When you're in your early 20s and in college, it feels like dating is on everyone's mind. During that stage of life, dating seems to be all about having fun, as well as figuring out who you are and what you like. But as you enter your 30s, you solidify your identity and begin to establish your career. During this stage, dating is more about finding the right fit long-term.
How's dating in your 30s different?
Dating in your 30s brings a whole new set of rules than when you dated in your 20s:
- Time is important. Being an adult is demanding, and life is busy. That's why time is so precious. You don't have time to waste on dead-end dates. Choose quality over quantity when it comes to scheduling dates.
- Dealbreakers are real. In your 20s, you were still figuring out what you wanted in life. But, in your 30s, you have a better sense of what you want, including what you will and won't tolerate. If your goals and values aren't in line with your date, you should give them the boot.
- Things get more serious. As you age, you're looking to settle down with someone long-term rather than casually date. Things tend to take on a more serious tone.
- You know the ropes. You've dated enough people by now to know if they're too slick and not actually charming.
- Dating apps change everything. You no longer have to meet people at parties, bars, through friends, or at social events. You can now find people and schedule dates using dating apps like Tinder and Hinge.
Here's what you should know about dating in your 30s
In your 30s, your lifestyle shifts to a more settled routine, and you may feel more comfortable in your skin. Having kissed a few frogs by now, you probably have an idea of what you're looking for in a relationship. Some expert tips for dating in your 30s (and beyond) include:
- Treat dating like making friends. You've had platonic relationships in the past, and dating is no different. Essentially, you're trying to see if you click with someone personality-wise. Plus, the person you date needs to be one of your best friends.
- Learn from your mistakes and others. By now, you've most likely been in a few relationships as have your friends. Learn from both your and their mistakes. What looks awful? What do you wish you had? What could you do differently this time around?
- Don't put your eggs in one basket. While you're going for quality over quantity, you still want to date around a bit until you find someone who treats you well and whose company you enjoy.
- Don't get too excited. While it is fun and exciting going on dates, don't put too much weight on a potential partner. You still need to evaluate them, keep your eyes out for red flags and dealbreakers, and see if you have chemistry.
Go out there and get 'em
In a nutshell, dating in your 30s is all about dating more seriously, seeing if the other person fits in with your lifestyle and values and if you click on emotional and intellectual levels. Whatever you do, never settle for less than you deserve.