Growing up, I wanted to be a writer, maybe a journalist, or both. I hoped that by the time I got to 30, I would have a man and a kid if not two. As I approached the big ‘zero’, however, I had no serious relationship that could turn into a marriage. I began to panic.
It is every girl’s dream to one day, have a successful career, a perfect waistline irrespective of their love for chocolate, flawless skin and a perfect match to share all these joys with.
You see, society expects women to settle down as soon as they have completed college and found a stable job- or reached a certain age. This expectation pushes most young women to try as hard as possible to meet the set standards as the clock ticks away.
As a single lady dating in her 30s, I have acquired a few pointers that could set you up for your dating experience. It is not bad at all to be 30 and single, dating, or even clueless. At this stage, I view relationships and lack of them in a different light from when I was younger and naïve. Here is what I have learned so far:
At 30 most of your friends, relatives, and colleagues are either married, in a serious relationship or have a kid. Looking at other people’s lives ‘flourish’ while yours remain ‘stagnant’ can create a case of self-criticism.
When this happened to me, I felt left out. Every weekend I had something to do. One weekend I was attending a baby shower, the other, I had a friend’s wedding to attend, yet in another, I was being introduced to a prospective partner to one of my girlfriends. Life was treating them kindly. I was happy for their success. On the other hand, I beat myself up for failing at relationships. I could not see the blessings I had such as a good job and a great supportive family.
Relatives and friends will also judge you. At one time my grandmother was on my case. She wanted me to get a man and settle down. In her words, I was picky, which probably I was, but never admitted. Now, I know there is nothing wrong with being picky. This is a longtime commitment. You want to pick a good match for the next part of your life. After a long discussion, however, my granny supported me. One of my aunts at one point noted that I was getting older and my peers who supposedly should marry me, were decreasing. Luckily, I live far away from her. Thus, she only gets a chance to poke me during family events.
The secret is to acknowledge the situation and seek happiness in your current stage. If we seek happiness outside of ourselves, more often than not we will be disappointed. Instead, we should seek to know who we are and what makes us happy and then go for it. If you know who you are, you will not allow yourself to be treated any less despite the proverbial clock ticking.
The circle is diminishing
It is true the circle will diminish with time. With so many of your friends settling down, you have few men left for you. Nevertheless, this should not discourage you. I believe there is a fit partner for each one of us. At least that is what I have found so far.
What you need to do is not to give up hope. Venture out of your comfort zone and seek to meet new friends.
The best way to do this, is by finding a (new) hobby like traveling, music and art festivals, painting, golfing, swimming or learning a new skill (I recommend playing guitar), the list is endless. By engaging in a new activity, you not only grow yourself but also increase the circle of friends and who knows- you might meet someone as interesting as you are at these social gatherings. Moreover, with such a busy schedule you will have less time to worry about your glass being half full.
List of qualities is reduced to a bare minimum
There is nothing wrong having a long list of qualities of the man you want. Such a list helps you tick off those who do not meet the characteristics of ‘your man’.
In your 30s, while tall dark and handsome is on your list, it is not the very first thing you will tick off the list. Physical attraction is good. It draws you to men, but what makes you stay is his character.
By now you have identified some qualities that you cannot compromise in the name of getting yourself a man. Keep a mental note of what you need as it will help you to check off your list.
Society has taught women to wait for the man to ask for their hand in marriage. This, to most women is being striped off power to marry unless they are asked by the man. Contrary to this however, a woman holds the ultimate key; to say yes or no. This is not,however, a competition of power. Ultimately, human beings are looking for a mate that is understanding, shares in their joy and pain and is focused.
Dating Apps can come in handy
Although there is not much luck with dating apps when you are in your 30’s, you can still get dates if you are patient enough to sift through the clatter of jokers.
Use your list to set your preference on the platform. Once you have identified a number of potential candidates, send out as many requests as you can. I prefer apps that allow you (the lady) to reach out to men you like instead waiting for them to react. As they respond to your request, look out for how fast they ask for your photos and contact. I was skeptical about men who asked for photos and my number in their first text to me. You can identify other signs that according to you represent perverted minds.
Partners with baggage
To clarify, kids are no baggage- they are a blessing. My granny would be happy with me for saying this. When you are still searching for love in your 30s, be aware that some men, just like women, will have some baggage such as (crazy ex-wives, girlfriends or kids- for some people) that could influence your relationship.
“What kind of baggage are you ready to take on?”
Be open-minded and don’t be in a rush to dismiss someone because they have a baggage. They might turn out to be a blessing in disguise, such as kids.
All in all, dating in 30s is enjoyable. At this time, you are mature and have acquired great lessons in life.
Irrespective of your age, you will find a good man: when you do, love and allow yourself to be loved.
The question to ask yourself is: “do you feel peaceful with the person you are currently dating?” If your answer is not in the affirmative, cut the cord and start all over again. There is nothing wrong with dating at 30 and even older. Every human being deserves to love and be loved irrespective of age.
What is your dating story? Please contact us to share it with our readers.