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Is it hard dating past 30?


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Although I'm not interested right now, I have friends (female mainly) that constantly complain how hard it is to actually establish a LTR that leads to marriage. 

The scary part is they're attractive, slim, with good jobs. So what gives? 

Is it really that hard to find marriage material in your 30s? Or are people overly picky in their 30s and 40s? Or have all the marriage people been taken out of the dating pool, leaving the odd balls out? 

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I did a lot of dating in my 30s and married at 42.  It was very hard and also stressful because I wanted a biological child but there was a big upside -I had so much more confidence, better hair products(serious about this - at that time they finally came out with good anti-frizz hair products for me!), and I had come into my own professionally and financially so I made better choices and knew I would not settle -especially in my later 30s.  Dating for me was a part time job at least that was totally worth it because of my goals -marriage and family.  No, I was not an odd ball.  No my husband -same age as me -was not an odd ball.  I did get in my own way to an extent - I had to become the right person to find the right person.  It's the best way I can describe it.  

Attractive, slim and good job was me.  But that is absolutely not enough at all.  I stopped dating in 2005 so not in ancient times lol (my mother stopped in the 1950s!).  You have to be willing to be a person who is out and about meeting people including people who then introduce you to suitable people.  You have to be willing to start conversations, flirt, carry yourself with confidence, with a spark.  You have to be willing to go out of your comfort zone and try activities and events you might not otherwise try. 

You have to be self-honest so that you're not out there having casual sex when it's really not you're thing -because then you risk getting jaded and cynical about "men".  You have to be willing to change your professional hat for your social hat, to be a good listener, not have to toot your own horn including now on social media.  You have to like men genuinely -want to be friends with men just like with women, own it when a man doesn't reciproate and accept it rather than labeling all of them jerks or oddballs or "their loss!!" - because that resentment, that frustration will shine through as bad vibes and bad energy. 

You have to shut your ears to silly stuff like "it will just happen " and "you will just know" because in your 30s unless you're proactive, roll up your sleeves, go to the front lines (even if you let the man do the asking for dates), unless you refuse to settle for being an afterthought or the wrong-named '"FWB" meaning sex buddy - you won't do well with meeting your person.  Sex buddies are totally fine if you truly just want to have casual sex - but not as a substitute for the real thing, not as a rationalization, not as a jaded response to "no good men out there."

I'm married to a wonderful man.  We broke up for almost 8 years in our 30s so we actually did meet and get serious in our 20s -we would have been the more typical average age married but it wasn't right then.  It was right when we were in our late 30s.  Go figure.  We each dated others while apart, we each had serious relationships -not with oddballs - in our 30s.  My ex boyfriend married a good person for him and my husband's ex girlfriends I think got married too. May they stay that way LOL.  

Good luck for when you decide you would like an LTR - you may not need luck of course. I needed some luck and timing for sure - but no it wasn't left up to fate.  

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1 hour ago, Batya33 said:

I did a lot of dating in my 30s and married at 42.  It was very hard and also stressful because I wanted a biological child but there was a big upside -I had so much more confidence, better hair products(serious about this - at that time they finally came out with good anti-frizz hair products for me!), and I had come into my own professionally and financially so I made better choices and knew I would not settle -especially in my later 30s.  Dating for me was a part time job at least that was totally worth it because of my goals -marriage and family.  No, I was not an odd ball.  No my husband -same age as me -was not an odd ball.  I did get in my own way to an extent - I had to become the right person to find the right person.  It's the best way I can describe it.  

Attractive, slim and good job was me.  But that is absolutely not enough at all.  I stopped dating in 2005 so not in ancient times lol (my mother stopped in the 1950s!).  You have to be willing to be a person who is out and about meeting people including people who then introduce you to suitable people.  You have to be willing to start conversations, flirt, carry yourself with confidence, with a spark.  You have to be willing to go out of your comfort zone and try activities and events you might not otherwise try. 

