Are you dating in your 30s as a woman? Dating experiences are always unpredictable but the search for the right partner comes with its own set of challenges as you enter a new decade in life. For instance, when you talk about dating in your 20s vs 30s, the younger you are, the more casually you may handle your dating experiences. However, dating at 30 as a woman can take a different turn.
And as you navigate this turn, we are here to help you, 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.
Is Dating Harder In Your 30s?
Let us first look at the story of a Reddit user. She writes, “Personally, I think my dating life became much more interesting when I was 31. Before that, I didn’t really know what I wanted and selected a potential partner for the wrong reasons whilst at the same time I myself wasn’t mature enough to be a good partner. Regardless, I met my current SO when I was 34.”
Now, dating in your 30s is not harder but comes with its own set of challenges. Before we discuss dating tips and how to overcome the challenges that come with crossing the threshold of 30, let us find out why these challenges arise in the first place. For instance, some of the women dating in their 30s that I know have already gone through a painful divorce.
On this, Pooja says, “Staying in an unhappy marriage can lead to debilitating anxiety and depression. Divorce is taboo but there is nothing shameful about it. It shows you are courageous enough to face the facts of a relationship and call it quits, this must be a matter of pride rather than shame.” Some of the other challenges you may face when dating in your 30s as a woman are:
- You start comparing yourself to your married friends
- Your family pressurizes you to meet new people get married
- If children have been a part of your life plan, the reality of the ticking biological clock begins to weigh on your mind and you may experience anxiety about when you will have kids
- Your heart may have been broken in the past, which can make it difficult to trust and let go of your insecurities Your career may be your priority, and navigating the pressures of your professional life may leave little time to pursue romantic interests
- By the time you reach 30, you learn to prioritize yourself and focus on self-care, which can influence the time and attention you can dedicate to nurturing a romantic connection
With any one or a combination of these factors at play, dating in your 30s as a woman is no cakewalk. Your perspective on love and relationships, too, grows and evolves as you age, which may leave you wondering, why is it so hard to get a date or find a meaningful connection in your 30s. But worry not, because we are here with the ultimate tips for falling in love in your 30s. Read on!
Related Reading: 11 Signs You Are Not Ready For A Relationship
15 Important Tips For Dating In Your 30s As A Woman
Talking about dating in her thirties, a Reddit user says, “I have kids, most of the people I want to date/want to date me, have kids. We all have careers and responsibilities. It’s difficult to make the time, which makes it hard to get a relationship off the ground. But I do find that there is less bullshit. Less game playing. And at least for me, already having been married once and having kids, there is less pressure to get serious and settle. We can just enjoy each other’s company and take things at a reasonable pace.”
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 letting these pressures bog you down. If you’re struggling with dating, here are a few tips so that you can find the true love that you deserve:
1. Become more self-aware
Just because you are dating at 30 does not mean you need to look only for commitment and marriage. If you have no desire to marry or get into a long-term relationship, you can date casually as well and have a great time while doing it. But for that, you need to decide what you want.
According to a 2023 survey from the dating app Plenty of Fish, single people are more focused on showing up as their best selves, working on their self-awareness, and thereby, making dating a better experience. In this survey, it was found:
- 60% of singles were invested in improving themselves for their romantic relationships in the future
- 93% of singles believed that the efforts they made on self-awareness would enhance their chances of finding their true love
2. Never let the age factor get to you
Maybe you never found the right partner in your 20s. Maybe your friends and peers are already in committed relationships or marriages while you are still single, footloose, and carefree. But there’s no need to lose sleep over thoughts like:
- “I am 32 and single. Should I be worried?”
- “Will I find the right partner?”
- “Am I commitment-phobic?”
- “Why is it so hard to find someone to date?
- “Am I too old for love?”
No, you’re not too old to date or find love. Your confidence and age will be attractive to the ones who know how to appreciate you. The others aren’t worth your time. So, if you’re wondering how to date in your 30s, here are a few dating tips:
- When you are dating in your thirties, wear your age as a badge of honor
- Be proud of your life experiences, maturity, and successes
- Do not hide your age in your online dating profiles, especially if you are dating post 35
- Do not compare yourself to younger women in the dating pool
- Know that there are still plenty of options available to you as long as you don’t limit your dating experience based on your age
Related Reading: Age Difference In Relationships – Does Age Gap Really Matter?
3. Be yourself while meeting prospects
If you are dating for the first time in your 30s after a long spell of singledom, likely, some unhealthy relationships in the past or a bad breakup might have made you wary of dating. It is natural to be a bit apprehensive in such situations. As you try to figure out how to start dating again in your 30s, you might wonder if the rules of dating or expectations from prospective partners have changed.
