Things Mature Women Hate About The Dating Scene — And What We Do Differently

It’s native to think that dating games magically stop once you hit your late 20s or 30s, but sadly, that’s just not the case. Some people just never grow up, it seems. That’s fine for those who are content with screwing around endlessly, but for mature women looking for a relationship, it’s an absolute nightmare. Here are some of the biggest frustrations we face.

  1. Ghosting is incredibly childish. Is there anything less mature than completely going AWOL from women’s lives because you’re too much of a coward to say upfront that you don’t want to date us anymore? I don’t think so. We don’t need a long, drawn-out breakup (that would be awkward) or even a face-to-face conversation (though that would be the decent thing to do). Even a quick text saying something like “it’s been real, see ya!” would be great.
  2. Sex is seen as the most important part of a relationship. Mature women know that sex is important in every relationship, but that there are bigger issues at play. We don’t throw a hissy fit if we’re not getting laid 24/7 or if our partners have other things going on that mean they’re either not in the mood or too busy to have sex for a while. Sadly, a lot of men missed out on that memo. You can have the best sex life in the world, but if communication, trust, and support aren’t there, your relationship is doomed.
  3. Communication skills are seriously lacking. Why is it that no one wants to actually talk to each other anymore? When in a relationship, mature women (and men) realize that keeping the lines of communication open and flowing clearly is vital to ensure you survive and thrive as a couple. If you can’t have a conversation with your partner about what’s going on in your head and heart and they don’t feel safe doing the same with you, what’s the point of even being together? We regularly find out the answer is “not much.”
  4. Everyone wants to talk via text rather than face to face. On a similar note, so much of our frustration comes from the fact that everyone would rather hold entire conversations and conduct entire relationships via their phones than they would in person. While we want to actually build something real and tangible, for many people, that seems to be too much to ask.
  5. People give up the minute there’s a bump in the road. No relationship is smooth sailing all the time. Expecting that is unrealistic and kind of silly. Mature women understand that there will be issues that arise but that most of them aren’t serious enough to end the relationship. We’re often alone in that, unfortunately. So many people want to give up at the first hurdle. It’s just too much effort to work through things.
  6. Too many options make people get bored too quickly. Why stay in a relationship with one person when there are 12 more on your phone waiting for you? Millions of people around the world use dating apps, meaning there are always options. While that can be a good thing, it’s also a nightmare when you actually want a relationship. People’s attention spans are running far too thin these days.
  7. Breakups rarely come without excessive drama. Mature, well-adjusted adults should be able to end a relationship with grace and respect. We should be able to wish the other person well (yes, even if they’ve screwed us over) and move on. It’s never that easy, it seems. So many people in the dating world seem to thrive on drama these days. Pettiness is everywhere, and it’s exhausting.

Ways mature women handle ourselves differently in dating

  1. We actually get in touch when we say we will. Mature women are serious about our dating lives. If we tell someone we’ll call or text them, we do. If we agree to meet somewhere at a certain time, we’ll be there (maybe even early). Our word is bond and we don’t take that lightly. We’re not interested in wasting anyone’s time because we hate when it’s done to us.
  2. We put in effort when we’re into someone. When we like someone, we make it known. While we’d never pull 100% of the weight on our own, we’re more than happy to put in our share of the effort. We reach out, make plans, show interest, and go the extra mile to be good partners. If only we got that same consideration in return.
  3. We don’t need to “explore our options.” We can’t even count the number of times we’ve been dating guys who seem to like us, only to back off and say they want to “go with the flow” for now. If we like someone, we’re cool with exploring that connection. The other “options” out there don’t really matter as much at the moment.
  4. We actively work through problems rather than brushing them under the carpet. When problems arise, we don’t head for the hills or pretend like they don’t exist. Instead, mature women want to talk about what’s happening and figure out how to fix it. We want to hear our partners’ perspectives and express our own to see if we can find common ground. We know that small problems can become major ones if they’re left to fester and we don’t want to do it.
  5. We actually put our phones away and pay attention to our dates. Seriously, what the hell is with this? We’re sick of being out on dates with someone and their phone. They never pay attention to what’s being said because they’re too busy texting their friends or scrolling through Instagram rather than listening. It’s like they’re afraid to put the damn thing away lest they miss something for 15 minutes. It’s maddening and is pretty much a mood-killer right off the bat.
  6. We don’t play aloof or hard to get. Who has time for that? Mature women got over that nonsense ages ago. If we like someone, we show it. We don’t want them to lose interest thinking we’re not feeling it because we’re acting like we couldn’t care less. That doesn’t create mystery or intrigue, it just makes you seem like a tool.
  7. If we’re not feeling it anymore, we break up properly. It really isn’t all that hard. If it’s not working out, the people we’re dating likely already know that too and it won’t come as a surprise. We have no problem speaking up and saying so. It’s just the decent thing to do.
Sinead Cafferty is a writer who has authored four collections of poetry: "Dust Settling" (2012); "The Space Between" (2014); "Under, Under, Over" (2016); and "What You Can't Have" (2020). She's currently working on her first novel, a dystopian romance set in the 22nd Century, that's due out in 2024.

Sinead has an MFA in creative writing from NYU and has had residencies with the Vermont Studio Center and the National Center for Writing.