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Dating in Your 30s: What You Need to Know

Dating is tough no matter how old you are, but things change when you hit your 30s. It can be frustrating if you thought you had dating in your 20s figured out. Dating in your 30s is quite different, with some downsides and many upsides.

In your 30s, the dating pool is smaller, and you might have more personal baggage. You may have experienced heartbreak or become more focused on your career. You might also have fewer single friends, which can pressure you to find a partner. But on the positive side, you have more life experience and a clearer idea of your life goals. This means you’re more likely to seek a partner who shares your goals and values rather than just dating for the sake of it.

Know What You Want

In your mid-20s, you might have wanted a partner with a fancy car and the ability to take you to posh restaurants. While those things are nice, your priorities may change when you reach your 30s.

If you haven’t thought much about what you want in a partner, it’s time to figure it out. Make a list of the last few people you dated. Next to each name, write down the top five things you liked about them and the top five things you didn’t like. Look for any common traits. The qualities you liked the most are what you should seek in your next relationship.

Let Go of the Past

Lots of folks in their 30s have been through tough times in love, like being ignored, cheated on, breaking up, or even getting divorced. It’s good to know that everyone has some past troubles, and these experiences have made us who we are today.

Our history has influenced us, but it doesn’t have to control our present or future. Instead, pay attention to what’s going on right now and think about where you’re headed next. All the people we’ve been with before, and the people our partners were with before, can actually help us grow and heal.

Be Vulnerable

When you’ve had many relationships that didn’t work out, you might naturally want to protect yourself by being cautious. You might think that you won’t get hurt if you don’t let anyone get close, right? But here’s the thing: if you keep everyone out, you won’t find “the one.”

So, when you meet someone, and you both feel a connection, try to open up. Be willing to be vulnerable, even if it makes you a little nervous. The good news is you’re in your 30s now, and you’ve become tougher from your experiences. It wasn’t meant to be if it doesn’t work out with this person. What matters most is that you take the chance and put yourself out there.

Don’t Rush Things

It’s common to think about what you haven’t achieved yet. You might not have met “the one,” you’re not married, and you don’t have kids. It’s okay to want these things, but it’s not okay to grill every person you date to see if they meet all your expectations.

“Fear and feeling like you’re missing out aren’t good reasons for choosing a partner,” says Gray. Instead, focus on enjoying yourself and getting to know the person. You don’t need to rush things. “Some folks get married and have kids in their twenties, while others do it in their forties or fifties. We can’t predict what life has in store for us.”

Communicate Openly

Talking openly and honestly is really important in any relationship. When you’re dating in your 30s, you and your partner need to have good communication. If you have your first argument, try to talk about it like grown-ups. If you don’t communicate well at the beginning of the relationship, that might not change as time goes on.

Don’t Seek Perfection

However, it’s important to think carefully about what you expect and consider whether those expectations are realistic. It’s not a good idea to settle for less than you deserve, but you also shouldn’t expect everything to be perfect. Relationships involve finding a balance, and you need to be willing to accept someone as they are, including their imperfections.

Don’t Date Someone You’re Not That Into

If you’re not interested in someone, it’s best to stop talking, texting, and spending time with them. Life is too short. Wouldn’t you prefer to have a good night’s sleep instead of being with someone you don’t see a future with?

In your 30s, you become better at choosing the right relationships. Take advantage of this by ending relationships that aren’t going anywhere.

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