Dating At 30

Hello reader. I’m 30-years-old, if that wasn’t clear from the title. I’m also single and on the dating scene. Hashtag thirty and flirty. Single and (cue the airhorn) ready to mingle. Okay, you get the point.

I “relaunched” onto the dating scene two years ago after a horrendous break-up. With trial and error I was able to gain a positive mindset toward dating. I thought to myself with age, experience, maturity, self-development, and independence that dating would be more enjoyable, less stressful, and more successful. I couldn’t have been more naive.

Although I prefer the old fashioned way of meeting, dating apps have become a convenience crutch. I’ve grown used to the routine of app chatting, meeting for the first date, and then never seeing that person again. Second dates are a rarity.

Over the past year I’ve had a few flings, one not-so-serious relationship and another that had just started to become something serious before flopping. Then I started serial dating because I wasn’t meeting anyone that captured my interest. All of this added up to knocking that sense of dating-positivity from my sails and replacing it with good old fashioned cynicism.

Dating as you get older can become more difficult, that is if you’re looking for something meaningful. The adage of one being set in their ways, well, dating in your 30’s certainly gives credence. Stubbornness and an unwillingness to compromise leads to short-lived relationships.

And I’m not talking about major compromises, like giving up your want for a baby if your partner doesn’t want one. Those things are enough to make you realize you’re probably not the best fit (and one I’m used to dealing with since I had my hysterectomy). But everyone knows making a relationship work takes a little push and pull from both partners. And more often than not, I’ve been confronted with the ‘my way or the highway’ mentality. And boy oh boy, I’m not the kind of chick that will lay down and get steam rolled (if you haven’t gathered thus far). So… I’m single. AND THAT’S OKAY, or so my therapist yells to be heard over my ugly cry into a box of Kleenex.

Just kidding…

As you age, your experiences shape you into a (hopefully) semi to well-functioning adult human. Getting to know yourself makes it much easier to know what you want and more importantly, what you don’t want. But simultaneously, it makes it more difficult to actually find someone. On top of that, I’m a die hard romantic through and through and this often (always) leads to disappointment. I want to be swept off my feet, to feel that I’m the only person in the room, and to be overwhelmed with butterflies and attraction. And I’d hope to fulfill the same in my partner.

I’m fiercely independent, but that doesn’t mean I want to be alone. I seek physical and emotional companionship and I want that with a genuinely good person. Which has led me to being single, and humorously navigating my way through the dating scene at 30.

So I’ve compiled all of my dating experiences into tips, if you find yourself in my shoes, wading your way through a sea full of sad-boys/girls, fuck-boys/girls, Instagram “models”, Venmo suckers and all around garbage human beings.

Creating A Dating App Profile

There’s no right or wrong profile to create. The most important thing to keep in mind is to be true to yourself. Represent the real you, not what you think the person on the other end of the swipe wants to see. So what does that look like?

As a general rule of thumb, try to keep the altered or filtered pictures to a minimum. Be confident with what your mama gave you because thats what your partner is going to see. One thing that slightly shocked me is that men do this just as often as women. Dude, just stop it… it’s weird.

Avoid posting group pictures unless you highlight who you are. But even then, maybe your friends don’t want to have their picture posted to a dating profile, so just be respectful of that. There is nothing more annoying or more comical than looking at a guy’s profile of nothing but frat-like pictures of 15 dudes that all look and dress identical.

Make sure to write a decent bio, nothing gives off narcissistic vibes more than leaving that box blank. It doesn’t have to be an essay, but have some important details about yourself. Maybe allude to what you’re looking for. Top it off with something witty to grab the right person’s attention. Apps like Hinge (best dating app in my opinion) use prompts rather than a bio, which might be a better option for those who can never think of the right thing to say. They also work great to get a conversation started.

Avoid putting the “follow me on…” IG or Snap or adding your handle directly into the bio. It just looks like you’re trying to get followers. On Hinge, they have a section where you can link your Instagram account. It shows your pictures but doesn’t link to your actual account or give your handle out. I think thats a good way to show that you’re a real life person and not a bot or scammer profile.

If you’re using an app like Tinder, when you swipe right on someone and it’s prompted with a match, freakin say something! Don’t be a lame-o and wait for them to reach out. What’s the point in swiping right on someone if you don’t have anything to say to them.

