Sure, you probably experienced love in your 20s, but it’s a whole different ball game now that you’re a little bit older and wiser:
- You recognize love for what it is. Love at any age is confusing, but in your 20s it can seem downright impossible to understand in the slightest. By the time you hit your 30s, you’re well-acquainted with the emotion and have developed a healthy respect and fear for it. It’s still exciting, but you know now that it’s not enough on its own, and you need a whole lot more if you’re going to make love last.
- You don’t confuse it with lust, or at least you don’t admit that you do. Sex used to be in the forefront of your minds, and it often made you think there was something between you and the guy you were banging even when there really wasn’t. Wanting a guy doesn’t change just because you turn 30, but generally you can tell when a guy is no more than hook-up material and try to cut things off before feelings get involved if that’s the case.
- Breakups wreck you on a whole different level. When you’re in your twenties, breakups can feel like the end of the world, which makes sense because they’re the first real heartbreaks you’ve ever experienced. You try to party it away and move on, several times, with lots of guys. Breaking up doesn’t feel any better when you’re older, but you at least know now that life goes on. Ending a relationship tends to be a bit more complicated and the stakes are higher, so you try to look for guys you could potentially be with for good, so you never have to experience the ending.
- You do truly crazy stuff for love. Being young gives makes you do dumb stuff because you think you’re invincible. You don’t necessarily get less crazy or adventurous in your 30s, but you do have other responsibilities that require your time, attention and money, and the type of crazy stuff you do now is different. You buy houses and cars with a guy, threaten to take those same items away in a bitter breakup, abandon people you love because we think he’s the only person you need… Sometimes, though, you jump in too early and it works out beautifully — that’s the best kind of crazy.
- You want your fairy tale now, damn it. When you’re young, your fairy tales probably involve men with lots of money, tall, dark and handsome features, and a guy who’s totally obsessed with us. As you grow and mature, that (thankfully) changes. Sure, money would be nice, but how about a man who doesn’t ghost and actually makes an effort? You’d love to travel, but you’d settle for paying the bills and not having a fight about the laundry. Your fairy tale becomes more about surviving in the world you actually live in now — even if you secretly still want the one you wished for back in the day.
- You’re much more cautious than you were before. When you’ve had your heart broken in a variety of ways by different kinds of men, you begin to wonder if any of them don’t suck. When you’re young, you haven’t dated enough to realize that a lot of guys are clueless and don’t know how to date. When you’re in your 30s, you become wary of men, and sometimes it can hurt your dating game. Sad truth of the game.