I never thought I’d be pushing forty and still single. I had my entire life envisioned as being happily married with a few kids from the time I graduated high school. It never occurred to me to want to be more, because I was always searching for love.
John Lennon was right, life is what happens when you’re busy making plans.
I’ve been married, divorced, had long lasting relationships, had one night stands, and now, here I am in my late thirties still looking for “the one” and learning more about who and how NOT to date than I ever imagined.
I’m going to share some of these insights with you because…well…dating sucks, especially in your thirties when all of your friends are married and you’re still dating jerks. Here’s how to avoid those thirty-something dating pitfalls.
1. There’s going to be baggage
Recognize that the men you date will have baggage. Men in their thirties aren’t exactly pure and innocent and often come with a few love scars. You have baggage, expect that he’ll have baggage, too.
He'll give his heart to the first woman who does this...
2. Kids should be expected too
Chances are you’re dating a guy in his late thirties or early forties…which means he’s probably divorced with at least one kid. There are easy ways to date a guy with kids, so don’t sweat over the small stuff…or, in this case, the small people.
3. Be wary of guys who are secretive
Dating red flag: He keeps you a secret. If your man doesn’t want to introduce you to his friends, introduce you to his family, or show you where he lives…then there’s a problem. That problem usually comes in the form of a wife. Don’t date a man who wants to keep your relationship a secret.
4. Be cautious of men who have never been married
I live in a relatively large city, so it’s not necessarily unusual for single men my age to have never been married, but in smaller, more rural areas, this could be a sign your date is a player. If he’s never been married and has never had a serious or long term relationship, then it’s definitely a red flag.
5. Stay off tinder
There are plenty of legitimate online dating websites, but Tinder isn’t one of them. This is more of a “booty call” website where the main purpose is to get tail. If you’re looking for a one night stand, this is the site. If you’re looking for a date, look somewhere else.
If you’ve never looked in Tinder, I highly recommend it simply for entertainment purposes, there are some pretty hilarious sex ads out there from real people who might otherwise be normal and date worthy if they were not on Tinder.
6. Online dating has pros and cons
Speaking of online dating, there are definitely pros and cons to dating websites. I’ve tried two, and I have accepted two dates. I’ve chatted with a few different men, and had no luck in love. I personally know people who met on dating websites and are quite happy together, so perhaps I am just bad at this sort of thing.
Pros: You see their picture, you can chat before accepting a date, and you can become friends first. Cons: They could be lying, you have no idea how many other women their chatting with, and there’s no voice tone to match with humor or seriousness. For me, the biggest turn off was bad grammar.
7. Don’t date jaded men
Be wary of guys who say that they have “had their heart broken so bad they’ll never love anyone again”. You can’t change these guys. Sadly, there are many guys in their thirties and forties with this sentiment. It’s pathetic, really. Everyone has their heart broken at some point, why should this guy be any different?
Don’t date this kind of man, he’ll break your heart, after he sleeps with you a few times. Trust me, I’ve dated a few of them.
8. No, all the “good ones” are not taken
Just like you are a good catch, there are plenty of men out there who are also a good catch and are looking for the right person. If you believe that all the good ones are taken, then you’ll either be alone, or you’ll settle for someone who isn’t good for you. Keep looking, he’s out there and he’s looking for you.
9. Younger guys are hot, but not for keeps
I like good looking twenty something men. They’re hot! They are eager to have sex, they’re usually not jaded yet, and they are lively and fun. However, they’re meant for playing with, not for marrying.
If the age difference is more than eight years between you, then there could be problems later in the relationship because he’s likely still in his party boy stage. However, if you’re lucky enough to find a hottie who’s mature, monogamous, and responsible, then KEEP HIM!
10. Make sure your date acts his age
Speaking of party boy stage, when you date a guy, make sure he acts his age. While it’s okay for a twenty year old to go out drinking every weekend and work part time as he struggles through college and lives out of his parents’ basement, it is not okay for a thirty or forty year old to do that.
I’ve dated this guy, too. He’ll never grow up. Guys in their thirties should not act like frat boys. Move on, woman, move on.
11. Singles events feel slimy
I have been to a singles event, I plan on going to another, and I will say that they feel like a meat market, in a slimy sort of way. Don’t let that fool you, though. I actually met a really nice guy at a singles event, and stupidly, I didn’t get his number.
I met a lot of nice ladies too that I wouldn’t mind hanging out with. Singles events are an experience that every woman in her thirties should try out at least once, no matter how slimy they might feel. You’ll more than likely find a diamond in the rough.
12. Wait before you sleep together
My final thirties dating tip for you is to NOT sleep with him for at least four dates. I know, it’s hard when you’re attracted to someone, but believe me, both of you could be getting some anywhere with anyone, why not actually let the excitement build? He’ll have more respect for you as a potential partner if you wait to sleep with him.
There you have it, ladies, tips for dating in your thirties. It usually isn’t pretty, and it usually comes with many weekends at home crying and eating ice-cream, but it’s not completely hopeless. You just have to weed out the bad. The good is out there. So, tell us, what’s dating in your thirties like for you?