Have you seen those memes about the dating pool when you’re over 30? The one’s with the grimy water-less pool, filled with molding junk? Hella funny! But, not entirely accurate.
I can confidently say that I’ve had the best relationship as a 30-something year old woman. Yes, there is a certain anxiety when you’re approaching your dirty thirties on a solo train but before you know it, you’re cruising on those tracks at 160km per hour and watching folk stuck in traffic.
Here are my 5 reasons for why dating in your 30s is NOT a hot mess.
- Self awareness
When I arrived at the point of understanding myself, my thoughts, my reactions, what makes me sad, what makes me anxious and what makes me happy, I was better able to allow someone else into my space without trepidation. There came a point where I grew fully into myself, where my actions and my thoughts were in sync, where people around me were able to recognise things that were distinctly me. This made sharing parts of myself with another person all the more enjoyable.
When you’re relying on yourself as a grown woman, you’re in a position to make some hard prioritisations. For me, this means looking at relationships, looking at my personal interests, studies, friends, family and career and deciding who and what is important. That way I know how exactly to invest my time.
3. No pressure
I felt more pressure to be dating in my 20s than I do now. My 20s were the period in which peers were getting married and starting families. That was the period in which I felt under pressure to be doing the same. For a milliard of reasons I didn’t. It’s also the period when others expect you to be taking those same steps. I bumped into a high school class mate a few years ago, who upon chatting for a few minutes realised that I was not married and did not have children, and told me I need to catch up, because well, to her I was being left behind. Her opinion did not matter but it is an example of how people may perceive you from the outside, based on their own social constructs and stereotypes. Once you realise that there is no pressure, that there is no recipe or your foot is simply too big for the glass slipper, don’t force it.
By now you know what you like. For example, you know the qualities you value in a partner and the complete deal breakers. There’s no need to waste time. If I am not interested, I am not going to pick up the phone to call you, simple. In this same breath, you also know why you are getting into a relationship, whether it is long term, or its Netflix and chill. Use your experiences to your advantage. No need to develop amnesia because potential bae is ridiculously good looking or insanely successful.
5. Self love
My favourite cliche. Trying to validate your love for yourself through another human, will leave you devastated. If that person leaves, you may be left wondering what it is that you love about yourself. Investing every second of your life in another person is just as toxic for the same reason. Banal as it sounds I’ve learnt to invest in me, in loving myself, and in feeling complete. The person I am with is adding other dimensions to who I am and in who we are as an item.
These are some of my experiences, if you’re in your 30s and you’re dating, I hope you’re having fun. What have your experiences been?