Tough one because not being a relationship counselor or single, the advice I can give is based only on observation, gut feeling and a survey I conducted today from a number of friends who were single but found love in their 30’s, here’s what they had to say;
How to cope when you’re single and 30.
- Understand that 30 is the new 20. Thirty is not old. In an age where the median age for marriage is only 29.3 years old, you’re not over the hill yet. Whilst you may feel like everyone else is getting married and having babies, there’s still a vast selection of single people wanting to find love just like you are.
- Don’t panic. Potential partners can see the words “DESPERATE” written on your forehead and they run a mile. Don’t play games and be honest at all times but mentioning marriage on a first date is a bit awks and desperado.
- Lower your standards. This doesn’t mean settle for every single person who shows interest in you but don’t set such high expectations where a partner will constantly let you down. Just because you think a love nest should be set up in the lounge room with a 5 course dinner and violins playing the latest Bruno Mars ballad on Valentines Day doesn’t mean he or she will deliver. You will be let down and they won’t meet your expectations. Sure have expectations but for God’s sake, be real.
- Hang with other single 30’s. This is a sure fire way to feel like the world is not passing you by. Sure a few of your friends may be getting hitched and having babies but always ensure you don’t fall off the social radar just because they do. Keep your friendship groups wide and varied.
- Date. You’re not going to want to marry everyone you date, nor are you going to want to have a long term relationship with them. Dating lots of people gives you a great insight into what you do and don’t like about a potential partner. Have you ever noticed how people in their 30’s seem to make up their mind about a partner really quickly and it goes from dating to marriage in quick succession? This is because you have the benefit of experience and it’s easier to when you find ‘the one’. It’s amazing how quickly most 30+ relationships get very serious very quickly.
- The perfect partner is your best friend. If you’re looking for a long term relationship, the ones that work and will stand the test of time were best friends first and partners thereafter. Physical attraction is incredibly important however it can be a long time between sexy times when there’s a screaming baby or two lying between you. An ability to laugh over good times and bad is important. Who is your best friend?
- Embrace online dating. Apparently this is how everyone ‘dates’ these days. Whilst you may feel that it’s not for you, there’s only so many times you can rally after a big week and hit the pubs and clubs. Set up a profile, what have you got to lose when everyone else is doing it?
- Don’t rule out second timers. In this day and age, many relationships work where one partner is coming into it with a divorce behind them or children from a previous relationship, don’t rule out those who have been there before, they’ve often learned from previous mistakes.
- If you’re female, freeze your eggs. It’s true, the older you get the more dodgy your eggs get. Call it an insurance policy.
- What do you like about your previous partners? Do you have a certain type? If you like fit and heathly people who focus on cucumbers and tomatoes, join the gym – you’ll find heaps of other single cucumber lovers there. If you like fat unhealthy people, hit the theme parks, they’re in abundance at theme parks.
- Ask around. Undoubtedly you have a plethora of friends who have single friends, keep your social circle with ‘married’ friends open as you never know when the next Mr or Miss right is at the next Australia Day BBQ you attend.
- Be prepared to compromise, a lot. Mr or Miss Perfect does not exist and often when relationships fall apart it’s because one or both people have an inability to say sorry or to compromise. If you’re a stubborn idiot who cannot compromise in a relationship then there’s very little hope that you’ll end up in a long term one. All relationships are about compromise. All the time.
- Do you attract douche bags or bitches? Have you been hurt in the past? Take a good look at your track record and ‘types’ of people you have dated. Perhaps it’s time to change the ‘type’ you are attracted to.
- Change your postcode. If you’ve dated most people your age in your own city, move. Sometimes a change of scenery is just what the love doctor ordered.
- Change Jobs. It’s extraordinary how many relationships form from workplace friendships. If you work in an industry where there’s a good mix of people, perhaps it’s time for a change of scenery.
- Travel. Get on a plane and see the world. Mr or Miss right may just be on the plane seat next to you or in a café in Paris wanting to find you as well. There’s no better time to travel when you’re in your 30’s. You have the money to no longer be a back packer and the maturity to appreciate the experience.
- Breathe. Telling single people that ‘you’ll find the one’ is a bit like telling a married couple who have been trying to conceive for two years ‘not to think about it’. It’s impossible and can often be all consuming and incredibly depressing. There is no doubt that it must be tough having to focus on ‘finding the one’ in amongst career, friends, family and reality TV. There are no easy answers and there is no sure fire way, build up your interests, stay busy and put yourself out there. Nothing to lose, everything to gain.