Navigating Single Life & Dating In The Modern World

Dating In Your 30s – Why It’s Different

Dating In Your 30s – Why It’s Different

If you’re dating in your 30s, then you’ll know it often feels like a completely different kettle of fish. You’re not alone, either… research shows that here in the UK, we’re settling down with a partner at a much older age than in previous generations.

Dating in your 20s might have been full of reckless abandon, but things definitely shift as you start to get a little bit older.

That doesn’t have to be a bad thing. But it’s important to know what you can expect, and how your own desires, needs, and behaviours are likely to change. Here’s why dating in your 30s is totally different…

You know your own mind and exactly what you want

By now, you’ve got a stronger sense of self, and you have no doubts about what it really is that you’re looking for. You’re less likely to be willing to compromise, and you won’t waste your time on things that you know won’t ultimately give you what you want. Whilst your 2os were about experimenting, you don’t feel like you have to try new things anymore.

Depending on how you look at it, this can be a good thing or a bad thing. It means that you’re less likely to waste your time, or go down a path that will lead to nowhere. But do be mindful of becoming so stuck in your ways that you miss out on potentially meaningful experiences. Every now and again, step back and consider whether you might be a little too stuck in your ways.

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Your dates are likely to have more ‘baggage’

This might not be the most comfortable thing to discuss, but if you’re dating in your 30s, you’re likely to know that this is true. The people you meet are likely to have several failed relationships under the belts. They might be divorced, and they might also have children. Of course, these things can really change the dynamic of any developing relationship.

Remember though that you have a past too, and it doesn’t necessarily have to define who you are. If someone having a child is a deal breaker for you, then that’s completely fine. But you do need to be aware that this is often the reality of dating in your 30s, and you might be really narrowing down your options.

You’re less willing to just ‘see how things go’

If you’re not sure about someone when you’re in your 20s, you’re often willing to continue to go on a few dates and see how things work out. You’re in no rush, and getting into a committed relationship isn’t your key priority.

As you get a little older though, you’re more conscious of wasting your time. You know what you ultimately want – whether that be cohabiting, marriage, kids, or something else – and you’ve come to recognise that if something has little potential to go in that direction, then there’s no point in pursuing it. Doing this doesn’t mean you’re ruthless or cold. It just means that you won’t compromise on the life that you want.

You realise that you need to put yourself in the driving seat

When you’re younger, you’re happy to just see how things go when it comes to dating. You might meet someone in a bar who takes your fancy, or you might decide that you’ll casually sign up to a few dating apps to see what all the fuss is about.

In your 30s, you often get much more proactive. You use dating apps not just to see what all the fuss is about, but because you’ve got a free night next week, and you want to go on a date with someone who could be your future partner. You stop waiting for things to fall into place, and you start making things happen.

Dating in your 30s can seem much more serious, but never forget that it should always be fun and rewarding. It’s what you make it, and a positive mindset can really go a long way.



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