Putting yourself out there in your 30s may seem daunting, with the fear that some of the possibilities of the dating world have shrunk. You may have less time to date, or feel “behind” others due to other parts of your life you have prioritized in the meantime. However, those facets of your over-30s lifestyle actually prove incredibly valuable, in that they give you the kind of perspective to make dating that much more rewarding. Having spent time building up the kind of life you want, you can apply that same drive to finding a partner. Zoosk asked dating and relationship experts to weigh in on the benefits of dating in your 30s.
- You’ve fallen in, and out of, love before. Whether you spent your 20s in one longterm relationship or dating casually, you’ve been through these steps before. “You’ve been through a breakup (or three) and learned that it hurts a lot, and you survive,” says Mona Jain, founder of dating consulting firm River City Romance. “And then you have space in your heart for someone even better.”
- You know how to spot red flags. The seemingly exciting qualities or emotionally unavailable people that used to draw you in now serve as a reminder of what you’re not looking for. And once you’ve dismissed those relationship red herrings, you can consider people you might not have looked twice at in your 20s.
- You’re emotionally ready for a relationship. “By the time women reach their 30s, they have often achieved many of their educational goals and have started or even progressed in their chosen careers,” says psychotherapist and relationship coach Toni Coleman. “They are in a more stable time of their life, have a better sense of what they want and are often feeling really ready for a relationship.”
- You’re financially stable. “You have your own money and a career,” Jain adds. That stability brings self-reliance and a valuable sense of perspective: “A rich man with a fancy car doesn’t impress you like it did when you were 22.”
- Ditto for your potential partners. Ideally, you’re looking for someone who is on the same page as you, which may be easier to find when you’re over 30: “Thirtysomething men are also more mature, and financially stable,” Coleman says. “They are often looking for something other than a one-night stand or easy hook-ups with friends or strangers. So there are more compatible and ‘available’ men for dating and more.”
- You trust your instincts more. “You know what you want,” Jain says, “and more importantly, what you don’t want in a partner. You’re much more likely to listen to, and follow, your gut.”
- You know this could be the real deal. Of course, plenty of people find a life partner early on in their dating lives. But those who have tried on different people for size, who have put career ahead of finding a partner, or, especially, have experienced what they thought was a lifelong relationship only to see it fall apart—those people have an easier time identifying likeminded people who are looking for something concrete and real.