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Dating at 35: Terrifying or Exciting?

A couple in the park dating at 35.
Dating at 35 can sound daunting but this might just be your prime age for dating.

Being single and 35 is a combination that can either be a fun adventure or a tragic ordeal.

If you are someone seeking to settle down and start a family, you might feel you’ve long ago missed the train. But for others, who, for different reasons, find themselves starting anew at this stage, it means gearing up for exciting possibilities.

No matter your history, dating at 35 can be quite challenging. As a single middle-aged man or woman, you might be facing biological and social pressures. Add to that, you would have to deal with heavier emotional baggage, yours and that of potential partners. Dating power shift in the 30s can also affect man-woman dynamics and your chances of a successful search.

While this context can pose disadvantages, there are also lots of advantages that make dating at this age the most promising and meaningful.

How Is Dating in Your 30s Different From Dating in Your 20s

By the time you hit your 30s, you’ve got a mix of experiences under your belt–career growths, travels, and a list of heartbreaks–which make your life and character richer and more grounded. You have more defined priorities in life, you know yourself better, and you are clearer with your non-negotiables when it comes to relationships.

With all these, dating at this age can be refreshingly more simple. You know what you want and you go for it. You sense the red flags more efficiently and you know how and why to avoid them. You wouldn’t have this wisdom during your teens or in your 20s.

Moreover, the unrestrained energy and fearlessness of youth that can border on imprudence are now pruned by lessons learned through the years. You are more mature in dealing with yourself and others. You know better the value of time, effort, and people, which will help you make better decisions especially when it comes to dating.

On the other hand, the opposite can happen. You might arrive at 35 jaded, exhausted, and more confused than you were a decade ago. Failures in your job and relationships could result in lowered self-esteem and hopelessness. Or if you’re 30 and have never been in a relationship, it might add to more anxiety and impatience.

If this is the case, it will be valuable to work on yourself first. If at 20, you managed to ignore this crisis, by 30, it is high time to face it before things get more complicated. Reflect on your past and see why relationships have been a cycle of pain and disappointments. There may be hidden wounds that need to be healed and there is no shame in going through therapy if necessary.

Addressing these deep-seated fears and pains will make you a more complete and loving person, better ready to invest yourself fully in life and a relationship.

How Priorities in the 30s Change

For many, their 20s are a time of experimenting, enjoyment, and carelessness. But when the body clock starts ticking, priorities change. At this point, there is a desire for a more stable, peaceful, and long-term relationship.

That might mean reconsidering what gets the most of your time—is it work or partying? Maybe you need a shift so you can give more time to nurturing a relationship. Health also becomes more significant. You might want to start a more appropriate diet or commit to regular exercise. Physical health affects your overall health—mental, psychological, and relational.

Lifetime goals such as marriage and having children are also now appearing on the horizon. You might be asking yourself how long to date before marriage in your late 30s. And if you’re dating after 35, you might be tempted to settle with the next date that comes your way.

However, if the aim is a strong and lasting partnership, then haste would often be a hindrance. Take time and don’t panic. Allow a relationship to unfold naturally. It will help you get to know the person better and see more clearly if that relationship is for keeps.

A couple on a date at a cafe.
Learn how to meet people in your 30s whether in real life or online.

Changes in the 30s Dating Pool

One of the challenges of dating at 35 is that there is a smaller pool of fish to choose from. By this time, many of the prospects your age may already be off the market. You may have fewer natural social spaces, such as educational and cultural events, which is a hotspot for potential dates. Moreover, the increasingly internet-driven society pushes people to spend more time indoors, lessening the opportunities for random meetings.

How to meet people in your 30s can require creativity and patience. What is there to do as a 30-something single and ready to mingle?

How to Meet People in Your 30s

If you are looking to meet someone in real life, you need to put yourself where the market is. But where do 30 year olds hang out?

Try to widen your range of sight, and you’ll realize there are more social opportunities than you can imagine. You can sign up for meet-ups with other single people, attend industry-related events, and maybe show up to your alumni gathering for a change.

You can also try joining group activities in line with your hobbies and interests. Fun runs, gym classes, painting sessions, book clubs, volunteer work, religious communities, baking, hiking, camping—the list goes on.

And if activities you prefer are difficult to come by, you can always try something outside your comfort zone. Maybe you’ll end up with a new interest, both in love and in skills.

Effects of Modern Dating on the 30s Dating Landscape

However, now that we are in the generation of modern dating, online life is as much a part of the dating scene.

Whether you love it or hate it, it’s undeniable that there are many advantages to online dating in your 30s. For one, there is a bigger field to mine and chances are, you will find many who are like you, intentionally searching for a relationship. Though it is unavoidable to meet the wrong kinds of people as well, opening yourself up to online dating will be worth the try.

This modern phenomenon has made dating in one way easier but it has not changed the complexities of romance. Intending to date and expressing your attraction may be more straightforward when it comes to online dating. But as it sometimes happens with relationships, rejection, cheating, and ghosting also exist in this realm.

This is why choosing your online dating site is essential. Choose one that is credible and relevant to you. Try to see if your preferences and needs match what that dating site can offer.

A couple at the beach dating after 35.
Dating after 35 comes with maturity and intentionality that can make it refreshingly more simple.

Terrifying or Exciting?

Dating at 35 may sometimes sound more daunting than getting a PhD. But the curtains are far from falling, and your 30s might just be your prime time for dating. There is no shame in looking for love no matter your age. Don’t be afraid to put yourself out there whether in real life or online. You might be in for a surprise and finally find the love of your life.

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