You have to be self-honest so that you're not out there having casual sex when it's really not you're thing -because then you risk getting jaded and cynical about "men".  You have to be willing to change your professional hat for your social hat, to be a good listener, not have to toot your own horn including now on social media.  You have to like men genuinely -want to be friends with men just like with women, own it when a man doesn't reciproate and accept it rather than labeling all of them jerks or oddballs or "their loss!!" - because that resentment, that frustration will shine through as bad vibes and bad energy. 

You have to shut your ears to silly stuff like "it will just happen " and "you will just know" because in your 30s unless you're proactive, roll up your sleeves, go to the front lines (even if you let the man do the asking for dates), unless you refuse to settle for being an afterthought or the wrong-named '"FWB" meaning sex buddy - you won't do well with meeting your person.  Sex buddies are totally fine if you truly just want to have casual sex - but not as a substitute for the real thing, not as a rationalization, not as a jaded response to "no good men out there."

I'm married to a wonderful man.  We broke up for almost 8 years in our 30s so we actually did meet and get serious in our 20s -we would have been the more typical average age married but it wasn't right then.  It was right when we were in our late 30s.  Go figure.  We each dated others while apart, we each had serious relationships -not with oddballs - in our 30s.  My ex boyfriend married a good person for him and my husband's ex girlfriends I think got married too. May they stay that way LOL.  

Good luck for when you decide you would like an LTR - you may not need luck of course. I needed some luck and timing for sure - but no it wasn't left up to fate.  

Thanks. It does seem a bit methodical, your approach. But hey, it worked. 

But is there passionate love in your 30s or is that a 20s thing? Because it seems people in their 20s are far more forgiving and "settle" than those in their 30s. 

 

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Now that I am older this question makes me laugh.  You are not old at 30 or even 40!

I think people are different now, not everyone wants to get married, the good ones are often taken.  Not that the who are single are somehow inferior or less of a person, I dont mean that at all.  Some people find love early and they marry or live together.  Others are busy living their lives and doing many various things and marriage is not on the list.  

I think there's someone out there for everyone and you find them when you find them.  Enjoy life while the search continues!

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I had men pursuing me like crazy in my 30s. My secret? Going where the men were. I like sports so I got a job in a sports related field and attended events. Men everywhere! I was newly divorced and was ready to date. I wasn't necessarily  looking for marriage since I had already been married and had kids. I wanted more of a longer term monogamous relationship which is what I got.

I recommend going where the men are. Sports events are a big draw.

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Tonight.majestic said:

But is there passionate love in your 30s

In my experience, absolutely yes. 

I met my current partner when I was 34 and he was 48. It's been the most satisfying relationship of my life (together 6.5 years now) 

Even before I met him, I had a lot of fun dating in my  early 30s. 

Edited by MissCanuck
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I say, you go in w/out huge expectations.... take it easy.. IF it happens, it happens.

I have hit 50 😮 ... and I have been involved, a few times over my years 😕 .. Yes, in that was a couple of LTR - sadly, did not work.. But, doesn't mean it doesn't.

You need to remember, that often as we do get older, we've had some experiences ( not always too nice), which will affect us. ( I am not involved now, nor am I interested in it.  It's draining to a degree, and I don't have that energy, but I'm okay with it) 🙂 

Some people end up  not sure if or whom they can trust again, or damaged due to some type of abuse, or an ex who had cheated.. and on it goes 😕 .. So, unless they can get through all of that and feel 'good' about themselves again, they can easily continue on as 'damaged goods'.

So, yeah, you'll come to meet those that are still hurting ( and using others for one reason or another)... and you'll meet some people who have a 'fear' of getting deeply involved again.. etc.

So... you go in stride.. no huge expectations, because there ARE some real & decent guys out there.. Those who have only experienced a 'decent' split from a wifey at one point, or a guy who's broken up with an ex ( but it was 2+ yrs ago and they are truly over it) . 🙂 .

