbies definitely helps. I can happily state that I have both of the above, but, in the end found my partner in the personal ads. We had in fact attended the same university and had known a couple of people in common. There are so many parameters and chances involved in meeting a great person, why scoff at some extra help. In my eyes I didn't resort to personal ads because I'm a sad no-hoper, but because I have standards that no-one I met "naturally" was meeting.
Natalie Roy, UK in US

I met Justin, the love of my life at work. So there.
Sharon, UK

I have tried no less than three dating agencies and each time have been introduced to women with whom I had nothing in common . Having given up on that , I tried a singles bar instead and met a fantastic woman the first time I went . That was 6 months ago and we plan to get married next year . To those still looking , I say forget the ads and head to the nearest singles bar !
Andrew Roma, UK

I sometimes feel that my love life would be less disastrous if I had let a dating agency look after it...
Dr. R. A. Coxall, Scotland

The comments made by Jenni were unfair and uncalled for! They clearly show a distinct lack of understanding and small-mindedness in themselves. Teachers must bring their work home and spend considerable time on it each night in order to do their jobs satisfactorily. Teaching is also a very emotionally demanding profession which requires a level of personal involvement above that of most jobs. I happen to be very much in love with a teacher and I know how hard she works and how much of herself she unselfishly gives to her students. I have seen all the papers she grades and lessons she plans on her nights and weekends "off."
William, UK

My mother has been a single parent and a teacher for 30 years and her job certainly consumes her weekends, and evenings with play rehearsals and marking. She is very good at her job but doesn't have a partner at 56 which seems a high price to pay for your career.
Jemima Broadbridge , UK

I don't think it's only teachers that are facing this problem. Modern life and new technologies mean it is increasingly easy to live your life inside a bubble and not develop 'normal' relationships with other people. In fact the Internet and this site are contributory factors. It's no small wonder that in this environment people are turning to less traditional methods of seeking love.
Marco, UK

Every teacher I know spends 2-3 months a year abroad on holiday, what a nightmare. I "will" however make the point that a lot of junior inner-city teachers don't have the cash to socialse.
Sean Donovan, UK

It's high time that people learned that life is indeed too short! Work is great but only when balanced with LIVING! Get out there and meet someone who can give you much more than a weekly cheque!
Brandon, USA

I don't have enough time to brush my teeth, let alone date!
Bob Hom, Wales

I work 7 days a week, 75 hours per week in the computer industry. I have to to help support two teenaged daughters and pay for taxes. I have a question, you mean to tell me adults can have romance and sex??
Collin, Canada

If you're too busy to find a mate, then how are you going to find the time to invest in a rewarding relationship once an agency comes up with a list of names? Isn't the real reason down to the gradual disintegration of the social networks of family and friends that used to provide the opportunities to meet new people; too much time now spent watching TV alone or living a 'virtual' reality.
Rob, London, UK

I met my husband by chance and was not looking for anyone. I had a fair to good social life when we met. Now, my social life is even better, and still marvel that I was not looking for anyone when we met by chance. The thought of dating agencies had never crossed my mind. I think they are pointless and only serve to remind the individual that society dictates that they should be in a relationship, which is sad. I had a blast when I was single and am enjoying life just as much now.
Marion, U.S.A.

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See also:
22 Feb 00 |  Education
Teachers top dating agency list
03 Sep 99 |  Entertainment
Lonely hearts take centre stage

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