Are you dating in your 30s as a woman? There is no dearth of people who are in their 30s and not married. Selena Gomez is one of them. Dating experiences are always unpredictable but the search for Mr. Right comes with its own set of challenges as you enter a new decade in life. For instance, in your high school and 20s, dating may be all about fun and games even as you focus on building your professional life. However, dating in your 30s as a woman might take a slightly more serious turn.
Is there a dating power shift in 30s? Needless to say, there are no set rules or regulations when it comes to matters of the heart but the fact is that being single in your 30s often brings a different perspective to relationships than when you were younger. There are some women who are 30, single and depressed while others look at the third decade of their life as an opportunity to explore a new dimension to their love lives.
We’re here to guide you on the journey of dating in your 30s as a woman, with a lowdown on the potential challenges you need to brace for, in consultation with emotional wellness and mindfulness coach Pooja Priyamvada (certified in Psychological and Mental Health First Aid from Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and the University of Sydney), who specializes in counseling for extramarital affairs, breakups, separation, grief and loss, to name a few.
Is 30 too late to find love? In a nutshell, it’s all about perspective and while some aspects of dating in your 30s as a woman can be frustrating and overwhelming, there is also a lot of fun to be had in this journey! Read on to find why…
Is Dating Harder In Your 30s?
Dating in your 30s is not harder but comes with little challenges of its own. This can be due to your own rising expectations, past experiences and preconceived notions of yourself and those you seek to date. It might also be a bit of a challenge to find single and available men of your choice in your 30s unless they too, like you, have not found ‘the one’ yet.
Some of the women dating in their 30s that I know have already gone through a painful divorce. Maybe you just got out of an unhappy marriage and are trying to get back to the dating game. Wondering if you made the right decision? Pooja points out, “Staying in an unhappy marriage can lead to debilitating anxiety and depression. Divorce is a taboo but there is nothing shameful about it. It shows you are a courageous person to face the facts of a relationship and call it quits, this must be a matter of pride rather than shame.” Some challenges that come along when you are dating in your 30s as a woman:
- You start comparing yourself to your married friends
- Your family starts putting pressure on you
- You go through anxiety of body clock and when you will have kids
- You heart has been broken so many times that it becomes difficult to trust
- You feel like giving your career a priority and dating seems like a waste of time
- Your focus is on solidifying your wish list (spiritual/ material) and taking care of your health
So, dating in your 30s as a woman is no cakewalk. You are not a rebellious teenager anymore, with raging hormones. The meaning of love has changed for you, as compared to what it meant to you a decade ago. How to find love like that? Where do you start? Here are some tips for dating in your 30s as a woman:
15 Important Tips For Dating In Your 30s As A Woman
Age may be just a number but entering your 30s can evoke mixed feelings, especially if you are still single and ready to mingle. Given the societal pressure and prevalent stereotypes, the life of a single, 30-something woman can be hard. The key to embracing dating at this stage of life is not to let these pressures bog you down.
By their 30s, most women are settled in their career path and it is the decade to grow, expand your network and enjoy new experiences. With your career taking center stage, relationships can be tricky to negotiate especially if you don’t meet your ideal match. Here are a few tips to ace dating in your 30s as woman so that you can find the true love that you deserve.
Related Reading: 11 Signs You Are Not Ready For A Relationship
1. Become more self-aware
Though there is no format or guide to dating as a grown-ass woman but knowing yourself can be the starting point of your journey. In fact, it is more important to know yourself than to know the man you dream of dating. What is it exactly that you want from a relationship?
Just because you hit 30 does NOT mean you need to only look for commitment and marriage. You can date casually as well and have a great time while doing it. But for that, you need to decide what you want. This will help you seek the person who will treat your right. In a nutshell, you be in control and direct your life!
2. Never let the age factor get to you
Maybe you never found the right one in your 20s. Maybe your friends and peers are already in committed relationships or marriages while you are still single, footloose and fancy-free. But please don’t join the club of worriers who may go, “I am 32 and single. Should I be worried?” “Will I find the right man?” “Am I commitment-phobic?”…so on and so forth.
Even if you are dating as a woman over 30, wear your age like a badge of honor. Be proud of your life experiences, maturity and successes. Don’t hide your age in your Tinder or Bumble profile, especially if you are dating post 35. Your confidence will be attractive to men who know how to appreciate a good woman. The others aren’t worth your time.
3. Be yourself while meeting prospects
If you are dating for the first time in your 30s after a long spell of singledom, some bad relationship experiences in the past or because a bad breakup has left you wary of dating, it is natural to be a bit apprehensive. You might wonder if the rules of dating or expectations from prospective partners have changed.
