Is There Really A Difference Between Dating In Your 30s vs Dating In Your 20s
I still have single friends and after a night out together and sharing our latest stories/happenings I realized that the dating game absolutely changes as you get older. Dating in your 20s is not the same as dating in your 30s.
A few my friends who were definitely carefree and wild in their 20s are now seeing that dating in their 30s is more of a purposeful search for a life partner.
And though I’m no longer part of the dating scene I’ve learned a few things second hand from both girlfriends and guyfriends on what’s changed.
In Your 20s:
It’s More Superficial:
I remember going to get ready for clubbing on a night out and analyzing ever single thing about my outfit, my hair and my makeup. Clubs are actually really gross and sweaty places. By the end of the night I looked like a train wreck but that didn’t really matter because I needed to look perfect. I mean, you never know who you’ll meet on a night out. (I met no one worth mentioning BTW). I found that a lot of relationships during this time in life are built on what the other person brings to the table. How good someone looks, what career they’re studying for or just starting. These are great things to consider but in your 30s you realize that a persons character holds a lot more weight.
It’s Aimless But Full Of Learning Experiences:
A lot of people view their 20s as a time to explore and find out their preferences. Very few people feel ready to make a long term, marriage type relationship when they’re dating in their 20s. It’s a period where where you date assh*les and b*tches, then learn that dating assh*oles and b*tches are a waste of time. You also learn your sexual preferences and desires, then realize that these things are non negotiable and an essential part of any loving and meaningful relationship.
Most 20 year olds are insecure. Often about different things, your looks, your career, where you fit in the scheme of things. It’s such a strange time in your life. You literally just finished being a child from 10-20 years old and now you’re expected to have it all figured out when you’re 20-30 with what career you have, who you’re dating and how you fit into the world. In my 20s, I felt like I was playing a role, a role of who I thought a 20yr old version of me would be. All my relationship problems circled around my partner helping me feel more secure and validating me and fitting into the role I thought he should be playing. Or me trying to fit into someone else’s role. It wasn’t really healthy.
You’re At The Peak Of Your Youth:
I remember being 25, looking at myself in the mirror and thinking “It’s going downhill from here.” I was at the peak of my beauty/youth and no matter how I tried to chase it, I’m only getting older. I was so used to rolling out of bed and just throwing on some lipgloss and eyeliner and being ready to go. At 29, I feel more confident in my looks but can’t help but notice the circles under my eyes that don’t go away or the way my eyes crinkle when I smile. Not to say that only 20-25 year olds can be considered attractive, older women and men can still be attractive, but there’s something about being that age that just gave me more energy and life. I guess it was also about attitude. When your whole life is in front of you, there’s so much optimism. As a 29 year old, I have a better idea of how the world works and I’m not misguided with my ideals.
In Your 30s
After one too many meaningless hookups or going nowhere relationships, you realize that the superficial doesn’t really make you happy. You want a connection, someone to come home to at the end of the day, someone who shares the same interest and, hopefully, someone to build a family with. You want someone with character who treats everyone respectfully and stands up for the people around them.
I think women really start looking for a life partner closer to 25-30 while men start looking around 30-35. As we get older we realize that life is too short to spend with people who are short lived in your life. I realized happiness was with the people around me not with how many people I had around me. This became an important life lesson that relationships and friendships needed a purpose for being there and that you needed to be able to give value to their lives too. In essence, relationships are a two way street and a one way relationship, either on your part and on the other persons part, is going to be a waste of time.
You Know What You Want:
After all the mishaps and mistakes, you finally know what you’re looking for. Each breakup, each unrequited love, each disappointment has brought you closer to the truth of what you need in your life. What a relief it is to finally know that your previous relationships weren’t in vain but were more of a stepping stone for where you need to be. You’re less likely to settle or jump into a relationship just because you can. You’re more likely to pursue compatibility and look towards the long term future of your partners.
I’m so independent now. I’m settled into my career, don’t need any help financially, my debt is nearly settled and I have a 401k. I’m able to eat a meal in public by myself without feeling weird and am able to stay home on a Friday night without feeling bad about it. I can get to where I need to go without asking for a ride and feel much more in control of my life. I think 30s is when you start REALLY feeling like an adult capable of holding your own and it feels amazing being able to confidently manage my own life. I really stopped relying on other people to make me happy and started focusing on making happiness a choice and owning that choice. This helps you bring more to a relationship where you’re not looking for someone else to fill the void either financially or spiritually. It makes you more of a catch when you’ve let go of your baggage and hangups. I like to think of it like two wholes coming together.
So, do you think dating in your 20s is harder, or dating in your 30s? Let me know how you’ve changed between 20s and 30s in your relationship. Feel free to like, follow, share or comment if you felt this post was useful. 🙂
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