Once you blow your 30 perfectly-arranged candles, you cease to be a ‘twenty-something year-old’ and enter a completely new stage of your life. Things like crazy parties, hooking up with unknown dudes (or dudettes) and taking three shots of tequila one after the other suddenly sound less appealing. Your mind is puzzled by important questions related to marriage, career fulfilment and kids.
“There’s this really unique thing that happens in your thirties. You really begin refining and enriching your life, and gaining career traction so you are where you want to be in your forties.” – Psychologist Kristen Carpenter, PhD
That sounds great, doctor Kristen, but what am I supposed to do if I’m still single? Dating in your thirties is hard. Heck, even when I was in my twenties dating felt uncomfortable and awkward. Nevertheless, I keep coming back to my Tinder and online dating profiles because the idea of growing old with three cat companions just isn’t my kind of happily ever after. When you’re in your 30s, the rules and expectations of dating are completely different, so if you want to get back into the game, here’s my advice:
1. Own Up to Yourself
You have been on this planet for over thirty years. You don’t have to pretend to be someone you’re not anymore. You are who you are, and that’s it. If you feel like embellishing your profile or presenting yourself as something you’re not, please don’t. This façade will crack into a million pieces sooner or later. One of the things I love most about being in my thirties is the fact that saying no to the things I don’t like has become so much easier.
2. Bluntness is King
When you’re in your twenties, it’s all about the game, but once you hit the thirties mark, you no longer have time for trivialities. Want to go out with that guy? Want to send her a text right after the date? Want to stop seeing that chick? Stop beating around the bush. Just say it.
3. Don’t Hold out for Perfection
After having waited so long for that perfect someone you’re can’t just settle, right? Wrong. If you’ve been on the prowl for Mr. (or Mrs.) right for more than ten years, but haven’t find him/her yet, well, that’s because he/she doesn’t exist.
“You’re not perfect, sport. And let me save you the suspense. This girl you met, she isn’t perfect either. But the question is whether or not you’re perfect for each-other. That’s what intimacy is all about.” – Robin Williams, Good Will Hunting
Compromising isn’t the same as settling, but as you will probably find out sooner or later, you have to let some frivolous things go if you really want make a relationship work.
4. Shut up Already
I went on a date with a Tinder guy recently. My God, he wouldn’t stop talking. He basically shared his whole life story with me in less than an hour. If you’re the type of person who overshares, you need to stop. Don’t talk about marriage and children from the first date. People need to earn the privilege of hearing your story. Listening has become some sort of lost art that very few people can master. If you want a meaningful relationship listen more than you talk, be genuine and humble.
5. Quickly Ditch the Dead-Ends
I’m pretty sure you’ve met your fair share of people who have been archived in the ‘Never-Again’ or ‘What Was I Thinking?’ folders of your mind. You know what you want from a partner and you don’t have the time to fix someone else’s daddy issues. That’s perfectly fine. The last thing you need in your life right now is a toxic relationship.
You can definitely find love after 30, but you need to set clearer boundaries, be honest to yourself and redefine your priorities. Hopefully my advice will help.