5 Smart Ways to Approach Dating in Your 30s (2024)

What does that look like? A heavy dose of soul-searching, and then pushing past roadblocks that threaten your success. "You have to put in the time, effort and energy—even when you feel like throwing in the towel or avoiding it altogether," says Steinberg. "And that means not just getting out there dating, but really understanding what and who you are looking for on a deeper level, and not the superficial stuff."

Translation: You might think "not settling" means holding out for the tall, dark-haired Gosling who runs his own company and is perfect in every way, but what do you really need? That's the question to meditate on. Chance meetings might be romantic in the moment, but a guy with attributes to complement yours is romantic long-term.

3. Put Forth Strategic Effort

Sure, you could theoretically meet your future life partner anywhere. But you've probably been there and done that with the bar and going-out scene, and might not have many opportunities in your current job—where you spend the majority of your waking hours. That means your best bet is to maximize the most highly-datable options in the least amount of time, says Steinberg.

The best way to do this is to approach this part of your life with as much intention and effort as you would, say, your friendships or career. Actively position yourself to meet like-minded guys who are likely looking for legit, long-term relationships.

Steinberg says this might mean: getting online or taking online dating more seriously (really read those profiles!); actually putting yourself out there at events and activities where you're likely to meet people; tapping into your network of friends for set-ups; and so on. "It's about taking action, in more ways than one," she says. "Doing so will help you create what you want to create in your life—instead of just passively waiting for him to find you."

4. Swiftly Identify (and Ditch) the Dead-Ends

You've probably met your fair share of men who would qualify for your own personal What Was I Thinking? file. Maybe you took a risk on that guy with the emotional issues, or that supposedly-reformed player with a laundry list of ex-flames. Don't beat yourself over those mistakes, says Steinberg. "I think you can afford to do that in your twenties," she says. "Those relationships, in fact, can teach you a lot."

Now that you (hopefully) know a red flag when you see it, don't let that knowledge bank of toxic partners go to waste. If you're looking for marriage or biological babies, says Steinberg, your job is to recognize these zero-potential guys early and often. "Don't spend years, or even months, with guys who are clearly commitment-phobic, wish-washy or emotionally unavailable," says Steinberg.

The less time you spend with a dead-end dude, the more room you'll have to pace the relationship with a guy who seems like a potential winner. "You don't want to rush the process with him," says Steinberg. "It takes time to discover your feelings, for him to discover his, to build an emotional bond, and to see he's consistently trustworthy, reliable, kind, emotionally available and sensitive to your needs." If a guy obviously isn't? Don't try to change him. Let him go.

5. Set Better Boundaries

Make a date with yourself for a cup of coffee or glass of wine, grab a notebook, and take stock of your behaviors in your 20s. Think about what didn't work in terms of fostering personal and relationship growth. Think about what did. Get specific about the choices you made and what might need to change.

Specifically, the key is in establishing smart boundaries. "For instance, if you've been really career-focused, spending time with other people might be tough," Carpenter says, noting that many women can't resist the allure of putting work first or solving problems outside the office. "Eventually, you have to decide how reachable you want to be." This could mean anything from stopping all work communication at a certain hour every night to finally calling your city "home," instead of always having one foot out the door.

Steinberg's bottom line for single 30-somethings is that they can do themselves a big service by owning up to what they want in life and committing to it. "You may wake up at thirty-five and think, 'Wait, where did the time go? Why didn't I spend more time focusing on this aspect of my life?"

You can have it all, whether or not it's all at once. Seek out and nurture a new balance, especially as you progress into that third decade of adulthood.

Photo Credit: Tom Merton / Getty Images

5 Smart Ways to Approach Dating in Your 30s (2024)


5 Smart Ways to Approach Dating in Your 30s? ›

They want a man who has integrity and is committed to them and the relationship. It's not just about being faithful; it's about being emotionally present and reliable. Be straightforward with your intentions and actions. Treat women the way you want to be treated.

What does a 30 year old woman want in a relationship? ›

They want a man who has integrity and is committed to them and the relationship. It's not just about being faithful; it's about being emotionally present and reliable. Be straightforward with your intentions and actions. Treat women the way you want to be treated.

Is it harder to date in your 30s? ›

Is dating in your 30s harder? Some aspects of dating in your 30s make the process harder—such as a shrinking candidate pool. You can no longer meet potential partners at school and probably aren't attending parties and social gatherings as often. These are hot spots for fresh encounters.

