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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.

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                                                              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 July 20, 2021

                                                              How to Overcome the Fear of Public Speaking (A Step-by-Step Guide)

                                                              How to Overcome the Fear of Public Speaking (A Step-by-Step Guide)

                                                              You’re standing behind the curtain, just about to make your way on stage to face the many faces half-shrouded in darkness in front of you. As you move towards the spotlight, your body starts to feel heavier with each step. A familiar thump echoes throughout your body – your heartbeat has gone off the charts.

                                                              Don’t worry, you’re not the only one with glossophobia(also known as speech anxiety or the fear of speaking to large crowds). Sometimes, the anxiety happens long before you even stand on stage.

                                                              Your body’s defence mechanism responds by causing a part of your brain to release adrenaline into your blood – the same chemical that gets released as if you were being chased by a lion.

                                                              Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you overcome your fear of public speaking:

                                                              1. Prepare yourself mentally and physically

                                                              According to experts, we’re built to display anxiety and to recognize it in others. If your body and mind are anxious, your audience will notice. Hence, it’s important to prepare yourself before the big show so that you arrive on stage confident, collected and ready.

                                                              “Your outside world is a reflection of your inside world. What goes on in the inside, shows on the outside.” – Bob Proctor

                                                              Exercising lightly before a presentation helps get your blood circulating and sends oxygen to the brain. Mental exercises, on the other hand, can help calm the mind and nerves. Here are some useful ways to calm your racing heart when you start to feel the butterflies in your stomach:

                                                              Warming up

                                                              If you’re nervous, chances are your body will feel the same way. Your body gets tense, your muscles feel tight or you’re breaking in cold sweat. The audience will notice you are nervous.

                                                              If you observe that this is exactly what is happening to you minutes before a speech, do a couple of stretches to loosen and relax your body. It’s better to warm up before every speech as it helps to increase the functional potential of the body as a whole. Not only that, it increases muscle efficiency, improves reaction time and your movements.

                                                              Here are some exercises to loosen up your body before show time:

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                                                              1. Neck and shoulder rolls – This helps relieve upper body muscle tension and pressure as the rolls focus on rotating the head and shoulders, loosening the muscle. Stress and anxiety can make us rigid within this area which can make you feel agitated, especially when standing.
                                                              2. Arm stretches – We often use this part of our muscles during a speech or presentation through our hand gestures and movements. Stretching these muscles can reduce arm fatigue, loosen you up and improve your body language range.
                                                              3. Waist twists – Place your hands on your hips and rotate your waist in a circular motion. This exercise focuses on loosening the abdominal and lower back regions which is essential as it can cause discomfort and pain, further amplifying any anxieties you may experience.

                                                              Stay hydrated

                                                              Ever felt parched seconds before speaking? And then coming up on stage sounding raspy and scratchy in front of the audience? This happens because the adrenaline from stage fright causes your mouth to feel dried out.

                                                              To prevent all that, it’s essential we stay adequately hydrated before a speech. A sip of water will do the trick. However, do drink in moderation so that you won’t need to go to the bathroom constantly.

                                                              Try to avoid sugary beverages and caffeine, since it’s a diuretic – meaning you’ll feel thirstier. It will also amplify your anxiety which prevents you from speaking smoothly.

                                                              Meditate

                                                              Meditation is well-known as a powerful tool to calm the mind. ABC’s Dan Harris, co-anchor of Nightline and Good Morning America weekend and author of the book titled10% Happier , recommends that meditation can help individuals to feel significantly calmer, faster.

                                                              Meditation is like a workout for your mind. It gives you the strength and focus to filter out the negativity and distractions with words of encouragement, confidence and strength.

                                                              Mindfulness meditation, in particular, is a popular method to calm yourself before going up on the big stage. The practice involves sitting comfortably, focusing on your breathing and then bringing your mind’s attention to the present without drifting into concerns about the past or future – which likely includes floundering on stage.

                                                              Here’s a nice example of guided meditation before public speaking:

                                                              2. Focus on your goal

                                                              One thing people with a fear of public speaking have in common is focusing too much on themselves and the possibility of failure.

                                                              Do I look funny? What if I can’t remember what to say? Do I look stupid? Will people listen to me? Does anyone care about what I’m talking about?’

                                                              Instead of thinking this way, shift your attention to your one true purpose – contributing something of value to your audience.

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                                                              Decide on the progress you’d like your audience to make after your presentation. Notice their movements and expressions to adapt your speech to ensure that they are having a good time to leave the room as better people.

                                                              If your own focus isn’t beneficial and what it should be when you’re speaking, then shift it to what does. This is also key to establishing trust during your presentation as the audience can clearly see that you have their interests at heart.[1]

                                                              3. Convert negativity to positivity

                                                              There are two sides constantly battling inside of us – one is filled with strength and courage while the other is doubt and insecurities. Which one will you feed?

