I’m not a dating expert, but I have realized that dating in my 30’s was definitely different, then dating in my 20’s. For starters, my level of common sense is just better in my 30’s. My mindset is different and my tolerance for nonsense and wasting my time is, you guessed it, different. Although most of my 20’s, were spent either on being a parent and/or dating some interesting characters. But once I hit those 30’s I viewed dating as a potential to something more than a man buying me dinner and buying me drinks. Let me explain.
In my 30’s, I just don’t have time to go on a million dates and sift through a bunch of men online to find out that we are not a match, six months later. Been there and done that. When I began dating my boyfriend, I knew from the start that I wanted more than what I had experienced and excepted in men. I’ve done the whole been a side chick, been available only late at night when they had time left to spend with me, to not caring about the person I was with feelings, and just doing me, whatever that was at the moment. I was selfish and very naïve in my 20’s and now in my 30’s I am learning when to step up and when step down when dealing with conflicts that arise. In the past, I would just totally shut down or engage in irrational behaviors that did not help resolve the conflicts.
I can honestly say, that I’ve been so much more, happier dating in my 30’s, not just because of the men that I’ve dated but more so because of the woman that I have evolved into over the years. I have dated some amazing men and although those relationships didn’t last for whatever reasons, I am very happy with who I’m with now, then who I’ve dated in my past. I accept who my boyfriend is and I don’t try to change him. Growth is inevitable in any relationship. We are growing together. He teaches me new ways of living and I do the same for him. We aren’t trying to change each other, but we do add value to each other’s lives, daily.
In my 20’s dates were more like going to the movies, out to dinner or the club or just driving all night long and talking on the phone for hours because we had no responsibilities the next day. Now, our dates are more planned out to ensure that it’s something we both can enjoy doing. It’s during real adult hours and we’re not trying to impress each other with the latest fashion or all of the unnecessary things people do when you’re young and dating. We just enjoy each other’s company.
Dating in my 30’s is more about getting to know the person I’m with more and knowing that if the dinners and outings didn’t exist, I would love to just be around this person and just do nothing. It’s about valuing what that person adds to your life. In my 20’s, I didn’t care about things that really mattered in relationships (support, love, respect, etc.). I only cared about having a good time at that moment. In my mid 20’s until I turned 30 years old, I experienced domestic violence. Because I didn’t set boundaries in the beginning of that relationship and was not educated on the cycles of abuse. Thank God I survived!
That abusive and toxic relationship was the exact motivation I needed once I survived and healed from it, and that experience also helped me view my relationships differently. I am more patient now, my mouth is more tamed now, I don't just say whatever comes out of it. I enjoy the simplest things that my boyfriend does with and for me. Whereas in my 20’s, everything was about show and tell. I’m more private now about my relationship in my 30’s also. I am more at peace dating now. I used to be so confused dating some men because I really didn’t know what my place was in their life or I ignored their actions just to feel like I belonged to them.
If you are dating, here are a few tips for dating in your 30's:
Take your time dating in your 30’s. Don’t rush down the altar, it’ll be there when the time and person are right for you. I find that women in their 30’s forget to actually date the man that they are with because their mind is only on getting married.
Do things that make both of you happy.
Heal from your past so that you can enjoy the present and follow your intuition when something doesn’t feel right. If your schedules allow, go out on dates during the day to switch things up.
Don’t go out dates that don’t allow you to interact with your date (ex. movies because you’re not supposed to talk).
Let go of your fears about love or loving again and get out there and date!
What are your experiences now with dating in your 30’s compared to when you were in your 20’s? Share your thoughts in the comments.