What age range should I date at 30? ›

What is the rule of 7? The rule says to date someone who is half your age plus 7 or more years. That means if you're 36, you can date someone who is 25 or older.

How to start dating in your 30s with no experience? ›

What are the tips for dating in your 30s?
  1. Make the first move. ...
  2. Ask your friends to set you up. ...
  3. Don't use trauma-dumping as a tool for bonding. ...
  4. Be open to working on yourself in and out of therapy. ...
  5. Don't take things personally. ...
  6. Get really clear with yourself about what you want. ...
  7. Be upfront about your intentions from the start.
Apr 3, 2024

How to find a girlfriend at 30? ›

How to Ask a Girl to Be Your Girlfriend if You Are in Your 30s
  1. Be direct and ask in person.
  2. Show your vulnerable side.
  3. Avoid using pick-up lines.
  4. Use mature language.
  5. Tell her you don't want to see other people.
  6. Tell her your friends are getting curious.
  7. Pop the question in a letter.

What age do guys usually settle down? ›

Ninety percent of men who have graduated from college are ready for the next step between ages 26 and 33; this is when they are most likely to consider marriage.

How to attract a woman in her 30s? ›

One of the best things you can do to attract women in your 30s is to focus on your self-development. This means taking the time to identify your strengths and weaknesses, and working on improving yourself. This could mean hitting the gym, improving your fashion sense, or developing new skills and hobbies.

What is the oldest a 30 year old should date? ›

The “creepiness rule” states that the youngest you should date is “half your age plus seven.” The less commonly used corollary is that the oldest you should date is “subtract seven from your age and double it.” According to this rule, society should accept a 50 year old man dating a 32 year old woman.

What to expect in your 30s as a man? ›

Many men in their 30s start encountering some orthopedic problems. The body stops doesn't heal quite as quickly as it used to. You'll also notice some metabolism changes. You might have to work a little harder to maintain muscle mass and to keep off the extra pounds.

Where's the best place to meet a man? ›

Although some people find great partners or have good experiences dating online, meeting in person organically is generally more promising. You can meet men in several places: a coffee shop, a grocery store, a hardware store, public parks, on trains or buses, a bar, at the gym.

Do you get crushes in your 30s? ›

Crushes Aren't Just for Teenagers

According to University of New Brunswick (Canada) psychologist Lucia O'Sullivan and her colleagues, crushes aren't just an adolescent experience. Rather, adults of any age can have crushes—even when they're in a committed relationship and completely devoted to their partner.

What's the youngest a 34 year old should date? ›

Dating Age Rule. The dating age rule to determining a socially acceptable age difference in partners goes something like this: half your age plus seven (40 = 20 +7 = 27) to define the minimum age of a partner and your age minus seven times two (40 = 33 * 2 = 60) to define the maximum age of a partner.

What is the 12 date rule? ›

I have the 12 date rule … which, basically, says to wait 12 dates before having sex ... [Keep in mind] a date can be a phone or video call, or something in-person that's between 20 minutes and three hours. And you could have up to two dates in one day.

What is the 10 date rule? ›

What is the 10 Date Rule? The 10 Date Rule is: Men are the most likely to have a relationship with a woman that they have gone on at least 10 dates with. These are proper dates, not coffee catch-ups, sleeping together or hanging out together.

Where do you meet people in your 30s? ›

One of the best ways to meet new people in adulthood is through your hobbies. Social media makes it easier than ever to find local groups. Some, like team sports, are naturally more suited to making friends. But even solitary activities can be made social - bookworms can join a regular book group, for example.

How do I accept being single at 30? ›

Focus on bonding with the friends you already have and making new friends to feel fulfilled. Go out to dinner, have a fun weekend with friends, and work on fostering strong relationships with people that you love. Focusing on your friendships can help distract you from the desire to have a partner.

How to ask someone to be your girlfriend in your 30s? ›

Make the Big Moment Special. It's important to go into the moment confident and ready. Whether you plan something elaborate or keep it low key, just make sure your intentions are clear, and you're respectful of whatever answer they give. But, don't let asking a girl out turn into something stressful.

How do I start over in my 30s? ›

Starting Over in Your 30s
  1. The Pain of the Same. Most people by the age of 30 have become pretty set in their ways. ...
  2. Starting Over At 30 Is Possible. ...
  3. Change Your Environment. ...
  4. Improve Your Skills. ...
  5. Change Your Physical Image. ...
  6. Start a New Hobby. ...
  7. Expand Your Social Group. ...
  8. Take a Risk.
Sep 24, 2022

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