14 Top Tips for Dating in Your 30s
The older you get, the harder the dating game becomes. In your 20s it’s all fun and games. Most of us don’t have any baggage and are open to new experiences and don’t have any expectations. It’s all about having fun and discovering what we want from someone. If you’re lucky enough, you’ll meet that special someone who will become your forever person. If that’s not the case, get ready for a roller coaster ride.
When you hit your 30s it all changes. While some of us are still happy to lead the bachelor lifestyle, many are ready to settle down. It’s only natural that men want to find a partner with who they can marry and have kids with. But it’s not that easy. Even if you’re still looking to just have some fun, by the time you hit 30 people have different criteria by which they choose a partner. Hopefully, at this point in your life, you understand who you are and what you want from a partner. This helps narrow the field but also makes dating a bit more tricky.
There is no point settling for second best. You want a partner who ticks all the boxes and can complement your life, not complicate it. You don’t want to spend your time going on a string of dead-end dates that go nowhere. Investing your energy in people that aren’t on the same wavelength as you is just a waste of time. To help make sure you’re on the right track and picking the right women to go on dates with, here are some helpful tips for dating in your 30s.
1. Workout What You Want
There’s no point going on multiple dates with a plethora of women if you’re not sure what you want. First, you need to understand what it is you want from your next relationship. If you’re still playing the field, that’s fine, but if you’re after a connection you want to make sure the people you meet are on the same level.
Think about your past relationships and failed dates. Why did they not work? What did you learn from these experiences? This can tell you a lot about what you want from your future partner. This way when you’re scrolling through the apps, you can determine if they fit the profile of what you are looking for. If their profile says they don’t want to get married or have kids and you do, swipe left, even if they are your type physically. If you both aren’t on the same page mentally or your goals don’t match up, don’t even bother.
2. Let Go of the Past
By the time you get to 30, you’ve probably been through some shit. Divorce, infidelity, kids, and heartbreak are just some of the things many men in their 30s have had to deal with. Baggage is natural, but to move on with your life you have to be able to put all that bleakness to one side.
We all have a past and those experiences have helped shape the person you are today. You might have been through some tough times, but this should solidify in your mind what you want from your future relationship. Let go of all the bad vibes and concentrate on moving forward and focusing on the things you want from your next partner. Obviously, this is easier said than done, especially if you’ve only recently become single, but you have to remember that you can’t go forward if you’re always looking back.
3. Leave the Negativity at the Door
Following on from the previous tip about letting go of the past, you also have to keep any negative thoughts at bay. Maybe the last few dates you’ve been on haven’t gone well and have left you feeling a little dubious about the dating game. Or maybe you’re still hurting from your previous relationship that ended badly. Whatever the reason, you need to check these thoughts and go into the date with a clear head and an open mind.
You can’t go in with preconceived ideas or bad thoughts. You have to give your date a chance. Just because your last partner cheated on you doesn’t mean your date will. Leave the negativity at the door and enjoy dating for what it is. You never know, you might actually meet someone you like and want to see again.
4. Be Clear About Your Expectations
The best way to get what you want is to lay it all out on the table from the start. This might be a brave move, but why waste time with someone who isn’t on the same page as you? There’s nothing wrong with stating you are looking for a long-term relationship on your dating profile. If kids and marriage are also what you see in the future, add that to your bio. This way when people come across your profile they will know whether you are just after some fun or looking to settle down.
Conversely, if you are on a first date, there is nothing wrong with talking about the future either. This doesn’t mean greeting your date then rattling off your list of relationship goals or demands, but where possible, make comments about your personal dreams and aspirations while chatting. Don’t be afraid to express your relationship desires. People are much more open to someone who is willing to be truthful about their intentions than someone who gives nothing away. Even if you don’t share the same values, she will appreciate you being upfront.
5. Throw Out the Rule Book
Whatever you think you learned about dating in your 20s you can forget in your 30s. Waiting three days after the date before you contact her again is nonsense. If you had fun and enjoyed yourself let them know the next day or even that night. Nobody has time for games when you’re in your 30s.
Honesty and transparency are what people are after. If you’re not feeling things, let the person know. Ghosting is immature and shows you aren’t really emotionally equipped to be dating.
6. Don’t Be Afraid To Date Someone Who Isn’t Your Type
There’s no better way to get out of your comfort zone than by dating someone different from your usual partners. Whether we like it or not, most of us develop a type that we are attracted to. This doesn’t have to be the case once you reach 30.
While nobody likes to be pigeon hold, there is no doubt we all have a type we generally gravitated to. Now is the time to break that trend and see what else is out in the world. It could be that the women who look nothing like what you normally find attractive possess all the personality qualities you are looking for in a partner. You have to remain open to all kinds of connections as you never quite know when love will strike you down.
