It's been a few months since my 30th birthday. Recently, I got a message from Shi Hui asking me for details on my dating life since she found out that I'm dating a Singaporean guy. And at the time, she suggested me to start writing on a post about what makes dating in my early 30s different than my 20s.
I figure it's actually a brilliant idea. There are so many things to talk about when it comes to the differences, either from within or the external situation. So, now that I'm honestly running out of the ideas what to write next now that I've finished my Borneo trip post… Here comes the post about dating in our 20s vs 30s!
So, what are the similarities? And what things that make one different than the other?!
Dating in Our 20s vs 30s
In case you haven't read my post on things I've learned from being (almost) 30, I couldn't stress enough the fact that when it comes to life… 30s is pretty much like our 20s, but with money.
Well, some of us got luckier early in their life that they've already met the love of their lives in this period. Some even got their kids along the way. Some haven't, but they got the other kind of blessings. Be it to be able to reach their goals, or simply just enjoy their life in general.
I suppose, in our 20s, we try to get everything figured out. Like we try to do our best even though we don't have much in this period. Some people got to the point where they seem to get all their shit together in their 20s, some don't. But that's alright.
With such condition, being single in our 30s could mean a lot of pressures for some of us. Some could handle it well, but even when they couldn't… More often than not, there will come a day when they wouldn't give a shit anymore. So honestly, our 30s is basically the sweet spot for all of us who don't seem to get our shit together in our 20s.
So, which one are you?!
The Similarities: Dating in Our 20s and 30s
Before I start, please mind that I could only speak as someone who's just reached my early 30s. Speaking from my experiences, I think there are more differences than similarities in dating in our 20s and 30s.
For example, the only similarities that I could think of are… You're still looking for that Mr. or Mrs. Right. And for good reasons.
Still though, those reasons could change with time. There's a lot of transition that you would encounter from your 20s to your 30s. And if I could tell you how it is so far, I feel like I'm transitioning from my 20s to my cool 30s self. It's a cusp of aging, if you will.
However, when it comes to the differences between dating in our 20s and 30s… I suppose there's plenty to talk about. So what are the differences?!
The Differences: Dating in Our 20s vs 30s
Some people hold on to their life with the same values within the decade. But then again, I suppose there's always some level of growth happening to each individual. I mean, let's just hope we all change for the better. And not the other way around.
However, I've tried to look back and see what makes dating in our 30s different with back when I was in my 20s. So in this post, I'm trying to sum up the differences and tell a bit of story from my personal point of view.
1. The Way We See Life.
In case you haven't read my post on the theme songs of my life on my 30th birthday, then just know that I have Kelsea Ballerini's In Between on the list. Then I couldn't stress enough the lyrics that I could totally relate: “Young enough to think I'll live forever, old enough to know I won't.”
I think, in our 20s… No matter how we see life, we would try to explore as much as we could. By the time we get to the 30s, we're at the point where we know which one is our comfort zone. And we tend to stay there.
When we're in our 20s, we still try to figure things out. And if I could be honest to myself, I spent most of my 20s trying to be a people pleaser. I tried to fit in, so much so that I'm so sure I wouldn't date my religious ex-boyfriend if given the second chance.
Meanwhile, it's easier to get rid of toxic people in your life when you're in your 30s. Because people reveal their true colors at this period. And mind me this, people in their 30s tend to be honest to themselves. So more often than not, what you see is what you get. And I think this part makes dating in our 30s quite easier and harder at the same time.
Like, it's absolutely hard to find someone who shares the same color and values in life as you… But once you do, it's basically worth the difficulty to find them for a start.
2. The Way We See Ourselves.
The highlight of my 20s was to find something that people like about me. Like I mentioned before, I was a people pleaser in my 20s as I tried so hard to fit in.
But of course, I wasn't just doing something that people liked for that matter. I also tried to dig what I could do which not only benefit others, but myself too. In that case, I was trying to find the sweet spot about what I could do comfortably for others. That applies to my dating scene too.
No kidding, from the basic attitude towards my partner to even some sex scenes. HAHA.
At this point, I live by “it's okay not to be okay”… Because hey, we all have some different kind of issues. When you get to be honest to yourself, it's easier to be honest to your partner too. And what's a relationship without trusting each other?
And that, my friends, is why dating in 30s seems a lot easier than back in your 20s.
3. The Way We See Our Partner.
Now that we know our 20s is the period where we tend to do ‘trial and error', our 30s usually marks the part where we already know what we're good at. Or for that matter, what we're going towards from that point.
So, if in our 20s we tend to slow down a little when it comes to almost every aspect of dating, then our 30s is the time where there is no bullshitting.
While having a fuck buddy was a lifestyle, I tried to see the prospect of the future after a few dates in my 20s. Now that I'm in 30s, I was totally ready to ‘take it or leave it'. And surprisingly, so was my partner.
If anything, in my 30s I think I've excelled the art of detachment and attachment at the same time. It benefits our relationship in general. We don't always see eye to eye since we're totally different some way, but still we work on the same values that we share together.
Looking back, I often argued small things like why he didn't call me or where he had been. More often than not, I bottled things up only for me to attack them later.
Nowadays, I would just tell him that I wasn't pleased about things… And he would give me some time to cool down before telling him what the problem is. Communication is the key, and it got better when you date in your 30s apparently. Or is it just me?!
4. The Way You Expect Thing(s) to Happen.
Expectation kills you. Like, seriously…
There were times when I expected something serious out of a hookup. Now that I think about it, it was indeed ridiculous. But then again, I've learned that the key to avoiding disappointment is to expect less.
If anything, this only led me to a better communication since now I'm 30 and tired of expecting things to happen. I mean, having expectation is apparently quite exhausting. Now that I've excelled at being disappointed, instead of expecting thing to happen, I try to ask what kind of things I should expect.
What's the worst from our worse? Am I prepared for this?!
Well, so far it works just fine. I think at this point, I finally realized that for the first time in my life, I'm in a mature relationship and I'm glad.
Dating in Our 20s vs 30s: Exploring What Could Have Been vs Seeking for the Comfort Zone
For me, I spent my 20s on exploring what could have been and done. That was the part of YOLO situation in my life, including in my dating scene and I'm glad for what I've been through. After all, like what
the three modern wise men Rascal Flatts said, God bless the broken heart that led me straight to you. LOL.
Dating in my 30s is so much simpler. As
the Goddess Selena Gomez said, the hearts wants what it wants.
In my 30s, I no longer want that cute guy with no future… I was more interested in that nerd who asked me how I feel after throwing tantrums in my PMS.
Any experience to compare dating in your 20s and 30s? Give me a shout in the comment section, and cheerio! 😀