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The Differences Between Dating at 20 and at 30

The Differences Between Dating at 20 and at 30

When it comes down to it, everyone wants to be loved. However, as we age, we tend to crave contrasting things. Dating at 20 and at 30 can be drastically different, but that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy both periods in your life.

1. Dating

In your 20s, you’re looking for a fun date.

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    Especially in your young 20s, dating can be simply a form of entertainment. The only qualifications for an ideal date at this age is someone you can enjoy a great concert with.

    In your 30s, you’re looking to settle down.

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      On the other hand, even if you’re someone who feels too young to commit to one person, you are suddenly more aware of what qualities will make you ultimately want to settle down. It’s natural to want someone who could be more of a long-term investment when dating in your 30s.

      2. Compatibility

      In your 20s, you want excitement.

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        Similarly, when dating in your 20s you are more likely to look for a prospective partner you find exciting and engaging. Finding someone you feel a spark with is sometimes more important than compatibility when you’re young.

        In your 30s, you want direction.

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          When you’re dating in your 30s, you’re much more likely to look for someone going in the same direction as you rather than novelty value. Humor and spontaneity are always helpful in a relationship, but you are now more likely to want to someone you can have a future with.

          3. Sex

          In your 20s, you love having someone to sleep with.

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            When you’re dating in your 20s it’s also a bigger deal to have sex. Whether you sleep with someone easily or not, it’s more nerve racking and exciting to explore sexually in your 20s.

            In your 30s, you’re more aware of what you want.

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              By the time you’re in your 30s, however, having sex with someone you’re dating is less of a source of stress or anxiety. Even if you don’t sleep with someone until you’re committed, by the time you’re 30 you are much more likely to know what you want in bed and are less shy about how to get it.

              4. Appearance

              In your 20s, you want someone hot.

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                Dating in your 20s also means looking for someone attractive. Before you really know the sacrifice and friction that comes with a long-term relationship, looks can mean everything.

                In your 30s, you want character.
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                  In your 30s looks might be a consideration, but you are more likely to be drawn to qualities you know make you a better person. A hot significant other is delightful, but it is no indication of character.

                  5. Passion

                  In your 20s, you want fiery connections.

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                    In your 30s, you prefer softer desire that lasts.

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                      6. Marriage

                      In your 20s, you’re quick to think marriage could be on the cards for you.

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                        In your 30s, you want to spend much more time with someone before you can even think about settling down.

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                          7. Direction

                          In your 20s, you want similar interests.

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                            Another thing you are likely to look for when dating in your 20s is someone with the same interests. It’s just easier to have a conversation over beers if you like the same bands, TV shows, and celebrities.

                            In your 30s, you want someone with the same goals.

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                              When dating in your 30s, however, having all the same interests is less important. Now, you are more likely looking for someone with similar goals so your relationship can get you somewhere. You still love it when your significant other is passionate about the same things, but what’s really crucial in a relationship is a common drive and outlook.

                              8. Acceptance

                              In your 20s, you strive for a better body and attitude so you’ll be more acceptable.

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                                In your 30s, you know your prospective partner will love you for who you are.

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                                  9. Commitment

                                  In your 20s, you want someone caring.

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                                    When you’re dating in your 20s it’s also common to search for someone who treats you nicely. Coming fresh from dating in high school, you are all too familiar with backstabbing and false promises. Someone who is considerate makes all the difference.

                                    In your 30s, you want someone who keeps caring.

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                                      Where you used to be drawn to people who respected you, you now look for people who can keep that respect in the relationship. The first few weeks or months with someone who treats you nice are great, but younger flames tend to lose their determination to treat you well. In your 30s, a love interest who know how to treat you this nicely for years might as well be solid gold.

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                                      10. Love as a Verb

                                      In your 20s, you want someone to love.

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                                        When you’re dating in your 20s you are likely to want to fall in love. Searching for that first person to really capture your heart is a fresh and thrilling experience.

                                        In your 30s, you want someone who knows how to love you.

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                                          Though love is crucial to a healthy relationship, when you’re dating in your 30s you know love is not enough. If you are going to be with a significant other for any length of time you will need someone who wants to work with your quirks and shortcomings. Passion and compatibility are still important, but someone who works to treat you exactly the way you need is priceless.

                                          11. Friendship

                                          In your 20s, you’re blinded by love.

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                                            In your 30s, you value relationships that come from a solid friendship.

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                                              12. Growing Together

                                              In your 20s, you want someone enjoyable.

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                                                Dating when you’re younger also means looking for someone whose company you enjoy. Intelligent conversation, humor, and attitude are all essential to catch your attention at this age.

                                                In your 30s, you want someone who makes you better.

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                                                  Comparatively, by the time you are 30 you are more likely to look for someone whose company makes you a better person. By now, you have learned that many people can help you have a good time, but very few people truly move you forward and closer to the person you want to be.