7. Don’t Rush
Similar to some women, many men hit their 30s and feel the need to settle down immediately. They are quick to rush into a relationship that shows long-term potential without noticing the red flags and soon find themselves making the same mistakes as before, or even worse, stuck in a loveless relationship that is headed for disaster.
There is nothing wrong with taking your time. Yes, marriage and kids might be what you’ve always wanted, but these days many couples are taking the plunge later in life. You want to make sure you are happy in your own life and with who you are before committing to someone else. Once you are happy in your own skin, you can give your full attention to someone else, and things will fall into place.
8. Confidence is Key
If there’s one piece of advice I’ve learned over the years when it comes to dating, it’s that confidence is key. Women love a man who knows what he wants. Someone who is forward and upfront with their expectations and happy to take the lead. This doesn’t mean you need to treat women like doormats or become dominant and enforce your will on them. Have belief in your convictions and speak with authority. Be present when conversing and look her in the eye and offer your two cents once she’s finished speaking.
The best way to build your confidence is to continually interact with those around you. While it’s easy to chat with friends or work colleges, engage with your local barista. Smile at the cute girl who walks past. Present yourself as approachable and your confidence will grow and people will be more receptive to you in your everyday life. This will then overflow into your dating life.
Communicate, communicate, communicate. This might seem like a given, but many men still struggle in this department. You should be able to talk openly and honestly to your date about anything and everything. Nothing should be off the table. This is especially important during the early period of a relationship when you are getting to know someone. It also leads to being open and vulnerable.
Communicating is also important if you are not interested. Whether it’s a first date, a one-night stand, or you’ve been hanging out for a few months, if you want things to end then tell her. Don’t ghost and leave her unsure of where she stands. Be a man and tell her the truth. She’ll respect you more, even if it’s not what she wants to hear.
10. Be Open and Vulnerable
When you meet someone for the first time the conversation often starts off rudimentarily. Small talk is natural when you are meeting someone for the first time, but it doesn’t have to be two hours of talking about the weather. Be open and willing to talk about anything.
If the conversation goes in the direction of exs or personal issues, don’t be afraid to discuss these things. She will appreciate your honesty and vulnerability and understand you are a man who isn’t afraid to talk about tough issues or share your emotions. It will also allow you to form a deeper connection from the get-go and give her more reasons to want a second date.
11. Don’t Rely on Dating Apps
Remember when you would go up to someone in a bar and try to chat them up? Well, considering how the pandemic has impacted the world, you might actually not. But as things are beginning to open up and return to some semblance of normal, you can meet people the old fashioned way.
Don’t rely on apps to find your life partner. While it was a great way to connect with people when we were trapped inside and couldn’t go to the pub, now you can get out and about and meet real people in the real world. While you might be out of practice, don’t let that stop you from chatting to the cute girl at your local cafe. Even if it doesn’t go to plan, it’s a great way to practice your communication skills and improve your confidence.
12. Try Dating Someone Your Own Age
This might seem like a cheap shot, but let’s face facts, many men who hit their 30s end up dating younger women. There is nothing wrong with this of course, but the older you get the less you have in common with younger women. Dating someone of a similar age means you are more likely to enjoy the same things, but more importantly, you’ve been through similar experiences.
If you are divorced or have kids, there is a good chance women your age will also be in the same boat. This already gives you something to talk about. These are experiences you can discuss and bond over. People your own age are also more likely to be emotionally stable, which is something you want when dating in your 30s.
Older women can also be great to date, especially if you don’t want kids. Many women who are in their 40s have already been married and had kids and are no longer worried about achieving these things. They want a life partner to spend their time with. This is a great situation for men who want to settle without taking the usual route of getting married and having children.
13. Listen To Your Gut
Once you’ve hit your 30s you most likely know what it is you want from a partner. If you start dating someone and your intuition picks up on some red flags, get out as soon as you can. There’s no point sticking around and trying to ignore them or even worse, trying to change the other person. It’s not going to end well.
You have to trust your gut and believe in yourself and what you want in a relationship. There’s no point wasting time and energy on a dud relationship when there are so many other people out there who are a better fit. It’s not fair on either of you.
14. Don’t Settle
There isn’t any point in starting a relationship with someone you are kinda into. This is sure to end in disaster. On the flip side, don’t seek the perfect partner as there is no such thing. It’s all about finding someone you can compromise with and accept all their flaws.
This is best put by Dennis Quaid in the movie In Good Company. When asked how he manages to have the perfect marriage he replies: “You just pick the right one to be in the foxhole with, and then when you’re outside of the foxhole you keep your dick in your pants.” Pure poetry and words to live by.
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