30, unmarried and childless was NOT supposed to be a series. BUT, here we are – now, 30 something, unmarried and childless. 

No big deal though – right? 

The Nerd Bae was conceived on a night where I was crying hysterically because another relationship was – coming to an end.  I opened a word doc, expressed myself, then boom, decided I’d start a blog. At the time, I was also struggling with transitioning in my career due to lack of technical experience in the industry I wanted to transition into. So, somehow my brain was able to marry those two challenges as a way to move forward. And – it all worked out perfectly. Well, almost. I found my dream job but not my partner. I was able though, to discern what was for and not for me.

With age, dating becomes more cumbersome for multiple reasons; including the fact that expectations are much higher. In the last 6 months I’ve learned that too many expectations can result in prolonged dissatisfaction. This is not to say that you shouldn’t have expectations – I believe that managing expectations and focusing on a few non-negotiables is key. 

I had a convo with my Dad about a year ago expressing to him what my relationship goals were and the first thing he said was, “Baby, you let him know in the first couple of dates what you’re looking for, if he does not want the same things, you need to move on quickly”.  

In Part Four I want to give you 4 fundamental aspects of dating to consider while setting the foundation to a new relationship. They’re not listed in any particular order because I think they are all equally important.

Faith

It was really shocking at first to learn that 42% of marriages in the United States are interfaith marriages. Meaning each spouse has a different faith. But then again, about 50% of marriages end in divorce. I can’t say that it’s due to interfaith, but I can guess that it’s an important factor. Your faith says a lot about what you value in life and how you present yourself to the world. In a relationship, those types of differences would for sure cause problems. 

I never seriously considered how faith affects a relationship until I got a bit older. Having a different faith to me, is less important than not having faith at all. I think it’s worth considering; especially if you want to date for marriage to understand where you are when it comes to faith and expectations of your partner. Discuss these positions early on to avoid misunderstandings later. 

Finance

Yall already know. 

Money issues are one of the top 3 causes of divorce next to incompatibility and of course infidelity. Fundamental aspects of dating have to include finances especially after 30. Bad finances are one of the most unattractive things to notice in your mate if you’re looking for someone serious. 

Of course, when loneliness sets in, we might be more open. I get it; do what helps you sleep at night. A warm body to some, means more than anything in the world and there’s nothing I could write to discount that. 

And there’s also people in relationships who just need an extra income to survive.  

But let’s be really real… the way a potential partner manages their money is super important when it comes to considering marriage, family, and inevitably death. I can recall a conversation with a friend of mine and her potential mate who asked her, “what are you going to do if I drop dead?”. It was obvious to me that he was concerned about her financial ability to hold things down on her own. This is a huge red flag for both partners. Having trust in the other person’s financial fitness is a major factor when considering marriage.  

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Food

You’d think food isn’t a big deal but listen!!…. It’s such a big deal. Millennials have become so health conscious and consider themselves to be “more focused on health than any other generation” according to USA today. Simple disagreements over food can lead to bigger arguments concerning health. I had a chat with a friend a few months ago who told me she was so turned off by a potential partner’s choice in food. She eats very cleanly and couldn’t understand why someone would put such “harmful” foods in their body.

And listen… I get it – sometimes you just want a cheeseburger, fried chicken and hot cheetos. You want to eat it without judgment! But now you have to consider what your partner will think and ultimately get the feeling of suffocation. It’s not cool.  Relationships are basically built on dinner dates; agreeing on food options are critical from the very beginning. Better to be aligned on diet; or, be willing to accept the other persons’ choices when it comes to food without constant judgment. 

Family

This could be the family already in your life or the family you hope to make. In either case, understanding how a person is connected to their family is very important. Fundamental aspects of dating for marriage must include family relationships because family is such a huge part of our lives. Whether we want to believe it or not – family in a lot of ways shape who we are as individuals and determine how we will raise our own families. 

You also want to know where you stand with having children. Do you and your partner want children or not – and your feelings around existing children and the relationships that come with that. When two people come together for marriage, they are marrying not only their partner, but essentially their partner’s family as well. Discussing family dynamics early on is crucial when considering someone for marriage. 

In Conclusion

I hope I could give you something to think about in your dating journey. These 4 fundamental aspects of dating for marriage could help you determine quickly if you’ve found the “one” or not. 

black couple

And sure, I know miracles happen. You find out that your soulmate is the complete opposite of you; and somehow you manage to spend the rest of your life together happily. It’s possible. My point is, know exactly what you want and pay attention to the signs early on. 

11 COMMENTS

  1. This was very well written and makes so much sense when it comes to identifying a life long partner. These basic fundamentals extend into many important decisions we make in our lives!

  2. That family part is so important. I’ve seen many a relationship get ruined by mothers who interfere with their child’s relationship, not setting good boundaries, and whatnot. But either way, I’d really want my partner to feel comfortable with my family during holidays, to know that my family have his back the same way they have mine. That’s what building a family community and legacy is. Great post.

  3. Yes… for me faith and family are huge and usually become deal breakers for me because they have a huge influence in most peoples lives. The food fundamental hit home for me! After Covid and gaining weight and developing a very unhealthy relationship with food this definitely puts a damper on a relationship and if not put in check I’ve seen where the partner may have to deal with being a caregiver because you’ve just lost control and discipline.

  4. This article was on point! These four areas are important to know/discuss with your partner early on in your relationship so you discover if you have more commonalities or not. Nothing will ever be perfect but when you can identify things that are fundamental to your survival in a relationship or what you can compromise on it will be key to building and sustaining a marriage.

    • Of course, perfection doesn’t exist. But being aligned on the basics is fundamental for a lasting relationship. Thank you for reading!

  5. Dads advice is golden!
    Weeding out those with opposite goals and values is key to developing discernment when choosing a partner! Kudos to dad and everyone taking that advice going forward! Great read. Lets keep it going!

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