How Being Single In Your 30s Is Different Than In Your 20s

Your thirties are definitely the new twenties. Sure, you may not know what you’re doing still or what the future holds, but you start to care less about what others think and start to focus on those things that really make you happy. In your thirties, you start realizing what’s important to you, what you really want to be doing, and realizing that it doesn’t mean you need to be in a relationship. Here are some other differences you might notice.

  1. Dating may not be as fun. In your twenties, it was almost acceptable to come home each night with a different guy and a night was deemed a failure if no one got a kiss. The casual sex, the flirting, the attention – it’s all great fun on a night out with friends. Now that you’re a bit older, you’re probably looking for something a bit more serious and you’re more cautious about who you sleep with, which does take a little bit of fun out of it, if you’re being honest.
  2. The dating pool is smaller. It may feel like everyone is taken, like we were all playing a game of musical chairs when suddenly, the music stops and you look up and everyone else has sat down and you’re left standing without a chair. A lot of eligible guys have already coupled up and settled down, leaving far fewer options for you.
  3. You become pickier. You can spot a player from a mile off and unless you just want a bit of fun, it’s easier to steer clear. You’ve heard all the pickup lines before and you know now what you like and how you like it. You’re not about to lower your standards for anyone or anything, and you definitely shouldn’t.
  4. If you do date, you find yourself more relaxed about it all. In your twenties, dating was part of the fun, something to do. There was always a drama or something happening. But now, character is more important than looks and how they treat you and make you feel is more important than their social status or job. If it works, great. If it doesn’t, that’s also fine.
  5. You protect your heart more. Usually, being single after 30 means you’ve had your fair share of heartbreak. With that comes hard lessons. Maybe you’re now your favorite companion and your life is exactly how you like it. That’s because you’ve spent the time building it by yourself for yourself. Bringing someone into that and letting down those walls is a big deal and you no longer do it for just anyone.
  6. Everyone talks about a ticking clock. The damned clock. It will start as a little comment here and there until your family sit you down and advise that you should “probably find someone soon” so you can have a baby. It’s like you turn 30 and everyone becomes a lot more direct (and weird) about what they think you should be doing. You do you, whatever that is.
  7. Everyone else’s perception of you being single changes. Suddenly you’re not just living a fabulous single life with your best friends, you’re the sad friend who can’t get a boyfriend or who must desperately want to be married. Maybe that’s true but more often than not, it’s not. Don’t let other people tell you how to feel.
  8. You suddenly become the dinner party entertainment for all your coupled-up friends. “Tell us about a fun date. Let us live vicariously through you!” You may find your friendship group changes and adapts and that you aren’t invited when it’s a couples thing. Be honest about how this makes you feel. You might be fine with it, but you also might prefer to still be included.
  9. You might decide kids aren’t for you. After watching your friends getting married and having kids, it might make you question whether that’s actually what you want. Women are generally bought up to believe they should aim to have a job, get married, and raise a family, so we tend to work towards this. Once you see your friends who you’re used to seeing with their head in a toilet or passed out on tequila suddenly stressed and tired, trying to keep a baby alive, you might realize that babies and husbands are not the be-all and end-all.
  10. You’re more in tune with who you are in your 30s. You’ve been who you are now for a good few years and feeling more confident about that. Not dating gives you the chance to work out just exactly what is it you really want and how to get it. You’re whole by yourself and this confidence is something that you maybe didn’t have in your twenties.
  11. You’re generally more confident. Travel by yourself? Yes. Buy a house by yourself? Why not? Move cities for a really cool job? Definitely. You’re the author of your own life and you don’t feel like you need to have someone by your side anymore to do these things.
  12. You can do this by yourself and you will. Whereas in your twenties, there was a mad rush to settle down and tick off all major life goals, you realize now that actually it’s more about being happy than seeming happy and everyone else’s goals don’t necessarily look like yours. That’s okay!