The 20s – that time when you are free, willing to experience any- and every-thing that comes your way.  When I was in my 20s, I was completely invincible (or so I thought). I had done several reckless things and I didn’t even think twice about it. Why worry about fixing my life right then? I had a decade to wreck it and decades to fix it.  The problem is – who knows what’s going to happen later in life? You can’t possibly know how it will all work out.

In my 20s, relationships came and went – it was to be expected.  I dated for quite a while after become separated from my then-husband, and I had lots of fun doing it.  In my 30s, things are quite different –

I’m different, I want something different, and in the end, it means that my dating life is different.

Here are 10 reasons why relationships are different in your 30s than your 20s:

1. You start giving a sh*t.

It’s funny, because in some ways, I really don’t give a sh*t but in other ways, I really started giving a sh*t.  In my 20s, I really didn’t care about Tom, Dick, and Harry – it was just fun to meet new people, date a few times, hook up, and keep moving.  Now that I’m in my 30s, I really give a sh*t about these people. I want someone that will be genuine, caring, and respectful – I can’t find that if I don’t give a sh*t about the people that I’m dating. I need some connection with that person in order to keep moving forward with them. Otherwise, I

2. You have standards.

This is another biggie – in my 20s, I didn’t have standards (well, I had standards but they weren’t very high). In my 30s, I still have standards but they are somewhat high because of the fact that Micah is now in the picture. I can’t have just anyone around him, and to be completely honest, I don’t want to put effort into someone that I am not compatible with in any way.  My standards aren’t so excessively high that Jesus could only fill the shoes, but I know what I want – and I’m on a mission to meet someone that even remotely matches those standards.

3. Your life becomes complicated.

In your 30s, life becomes extra complicated. You probably have a healthy career at this point, with goals and ambitions of buying the house of your dreams (if you haven’t already made the purchase already), you may be caring for a child or a parent, you could be interested in travelling the world, and everything in between.  You get the point, though, life is complicated in your 30s and any relationship you pursue must be able to keep up with your complicated life.

4. You’re not interested in the same things anymore.

In my 20s, Friday nights would consist of drinking and parties.  In my 30s, it would be completely normal to enjoy dinner and a good movie.  It is compounded by the fact that I have a 4-year old; but even when I can get a babysitter, I still am not interested in going out to the clubs, drinking, or partying.  None of those things seem even remotely appealing to this 30-something year old.

5. Your priorities have shifted.

You have different priorities in your 30s, and although you’re interested in dating, you’re not willing to turn your world upside down to make that happen – the relationship has to fit in with your life. Whereas in your 20s, you may have done somersaults to keep your relationship going, in your 30s, you recognize the need for this to be a 50/50 relationship or it will not work out.

6. The panic starts to set in – you’re still single.

In your 20s, you think that time goes on forever. As I mentioned earlier, I thought that I was completely invincible.  Time had no meaning to me – the days were not flashing by like they are in your 30s.  I just turned 30 the other day, but now it’s been a few years, and I’m facing 33 in only a few short months.  Now, the panic is starting to settle in – what the heck am I doing still single? Where am I going to meet someone? What should I do? Where do I start?

7. Let’s face it – your body isn’t what it was when you were in your 20s. 

Whether you’ve had a child or not, let’s face it – your body isn’t what it was in your 30s.  That doesn’t mean that your body is horribly disfigured or anything like that, it just means that you’re working it a little bit different in your 30s than in your 20s. I consider myself big and beautiful, and but I noticed the curviness pop up in different places and again when I turned 31. Everything just shifted, and I noticed that when I gain weight, I don’t gain it in the spots that I used to when I was in my 20s.  But hey, I’m still working that  that 30s body, and whoever comes along is going to love me just the way that I am.

8. You stop giving a sh*t.

I did say that in your 30s, you start giving a sh*t and in some instances, you stop giving a sh*t. Let me share some of the reasons why you stop giving a sh*t. In your 20s, your mission was to look as cute and pretty as you could for your date. You may even go out and buy a brand-new outfit so you can completely impress your date. In your 30s, things go a little bit differently. You start focusing less on being cute and pretty, and focus more on being yourself and comfortable.  And if that date doesn’t call back when you’ve been on a few dates, guess what – you didn’t give a sh*t anyway! You’ll just continue on your path of dating and you’ll surely meet the one you are destined to be with.

In conclusion, if I’m still dating in my 40s, I am sure it will be even more different than it is in my 30s.  But I do believe that the same high-level reasons will impact dating in my 40s.  The experiences that we have and the changes we go through, determine how different our dating lives will be.  This post may not be true for all 20-something and 30-something year olds, but I’m sure that the high-level reasons have been ones that you have experienced (whether in the past or in the future of your dating experiences).

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