Now hear us out when we say this. The biggest mistake you can make while going out on a date is to pretend to be someone you are not. Know your self-worth. 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 is plenty of fish in the sea. Sooner or later, you will meet someone who will appreciate and cherish you as you are.
4. Never rush it
Is dating easier in your 30s? According to society, not really. There is a misconception that your chances of finding love after 30 are rather limited since there won’t be enough prospective partners. And the fear that you may not find your dream partner may lead you to make the mistake of rushing into relationships. You may worry, “How to find a boyfriend fast? How to meet the right person? How to find a husband fast?”
Now, let us tell you why you shouldn’t rush into a relationship. When you don’t take the time to build and nurture a romantic connection, the foundation of the relationship tends to be weak. From insecurities to trust issues, or just the realization that you’re not compatible with your partner may take hold in such a connection, causing it to come undone. That’s why it’s important to 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
It’s okay for you to be dating someone who is over 50 or under 30. Your reasons to seek companionship or the traits you seek in a prospective partner should not change – any relationship should be based on mutual respect, compatibility, and connection. So whether you’re getting back into dating at 38 or just started dating at 32, keep an open mind to increase your chances of falling in love.
Pooja says, “If you find someone, feel a real connection with them, and see a future for your relationship, you have to prepare yourself to deal with any challenges that may come your way. This person may bring their emotional baggage to the relationship, especially if they’re older, and you need to develop empathy in the relationship to be able to deal with it. 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
Remember, even the smallest of challenges can seem daunting when you allow the experiences of the past to loom large over your present. You may decide to never date again or feel like giving up on love at 30. Perhaps, you spend too much time wondering why it is so hard to get a date after 30.
If you look closely, you may discover that all of these apprehensions and fears may have nothing to do with your age and could be stemming from unhealed emotional wounds of the past. If you have not been successful in building enduring relationships in your 20s, it does not mean that those patterns will repeat in your 30s too. Every relationship, every chapter in your life is different. So, our advice to 30-year-olds is to work through the emotional baggage and process the pain you’ve been carrying so that you can truly turn over a new leaf.
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. Whether you’re getting back to the dating scene at 31, 35, or 38, be open, be vulnerable, and be frank. Here are a few communication tips that can help you in your dating journey:
- Ask your date or your potential partner open-ended questions. For example, instead of asking yes or no questions like “Did you like the lasagna?” try asking more open-ended questions like, “How was the lasagna?”
- Be present in the moment. Try not to daydream or think about something else when your date is talking to you
- Try to understand and express your own needs or expectations to your date or potential partner. For instance, you could say: “I would like to watch a movie at home together, instead of going out today. I want your care and the comfort of home after such a long tiring day.”
- Appreciate your partner and let them know you’re genuinely interested in their life. A good example of this would be, “That sounds great. I’m so happy for you! Tell me more about it, I’d love to know.”
8. Be careful of your finances
Are you wondering why strong successful women have a hard time with love? Whether you’re a 31-year-old single woman or in your late 30s, one of the pitfalls you have to navigate in your dating journey relates to money. Often women in their 30s are well-established in their careers. Their professional success can often intimidate potential partners, especially younger men. Besides, there is a risk of someone being in the relationship just for money. To be able to navigate this challenge, here are a few things to keep in mind:
- Try not to let a potential partner exploit your vulnerability for financial gain
- Keep track of who picks up the tabs when you go out – if it’s always you, that’s a clear red flag
- Check if your partner’s conversations veer around your position or money often
- Understand your partner’s career goals and where they stand in their profession before you take your relationship to the next level
Pooja advises, “Financial security is crucial in life, and if a romantic interest or partner is going through a crunch, it can become one of the major problems for women dating in their 30s. If their situation is going to affect your current financial situation adversely, it is a good idea to talk clearly about it. Of course, lack of money can often become the main grouse in a long-term relationship too. So, you need to handle this situation with the sensitivity it requires.”
Related Reading: What Is Financial Infidelity And How To Recognize It
9. Enjoy your power
It might sound strange but there is a dating power shift in the 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, and the stronger your personality becomes.
Navigating the dating world in your 30s means you are dating 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.
10. Learn to use dating apps well
How to meet a guy in your 30s? Is dating easier in your 30s? Or is 30 too late to find love? Understandably, questions like these can weigh on your mind as you navigate your dating experiences or figure out how to start dating again in your 30. Thanks to dating apps, your prospects of finding love in your 30s are no longer bleak.