Meanwhile, you carry on.. you keep living.  You do your hobbies & hang with friends, and if, someday, you do come across a nice guy, just go with the flow, give him a chance- just tread carefully.  In time, you will see if he's 'up to your standards' 😉 .  ( Does it happen?  It does.. it can).

One day at a time. 

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33 minutes ago, boltnrun said:

I had men pursuing me like crazy in my 30s. My secret? Going where the men were. I like sports so I got a job in a sports related field and attended events. Men everywhere! I was newly divorced and was ready to date. I wasn't necessarily  looking for marriage since I had already been married and had kids. I wanted more of a longer term monogamous relationship which is what I got.

I recommend going where the men are. Sports events are a big draw.

But isn't it kind of weird going alone? Or did you go with your girlfriends? 

Sadly, I dislike sports. But it's great advice. Will keep a note. 

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The majority of people are single.

"About 50.2 percent or 124.6 million American adults are single—in 1950, that number sat around 22 percent. Eric Klinenberg, sociology professor at New York University and author of "Going Solo: The Extraordinary Rise and Surprising Appeal of Living Alone," examines this slow-but-steady shift towards "happily single.""

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5 hours ago, Tonight.majestic said:

Is it really that hard to find marriage material in your 30s? Or are people overly picky in their 30s and 40s? Or have all the marriage people been taken out of the dating pool, leaving the odd balls out? 

Yes because it's nice to be alone and do whatever you want. 

But again, I am the odd ball, so I am biased.

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Posted (edited)
3 hours ago, boltnrun said:

I recommend going where the men are. Sports events are a big draw.

Absolutely agree! It really depends on the location.

Having lived in 3 EU countries its very interesting the differences by location and culture.

Country #1 - if you are from an English speaking country you are considered very 'exotic' which for me is pretty hilarious and I never quite understood that. For me exotic was always somewhere like Thailand :D Even just being at the grocery store buying a box of cereal you could get approached by someone drop-dead-gorgeous, I felt very spoiled and it was almost like the equivalent of how woman are chased by men in places like Italy, but reversed!

Country #2 - Maybe similar, but more reserved. Friend of mine said for a native English speaker dating is like fishing with dynamite. I guess it was true, no issues at all meeting people and dating in your 30s.

Country #3 - This is where I questioned myself...for a second :D The capitol is super formal, elegant, beautiful, but the dating scene is horrible, not to mention #3 most rude place in the world. Actually the way of flirting is usually by extreme sarcasm and I've had women ask what's the size of my flat to what kind of car do I drive within first few minutes which for me is a turn-off as I'm more interested in a person for who they are and not what's about them (there's a difference). People also don't date, but instead prefer to meet through close circles of friends. But hey, that's ok.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by mical
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Pretty hard, mostly because opportunities. When I was younger we would go places almost every week and met people who would spark my interest almost every week. Now its few and between. You got jobs, friends are also busy either with their jobs or family, and yes lots of people are just off the market  if you want to date in similar age group as you. Also when you are young you seek just fun. After you need to watch for more stuff and you gravitate toward safety more. But I would say its just less opportunities. Also, Ive discovered a lot of them does pretty bad in terms of choices. Met a girl in a school I worked part-time, OK looking, pretty nice overall, stable job(here school jobs are considered pretty good). Discovered she dates coworker there, total sleezeball, married and with kids. Some people are prone to choices like that and never learn.

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Posted (edited)
7 hours ago, Tonight.majestic said:

It does seem a bit methodical, your approach. But hey, it worked. 

I think that you do have to become a bit methodical when you're dating in your 30s. People are more complicated, so it's helpful to simplify things for yourself. 

7 hours ago, Tonight.majestic said:

But is there passionate love in your 30s or is that a 20s thing? Because it seems people in their 20s are far more forgiving and "settle" than those in their 30s. 