                                                              ‘What if I mess up this speech? What if I’m not funny enough? What if I forget what to say?’

                                                              It’s no wonder why many of us are uncomfortable giving a presentation. All we do is bring ourselves down before we got a chance to prove ourselves. This is also known as a self-fulfilling prophecy – a belief that comes true because we are acting as if it already is. If you think you’re incompetent, then it will eventually become true.

                                                              Motivational coaches tout that positive mantras and affirmations tend to boost your confidents for the moments that matter most. Say to yourself: “I’ll ace this speech and I can do it!”

                                                              Take advantage of your adrenaline rush to encourage positive outcome rather than thinking of the negative ‘what ifs’.

                                                              Here’s a video of Psychologist Kelly McGonigal who encourages her audience to turn stress into something positive as well as provide methods on how to cope with it:

                                                              4. Understand your content

                                                              Knowing your content at your fingertips helps reduce your anxiety because there is one less thing to worry about. One way to get there is to practice numerous times before your actual speech.

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                                                              However, memorizing your script word-for-word is not encouraged. You can end up freezing should you forget something. You’ll also risk sounding unnatural and less approachable.

                                                              “No amount of reading or memorizing will make you successful in life. It is the understanding and the application of wise thought that counts.” – Bob Proctor

                                                              Many people unconsciously make the mistake of reading from their slides or memorizing their script word-for-word without understanding their content – a definite way to stress themselves out.

                                                              Understanding your speech flow and content makes it easier for you to convert ideas and concepts into your own words which you can then clearly explain to others in a conversational manner. Designing your slides to include text prompts is also an easy hack to ensure you get to quickly recall your flow when your mind goes blank.[2]

                                                              One way to understand is to memorize the over-arching concepts or ideas in your pitch. It helps you speak more naturally and let your personality shine through. It’s almost like taking your audience on a journey with a few key milestones.

                                                              5. Practice makes perfect

                                                              Like most people, many of us are not naturally attuned to public speaking. Rarely do individuals walk up to a large audience and present flawlessly without any research and preparation.

                                                              In fact, some of the top presenters make it look easy during showtime because they have spent countless hours behind-the-scenes in deep practice. Even great speakers like the late John F. Kennedy would spend months preparing his speech beforehand.

                                                              Public speaking, like any other skill, requires practice – whether it be practicing your speech countless of times in front of a mirror or making notes. As the saying goes, practice makes perfect!

                                                              6. Be authentic

                                                              There’s nothing wrong with feeling stressed before going up to speak in front of an audience.

                                                              Many people fear public speaking because they fear others will judge them for showing their true, vulnerable self. However, vulnerability can sometimes help you come across as more authentic and relatable as a speaker.

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                                                              Drop the pretence of trying to act or speak like someone else and you’ll find that it’s worth the risk. You become more genuine, flexible and spontaneous, which makes it easier to handle unpredictable situations – whether it’s getting tough questions from the crowd or experiencing an unexpected technical difficulty.

                                                              To find out your authentic style of speaking is easy. Just pick a topic or issue you are passionate about and discuss this like you normally would with a close family or friend. It is like having a conversation with someone in a personal one-to-one setting. A great way to do this on stage is to select a random audience member(with a hopefully calming face) and speak to a single person at a time during your speech. You’ll find that it’s easier trying to connect to one person at a time than a whole room.

                                                              With that said, being comfortable enough to be yourself in front of others may take a little time and some experience, depending how comfortable you are with being yourself in front of others. But once you embrace it, stage fright will not be as intimidating as you initially thought.

                                                              Presenters like Barack Obama are a prime example of a genuine and passionate speaker:

                                                              7. Post speech evaluation

                                                              Last but not the least, if you’ve done public speaking and have been scarred from a bad experience, try seeing it as a lesson learned to improve yourself as a speaker.

                                                              Don’t beat yourself up after a presentation

                                                              We are the hardest on ourselves and it’s good to be. But when you finish delivering your speech or presentation, give yourself some recognition and a pat on the back.

                                                              You managed to finish whatever you had to do and did not give up. You did not let your fears and insecurities get to you. Take a little more pride in your work and believe in yourself.

                                                              Improve your next speech

                                                              As mentioned before, practice does make perfect. If you want to improve your public speaking skills, try asking someone to film you during a speech or presentation. Afterwards, watch and observe what you can do to improve yourself next time.

                                                              Here are some questions you can ask yourself after every speech:

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                                                              • How did I do?
                                                              • Are there any areas for improvement?
                                                              • Did I sound or look stressed?
                                                              • Did I stumble on my words? Why?
                                                              • Was I saying “um” too often?
                                                              • How was the flow of the speech?

                                                              Write everything you observed down and keep practicing and improving. In time, you’ll be able to better manage your fears of public speaking and appear more confident when it counts.

                                                              If you want even more tips about public speaking or delivering a great presentation, check out these articles too:

                                                              Reference

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