The Guide to Dating In Your 30s

Chances are if you’re reading this right now, your 20s are getting smaller in the rearview mirror of life as you roar into your 30s. The problem? Well, you’re still driving the car down this road with no copilot—single. Dating in your 30s is generally not something people plan for.

In reality, though, many people may not have found that special someone by the age of 30. Some people may have thought they found Mr. or Mrs. Right, but it didn’t work out as planned. Other people may have taken their 20s to chase their individual dreams. Whatever the case, we’ve got a message of hope for you today, accompanied by some incredibly helpful tips, tricks, and resources.

It’s not over! You’re not destined to be single forever! The dating pool at this age is not just the leftover broken chips at the bottom of the bag that no one wants to eat. If you let us help you out, we’re sure you can find what it is you’re looking for when it comes to love, dating, marriage, and the pursuit of romantic happiness.

Why Dating In Your 30s is Better

A lot of you guys and gals reading this guide probably had a plan to already be married and settled down by this point. And while we’re sorry that things didn’t go quite according to your plan, it’s okay! In fact, there are actually a lot of reasons that dating in your 30s is better!

The Dating Pool is More Established

Take a minute and think back to 20 year old you. If you’re really being honest, how much did you have life under control? Were you already the person you eventually grew into being? Would the person you’re looking for now even have liked 20 year old you?

While we don’t want to be too presumptuous, we’re betting that a lot of you weren’t the same person then and you didn’t really have it all figured out. Real talk—neither did most other people. The greatest news about dating in your 30s is that the dating pool now is much more filled with people that have it together.

Does everyone have it together? Not a chance. But a much higher percentage of people know who they are, what they want, what their life plans are, and the real winner of all of that—is you.  

There’s Less Game Playing

When people know what they want, the annoying romantic games go down. When people are already tired of playing games, the annoying romantic games go down. When you’re dating in your 30s, there’s generally less game playing. Sure, you’ll still run into a few knuckleheads out there, but it’s going to be way less of a problem than when you were in your 20s. Hallelujah.

The Cost of Dating is Generally Less of an Issue

If finances aren’t great for you right now, don’t take this the wrong way. You still deserve love. What we’re trying to point out here is that more singles in their 30s are financially stable than were in their 20s.

We can remember worrying what the girl or guy was going to order at the restaurant if we were paying. And while we still might think you’re not that great if you order the lobster on date one, it’s not going to make us cry when we check our bank statement in the morning.

This helps to reduce some of the stress and anxiety and makes things a much smoother ride. Chalk this up as another win for the 30 year old dating category.

People’s Priorities Have Shifted for the Better

Yes, there are still people just looking to hook up. Yes, there are still (here comes our favorite word again), knuckleheads out there. But a larger percentage of the population dating in their 30s is looking for a real relationship. If you’re still trying to play the field and “do your thing,” well, to each their own. However, this guide is more dedicated towards people looking to find something lasting and meaningful.

How Dating In Your 30s is Different

Here’s a newsflash that you’re probably already well aware of. Dating in your 30s is not the same as dating when you’re any other age. The singles are different, the priorities are different, and the way things “go down” are quite different as well. Let’s take a look at some of these differences, as it can help you get prepared for what’s in store for you.

