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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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                                                              Last Updated on September 12, 2019

                                                              12 Things You Should Remember When Feeling Lost in Life

                                                              12 Things You Should Remember When Feeling Lost in Life

                                                              Even the most charismatic people you know, whether in person or celebrities of some sort, experience days where they feel lost in life and isolated from everyone else.

                                                              While it’s good to know we aren’t alone in this feeling, the question still remains:

                                                              What should we do when we feel lost and lonely?

                                                              Here are 12 things to remember:

                                                              1. Recognize That It’s Okay!

                                                              The truth is, there are times you need to be alone. If you’ve always been accustomed to being in contact with people, this may prove difficult.

                                                              However, learning how to be alone and comfortable in your own skin will give you confidence and a sense of self reliance.

                                                              We cheat ourselves out of the opportunity to become self reliant when we look for constant companionship.

                                                              Learn how to embrace your me time: What Your Fear of Being Alone Is Really About and How to Get over It

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                                                              2. Use Your Lost and Loneliness as a Self-Directing Guide

                                                              You’ve most likely heard the expression: “You have to know where you’ve been to know where you’re going.”

                                                              Loneliness also serves as a life signal to indicate you’re in search of something. It’s when we’re in the midst of solitude that answers come from true soul searching.

                                                              Remember, there is more to life than what you’re feeling.

                                                              3. Realize Loneliness Helps You Face the Truth

                                                              Being in the constant company of others, although comforting sometimes, can often serve as a distraction when we need to face the reality of a situation.

                                                              Solitude cuts straight to the chase and forces you to deal with the problem at hand. See it as a blessing that can serve as a catalyst to set things right!

                                                              4. Be Aware That You Have More Control Than You Think

                                                              Typically, when we see ourselves as being lost or lonely, it gives us an excuse to view everything we come in contact with in a negative light. It lends itself to putting ourselves in the victim mode, when the truth of the matter is that you choose your attitude in every situation.

                                                              No one can force a feeling upon you! It is YOU who has the ultimate say as to how you choose to react.

                                                              5. Embrace the Freedom That the Feeling of Being Alone Can Offer

                                                              Instead of wallowing in self pity, which many are prone to do because of loneliness, try looking at your circumstance as a new-found freedom.

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                                                              Most people are in constant need of approval of their viewpoints. Try enjoying the fact that  you don’t need everyone you care about to support your decisions.

                                                              6. Acknowledge the Person You Are Now

                                                              Perhaps you feel a sense of loneliness and confusion because your life circumstances have taken you away from the persona that others know to be you.

                                                              Perhaps the new you differs radically from the old. Realize that life is about change and how we react to that change. It’s okay that you’re not who you used to be.

                                                              Take a look at this article and learn to accept your imperfect self: Accept Yourself (Flaws and All): 7 Benefits of Being Vulnerable

                                                              7. Keep Striving to Do Your Best

                                                              Often those who are feeling isolated and unto themselves will develop a defeatist attitude. They’ll do substandard work because their self esteem is low and they don’t care.

                                                              Never let this feeling take away your sense of worth! Do your best always and when you come through this dark time, others will admire how you stayed determined in spite of the obstacles you had to overcome.

                                                              And to live your best life, you must do this ONE thing: step out of your comfort zone.

                                                              8. Don’t Forget That Time Is Precious

                                                              When we’re lost in a sea of loneliness and depression, it’s all too easy to reflect on regrets of past life events. This does nothing but feed negativity and perpetuate the situation.

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                                                              Instead of falling prey to this common pitfall, put one foot in front of the other and acknowledge every positive step you take. By doing this, you can celebrate the struggles you overcome at the end of the day.

                                                              9. Remember, Things Happen for a Reason

                                                              Every circumstance we encounter in our life is designed to teach us and that lesson is in turn passed on to others.

                                                              Sometimes we’re fortunate enough to figure out the lesson to be learned, while other times, we simply need to have faith that if the lesson wasn’t meant directly for us to learn from, how we handled it was observed by someone who needed to learn.

                                                              Your solitude and feeling of lost, in this instance, although painful possibly, may be teaching someone else.

                                                              10. Journal During This Time

                                                              Record your thoughts when you’re at the height of loneliness and feeling lost. You’ll be amazed when you reflect back at how you viewed things at the time and how far you’ve come later.

                                                              This time (if recorded) can give you a keen insight into who you are and what makes you feel the way you feel.

                                                              11. Remember You Aren’t the First to Feel This Way

                                                              It’s quite common to feel as if we’re alone and no one else has ever felt this way before. We think this because at the time of our distress, we’re silently observing others around us who are seemingly fine in every way.

                                                              The truth is, we can’t possibly know the struggles of those around us unless they elect to share them. We ALL have known this pain!

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                                                              Try confiding in someone you trust and ask them how they deal with these feelings when they experienced it. You may be surprised at what you learn.

                                                              12. Ask for Help If the Problem Persists

                                                              The feeling of being lost and lonely is common to everyone, but typically it will last for a relatively short period of time.

                                                              Most people will confess to, at one time or another, being in a “funk.” But if the problem persists longer than you feel it should, don’t ignore it.

                                                              When your ability to reason and consider things rationally becomes impaired, do not poo poo the problem away and think it isn’t worthy of attention. Seek medical help.

                                                              Afraid to ask for help? Here’s how to change your outlook to aim high!

                                                              Final Thoughts

                                                              Loneliness and a sense of feeling lost can in many ways be extremely painful and difficult to deal with at best. However, these feelings can also serve as a catalyst for change in our lives if we acknowledge them and act.

                                                              Above anything, cherish your mental well being and don’t underestimate its worth. Seek professional guidance if you’re unable to distinguish between a sense of freedom for yourself and a sense of despair.

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                                                              Featured photo credit: Andrew Neel via unsplash.com

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