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                                                  13. Responsibility

                                                  In your 20s, you want someone who gives you a thrill.

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                                                    In your 30s, you want someone who has their life together.

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                                                      14. Exes

                                                      In your 20s, you’re more likely to give an ex another shot.

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                                                        When you’re young, it’s hard to separate feelings from logic when it comes to love. When you have a solid connection with someone, you are more willing to forgive their shortcomings.

                                                        In your 30s, you know a clean break is usually best.

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                                                          As you grow more experienced, you realize there is usually a reason a relationship failed. Even though you genuinely care for the person, trying again doesn’t always make up for your inherent duelling perspectives.

                                                          15. Follow Through

                                                          In your 20s, you want someone who makes you happier.

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                                                            Another difference between dating at 20 and at 30 is, when you’re in your 20s you are looking for someone who helps you be happier in the moment. A special someone who brings a smile to your face and has a knack for cheering you up can mean the world when you are this age.

                                                            In your 30s, you want someone who keeps you happy.

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                                                              However, while dating in your 30s, you are more likely to need someone who knows how to keep you happy. Someone who cracks jokes and is sad when you’re sad is special, but doesn’t necessarily make for a relationship that lasts. At this stage you still need someone who wants to make you happy in the moment, but someone who consistently shows they appreciate you is crucial. Where younger love interests paid little attention to your work or habits, more mature love interests know to send you a message or gift for no reason. By consistently showing that they don’t take you for granted, someone you fall for in your 30s is more likely to keep you.

                                                              Featured photo credit: Leo Hidalgo via flickr.com

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                                                              Alicia Prince

                                                              A writer, filmmaker, and artist who shares about lifestyle tips and inspirations on Lifehack.

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                                                              Published on May 4, 2021

                                                              How To Spot Fake People (And Ways To Deal With Them)

                                                              How To Spot Fake People (And Ways To Deal With Them)

                                                              They say we are the average of the five persons we spend the most time with. For a minute, consider the people around you. Are they truly who your “tribe” should be or who you aspire to become in the future? Are they really genuine people who want to see you succeed? Or are they fake people who don’t really want to see you happy?

                                                              In this article, I’ll review why it is important to surround yourself with genuine individuals—the ones who care, bring something to our table, and first and foremost, who leave all fakeness behind.

                                                              How to Spot Fake People?

                                                              When you’ve been working in the helping professions for a while, spotting fake people gets a bit easier. There are some very clear signs that the person you are looking at is hiding something, acting somehow, or simply wanting to get somewhere. Most often, there is a secondary gain—perhaps attention, sympathy, or even a promotion.

                                                              Whatever it is, you’re better off working their true agenda and staying the hell away. Here are some things you should look out for to help spot fake people.

                                                              1. Full of Themselves

                                                              Fake people like to show off. They love looking at themselves in the mirror. They collect photos and videos of every single achievement they had and every part of their body and claim to be the “best at what they do.”

                                                              Most of these people are actually not that good in real life. But they act like they are and ensure that they appear better than the next person. The issue for you is that you may find yourself always feeling “beneath” them and irritated at their constant need to be in the spotlight.

                                                              2. Murky in Expressing Their Emotions

                                                              Have you ever tried having a deep and meaningful conversation with a fake person? It’s almost impossible. It’s because they have limited emotional intelligence and don’t know how they truly feel deep down—and partly because they don’t want to have their true emotions exposed, no matter how normal these might be.

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                                                              It’s much harder to say “I’m the best at what I do” while simultaneously sharing “average” emotions with “equal” people.

                                                              3. Zero Self-Reflection

                                                              To grow, we must accept feedback from others. We must be open to our strengths and to our weaknesses. We must accept that we all come in different shapes and can always improve.

                                                              Self-reflection requires us to think, forgive, admit fault, and learn from our mistakes. But to do that, we have to be able to adopt a level of genuineness and depth that fake people don’t routinely have. A fake person generally never apologizes, but when they do, it is often followed with a “but” in the next breath.

                                                              4. Unrealistic Perceptions

                                                              Fake people most often have an unrealistic perception of the world—things that they want to portray to others (pseudo achievements, materialistic gains, or a made-up sense of happiness) or simply how they genuinely regard life outside themselves.

                                                              A lot of fake people hide pain, shame, and other underlying reasons in their behavior. This could explain why they can’t be authentic and/or have difficulties seeing their environment for the way it objectively is (both good and bad).

                                                              5. Love Attention

                                                              As I mentioned earlier, the biggest sign that something isn’t quite right with someone’s behavior can be established by how much they love attention. Are you being interrupted every time you speak by someone who wants to make sure that the spotlight gets reverted back to them? Is the focus always on them, no matter the topic? If yes, you’re probably dealing with a fake person.