The passion of your 20s isn't gone, but it's tempered with more knowledge and experience. At 30, you've probably been through the wringer a few times, and are probably a little more choosy than you would have been 10 years ago.

Also, after those 10 years, the 'excitement' of your 20s usually gets kind of old. The adventure is fun the first time, but it stops being an adventure after it's repeated. You tend to want to move on from the merry-go-round of Yay! Fun!

1 hour ago, Kwothe28 said:

Pretty hard, mostly because opportunities. When I was younger we would go places almost every week and met people who would spark my interest almost every week. Now its few and between. You got jobs, friends are also busy either with their jobs or family, and yes lots of people are just off the market  if you want to date in similar age group as you. Also when you are young you seek just fun. After you need to watch for more stuff and you gravitate toward safety more. But I would say its just less opportunities. Also, Ive discovered a lot of them does pretty bad in terms of choices.

^^This was pretty similar to my experience.

Edited by Jibralta
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9 hours ago, Tonight.majestic said:

 how hard it is to actually establish a LTR that leads to marriage. 

Unfortunately when there's too much pressure with the "that leads to marriage" part, it can lead to desperation that results in poor choices and others can sense.

Be grateful for now that you ended an abusive relationship.:

 

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Posted (edited)
9 hours ago, Tonight.majestic said:

Thanks. It does seem a bit methodical, your approach. But hey, it worked. 

But is there passionate love in your 30s or is that a 20s thing? Because it seems people in their 20s are far more forgiving and "settle" than those in their 30s. 

 

Wow - I'm a bit shocked.  Passionate love in your 30s?? My uncle had it in his 80s, RIP. My friend, in her 60s. And on and on.  Nothing to do with age. I found a number of my women friends settled in order to have babies (I did not) -in their 30s and 40s.  Yes -methodical.  I will take that as a huge compliment.  I worked extremely long, intense and unpredictable hours in my career for over 15 years so yes I had to be strategic and methodical in how I spent my free time, to reach my goals of marriage and family.  The effort I put in was worth it only because I wanted marriage and family -had I simply wanted to date people casually it wouldn't have been worth it.  

Passionate love was essential for me to even think of committing  much less marrying the person and having a child.  My goal was marriage and I stopped being desperate in my early 20s - having the goal didn't make me feel desperate at all -just focused and selective.

   I'm not going to judge people who settle -if both people want to be married where it's based on love and friendship but without the passion/chemistry and they go in with eyes wide open that's fine - I'm not as fine with people who lie (and then there are those who lie to themselves -I was like that -almost settled a couple of times in my 20s and 30s, thank goodness I didn't).

Edited by Batya33
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6 hours ago, dias said:

Yes because it's nice to be alone and do whatever you want. 

But again, I am the odd ball, so I am biased.

For me I felt far less free being single.  I wanted to be married so I spent my free time looking for the right match.  Once I found him I felt freer to spend my time doing other stuff -or nothing.  What has been restrictive is being a mom during the pandemic of a child who is home 24/7 and who can't be left alone quite yet for any significant period of time so I'm not free just to leave for hours on end (and do not want to unduly burden my husband given his work schedule).  

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12 hours ago, Tonight.majestic said:

Although I'm not interested right now, I have friends (female mainly) that constantly complain how hard it is to actually establish a LTR that leads to marriage. 

The scary part is they're attractive, slim, with good jobs. So what gives? 

Is it really that hard to find marriage material in your 30s? Or are people overly picky in their 30s and 40s? Or have all the marriage people been taken out of the dating pool, leaving the odd balls out? 

It's probably all about attitude and the way they're approaching it. 

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53 minutes ago, Batya33 said:

For me I felt far less free being single.  I wanted to be married so I spent my free time looking for the right match.  Once I found him I felt freer to spend my time doing other stuff -or nothing. 

Agreed, everyone perceives freedom differently. 