App “Beware’s”

It’s almost comical how many similarities you’ll find while swiping through profiles. I’ve compiled a couple of mindful notes throughout my experience that usually turn out to be true.

If a guy has a hat on in every single picture, most likely he’s bald. Now before you bite my head off, there is nothing wrong with being bald. But if it’s something they’re trying to hide, it can come as a bit of a shock when meeting in person.

Men generally lie about their age. I’ve encountered this at least three times myself and many of my girlfriends have similar stories. They knock off 2, 3, 5 years. When I asked one guy why he’d lie about such an insignificant difference (his profile said he was 32 but he was really 35) he said he did it because his friends told him to. Also, supposedly it leads to connections with a younger demographic that may have their age cut-off arbitrarily set.

A more bizarre lie than that, is lying about your name. This happened to me twice! Both times, they didn’t fess up until we met in person. Once because supposedly he was in law enforcement and did it for professional anonymity, and once because the guy thought it would be funny, but as noted by him, no one got the joke… LOL bro.

People who have absolutely nothing in their bio are usually just looking for a hook-up. Also, kind of a no-brainer, but if the person has only pictures of their body but no face in any shot then they’re probably cheating.

Which leads to a little side note: you’ll occasionally run into a profile looking for an additional person to join in on some ménage à trois action but they’re pretty up front about their intentions. No judgement here, I say let the swingers swing and the players play.

People, for some asinine reason, lie about having children. I think that’s just about the shittiest thing you could ever do as a parent. Some people keep it that information private from their profile but will tell you when you match, which isn’t bad. But, some people will flat out lie about it. I met with someone who’s profile distinctly said he didn’t have children, but come to find out on the first date, he had a teenage son. His rationale? Since his kid was a teenager it’s not really like having a kid. Um… no thanks asshole. What right-minded person would want to start a relationship with someone who disowns their own child just to get a date? Not me.

Red Flags

Always listen to your gut when it comes to red flags, whether it’s in person or still on the app. In messages guys can be very vague with sexual innuendo. If you’re getting weird vibes, most likely it’s for a reason. I know it takes a certain type of personality but it helps to be extremely direct. I’ve been asked for threesomes directly and not-so-directly. I’ve been asked to send nudes in the same manner.

Once, after being asked how “adventurous” I can be, I cut to the chase to see what the hell this guy was up to. He asked me to go on a date with “his friend” to have sex with first, before he’d agree to meet me in person. When I told him how much of a jackass I thought he was, he shared with me that he was far more attractive than myself and that he had over 200 matches in line for his attention. Still so bummed that one didn’t work out…

When meeting in person, definitely be alert for the weirdness vibes. On my one and only date with an older gentlemen, he decided to tell me that he received “happy endings” from his massage therapist. He also noted how cool it was to be on a date with someone he felt comfortable enough to share that detail with. Lucky me.

Then there’s always the reliable text message out of the blue, months after not seeing someone. You can count on it. You may have one or two dates with someone, maybe even a fling. Then it either dies out naturally or more abruptly ends. And then it happens… Months later you’ll receive the “Hey… How are you?”, or “Just wanted to say hi because I was thinking about you”, from an unknown number. My advice, best not to respond. On one occasion I had to block a number because he continued to message me daily despite never receiving a response from me. Yeah, that’s normal…

First Dates

Keep it simple. It’s always best to meet over drinks or coffee rather than dinner. If you hit it off — most likely not— but if you do, then you can always extend the evening into a meal. Or maybe even more…

Advice for those who get first-date jitters. For sanity’s sake, stop putting so much pressure on yourself! Don’t even call it a date if that you gives you nerves. You’re just meeting someone to learn about them. Chances are, they’ll suck anyway and there’s no point in producing stress lines for that.

You are a badass, unique, amazing individual (especially because you’ve read this blog all the way through). Just be you, unapologetically, and you’ll attract the best fit.

I’ve tried to keep this post as gender neutral as possible, by adding the male perspective according to things my guy friends and past partners have shared with me. Ultimately what I’ve found is that whether you’re a man or woman, gay or straight, the experiences on dating apps and dating in general are very similar. They suck.

Thanks for reading, and I’ll catch ya on the next one. If you’re cool, SuBsCr1Be. 🙂

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