                                                              6. People Pleaser

                                                              Appreciation feels nice but having everyone like you is even better. While it is completely unrealistic for most people to please everyone all the time, fake people seem to always say yes in pursuit of constant approval.

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                                                              Now, this is a problem for two reasons. Firstly, these people are simply saying yes to things for their own satisfaction. Secondly, they often end up changing their minds or retracting their offer for one reason or another (“I would have loved to, but my grandmother suddenly fell ill.”), leaving you in the lurch for the 100th time this year.

                                                              7. Sarcasm and Cynicism

                                                              Behind the chronic pasted smile, fake people are well known for brewing resentment, jealousy, or anger. This is because, behind the postcard life, they are often unhappy. Sarcasm and cynicism are well known to act as a defense mechanism, sometimes even a diversion—anything so they can remain feeling on top of the world, whether it is through boosting themselves or bringing people down.

                                                              8. Crappy friend

                                                              Fake people are bad friends. They don’t listen to you, your feelings, and whatever news you might have to share. In fact, you might find yourself migrating away from them when you have exciting or bad news to share, knowing that it will always end up one way—their way. In addition, you might find that they’re not available when you truly need them or worse, cancel plans at the last minute.

                                                              It’s not unusual to hear that a fake person talks constantly behind people’s backs. Let’s be honest, if they do it to others, they’re doing it to you too. If your “friend” makes you feel bad constantly, trust me, they’re not achieving their purpose, and they’re simply not a good person to have around.

                                                              The sooner you learn to spot these fake people, the sooner you can meet meaningful individuals again.

                                                              How to Cope With Fake People Moving Forward?

                                                              It is important to remind yourself that you deserve more than what you’re getting. You are worthy, valuable, precious, and just as important as the next person.

                                                              There are many ways to manage fake people. Here are some tips on how to deal with them.

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                                                              1. Boundaries

                                                              Keep your boundaries very clear. As explained in the book Unlock Your Resilience, boundaries are what keep you sane when the world tries to suffocate you. When fake people become emotional vampires, make sure to keep your distances, limit contact, and simply replace them with more valuable interactions.

                                                              2. Don’t Take Their Behavior Personally

                                                              Sadly, they most likely have behaved this way before they knew you and will continue much longer after you have moved on. It isn’t about you. It is about their inner need to meet a void that you are not responsible for. And in all honesty, unless you are a trained professional, you are unlikely to improve it anyway.

                                                              3. Be Upfront and Honest About How You Feel

                                                              If your “friend” has been hurtful or engaged in behaviors you struggle with, let them know—nicely, firmly, however you want, but let them know that they are affecting you. If it works, great. If it doesn’t, you’ll feel better and when you’re ready to move on, you’ll know you tried to reach out. Your conscience is clear.

                                                              4. Ask for Advice

                                                              If you’re unsure about what you’re seeing or feeling, ask for advice. Perhaps a relative, a good friend, or a colleague might have some input as to whether you are overreacting or seeing some genuine concerns.

                                                              Now, don’t confuse asking for advice with gossiping behind the fake person’s back because, in the end, you don’t want to stoop down to their level. However, a little reminder as to how to stay on your own wellness track can never hurt.

                                                              5. Dig Deeper

                                                              Now, this one, I offer with caution. If you are emotionally strong, up to it, guaranteed you won’t get sucked into it, and have the skills to manage, perhaps you could dig into the reasons a fake person is acting the way they do.

                                                              Have they suffered recent trauma? Have they been rejected all their lives? Is their self-esteem so low that they must resort to making themselves feel good in any way they can? Sometimes, having an understanding of a person’s behavior can help in processing it.

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                                                              6. Practice Self-Care!

                                                              Clearly, putting some distance between the fake person and yourself is probably the way to go. However, sometimes, it takes time to get there. In the meantime, make sure to practice self-care, be gentle with yourself, and compensate with lots of positives!

                                                              Self-care can be as simple as taking a hot shower after talking to them or declining an invitation when you’re not feeling up to the challenge.

                                                              Spotting fake people isn’t too hard. They generally glow with wanna-be vibes. However, most often, there are reasons as to why they are like this. Calling their behavior might be the first step. Providing them with support might be the second. But if these don’t work, it’s time to stay away and surround yourself with the positivity that you deserve.

                                                              Final Thoughts

                                                              Remember that life is a rollercoaster. It has good moments, tough moments, and moments you wouldn’t change for the world. So, look around and make sure that you take the time to choose the right people to share it all with.

                                                              We are the average of the five people we spend the most time with, so take a good look around and choose wisely!

                                                              More Tips on Dealing With Fake People

                                                              Featured photo credit: Priscilla Du Preez via unsplash.com

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