Getting Real

The Reality of Dating as a Woman In Her 30s

It’s not easy, but it doesn’t have to feel impossible—here are 5 guidelines to consider.

By: Stephanie Mark
Photography: Jake Rosenberg

I think we can all agree that dating in 2017 is a far cry from what it was for our parents, or even what it was a decade ago. The rise of dating apps and social media means being able to stalk your date even before you meet them, and it makes for one super confusing and constantly changing dating landscape. No matter what your age, the rules have changed.

There is, however, a group that has, in my opinion, been hit particularly hard by this shift. The 30-year-olds. At this age, you don’t have the same opportunities to meet people like you did in college, and most of your friends are getting married or having kids and likely don’t have many single friends to set you up with. As someone who is currently in this age bracket, it is truly the Wild West.

Wondering whether it’s best to app or not to app? To text or not to text? To initiate the first date or wait? I reached out to the co-founders of the matchmaking service The Bevy, Nikki Lewis and Greta Tufvesson, to get some clarity. Here are some of their rules for dating in your 30s. After all, it is cuffing season.

 

1. Don’t Map Out Your Ten-Year Plan

“Building a life with someone involves sacrifice and work. Spouting out how many kids you want, where you’d like to live, or how much money you’d like to make is super aggressive for a first date and totally unacceptable to discuss. Leave the first few dates to the basics, like seeing if there’s actually any chemistry.”

 

2. Don’t Get Caught Up in Your Ways

“By the time we are in our 30s, we get stuck in our own routines. Maybe you prefer to go out on a date before 7pm, maybe you like to stay close to your hood, maybe you don’t like to eat dinner after 9pm… Whatever it is—leave your habits at the door! Dating is all about being up for trying new things. You’ll have fun once you get out of your comfort zone—trust us!”

 

3. Confidence Is Key—Cockiness Is Not

“There’s a difference between confidence and cockiness. What’s so special about being in your 30s is that you’re more successful, you’re more sure of yourself, and you go after what you want without constantly questioning yourself. Confidence is one of the most desirable qualities you can have entering the dating game. But be sure your confidence doesn’t turn into cockiness. No one wants to marry arrogance.”

 

4. Give Them a Chance

“Chances are, most couples who you see strolling hand in hand didn’t have the most magical first date. Maybe not even the best second date. Oftentimes the best relationships are the ones that are slower to incubate. Don’t feel distressed if the angels aren’t immediately singing. If you’re unsure, always give them a second date, or even a third. Nerves can sometimes get the best of us, and you’ll be surprised how much they open up when they’re more comfortable.”

 

5. Say Thank-You and Take Initiative

“In our 20s, we always waited for them to be the first to reach out. You’re in your 30s now, and it’s time to step forward. Thank them for the date that night or the next morning. Wait for them to respond and ask you out again, but once they have, maybe you recommend a new spot you’ve been wanting to try. Let’s not let them do all the work—it’s sexy when someone else takes control.”

 

Want more stories like this?

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