A 2019 study by the Pew Research Center found that 38% of 30- to 49-year-olds have tried online dating. If you’re not part of this 38%, there is no time like the present to embrace online dating and dip your toes in a far wider dating pool. Online dating can truly be a blessing if you are wondering how to meet a guy in your 30s, or asking yourself, “Why is it so hard to find someone to date?”
Related Reading: 10 Online Dating Red Flags That Should Not Be Ignored
11. Do not be biased toward divorcees
As per the most recent data, the divorce rate in the US continues to hover around 50%. So, it is not improbable that a potential partner or a romantic interest may have a marriage or two behind them. Don’t shut out the possibility of a relationship, just because you’re skeptical about dating a divorcee with a kid in your 30s.
A person’s failed marriage is necessarily an indication of a person’s inability to commit or sustain a relationship. Pooja says, “A relationship can end at any time and there can be a host of reasons behind it. Don’t hold a person’s past against them. Maintaining a relationship is a two-way process. You can only do your 50%. As long as the other person is prepared to meet you halfway, there is no reason why you can’t make it work.
“That said, such a relationship can come with its own set of complications and challenges. For instance, if your partner has children from their previous relationship, you may have to learn to deal with the co-parenting space they share with their ex. Likewise, if you’re dating a separated man, the possibility of a reconciliation between him and his wife cannot be ruled out. Open, honest, and frank communication is the only way to deal with these complexities.”
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 reflects in your sexual experiences as well. Sexually, the 30s should be liberating because you are so much in control of your body and your inner self. Own it.
However, even if you are not too sexually experienced, don’t let it be a deterrent as you start dating in your 30s. Let go of your inhibitions and be in control of not just your emotions but also your body.
13. Do not settle
How to find a boyfriend fast? How to meet the right person? How to find a husband fast? If you find yourself pondering over these questions often, the odds of finding love at 30 are weighing on your mind. All of these questions can lead to uncertainty and self-doubt. As a result, you may find yourself rushing into a relationship you aren’t truly invested in. 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. Here are a few things to remember on how to date in your 30s:
- Never compromise on what you want from a relationship
- You don’t have to date someone if you are not fully into them
- Life is too short to waste time, energy, and emotions on someone you are not sure about
- Don’t let the pressure of being single in your 30s lead you to make the wrong decisions
Related Reading: 11 Warning Signs That You’re Settling For Less In Your Relationships
14. Be realistic
While it is perfectly all right to experiment with your dating preferences in your 30s, there is a flip side to it too – you may become too rigid and fixated on your idea of an ideal partner. But just as you should not compromise and settle for someone who doesn’t feel right, you shouldn’t let unrealistic expectations come in the way of finding love and starting a beautiful new chapter of life.
Regardless of age, people you meet have their own quirks, expectations, and challenges, so try not to seek perfection in the people you date. They won’t be perfect, just the way you are not. Just because you have waited so long for the right person to come alone does not mean that you have to up your standards so high that they are impossible to meet. Have standards for sure, but keep them realistic.
15. Trust your instincts
What is it like dating in your 20s vs 30s? As surprising as it may sound, dating in your 30s as a woman can be better than dating in your 20s because you become more attuned to your instincts and intuition with age. Here are a few areas where your instincts can help you make the right decision if you listen to your gut feeling:
- Whether you want to go on a second date with someone and where
- If your relationship feels toxic and you have to pretend to be a different person around your partner
- Taking the relationship to the next level with someone you’ve been dating
- Red flags on the first date or at any point in your dating journey
- Worrying about your emotional, physical, or financial safety around a person you have been dating
So listen to your inner voice intently, and 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 exciting decade.
- Don’t overthink about the odds of finding love after your 30s; just go with the flow, take it slow, and enjoy the power shift in dating
- Be clear about your expectations and protect yourself emotionally and financially when dating in your 30s as a woman
- Don’t rush into a relationship just because you’re approaching a certain age milestone
- Become a pro at swiping on dating sites and apps and don’t be prejudiced against divorcees
- Always trust your gut because your instincts will never lead you astray
Being a thirty-something woman looking for a dream partner can be a fun and exhilarating ride. So instead of limiting your desires and needs, go out there and enjoy your dating adventures to the fullest. Whether you want a fling, a serious relationship, or ‘the one’, your experiences are going to be memorable and you’ll be glad you took a chance.
Not necessarily. Being single in your 30s is just different from what it used to be in your 20s. You are financially independent, more self-aware, and may have different priorities. All of these factors play a role in determining your dating prospects.