Dating in Your 30s vs. Dating In Your 20s

  • Netflix and chill is no more. The lazy hookup tactics of your 20s aren’t going to fly in your 30s. Here’s an uncomfortable reality. You are an adult now. It’s okay if you like to have a little fun here and there but do it with some meaning. Have some respect for the rest of the 30 year old singles in the same boat as you. And besides, all the cool kids are watching Apple+ now. We think?
  • Going Dutch. When it comes to paying for the date, there are quite a few more women that are onboard with splitting the check, especially on a first date. If money’s tight guys, don’t necessarily count on this. But it’s also not out of the ordinary to ask to split the bill.
  • They don’t want to text all day long. When you’re in your 20s, it’s fun to text with someone you like all day long. But when you’re in your 30s, you probably have a career and a serious job and responsibilities (or at least the people you’re dating might). This means all the lols, brbs, jks, and rotfls may need to get toned back. And even if you can make it work with your job, it doesn’t send the best message. The guy or girl might start to wonder what you’re doing with your life if you have the ability to text like a maniac all day long.
  • Goals and responsibility are sexy. Speaking of what you’re doing with your time, having goals, drive, and fulfilling your responsibilities instantly became a lot sexier the day you turned 30.
  • Weekday dates are king (or queen). People have jobs now. Yes, people had jobs in their 20s, but more people take their jobs seriously in their 30s. This means that if you’re always pushing dates on weeknights, you might not get the response you want. You can still date on weeknights, but it’s nice to recommend things that end earlier in the night and involve far fewer martinis and beers.
  • People may have baggage. The single men and the single women you meet may have baggage. Heck, you may have some baggage. And guess what? That’s totally okay. You’ve already lived over a decade of your life as an adult. You’ve made decisions, mistakes, and things you’d never change for anything in the world. If this isn’t something you’re okay with, dating in your 30s may be a long, long decade.

The Differences of Dating In Your 30s as a Man or a Woman

The things that make dating as a 30-something year old different aren’t always the same for men and women. In the next two sections, we want to speak directly to the guys and the gals reading.

Dating in Your 30s as a Woman

Ladies, here’s some good news. A lot of the game-players, Netflix and chiller-ers, and flaky folks are not in your new dating pool. However, that doesn’t mean you can let your guard down. Some of these people are still out there. But for the most part, you’re going to like what you find. Many of the men you look to date are more serious about finding love, making a lasting connection, and believe it or not—looking for marriage.

That all being said, don’t turn into a life-clock-azilla. Yes, we just made that word up. But here’s what we mean. Some of you are worried about your biological clock. You want kids. Your mother and friends are probably harassing you to get married. While we can understand the pressure (sort of), don’t let that bleed into your dating life.

If you want to watch men run for the hills, this is how you do it. It’s okay to express that you’re looking for something serious, but “HI! NICE TO MEET YOU! I’M LOOKING TO GET MARRIED! I CHANGED MY NAME TO MARY AND BOUGHT A LITTLE LAMB BECAUSE I LOVE MARRIAGE SO MUCH!” is not the way to attract a quality man.

Dating in Your 30s as a Man

Gents, welcome to your 30s. Here’s some great news for you. You hit your prime in your early 30s, which means you should be at the top of your game. And for even better news, there are a lot of beautiful women in their 30s looking to meet a quality man.

Which brings us to the most important point—quality man. You have got to be a quality man if you want to have some success dating in your 30s. The ladies aren’t going to like immaturity, lack of drive, or you with only one thing on your mind. Take some time and look to reshape how you date if you don’t fit the bill of a quality man.

Commonly Asked Questions

Is 30 too old for dating?

You are never too old for dating, and that certainly applies to being in your 30s. In fact, most people dating in their 30s have clearer goals, life more put together, and more experience that can make for a more fruitful dating experience.

Is dating easier in your 30s?

Dating is and is not easier in your 30s. Awesome, thanks for that non-answer. Let us explain. In your 30s, more people are better communicators, tired of games, and have life experience that can help with dating. On the other hand, though, you may be getting a lot of outside pressure from family and friends, and you may have some baggage that could complicate things. The bottom line answer to is dating easier in your 30s is that it’s just different—not easier or harder.

How long should you date before marriage when you’re in your 30s?

The amount of time you should date in your 30s before getting married is however long it takes for both of you to feel confident that you want to spend the rest of your lives together. How long is that? It’s going to vary.

If you forced us to give an answer, we’d say approaching the two-year dating mark is where you could seriously start considering marriage. If you’re in your late 30s, that timeframe could be a bit shorter. Don’t take this as a hard and fast rule, though.

What age is late 30s?

For most people, late 30s starts somewhere between 37 and 38. If you’re 38, 39, or 40—you’re in your late 30s. If you’re 37, it can go either way. Honestly, though, it doesn’t really matter.

Where can you meet singles in your 30s?

You have a lot of options for meeting singles in your 30s, including at work, at the gym, at church, playing sports, or online. Our favorite option for singles in their 30s is online because it helps people deal with busy schedules and brings any potential baggage or issues to light faster. Its efficiency is perfect for singles in their 30s.