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I'm 31, haven't dated in a while (years). If I wanted it to happen, I certainly could. I've lost a fair bit of a weight (over 30 lb) since the start of the year, no intentions of stopping, and I notice that men have noticed me a bit more when I'm out and about, so that helps I guess. But I'm not looking to date anyone and I don't want marriage or kids and I like living alone, so I don't know - doesn't seem worth the effort to me. 

Opportunities are definitely fewer and yes, a lot of good ones are "taken". You can still find someone worthwhile though. It's never cut and dry. 

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9 hours ago, Tonight.majestic said:

But isn't it kind of weird going alone? Or did you go with your girlfriends? 

Sadly, I dislike sports. But it's great advice. Will keep a note. 

I would go alone or with friends.

I'm long past feeling "weird" about going places alone. I would go to bars alone all the time. Nothing "weird" about it.

Where have you gone to try to meet men?

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Yeah it's hard AF especially if you have some actual criteria that the person must meet. E.g. My criteria is they have to want marriage and kids, have a decent job. Have their own place. And I want real love and not just to settle for the sake of not being alone. I know that doesn't sound too demanding but believe it or not, it's still really hard. I actually think the saying "all the good ones are taken or gay" is kind of true. Unfortunately majority of men who were interested in me were either very mentally unwell and unemployed, weird or one was 49 and very desperate to have kids with basically any woman by the looks of it. The key is not to give up though because if you persist you might eventually get someone good. But it's definitely a lot of effort.

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Posted (edited)
13 hours ago, Tonight.majestic said:

Is it really that hard to find marriage material in your 30s?

The short quick answer is NO.  Is 30 some kind of magic number?  Thirty is very young nowadays and few people marry before they are 30.

"The average age at which heterosexual couples marry has reached 35.7 years for women and 38 years for men, according to the latest official figures." 

These stats are from the ONS (UK). 

None of the younger members in my family and indeed in those of most of the people we know married before they were 30.  Two that immediately come to mind, one was 32 when he married, the other 33.

None of them are oddballs! L. 

I also know people who married for first time at 40. Yes!  And even later. 

It is a very good idea to be choosy, regardless of age.

I really fail to see the problem. 

Just to remark that my parents married when my Mum was 34 and Dad 40 (first and only marriage) . That was unusual at a time when many married much younger. 

 

Edited by LaHermes
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As a guy in his late 30s, I will say it's pretty dang frustrating; but dating always has been for me.

On the surface I should check off a lot of boxes (house, car, own a business, not morbidly obese, no kids, and stable); but still unhappily single. On the flip side in my area a lot of the single women I meet don't fit my criteria (One kid or less, living on their own, someone I find attractive, not possessive, and not a workaholic). So it's a stalemate. Ha

Yes a lot of it is region driven dating pool problems for me, since I can't stand to live in heavy urban/suburban areas.  I have been able to draw quite a few conclusions about dating in one's 30s. Everyone is picky for good reasons and bad, some surprisingly shallow.  A lot of people get hung up on looking for deal breakers earlier and earlier in the dating process; which leads to less interest in getting to know people of different dating experience levels.

Another observation is that a lot of people are bitter or jaded about dating, so much so that they self sabotage a date they're on to get back at an ex. Or that some become so focused on work, kids, or pets that they have nothing to offer of themselves to a partner. Which seems to be generational in part too.

No real solid answers for you OP, but just sharing some of what I've experienced.

 

 

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12 hours ago, Tonight.majestic said:

but is there passionate love in your 30s or is that a 20s thing? Because it seems people in their 20s are far more forgiving and "settle" than those in their 30s. 

Where do you get these notions OP?! L. 

Passionate love at all ages, trust me. 

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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, boltnrun said:

I would go alone or with friends.

I'm long past feeling "weird" about going places alone. I would go to bars alone all the time. Nothing "weird" about it.

Where have you gone to try to meet men?

I preferred to go alone to singles events so that I would be approached more and have control over when I wanted to leave, etc.  I also went alone two or three times to Club Med -had a blast.

Edited by Batya33
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