Like most women in their thirties, you’ve probably focused more on building your career than having a love life. And congratulations to you on getting that bag. The only problem is that you’re 30 and figuring out how to meet a decent partner by swiping left or right on your phone.
Dating, especially as you get older can seem as complicated as your high school chemistry class. Yet with certain mindset shifts dating in your 30s can be fun and rewarding.
If you’re looking to jump back into the dating scene but are feeling a little overwhelmed, here are 4 hacks to dating in your 30s.
Misconceptions of dating
Dating after a divorce, a long-term relationship breakup, or even after a long period of being single can feel overwhelming. Society tricks women into thinking their value goes down as they age. Yet women are like fine wine, they get better with time. Laurel House one of eharmony‘s relationship experts suggests dating again as a more informed, aware, realistic, and evolved version of yourself. “You don’t have baggage, you have experience,” House says. “And experience is a good thing.”
In order to bring the best version of yourself on your next date, here are some false beliefs to rinse from your mind.
The belief that all the good ones are taken: If most of your friends are married or coupled up, it can feel like there are no options left. Yet the reality is that there are billions of people on this planet, which means you have a wide range of possibilities. House states that the best are available in their 30s. This is because people in their 30s are more confident with who they are. They’ve evolved and grown and know what they are looking for in a relationship.
The belief that dating in your 30s is hard: In all honesty, dating in your 30s is different than dating in your 20s. But when you label it as hard, difficult, or impossible then that’s what it becomes. Dating after 29 might feel harder because your options went from dating someone that goes to your college, to going out with someone who lives across town. Plus you often have to schedule dates in between work and other obligations. But if you want to make it work, then you will. Dating in your 30s means being a little more creative to help things come together.
The belief that it’s too late for you: As stated in Mind Body Green, love has no timeline. Sometimes people marry high school sweethearts and others find love at 36 and later. If the love is true it’ll find you when you’re heart is ready, not when you reach a certain age.
How to hack dating in your 30s
With your mind clear, you are ready to get on the dating scene, and here’s how to make the process fun and easy.
Be clear on what you want and why you want it
Most people date because they want a relationship. But have you asked yourself why you want a relationship? Are you feeling lonely, or are you trying to prove something to friends and family? Why are you choosing to give up your time and energy to meet potential suitors?
Keep in mind dating doesn’t have to be a one-way street to finding the one. Dating can also be a way to meet new people, step outside of your comfort zone and have some fun.
To start figuring out what you want, think about your values. House suggests taking a deep look at yourself and asking yourself questions such as
- What’s most important to you?
- Where do you stand when it comes to priorities in life?
- What do you stand for?
- What are the values that you will not budge on?
Next, you want to set boundaries. Setting boundaries before you start dating and while you’re dating can help you get the most out of your experience. BetterHelp.com defines boundaries as limitations that are set to prevent other people from engaging with you in a certain way. It’s a way to stop toxic relationships before they happen. Setting boundaries can start by simply saying no to things you’re not comfortable with. BetterHelp also suggests using “ I” statements to better communicate a boundary. For instance, you can say “ I don’t feel comfortable when you make certain jokes.”
Lastly, be honest with yourself. House suggests asking yourself if you’re datable.
“Take an honest look at who you are and how you act,” she suggests. Considering the following questions can help you understand yourself better.
- What issues from your past linger in your present?
- Do you engage in self-sabotaging activities?
- Is your inner voice your best friend or worst enemy?
- Are you comfortable being yourself?
The better you know yourself, the easier it’ll be to connect to a potential partner.
Start dating in a way that feels good to you
There are so many ways to meet people other than swiping left and right. There are also many different styles of dating. According to Regain.us, there are 7 different types of dating that include online dating, blind dating, group dating, casual dating, speed dating, and dating for longer-term relationships.
Dating styles such as group dating and speed dating usually take the pressure of meeting someone new. It allows you to meet people in a situation or setting that allows for more freedom and less pressure.
If you are looking to make deeper connections while dating, then online dating could be your answer. Although phone dating apps are trending some dating sites and applications such as eharmony offers more to their users.
House shares that eharmony sets daters to interact with each other with intention by asking and answering specific strategic questions from the eharmony Compatibility Quiz, “This isn’t about games or fun-for-now,” House shares. But instead, it’s about looking for something real.”
Think about what you want to get out of your dating experience and then choose which dating style is right for you.
Don’t hyper-focus on the outcome
A common trap that many daters fall into, is expecting every person they date to be “the one.” And when their date doesn’t meet their expectations, they become disappointed.
To escape this cycle of getting your hopes up to then being disappointed, release control of the outcome. For your next date focus on creating a connection instead of relying on chemistry. House suggests going on at least three dates with someone you feel you are compatible with. Allow the initial attraction to grow into something deeper.
You might have cringed a little when you read that piece of advice, but it’s valuable nonetheless. Dating yourself does sound like a cliche, but what this message really is saying is don’t wait for someone else to experience life. Go out there and do the things that you want someone to do for you. Be the person that you’d want to date.
House suggests putting yourself out there. Get active in new ways by joining a running meet-up group or trying ice skating. You can even mix things up by going to a new bar and talking to strangers on your next trip. The more you experience life the more chances you will have to come across someone.
Remember that dating in your 30s can be fun, and freeing and eventually lead you to find the love of your life. But it all starts in your mind. House suggests changing your mind and your heart will follow. House also shares. “Don’t “try” to enjoy yourself. Don’t “try” to get out of your box. Just do it, and make a decision. “Do your best, and have zero excuses.”