Relax. The biggest mistake you can make while going out on a date is to pretend to be someone you are not. Do not try to ‘act’ young or be conscious about entering the dating ring after a lull. Just be yourself – whether serious, funny, extroverted or introverted, show your real persona. If they like you for what you are, that’s great. If not, there are other fish in the sea.
4. Never rush it
There is a silly misconception in society that your chances of finding love after 30 are rather limited since there won’t be enough men who are also single and available. The fear that you may not find your dream man may lead you to make the mistake of rushing into relationships.
Never do that. You might be asked that annoying question – Why are you still single? But play it cool and never show you are too eager to start dating. Take your time building a bond with someone you meet. Navigating the dating world in your 30s certainly does not mean you compromise on any aspect.
Related Reading: 21 Dos And Don’ts When Starting A New Relationship
5. Don’t be stuck up on your partner’s age
Sometimes the irony of dating in your 30s as a woman is that you become an ageist yourself. Subconsciously, you might be either looking for a younger man or an older man, depending on the context and where you are in life.
Our advice is: do not restrict yourself to any age range. It’s okay for you to be dating men over 50 as well as someone who is much younger than you are. Even if you are dating for the first time in your 30s, your reasons to seek companionship or criteria should not change – it should be based on mutual respect, compatibility and connection. So keep an open mind and increase your chances of falling in love. Don’t write off anyone.
If you are with someone older, there is a huge possibility that they are still processing their failed marriage. For such cases, Pooja says, “If you are both serious here and see a future for your relationship, then you need to give him time to process his failed marriage. This might need lots of emotional support from you as a partner and sometimes also professional loss and breakup counseling. If his emotional baggage is affecting you too, then you might also require help and guidance.
“The key challenge is to develop empathy for this man who has probably loved another woman as deeply and as intensely as he loves you, maybe even more. Will your ego be magnanimous enough to hold space for this?” Also, he might have had a complex relationship with this estranged spouse – they could have kids together, they could have been business partners/colleagues. Can you handle their space in his life maturely and with grace? You have to be prepared for putting in greater emotional effort when you’re dating in your late 30s as a woman.”
6. Don’t let the past bother you
POV: You’re in your 30s. Challenges arise when you allow the experiences of the past to loom large over your present. If you have not been successful in forming great relationships in your 20s, it does not mean that you will continue the pattern in your 30s too.
Each relationship, every chapter in your life is different so make a new start each time. By allowing the shadows of the past to hamper your present you are only making it more difficult for you.
7. Learn to communicate openly
When you are dating in your 30s as a woman, you need to be a tad bit careful about how much you reveal about yourself, how you present yourself and how you lay down the ground rules of dating. Be open, be vulnerable and be frank.
When you do find a person you connect with, have open conversations about your expectations from the relationship and be upfront about what you bring into it. You don’t need to do that on the first date of course but definitely give and get more clarity if you find it might lead to something more serious.
When dating in your 30s as a woman, if you find someone with a lot of emotional baggage, it could be that you are a rebound for them. Pooja categorizes rebound relationships into 5 stages: pre-rebound, honeymoon, conflicts and reality, nostalgia and comparison, and the epiphany. And non-rebound relationships go through three: lust, attraction/obsessive love, and attachment.
She says, “These signs make it easier to understand what kind of partnership you can expect while dating. If it seems like a rebound relationship to you, ask him to take it slow and give him the space and time to recover from the previous relationship.”
8. Be careful of your finances
Dating in your 30s as a woman has its pitfalls and one of them relates to money. Often women in their 30s are well-established in their careers and arguably, their professional success can intimidate potential daters, especially younger men. Plus this gives rise to another danger – men who want to date you for money. So, the dating power flip at 30 comes at a cost.
Never let your vulnerability about love and relationships be taken advantage of, especially financially. Keep a tab on who’s picking up the tabs when you go out. Check if his conversations veer around your position or money often. More importantly, find out where he stands in his career before you take your relationship to another level.
How to deal with the power shift in dating? Pooja articulates, “Financial security is crucial in life, and if he is going through a crunch, it can become one of the major problems for women dating in their 30s. If his situation is going to affect your current financial situation adversely, it is a good idea to talk clearly about it.
“Plan your money well, maybe curtail extra expenditures and support him as much as you can. Of course, lack of money can often become the main grouse in a relationship too. So, try to avoid falling into that pit and try to stay afloat amidst the crunch.”
9. Enjoy your power
It might sound strange but there is a dating power shift in 30s. When you are younger, you are probably more inexperienced and might be more willing to adjust to suit your partner’s ways. However, the older you get, the more you evolve, the stronger your personality becomes.
