Many of us started looking for love the moment our parents started letting us stay out past 9pm. The usual qualities abound when we’re youngsters at a make-out party: humor, brains, beauty, spontaneity, something about Frenching that we don’t quite understand yet. But if we don’t settle down right away, we notice that what we’re looking for in a man tends to shift. Well, not shift so much as add on to the roster. While things such as having fun with a person and feeling a physical attraction to them is still important, we realize that life still exists outside of love, and our lovers therefore must bring more to the table by the time we’re in our 30s.
We’re not talking about getting to take Dad’s car out whenever you want. Once you’re in your 30s, you expect your man to be capable of much more than that to prove his independence as an adult. The prime indicator is his fiscal responsibility: is he working a job and making his own way in the world? Bonus attractiveness if he’s doing pretty well for himself, saving up in a 401(k) and whatnot. Let’s face it, retirement’s starting to sound sexier and sexier. And if you want to really turn up the heat, be sure to have health insurance, too. Nothing’s sexier than knowing your man’s got you covered when your prostate flares up at the age of 75.
While the younger years read this as the guy not cheating on you—which is indeed important—30-something trust includes some of the finer things. Could you give him your credit card and a shopping list and feel confident he won’t have run off with your entire bank account or come home with nothing but donuts and alcohol? Can you give him the keys to your car while you’re out for the weekend? Can you tell him your middle name without him blabbing it to his friends? All pretty important, adult things. Chores need to be done and trust needs to be honored, and you need to know you can depend on him for just about anything.
While it may not feel like it at the time, your younger years are pretty stagnant. You get up, you go to school, you whine about your homework and you spend your evenings scheming ways to push your curfew back a little further. But as you get older, life begins to really take hold. By the time you’re in your 30s, stressful things like the death of a loved one or work layoffs can be happening in full force. It’s due to such natural life shifts that guys look for men who are capable of adapting, the ones who take life’s knocks and know how to keep going. It helps your relationship weather even the toughest storms.
Friendships are important in your teens, twenties and, yes, we believe you when you say you had them. But by your thirties, friends no longer are defined by the group of guys you go out drinking with and occasionally help you move your couch with intense food bribery. But over time, friends tend to naturally evolve into something else, such as people you can rely on in the most destitute of times, the ones that will be there for you without them gaining a scrap of benefit on their end. While it’s fine to still keep some drinking buddies in your 30s, once you hit that age and they’re still all you have, potential mates are going to wonder when you’re going to grow up and realize what true friendship means. Why does this matter? Because your significant other is pretty much a friend with benefits.
Hasn’t Peaked Yet
If you were the big man on campus in your youth and think your high school or college years were the highlight of your life, you may be in trouble. Because with any luck, you have a whole lot of life left in you, which would be better spent doing some awesome things instead of reminiscing about the awesome things you used to do. Because believe me, seeing a nostalgic sad-sack such as that is just plain boring. Instead, be the guy who hasn’t peaked yet. In fact, be the guy who will never peak. Always be out to improve yourself or to learn new things. Wake up every day feeling that you’re going to make your life that much better. It’s an infectious quality in a person and men will flock to you so much faster than somebody who’s a has-been.