Women spend a fair amount of time trying to work our way through the labyrinth that is love, dating, and relationships—especially during our younger years when we have less experience. When you’re in your 20s, you’re expected to navigate everything from crushes to heartbreaks without much guidance. And while every situation is different, it’s helpful to have insight and some helpful dating tips from someone who’s been there before.
Here are 30 dating and relationship tips from women in their 30s who have been through it all and want to impart their wisdom on the younger generation.
1. Date different types of people and date often.
Finding the person you’re meant to be with is going to take some leg work. You may as well get the hard part out of the way and date a lot now. Not to mention, you’ll learn about yourself through every date, relationship, and experience you go through.
2. Get you know yourself.
You don’t need someone else to feel special, loved, or cherished. Start by getting to know and appreciate yourself and it will set an example for anyone who comes along.
3. Implement a process of elimination.
You’re not disrespecting yourself if you date several guys at a time. It’s ok to test out all of your options and eliminate people as necessary. Dating is a trial period and you’re allowed to treat it as such.
4. Create dating guidelines, not rules.
Have dating guidelines as opposed to hard rules. Your opinions will change as you grow older, so allow your rules to change with them. Your dating life should be fluid, so be open to a new way of doing things based on the situation and the person in front of you.
5. Prioritize personal growth
The only way to eventually have a healthy relationship with someone else is to have a strong sense of self. You’ll only be able to expect what you can offer. So, take the time to grow as an individual, and then find someone who will continue to encourage that growth as a couple.
6. Be yourself.
There is no one out there who is worth sacrificing your truth, compromising your morals, or hiding your real self. Besides, you won’t be able to keep up a false front for very long anyway. Be yourself from the beginning and the people who are supposed to stick around will.
7. Pay attention to first impressions.
Your instincts will tell you everything you need to know about a person when you first meet them. Listen carefully.
8. Don’t let your friends weigh in too soon
Allow yourself to form your own opinions before you let your friends step in and sway your judgment. You know what’s best for you.
9. Make yourself slightly unavailable
This isn’t about playing games, it’s about establishing your worth. Not everyone deserves your time, so give it sparingly.
10. If you’re uninterested, move on.
Don’t linger for someone else’s sake or just because you’re lonely. Create the space for the person you want by being selective with your time.
11. Take the pressure out of dating.
Let go of the idea of the one. There are several people who will come into your life and make an impact. Allow yourself the freedom to entertain and explore without putting too much pressure on the dating process, or yourself.
12. Don’t stress, the person for you will show up when they’re supposed to.
Finding a person you’d like to be in a relationship with comes down to many factors, the most important being timing. If you’re looking, that person will show up right on time.
13. Feel and experience all of the love you can.
Stay optimistic and remain open to love in all its forms. Don’t rush into a relationship in search of a love that can’t fulfill you. The opportunity to feel and be loved is everywhere around you.
14. Learn from every dating experience.
Everyone has something to teach you. Yes, even the one who broke your heart. Take in every experience and learn from it.
15. Your soulmates are all around you.
A soulmate could be your best friend, it could be the person you form an instant bond with, or it could be your significant other. Recognize that soulmates come in many different forms and appreciate all of them for what they add to your life. That way, you’ll put much less pressure on one person to be your everything.
16. Don’t equate your dating life to your self-worth.
You are no less smart, pretty, or desirable just because you’re single. Your self worth is intrinsic and exists whether or not someone wants to be with you romantically.
17. If you have to fight to prove yourself, move on.
You shouldn’t ever have to fight to prove yourself or make someone want you. If they can’t see your worth on their own, they doesn’t deserve what you have to offer.
18. You might think they’re everything, they’re not.
That unattainable person who plays hard to get, who everyone wants, who gives you just enough attention to keep you hanging on… they’re not worth it. Ever. No one will change until they’re ready. So, don’t wait around.
19. If someone tells you they’re not ready for a relationship, believe them.
Don’t try to change people. Don’t expect things to turn around. Take their words at face value and act accordingly.
20. Patterns speak more than individual actions.
Sure, they may pull out all the right moves to secure your interest, just make sure they continues that behavior over time. Actions speak louder than words, but patterns will tell you everything you need to know about a person.
21. Don’t try to get all of your needs met by one person.
One person will never be everything you need. That’s why you have friends, family, coworkers, hobbies. Everyone has their strengths and weaknesses, including your significant other. Allow everyone to add what they can to your life.
22. Let people have their quirks.
Let people be themselves in relationships. Your partner is entitled to their mannerisms, quirks, and odd behaviors, even if they irk you.
23. Exes aren’t always bitter, they just know better.
Sometimes an ex isn’t crazy or jealous. Maybe they just know better than you. Take heed of unresolved pasts, sometimes they’re a warning that can save you a lot of trouble in the long run.
24. Don’t divulge every detail of your relationship.
Not everyone needs to know every detail about your relationship. Your friends will only get a biased opinion and will take your side, so that your partner never stands a chance. Seek advice sparingly.
25. Realize that some things aren’t forever and that’s ok.
Some people will be good for you, some will not. You will learn a lot from some relationships and others will show you what you won’t tolerate in your next. Either way, pull out the lesson and allow yourself to release what isn’t meant to last.
26. Once you choose your partner, put in the effort.
You can still be independent and cater to your partner at the same time. Don’t let outdated relationship rules tell you any differently. Put the time and energy into your relationship that it deserves.
27. Take feedback with a grain of salt.
No one can fully understand your relationship, not even your closest friends. They will have their best intentions when giving advice, but it may not always be right for your situation. Realize that everyone speaks from their personal experience and yours will be unique.
28. If they wants to leave, let them.
Don’t fight someone for themselves. If it’s time to let go, do it with grace. Looking back, you’ll be happy you did. You should never have to force someone to stay.
29. When it’s over, let it be over.
Don’t linger or beat yourself up over it. Keep your past in the past; it’s there for a reason. Learn from it and move on.
30. Realize that your life is so much more than a relationship status.
You are a whole person who is worthy of love, but not completed by it. You are not defined by whether you’re with someone or not. Recognize your value beyond your relationship status.