Dating in your 30s can be tough. You realize that you don’t know everything you thought you did, and the stuff that you really did know doesn’t apply anymore. The times are a-changin’, as Bob Dylan says, and you have to change with them or be left in the dust. Your beer binges are being traded in for better listening skills, your wild sex stories for the possibility of a guy with kids from a previous relationship. It’s time to let go of your 20s dating knowledge and move onto the skills necessary for your 30s!
Don’t Stick to Just One Type
Look, we respect that you know what you like. But just because you like certain attributes doesn’t mean you should shut out all other possibilities. Date around, try new people and things, and be open-minded. It’s very possible that the reason you haven’t met the perfect match for you just yet is because the traits you’re so attracted to often come with baggage or negative consequences. For instance, somebody you want really devoted to you may end up being clingy and lacking in self-esteem and trust, or somebody you like because they’re so protective of you may turn out to be an aggressive, possessive jerk. Break the mold of your desired type and see what happens!
Focus on the Future
The past is the past and exes are exes. If you have regrets, that’s okay. Everybody has them. Just make sure to take whatever lessons you can from them and move on. Don’t waste your time wallowing over the one that got away or a guy who never had feelings for you. Focus on what’s ahead of you and the guy sitting right across the table. He’s your new future. Try him out. Give him a chance. Just be excited for the things that could come as opposed to those that haven’t in the past!
Listen More than Talk
If you’re in your 30s, you probably have tons of stories, good times, and gripes. But that doesn’t mean you should lay them all out on the table immediately. Take time to actually know the guy in front of you and give him a chance to speak. Ask him questions about himself. Actively listen to what he says in response. If he’s also in his 30s, chances are you’ll both have stories to swap and things to talk about for years. And that’s a fantastic thing!
If you’ve had dates go poorly in the past, you may have developed a complex about why that is. But know that it probably isn’t you. It’s just the universe (No, really!). Trust that everything will turn out as it should and you will meet that special someone eventually. If it hasn’t happened yet, then it may just not be your time. And while you’re searching, don’t turn it into an all-out obsession of Facebook stalking and speed dating. Definitely indulge in making connections and trying to meet new people, but remember that you do (or, at least, should) have other hobbies.
Be Prepared for the Possibility of Kids
If you’re dating someone who’s in their 30s or older, know that they may have kids from a previous relationship. Think about the circumstances in which you may or may not be okay with this, including how many kids, their ages, and the context of how those kids came about. Also, if there are kids involved, it’s possible your date’s ex will still be somewhere in the picture for the children’s sake. It’s incredibly important for you to be aware of your comfort level before getting into anything serious.
What have you experienced while dating in your 30s? How does it compare to our list? Let us know in the comments!