“Basically, I realized, I was living in that awful stage of life from the age of twenty-six to thirty-seven known as stupidity. It’s when you don’t know anything, not even as much as you did when you were younger, and you don’t even have a philosophy about all the things you don’t know, the way you did when you were twenty or would again when you were thirty-eight. Nonetheless you tried things out.” – Lorrie Moore
Ah, our 30s. Such a magical time. A time of transition, of change. A time when you feel like you should have it all figured out, but somehow you just don’t yet. It’s easy to think of your 30s as simply the end of your 20s, but there’s a lot more happening during these oh-so-formative years. Changes are taking place that will turn you into the man you’ll continue to be for many years to come. But in many ways, you’re still young too. And still very app to make mistakes, especially when it comes to dating. So what’s a guy to do?
To get both a male and a female perspective on what mistakes guys make in their 30s, we turned to dating and relationship expert David Bennett, author of Eleven Dating Mistakes Guys Make (And How to Correct Them), as well as Dr. Jennifer Rhodes, licensed clinical therapist and founder of boutique relationship agency Rapport.
Here’s their advice on what to watch out for when dating in your 30s…
Growing, but not maturing.
“Most guys haven’t learned much despite growing older,” Bennett said. “They may have progressed in their careers, but they haven’t done the necessary personality work to make themselves more charming, confident, and attractive. Many guys forget that age doesn’t necessarily equal attractiveness.”
Getting too cocky.
“[Men] assume that now that they have more power and authority in life, much younger women will flock to them,” Bennett warned. “Guys still have to have something to offer women they want to date. They still have to work on their personality.”
Not getting with the times when it comes to your look.
There is one external aspect that really matters, and that’s clothing choice. “Outdated fashion is a huge problem too,” Bennett added. “For older guys, time seems to pass quickly, and many guys haven’t updated their wardrobe in years. They don’t want to dress like teens, but they need to look sharp and smart for their age.” That means ditching the hoodies and finding jeans, shirts, and suits that actually fit.
Being too obsessed with timing and missing out.
“The biggest mistake I see men make in their 30s,” Rhodes said, “is walking away from fantastic dating opportunities because they are too busy working on their careers. Life does not unfold as we plan it. Many men in their 30s have met wonderful women and take for granted that they’l still be available when they’re ready to settle down. Many of these men wait until their 40s to take dating seriously, and panic when the ‘type’ of woman they so easily met in their 30s is not easily found.”
Men looking for a partner must apply the same commitment and focus for getting a promotion to their love life, Rhodes said: “If you would not walk away from an opportunity in your career, why would you choose to do so in your dating life?”
So if you’re finding yourself confused from time to time, making mistakes, and stumbling along in love and life, that’s OK. Turning 30 doesn’t mean you have it all figured out. It just means you’re on your way. You’ll make mistakes, get too cocky, wear the wrong thing, but nonetheless you’ll try things out.
You’ll try to make it work and, if you’re lucky, somewhere along the way you’ll find that it does.