I thought I’d be married by now. At 35 going on 36, I thought I’d have a hunky husband by my side, a healthy and committed partnership, and at least two babies. But life doesn’t always turn out the way we planned. If it did, I’d have all of the above plus a killer post-baby bod. And I’d also be a billionaire and hang out with Sarah Jessica Parker.
Alas, I am a New York City single gal living the New York City single gal life. I’ve dated white guys, Latinos, Asians, short guys, chubby guys, artists, and marketers. I have been around the block (not that way) and I’m still circling the Big Apple. Because at 35 going on 36, I just don’t want to settle.
That’s what happens when it comes to finding love as a 30-something. Priorities shift. You realize that you’ve waited this long, so why get with so-and-so for the sake of being in a relationship? Yes, my dating style has changed over the years. Here’s how finding love is different when you’re a 30-something.
You know what you really want.
In my 20s, I believed that a good boyfriend consisted of good looks and an impressive ability to chug alcohol. He had to keep up with my partying ways and look beautiful by my side! I also wanted a boyfriend. Someone to talk to and kiss and then some. I never really thought about commitment long-term. I didn’t want a partner. Now, I want more than meets the eye. I want a man who is kind, sensitive, and hard-working. I want someone who is supportive and family-oriented. Yes, I must be physically attracted to him, but that’s not the sole thing that matters.
You don’t mourn heartbreak as tragically.
As a 20-something, I spent weeks and sometimes months in bed when a relationship failed. I thought my life was over! I didn’t think I’d love again. Wrong! Everyone experiences breakups. And we all bounce back. I have. It is so much easier for me to move on as a 30-something. I take the lessons and keep moving. I also accept the end and know that if the relationship didn’t work it was for the best.
You are looking for core values.
I know who I am. I know the good and bad and what I need to continue to work on. I am a work in progress as we all are. Due to being self-aware, I also know what kind of man I want. I know he needs to be family-oriented and be spiritual and so much more. His core values are what matters. Differing values and lifestyles are often what makes or breaks a relationship. Unlike when I was in my 20s, I won’t commit to a man who doesn’t want the same things as I do.
You have less tolerance for crap.
Because I know what I want and who I am, I don’t have time for men who aren’t on the same page. I don’t want to groom a man or change a man. I don’t want to convince a man that I am indeed “the one.” I don’t want to force anything. That wasn’t the case as a 20-something. I knew men weren’t “it” and I still dated them. Now, I don’t have tolerance for crap. If I don’t feel it after three dates (by “it,” I mean chemistry and compatibility) there won’t be a fourth. Cause the clock, my friends, is ticking.
Photo Credit: Flickr.com/gibospics.