Over the past year or so that I have been single, when I have been faced with seemingly simple dating situations, such as first dates with people I met online or friends setting me up with women they think I have a lot in common with, I inevitably complicate my approach and subsequent decisions regarding said situations by factoring in my fluid work situation as a college basketball coach.

You see, I can’t just date any girl that I find interesting and attractive; she also has to be willing/able to deal with the fact that my work schedule is very unpredictable. What this ultimately means is that I need to find someone who not only knows I am going to put her first in every situation I have control over, but also understands and accepts that I won’t necessarily always have the luxury of that control the way other guys with more conventional jobs would.

Recently, I went out on a first date with a woman, and I had to push the start time of the date back by over an hour because I got stuck late at work. Essentially, I was trapped in a meeting up until the time we were supposed to meet without being able to inform her of my situation. Fortunately, when I finally got back to my office and talked to her, she was very understanding and suggested an alternative plan for us.

While most people might be appreciative of her gesture to me it meant something more because of the fact that I need someone who doesn’t take those types of situations personally, and is willing to help ease the pressure of my crazy schedule by adjusting on the fly. For some, her understanding wouldn’t have meant that much, but given my situation I found it quite endearing.

Ultimately, we all have things going on in our lives that can potentially complicate our relationships, which is why it’s important that we think about the characteristics we would like someone we are dating to possess. In the end, everyone has their issues, so it is important that we surround ourselves with and date people that don’t mind dealing with those issues because that is one of the ways we determine who is ultimately “right” for us.