What’s different for a thirty-something year old on the dating scene?
12 Nov 2018 LIFESTYLE
By: Natasha Archary
Many people are terrified of entering their thirties. For all the uncertainty life throws our way in general, the thirties are some of the most perplexing years for any adult. Navigating the dating scene as a thirty-something-year-old is a dog eat dog world.
Let’s not sugar-coat things. Dating in your twenties is a casual, flirty, “its-all-about-the-fun” vibe. Sure, heartbreak is inevitable, and we experience some of the toughest break-ups when we’re younger and more impressionable. But knowing we have all this time to meet someone new, affords us a resilience like no other. We dust ourselves off and try again.
Dating in your thirties, with the pressure from family to settle down and pop out grandchildren, is a nightmare.
Aside from the fact that you’re a lot more assertive and set in your ways than you were in your twenties, you now know what you expect from a partner. You’re settled in a career, with goals that are clearly defined and a lifestyle that is structured and managed by routine.
When you’re in your thirties, you know that time is valuable. Chasing paper means there’s little time to waste on meaningless relationships. Life is also not as clear cut as it may have been in your twenties.
The single parent to single ratio is higher now than it’s ever been, with 46% of children in the country living with their mothers. The chances of one or both parties being a single parent are high.
Dating as a single parent is a monster all its own. The “I can meet you every other Thursday night from 16h00 to 20h00,” line can be a real relationship killer. There’s too much admin behind just a dinner date. If his kids are on a different schedule to yours, it throws off the entire spontaneity pre-requisite completely.
Quirks, preferences and aiming for a lifetime of solitude
Men and women have confessed that dating in their thirties can be terrifying. We’re conditioned into fearing that inevitable biological clock that keeps ticking. It’s this issue of timing that has most young adults settling into mediocre relationships that leave them unfulfilled.
Then there’s those of us who want to meet the elusive, “The ONE”, without needing to put ourselves out there. Expecting the perfect partner to walk straight into our lives, solely via divine intervention. That’s not how it works. We know this.
In a world where everything is faster, if it takes too much time and effort, we’re not having it. People check out of relationships with lightning speed for the most trivial reasons today. Accustomed to their own space and set of ideals, if you’re not ticking ALL the boxes, you’re just in the way.
For all the right, wrong and random reasons
Dare we forget that with the adage of online dating apps, no one is off limits. Married or taken individuals are still playing the field, making it difficult to gauge real connections from playbook quests.
In a general rule of thumb, older men do not seem to have a problem sending cupid’s arrow to younger conquests. A rule that’s changing amongst the genders with many women today determined to snag a younger man. Traditional requirements like age, gender, race, physicality etc. are no longer deal-breakers as we look for a human to human connection instead of the “perfect partner.”
The most daunting part about dating in your thirties is that many want to know right off the bat if it’s going anywhere. Is this just another hook-up? Can I see myself dating this person? Will they be open to exclusivity? Are we in an open relationship?
Timing. Because, tick tock, tick tock. Before you know it, you’re smack-bang in your forties and they say when this happens, it’s slim pickings. The truth is people in their thirties may still be unsure of the kind of relationship they want.
Your thirties are the transition period. One day you may be dead set on meeting your soulmate, the next you want a passionate friends-with-benefits arrangement. Whatever your thinking, knowing when to let go of unhealthy relationships is necessary.
Many thirty-somethings today are not ready nor willing to settle into a monogamous relationship. Open relationships are becoming more popular and adds an element of excitement to an otherwise one-dimensional relationship, it seems.
Are we slowly leaning toward polygamy? Or is there still hope for a committed, exclusive relationship? Share your thoughts with us by tweeting @KayaFM95dot9 using the hashtag #KayaOnline