Some men and women have reached the age of 30 and are content with their lives as singles. But others experience frustration, depression, anxiety, and hopelessness. They often wonder why they’re over the age of 30 and still single, despite their desire for a relationship. Does this sound familiar? Perhaps you’ve become more focused on your relationship status as more and more of your friends get married and start families.
Dating at this age can be difficult for three main reasons. First, the pool of compatible partners may be smaller depending on the qualities you seek. Second, you often face stigma about your relationship status. Third, your emotions may make you feel like giving up all together.
Whether you’re taking a break from dating or are actively dating, these tips can help you make healthier decisions about your love life.
1) Define the type of relationship you want. Without a goal, you’re more likely to get distracted and thrown off course. Is your goal to get married, to have a committed relationship that doesn’t lead to marriage, or something else? Are you ready for commitment or can you be honest with yourself and your partner if all you want is a sexual relationship?
2) Identify preferences and deal breakers. Get clear about your values and what’s important to you in life. For example, you may prefer a man who is 6′ 3″, or a woman with brown hair. However, you may not consider it a deal breaker if a man’s under 6′ or a woman has blonde hair. On the other hand, based on your values, you may determine it’s a deal breaker if your partner doesn’t want to have children and is unwilling to change after you express your desire for children.
3) Work through unresolved issues. Confront emotional barriers that could impact your next relationship. If you keep attracting the same type of men or women and end up hurt, most likely there’s some issue you haven’t addressed.
4) Be willing to put in effort. Healthy relationships don’t materialize from thin air. Relationships are best when both people contribute 100% effort.
5) Recognize red flags. The sooner you can pinpoint a problem, the sooner you can work on the issue or leave if your partner is unwilling to change. You can spot toxic behavior even if you haven’t yet formed a relationship. Lack of trust, intimacy, respect, similar values, along with communication problems, or abuse all signal an unhealthy relationship.
6) Clarify your views on sex. Some may consider this topic taboo, but just because you’re single, doesn’t mean you won’t crave sex. If you’re okay with having a one night stand or a friends with benefits arrangement, so be it. But if you’re not comfortable with that idea, stand by your decision and don’t change to please someone else. Either way, make sure you’re able to accept the consequences. The sex may be great, but even if it isn’t, you can still get emotionally attached to someone who won’t commit to you.
7) Be comfortable being alone. Dating and seeking a relationship because you can’t stand being alone can ironically lead you to feel lonely. Your haste could lead you to get involved with the first person that shows interest, even if he or she is a poor match. If you don’t like your own company, why should anyone else?
If you found these tips helpful and would like to do more in-depth work, contact me for a free 15 minute phone consultation. I offer therapy, coaching, and private workshops.