I know what you’re thinking, “ANOTHER blog post about dating? There’s so much advice already out there!” Stay with me though.
– by Angie Dion, LMFT / Talkspace Therapist
As a 30-something relational therapist who is currently single and dating, I regularly read about relationships in books, research articles and blog posts. After selectively taking the advice I’ve come across, I came up with the following nine tips for surviving dating in your 30s. Think of it as a gift from one singleton to another.
Make Exercise a Priority
I am not telling you to exercise because I think you need to lose weight or change your body to find a mate. I actually agree wholeheartedly with Brene Brown, author of “The Gifts of Imperfection” and “Daring Greatly,” that “you are worthy of love and belonging just as you are.” I’m telling you to exercise because it’s good for your body.
Exercise causes your brain to release endorphins that make you feel good. In turn, you exude confidence, which time and time again has been shown to be one of the biggest reasons people are attracted to one another. And if that isn’t reason enough, a gym is a great place to meet another 30-something singleton open to dating.
Let Go of Past Loves
This is the hardest one, I know. Here’s the thing though. If you’re hanging onto someone you used to be in a relationship with, there isn’t any room in your heart for someone new. Dating is useless if you’re emotionally unavailable.
Do the work you need to do to let that person go. If you really think there might be something left between you two, make an effort to find out if they feel the same way and want to give the relationship another go. If they do, great! If not, don’t worry. At least you have the information you need to heal your heart and move on.
Talk It Out With a Therapist
Before you start dating someone worthwhile, make sure you are emotionally equipped and available to do so.
A well-trained professional can help you identify why you keep choosing emotionally unavailable people, why you are fearful of commitment or how low self-esteem is getting in the way of you letting love in.
Find Something that Lights You Up
Have you ever engaged in an activity that left you feeling thoroughly alive? Have you ever spent hours doing something, only to realize time has flown by? These are the activities I’m talking about.
Do whatever it is you love to do, and do it regularly. People are attracted to individuals who have their own interests and hobbies. Before you get into dating, make sure you have a sense of self.
Join a Class, Club or League
Get out of your comfort zone. Take up a recreational sport you’ve wanted to try or check out one you’ve never heard of. Sign up for that art or cooking class at your local community college.
Not only will you have fun playing, learning, or laughing at yourself in these newfound situations, chances are you’ll meet some really cool people. Even when you finally find a relationship, remember that novelty is good for the heart, so keep doing new things with each other long after you settle down.
Date People You Might Not Usually Give a Chance
Good looks and common interests make up a small percentage of what makes a great relationship work. Try dating someone who doesn’t fit your ideal. You may be pleasantly surprised; the other person might balance you out in ways you didn’t consciously think about before.
Have Realistic Expectations for Your Dates
What I mean by this is, go into the date with the sole objective of having a good time. Stay focused on the person sitting across from you, learn about them and see how they make you feel. In other words, be in the moment.
When you’re dating in your 30s, there’s a lot of pressure to find the one and settle down. Take this pressure off of yourself. The only task you have at hand is deciding whether you like the person enough to go out with him or her again.
Explore Society’s and Your Own Views on Your Singledom
When you enter your 30s, expect people to have lots of opinions on your singledom. You’ll get plenty of advice from relatives, coworkers and strangers, but you should take it all in stride. You are the only one who can make decisions for yourself. Listen to advice, but act in accordance with what you think is best.
My overall message to you is this: do the things you enjoy and surround yourself with people you love, people who make you feel good. When you’re living a life you’re excited about and enjoying your own company, you’ll attract people who want to live it with you.
Dating in your 30s is about finding someone you could share your life with, not about making that person the center of your world!