Navigating the dating world in your 30s means you are dating a man from a position of power. Enjoy this dating power flip at 30. Embrace your life experiences and bring them to the dating table. There is nothing more attractive than a self-assured powerful woman who doesn’t hesitate to play the game!
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10. Learn to use dating apps well
Is 30 too late to find love? No, thanks to dating apps. Honestly, this is a blessing for women who are looking for a date and fail to crack the relationship game. Being single in your 30s should not be a problem at all if you know how to work your way around dating apps.
Are dating apps the right place if you are in your 30s? Some might find it rather tedious or unromantic, or perhaps, your past experiences have put you off the idea of dating apps. But in this tech era, these apps are your best bet at meeting prospective romantic interests. Find one that aligns best with your dating goals and embrace online dating with an open mind.
11. Do not be biased toward divorcees
With marriages going awry these days more often than before, you can find several people in their 30s and 40s who have been divorced and are now looking to make a fresh start. It is not improbable that a potential partner may have a marriage or two behind them.
Don’t let that make you biased. A person’s failed marriage is not an indication of his ability to commit later. Of course, if you intend to take it further, it would be worthwhile to do a background check but do not have any preconceived notions right from the beginning.
So, dating in your late 30s as a woman could even mean dating a separated man, going through a divorce. According to Pooja, “Maintaining any relationship is a two-way process. You can only do your 50%. Never speak ill of his ex-wife to him or anywhere. Respect their years together. If they have kids, respect their co-parenting space. He could miss her on their special days, that’s natural. Do not hold it against him or her.”
Pooja says, “Any relationship can end anytime. Yes, when you are dating a separated man there is a possibility of him wanting to go back. You need to discuss this openly with him. Is there a space for reconciliation? Your preparation for such an exigency shall depend on his response. A relationship must never be codependent. You both must be together because you want to. Always be prepared for impermanence though.”
12. Do not let your sexual experiences define you
With age comes experience, with experience comes maturity and with maturity comes a certain lack of inhibition. This should be reflected in your sexual endeavors as well. Sexually, the 30s should be liberating because you are so much in control of your body and your inner self.
However, even if you are not too sexually experienced, it should not be a deterrent as you start dating in your 30s. Let go of any inhibitions you may have had earlier and be in control of not just your emotions but also your body. Your dating experiences would be the best you have ever had.
13. Become more demanding
Thinking about the odds of finding love after 30? Don’t. You deserve the best, always remember that. Your age should not be an excuse to just ‘settle’ for someone or for rushing into a relationship, even if you are nearing the end of your 30s. Never compromise on what you want from a relationship. Also, never ever date someone if you are not fully into them.
Life is short and you really don’t want to waste time, energy and emotions with someone you are not really convinced about. Don’t let the pressure of dating lead you to make wrong decisions especially when you are single in your 30s.
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14. Be realistic
While it is perfectly alright to go for the best and experiment with your dating preferences in your 30s, there is a flip side to it too – you may tend to become a bit rigid. But just because you should not compromise does not mean that you become unrealistic..
Regardless of the age, people you meet have their own quirks, expectations and challenges, so try not to seek perfection in the man you date. They won’t be perfect, just the way you are not. Just because you feel that love may be coming in ‘late’ in your life does not mean that you have to up your standards so high that they are impossible to meet. Have standards for sure but be grounded as well.
15. Trust your instincts
It may sound surprising but dating in your 30s as a woman can be better than dating in your 20s because you are attuned to your instincts and intuition more than when you were younger. You learn to pay attention to the dating red flags because your experiences have taught you to be wary (you don’t want to risk another heartbreak, do you?).
So listen to your inner voice intently, watch out for the red flags and inner nudges. It will be your best guide as you set out to seek love and relationships in this new exciting decade. So while friends, articles, dating apps and other things might help you, your best bet is your own heart and instincts.
- Don’t think about the odds of finding love after 30s; just just go with the flow, take it slow and enjoy the power shift in dating
- Be clear about your expectations and careful about your finances when dating in your 30s as a woman
- Become a pro at swiping on dating apps and don’t develop a prejudice against divorcees
- Even if you are not sexually experienced, don’t let that hold you back
- Become a pro at swiping on dating apps and don’t develop a prejudice against divorcees
- Always trust your gut because your instincts will never lead you astray
Being a thirty-something who is on the lookout for a dream partner can be a fun, exhilarating ride. It doesn’t matter which side of the decade you are on, the one factor that you can be sure of is that dating only gets better and more interesting as the years go by. You may or may not land the perfect man who will be your partner for the rest of your life but the journey and experiences are certainly going to be very memorable.
Not necessarily. Being single in your 30s is just different from what it used to be in your 20s. People don’t call you single; they call you “unmarried”. But on the brighter side, you are financially independent. You can do whatever what you want, including making your career your priority.