Dating in your 30s is like opening a box of damaged goods hoping to find a rare gem that has been carefully repaired and has a fascinating backstory. You’ve reached the age where things start to become more apparent. You begin to notice the unhealed trauma within yourself and the people around you.
But trust me, it’s not all bad, it’s actually a lot of fun IF you know what you’re doing. The special thing about dating in your 30s is that you finally know what you want and don’t want.
And hopefully, by this time, you’re settled enough in your life that you have the confidence and courage to pursue relationships that complement your lifestyle. This is also the tricky part….
As a 30-something millennial woman, you’re likely settled in your career, you have hobbies you love, and you’ve likely created a lifestyle and set of standards that you are adamant about maintaining or improving.
This makes it hard for you to get on board with what a potential partner is offering you if it doesn’t measure up to what you already have.
Because unfortunately, at this age, depending on your long-term goals, good looks and a nice personality, just isn’t enough.
You’ll need to factor in long and short-term goals, parental expectations and the financial fitness of your potential partner.
So… as someone who dates without foreboding, I approach each situation with a set of guidelines to get the most out of each interaction without wasting everyones time.
Dating in your 30s: The Ultimate Guide
Being transparent & authentic are qualities that will get you closest to where you want to be.
It’s like… what are you actually doing if you’re not being honest about who you are and what you want?
And I get it, you want to be as polished, pretty, and palatable as possible. But eventually, you’ll need to be vulnerable with who you’re dating and make sure they know exactly who you are.
Think long-term and imagine how effing miserable it’ll be to try to keep up with this perfect facade you put on trying to impress them. Just be real and save your peace of mind.
Be real with yourself about what you like and don’t like.
Sometimes we’re not real being real with ourselves about the things we really want in relationships.
It’s one thing to deceive the person you’re dating, but to also play yourself is wild. This may be largely due to pressure from society, family, or other structures outside of yourself.
And maybe you’re not sure about what you want and don’t want – that’s okay. Self-discovery is a beautiful thing; it might take dating a few people to really define what you want and don’t want in a partner.
But when you do figure it out, be real with yourself, and be open to adjust as you evolve as a person.
Pray for discernment
The same way that you should be honest with yourself and transparent with the person you’re dating, you also want the same from them. But how can you tell if a person is being real with themselves and honest about their needs and wants in a relationship?
You’ll never know in the beginning. It takes time and trust to really know a person. Pray for discernment and practice your ability to distinguish certain characteristics that are and are not genuine.
Going with the flow can get tricky; always move with intention.
After 30, when peace and stability become more of a priority, it’s important to move with intention in everything you do. Take note of how you feel when you’re around the person you’re dating; do you feel anxious and unsettled or peaceful and safe?
If not the latter, be intentional about figuring out why and make the necessary adjustments. Recognizing any unsettling feelings and thinking – “ohhh it’ll be alright, let’s just see what happens”, is setting everyone up for failure.
Going with the flow might be okay if you end goals have already been established.
Be flexible with your list; nobody is perfect.
You have to be flexible. Understand that at this age, we’re all a little bit more set in our ways. You’d be waiting for a really long time if you’re looking for perfection.
Do not settle by any means, but if your foundational criteria is met, you have room to be flexible with all the other little things that are not as important.
Seek therapy to heal childhood and past relationship trauma.
Don’t sleep on therapy, Love. We all need therapy. And Jesus. Regardless of your religious beliefs, having faith in and connecting to something outside of your human experience can make a huge difference in the way you view the world around you.
However, especially after 30, make room in your budget to pay a licensed mental health professional to help you process trauma and grief past and present.
Your mind is the most precious thing you possess, so take care of it by speaking your thoughts to someone who has been trained and can provide you with necessary tools and techniques.
Do this to stay grounded. It’s easy to get so far in the depths of your mind and in space that you could convince yourself of things that are actually not true.
Dating in your 30s
Let go of limiting beliefs; be open and willing to take risks.
With most things in life, taking risks is something that you’ll have to do frequently. This includes your dating life. And the older you get, the riskier dating is. I say this because as you get older, your time is more valuable, and patience is extremely limited.
Like mentioned earlier, your focus has transitioned to eliminating drama and prioritizing peace and wellbeing. However, taking risks means letting go of beliefs that may hold you back from getting the things you really want.
This could mean taking a risk and moving across the country to be with a person you can see a future with. Or, dating someone of the same sex whose morals, values and long-term goals align with yours. It could also mean dating someone of a different race because you both want marriage and a family and have a similar outlook on life.
I know, I know… you may be cringing. I can see the challenge in getting out of your comfort and safety zones after 30.
But listen… you may be sacrificing your happiness by limiting yourself to your perception of what a successful relationship is. Dating in your 30s requires taking risks, keep the foundational requirements in the forefront of your mind and go for it.
Know when to walk away.
Girl – you gotta know when enough is enough. If bridges have burned, police have been called and blows have been thrown, it’s time to call it.
A few less dramatic signs that it’s time to walk away include feeling unsettled, anxious, and irritable every time you’re in their presence.
Even if you have small moments of happiness, if the overwhelming feeling is any of those things, it may be time to walk. Unless you can identify the root cause of those icky feelings and can come up with a way to circumvent and/or “get over it” and move forward into a place where you no longer feel unsettled, anxious, and irritable, then yea… it’s time.
And it’s probably one of the hardest things you’ll need to do, especially when you’ve grown to love a person, but ultimately, you’ll grow to resent them.
Your mental health will suffer greatly and you’ll probably unintentionally make your partner’s life miserable. Cut your losses, appreciate the experience and be hopeful and excited about what’s to come.
Have fun with it and don’t complicate things.
Basically, use this guide, focus on fostering amazing relationships that feed your spirit positivity. Do things that you love to do, and you’ll naturally attract the type of person that you desire. Practice emotional intelligence while dating in your 30s and honestly just have fun with it!