When you think about dating in your 30s as a man, what comes to mind? Probably tropes of men we commonly see in the movies: single guys who can’t get emotionally attached or perpetual bachelors dating women 10 years their junior. But life is not a romantic comedy. For most guys, dating in your 30s as a man doesn’t actually match those narratives.
Research actually suggests that single men feel more pressure than women to be in a relationship. Not what you expected, right? Let’s dive into the mind of a 30 something male and see what makes finding “the one” so challenging. Here are six realities about dating in your 30s as a man and what to do about them.
Dating in your 30s as a Man: the Lowdown
1. You get lonely
The stereotype of the bachelor depicts a man who is happy to be alone. But in fact, studies show that’s not necessarily true. Single men are significantly more likely to suffer from loneliness than single women. Why? Because society puts pressure on men to appear secure, strong and unemotional.
Women tend to have strong friendships which they can rely on for support when they feel lonely. Meanwhile, men often find it difficult to open up to others. The narrative that strong men don’t cry is damaging and untrue. The next time you feel alone, reach out to a friend and don’t be afraid to open up and get emotional. We’ve all been there.
2. You compare yourself to everyone around you
Everyone knows they shouldn’t compare themselves to others. But that doesn’t stop us from doing it from time to time. When it feels like everyone around you is moving in together, having kids and checking all of life’s boxes, it can feel impossible not to compare your life to theirs.
But the truth is, comparing your relationship status to somebody else’s is simply unhelpful. You’re on your own path. If you’re obsessing over other people’s milestones, maybe you’re not giving yourself enough credit for reaching your own. Sure, your friend from college may have just gotten engaged but what about that new promotion you just got? Different things happen at different times for different people. And remember, what you see on social media isn’t necessarily reflective of real life.
4. You get put in a box
When you’re dating in your 30s as a man, people can be quick to make assumptions. They assume you fit neatly into the stereotype of a wild bachelor or an immature man child. Or maybe they act like they know why you’re single — but in reality, they don’t know you at all.
It’s always frustrating when people try to put you in a box. The next time someone lumps you into a stereotype, why not open up? Be honest and gently push back with the truth, if you’re comfortable that is. Let them get to know the real you. Maybe it’ll change their perception of you.
5. You get tired of dating
The general consensus of dating in your 30s as a man — or a woman — is that dating is hard work. It’s not all bad, of course, but it’s normal to fall into cycles of ups and downs. Some weeks you go on great dates, make strong connections, and have lots of fun. Others… well things don’t go so great! But that’s ok.
Try to remember that everyone feels burnt out on dating sometimes. It’s natural to feel hopeless from time to time, but what matters is that you’re not hard on yourself. With confidence, the right app, and a little resilience, it is possible to find true love. Remember, practice makes perfect.
6. Dating apps are the new normal
The stigma around online dating is long gone. These days, online dating is the fastest, easiest, and most reliable way to meet new people. Sure, some people just use dating apps for fun and casual hookups. But others take it seriously.
If you find yourself questioning the functionality of online dating, just think of the algorithm. This intelligent technology connects you with a like minded individual who has someone who has similar hopes and interests to you. That way you don’t waste time. Lean into online dating, because it really works.
Dating in your 30s as a man can be challenging, we get it. But dating at every age has its ups and downs. If you’re interested in pursuing a real connection that makes you happy, now is there time to begin looking for love, and have fun doing it.