The dating game doesn’t get easier with age.
By Laura Lifshitz — Last updated on Jul 03, 2023
Photo: nimito / Shutterstock
There you are, ready for love in your late thirties, yet you’re either entering the dating world after a big breakup/divorce or you’re the last of your friends to be married off. It can be discouraging, and everyone tells you, “Oh, you’re still so young. You’ll find love!” But it seems like you’d have a better shot at winning the lottery than finding the right match.
Don’t give up, though. Giving up is for quitters and you aren’t a quitter. Love is out there for everyone at any age, whether you’re fifteen or eighty-five. But here are some harsh realities of dating in your late thirties that you need to know if you don’t already.
Here are 9 brutal truths about dating in your late thirties:
1. You feel like a time bomb if you don’t have kids already
If you want kids and still have none, you feel like your ovaries are ready to explode. They’re not, but each date seems heavier than the last. Is this the one? you find yourself thinking. It’s hard to not feel the pull of biology and hormones.
2. Some men are scared off by women with kids
Good riddance to those losers, but it still can make the dating landscape very barren and narrow. Women are more accepting of a man’s kids yet the pendulum doesn’t swing the same way for moms who are dating.
3. Men want women in their twenties
At least, the cowards do, or the ones who falsely assume that women in their late thirties are no longer fertile. This isn’t true in most cases. If a man is hell-bent on someone thirty and younger, screw him.
And news flash men: your sperm ages, too. If you think your swimmers are as sprightly at forty as they were at twenty-five, they’re not. Age is a number, but sometimes age is the number that qualifies who gets a date and who doesn’t. Again, the right guy will love you whether you’re eighty or eighteen.
4. People never stop asking when you’ll get married
Never married? You’re tired of the comments from the peanut gallery and it feels like you’re giving out interviews on first dates rather than going for the love connection. You try to have fun while dating, but it’s getting old.
5. You’re constantly explaining why you’re divorced
If you have to explain the divorce story on another date one more time to a man that asks, you might start to bring along a taped recording for each date.
6. A lot of men refuse to grow up
Holy unresolved issues, Batman! Dating in your late thirties means you’re swimming in a dating pool in which quite a few of the men have chips on their shoulders after divorces or unwanted lengthy bachelorhood. Not to mention you’ll meet a man thinking, “Wow, he’s in his forties or thirties. He must be mature.” That would be nice if that were true, but sometimes they never grow up.
And if you do snag a guy, it’s possible you’re meeting some of his baggage, like ex-wives and company.
7. If you do meet a man, he may be ready to procreate
If you meet and greet and it works when you’re in your late thirties, it’s not unusual for the wedding and kids to come quicker than later.
8. Online photo profiles can be filled with lies
Those cute online dating profiles? Those photos are older than dirt. The truth is stretched about almost every detail of their lives because there’s a lot of fear and insecurity about not being accepted.
9. Men will still play games
The games are alive and well for all ages. Don’t be surprised when a mature man asks you to “Netflix and chill” on the first date. It happened to me, and guess what? I watched Netflix at home with myself. And it was chill. The dude was ditched for good.
But don’t forget that women can be difficult and full of baggage, too. I’m not a man-basher. I love my men folk, but there are certain pitfalls a woman faces while dating in her late thirties. This doesn’t mean you should give up. Instead, play smarter, not harder. And never, ever settle. You’re a diamond, not a cubic zirconia. Make sure the buyer is worthy of the purchase.
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Laura Lifshitz is a former MTV personality and Columbia University graduate currently writing about divorce, sex, women’s issues, fitness, parenting, and marriage. Her work has been featured on YourTango, New York Times, DivorceForce, Women’s Health, Working Mother, Pop Sugar, and more.