What to Expect From Dating in Your 30s

29 Apr

As you move into your 30s you’ll find that the dating world changes around you but while dating in your 30s can be a source of stress for single people, it comes with some great benefits. Age brings with it experience, helping you to understand who you are and what you’re looking for in a partner. In this guide, we’ll show you some of the best advice for dating in your 30s, with tips for finding love.

Dating in your 30s

Be Upfront About Who You Are and What You Want

Being in your 30s means having a clearer idea about the sort of person you are, what you enjoy, and the things you care about. Approaching the dating world with openness and honesty means being clear about the sort of person you are and what you want in a relationship. If you’re ultimately looking for a long term relationship and marriage, or to have children, being transparent about these things from the first date will attract others who share your intentions, and offer an early exit to those who don’t. Being honest about your personality, your interests, and your quirks will ensure that you are ready to date, and capable of forging a genuine engagement with those you meet.

Accept that Everyone Has Baggage

Just as you should be honest to other people, you should be receptive to their honesty too. When dating in your 30s as a man or as a woman, over a decade of adult life will have passed for you and the person you’re dating. This means entanglements, heartbreaks, and sometimes previous marriages and children. If you enter the dating world looking for someone without any baggage, the chances are that you’ll be searching for a long time.

We are all products of our experiences, and accepting that the people you meet will, like you, be carrying those experiences with them still is the key to meeting new people, and creating new experiences together.

Stay Positive

One of the best tips for dating in your 30s is to stay positive. The attitude you bring to your dates will have a dramatic impact. Treating each potential partner as viable can be difficult, especially when following a string of failed dates. But it’s essential to stay positive, engaging with each person you meet, organizing further dates if things are going well, and being your best self around others, both on dating apps and in real life.

A positive attitude will not just make you more appealing to the people you meet, it will also make it easier to deal with any stumbling blocks along the road. People often imagine that the dating pool shrinks over time compared to dating in your 20s, with fewer dating opportunities available, but this isn’t really accurate, and approaching the dating game with an optimistic outlook will help you to connect with those you meet.

Essentials vs Preferences

A lot of us have a highly specific vision of our perfect partner, whether that be in terms of looks, interests, personality, career, or financial status. Dating in your 30s does not need to be an exercise in the lowering of standards, but deciding what is essential for you and what is merely a preference, can be useful.

If a person you meet is great in some ways, such as attitude, personality, and interests, but doesn’t fit your idea of a dream partner in others, it can be a good idea to ask yourself what your deal breakers are. Everyone has essentials in a partner which is healthy and good, but if your demands are overly specific, you could find yourself shutting out someone who is perfect for you in ways you don’t expect. The person who’s right for you could be dating after a divorce, might already have children, and may not be as financially motivated as you are.

Rethink Your “Type”

Much like essentials and preferences, it can be easy to fall into the trap of thinking you have a “type”, a category that all your prior partners can be easily grouped into. This can color your approach to dating, weighing you down with assumptions. The truth is that plenty of great relationships are forged between people who are quite different from one another, or not what they were expecting in their ideal partner. When dating in your 30s, it may be worth putting aside prior notions of an ideal type of partner, and opening yourself up to being surprised.

Focus on Being Happy Regardless

Being in your 30s means having a life around you with friends, family, and a career you care about. When looking for love, it’s important to focus on being happy without it, having a full and rich life that you can bring someone else into. This will make you a happy, healthy, and more rounded person – exactly the sort of traits people look for in a partner. Women and men in their 30s will all benefit from having a great life, allowing them to start dating from a place of security.

Don’t Hang Around if it’s Not Working

In your 30s, you’ll have a better idea of who you are and what you want. This means you can let people know when you are ready to move things forwards, but it also means that you can be honest when you’re ready for things to end. When dating in your 30s, you shouldn’t let things linger for any longer than needed. This will both save you from dedicating time to a relationship that you know won’t work, and let other people down gently before they overcommit. Knowing who you are and what you want can also mean knowing when to walk away.


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by Rachel Vida MacLynn

Founder & CEO

Rachel Vida Maclynn is reputed as being a world-leading matchmaking and dating expert. Registered as a Chartered Psychologist with the British Psychological Society, Rachel advocates a professional matchmaking approach based on psychological principles and professional consultation.More by this author

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