Dating In Your Thirties: Instructions Not Included

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I haven’t really put much effort into dating until the last year or so. Why? I’d been dumped by a kinda-sorta-not-really boyfriend and was pretty devastated over it. I had pretty much spent three years of my life with someone, only to one day be told “Sorry, you’re great, but I found someone better” (Awesome – I wasn’t aware that we were looking!)

I can’t really talk shit about him (or the situation) because I knew what I was getting into from the beginning. However, I was just blinded by the possibility that he might change his mind. Turns out, he did change his mind – it just didn’t involve me. I don’t think I’ve ever wanted anyone to change more than I wanted him to change, and that’s not usually my style – I’m not a “Fixer”. 

I met a few guys after the “breakup” with Faux Boyfriend, but I never really reached that “dating” point with any of them, kinda because I didn’t want to, but more so because the guys weren’t really the dating type.

At some point, life goes on and you start dating again

So here I am, almost one year (or is it two? Three? I tend to lose track of these things) later and I’m actually paying attention to my dating life. OMG WTF guys, why is dating in your thirties so difficult? Did I miss some memo about how I should have settled down at a younger age like almost everyone else I know because if I didn’t I’d end up old and alone? My mom has given up on me finding a “good man” to settle down with, and now she’s moved straight to the “where are my grandbabies” phase.

dating in your thirties, dating, love, relationships

“You don’t have to get married or have a boyfriend. You don’t even have to take care of the baby, I will… it’d be like you had another baby brother or sister!”

Yea, okay mom. Let me just go out and get knocked up so that you can have more grand babies. Sorry that my “furbabies” aren’t good enough.

No, that’s not happening. I’m almost 100% sure that I don’t want kids. I’ve been saying this since I was about 9 years old – and she, like everyone else ,  thinks it’s a phase that I’ll someday grow out of.  Although she does have one thing right – if I did have kids, I would just bring them home. Adoption FTW!!

But I’m getting off track here.

Dating in your thirties is hard. When did it get so hard and how the hell am I supposed to know all of the rules in order to find the one?! (If there even IS a “one”) I started paying attention to my online profiles, and as I’ve done that I’ve come to realize there seems to be a lack of appealing suitors. Maybe all of the good ones are married or gay?

dating in your thirties, dating, love, relationships

I can’t say that it’s been completely unsuccessful, I’ve managed to go on a few first dates (Hi, Mr. Tinder!) There was even one that moved past the first date, but after almost three months of talking and dates, he disappeared. This in itself is aggravating enough, because things looked as if they were heading in a good direction.

At least with the not-so-good ones I knew what the issue was, but that hasn’t been the case with any of the “nice” guys that I’ve met. Self proclaimed “nice guys” (just like Nice Girls) are really just like anyone else… except they tend to not let you know what’s up when things go sour – in my experience anyway.

Even with Mr. Three Months, I wasn’t sure WTF I was doing… and obviously whatever I did do, I wasn’t doing it right.

I’m so used to just being myself around people, because 97% of my past relationships were with guys I had already known. I knew them inside and out and there was no questioning whether or not they thought I was crazy, clingy or just weird. But what I’m doing now, it’s completely different and I find myself wondering if I’m coming off crazy, clingy or just weird. I have difficulty putting myself out there, especially in new situations. You don’t know me and I don’t know you… figuring out how to get you to like me isn’t as easy as I thought it was. 

I read this article from Thought Catalog that pretty much confirmed what I was feeling. While it didn’t really help ease my current aversion to relationship-building, at least it let me know that I wasn’t the only one out there thinking WTF is dating?”

As I go through profiles and talk to guys, it always boils down to one thing:

“I’m looking for something casual – nothing serious.”

So you’re looking for all of the perks of a girlfriend but not the title or commitment? Sure, it’s easier to just pick up and leave if there’s no commitment, but what’s the point? Why not just advertise it as it is: looking for a booty call who wouldn’t mind hanging out once in a while. At least then you’re honest about what you’re looking for, right? I’d respect you more if that’s how you explained it. Wait, let me take that back – I guess it also depends on delivery, because MAN OH MAN, guys can say some really f**ked up things on dating sites.

I’m starting to think that the whole “casual” thing that guys will spring on you after you’ve been talking for a while is BS. I’ve been there already – I was dumped by a Faux Boyfriend remember?

Any guy I’ve spoken to who is looking for something more casual will still speak to me and treat me like a girlfriend. I don’t want that, mainly because then I will end up falling in love with you and you will end up leaving me because I’m responding to your actions, not a disclaimer you dropped early on. Sure, be nice to me (the way you should be towards another human being) but don’t be overly emotional when all you’re looking for is a friends with benefits.

If I wanted something casual, I’d skip the mindf*ck and go out to a bar and pick a random dude. (Which, mind you, would be totally easy if I had absolutely no standards.) Or hell, I know a few guys that wouldn’t mind a call from me at 3 in the AM – because let’s be honest, nothing good happens at that time of day that doesn’t involve getting naked.

But I’m not looking for something casual; I’m looking for something significant.

thought I’d reached the end of the game with Mr. Three Months. Even with previous comments he’d made about his ex girlfriend – a girl who oddly enough sounded like me in some respect. In the three months and numerous dates we’d had, I’d actually grown to like him in a way that felt right.

And yet, somewhere along the line, someone did something that wasn’t favorable which lead to the fade away. So here I am – at it again, sifting through profiles, going out, attempting to not be the silly shy girl standing in the corner because in the end….

dating in your thirties, dating, love, relationships

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