Friday, September 9, 2011


Today's topic comes to me from a question asked in a forum I belong to on Facebook. The question was: Is it typically more difficult or easier to have committed relationships in your 30's?

I've had this discussion a few times with female friends mostly, and the answers varied widely. I'll give my answer based on my experiences, and you all can chime in with yours.

Ironically, the most meaningful (and monogamous) relationships I've had were in my 20's. I always thought your 20's were supposed to be your "free" years - a decade of discovering yourself, having fun and building your career. I never set out to settle down into a relationship with any one man, but somehow, that's where I always landed.

Then I hit 30.

Fresh out of a 3 year relationship, I wanted to take some time to breathe. Well...I've been breathing for the better part of 8 years now. Don't get me wrong, I've dated. I've met some great men and had plenty of fun. Male company is not something I lack. Finding a date is actually rather easy. It's that elusive "relationship" I was having a hard time with.

Maybe it was easier to get into a relationship in my 20's because I wasn't expecting to be in one. They always say, it's when you're not looking that you find someone. In high school, college and your early 20's, you don't really know what you want, so you probably don't weed people out as quickly as you do when you're 35 and know EXACTLY what you want. You're pretty much open to dating....anybody.

When I was 23, I'd date a man who wanted to explore things with me - build something that we could discover together. But once you start working, living on your own, traveling the world and establishing a life - you've then built a world that someone now has to fit into.

At 30-something, I had a if you were allergic, you either pop a Zyrtec or keep it moving. I live in NYC, and any man who didn't like the big city (or any area close to it) need not apply. And if he didn't want to get married (again) or have (any more) children, then the party is over. If you are "selectively honest," or faithful, there would be no more calls back. I'd simply disappear. Afraid of commitment? Time for me to go. End of courtship. The list goes on.

Having kissed a few frogs in my time, I've found that my "list" grows longer with time and becomes VERY specific. My tolerance for bullshit is at an all time low. You develop a list of "warning signs" that you know will likely lead to problems, and out of simple practicality you don't even bother giving people with these problems the time of day. It's almost involuntary.

The list of deal breakers gets longer as you get older, simply because you experience more things you don't want to be involved with, and you yourself have had more time to sort through your issues - and expect your counterpart to have done so as well.

I know myself better, I know what I can and cannot deal with, and I do a greater job at identifying compatibility with potential dates than I did when I was 25. Most importantly, I now know when to end things when they aren't working out rather than holding on for no reason. I don't have time to waste, and doubt I could do it even if I wanted to. At 38, I have to be true to myself. I simply can't help it.

But does that limit us in our quest to find our perfect (for us) mate? While I see nothing wrong with having a "been there, done that" attitude, are we blocking our blessings by being so set in our ways? Are we doomed once we hit 35 and haven't yet found "The One"?

I don't think so.

Just because it may get more difficult, doesn't mean it's impossible. For some, maybe it IS easier to have a real relationship in your 30's, because if both parties know exactly what they want and are in agreement, then no time will be wasted, no games will be played and they can get right to the business of building an inclusive life together.

I honestly think the things that make it harder for me to find a compatible partner as I get older aren't necessarily so bad. I'm finding that I have time to become my own person and discover the life I really want to live. I'm still learning to screen out issues and character traits that would eventually become problems anyway, so I'm dodging bullets left and right. While I think finding and maintaining meaningful relationships may be more difficult as I get older, I feel the quality of a relationship I WILL find will improve. Being selective, in my opinion, isn't such a bad long as the end result is a happy one.

What say you?




Annamaria said...

first bitches!!!

Stef said...

Dammit!!! THIS close!

Jay said...

This is a great post, and I agree with you 100%. Once you reach your 30's, you know yourself well enough to know what you want and don't want - so the trick is finding someone who is at that same point in his or her life. Some men and women discover themselves earlier or later, you just have to hope the universe aligns at the perfect time for you both to meet each other.

Great post today.

Annamaria said...

Almost doesn't count STEF!!! LMAO

Knowing Brooke the way I know her she seems like a pretty easy going person & a person that you can get along with instantly. Personally I am actually surprised that she is still single. Heck if I was into women I'd date her! LMFAO.

But I can see why she has problems dating. She knows herself VERY well and is VERY secure in herself. So the BS that a regular man will bring just isn't going to do. Any man trying to play games or who isn't coming correct will be shown the door. And as nice as she is. She can be gangsta.. to the point that it is comedic.. LMAO

I can honestly say that I agree that it isn't impossible. Especially since Brooke (unlike a lot of people) is willing to give people a chance. YES she has her list of things that aren't going to fly with her BUT she will give a pass on things some people normally wouldn't.(ie: Kids, divorce, etc) I think when you limit your choices your chances to find love at any age decrease so you have to be mindful that you aren't ruling out Mr/Mrs Right on a technicality.

Yolanda said...

Great topic. My experiences have been a bit different but I agree that you just get to know yourself better with time. I'm 33 now and I don't go on many dates and have never been in a committed relationship, like ever (there was a boy in 7th grade...we "dated" for a Saturday and Sunday. LOL). I've gone with the flow, rather than take charge, which was my own fault. I know I need to be more aggressive in certain areas (but not a chaser).

I've been accepting of courtships or friendships that developed into "friendships with benefits" and those never seem to end in real relationships. So, I'm welcoming these 30s (well, mid-30s) as a time that I'll find someone to be committed to and enjoy these years with. If it takes awhile for that to happen, that's fine. Maybe it means the Universe doesn't think I'm fully ready for it. I'm hopeful it'll happen for me soon, but I'm done chasing it. I believe this time, this "late blooming" -if you will- of mine is only molding me into a better person who's more sure of herself and her decisions.

I think when you're in the right place spiritually, mentally and emotionally, the person designed for you will find you. The pieces will fit together.

The Cable Guy said...

I can't picture Brooke being gangsta, but I WILL say she doesn't take no shit. Now I just have to get her to give ME a chance. LOL!

I actually find older women to be a turn on simply because they DO know what they want and don't play games. Women in their 20's are silly to me, and maybe because I have a son, I don't have time for bullshit. It's all relative, but I can see how dating in your 30's can get harder the more established you are.

Brooke, it ain't hard, just give ME a chance :) You won't be sorry ;) LOL!

-V- said...

I'm doomed!

Courtney said...

Dating is definitely getting harder the older I get, and I'm only 27. I think women mature sooner than men, and want the marriage and kids sooner.

Men don’t want those things until later in life so they tend to play the field longer. Either that or they get married earlier than they should, have kids, get divorced, and then become jaded and don’t want to get married anymore or have more kids. I think Brooke nailed it with that one.

I think I’m going to wind up marrying a man who is like 10 years older than me, who is too old to run around and chase every ass in sight. He’ll be the “old guy in the club” and that’s when he’ll be ready to settle down :)

Brooke said...


I think you want to be George Clooney :) International playa!

Jay said...

I actually can believe Brooke is single, because honestly, when you're THAT good of a catch, most men know when they're not up to your standards and back away. They know she's not to be messed with, and women who are sure of themselves and have their shit together scare weak men away. Unfortunately, we have a surplus of bitchass men out here who don't know how to step to be the man they need to be to get a woman like her, so they look for weaker minded women to deal with.

It actually makes perfect sense why Brooke is still single, cuz she won't settle. And she shouldn't.

Domina*Tricks said...


I'm into women, I'll date Brooke :)

It doesn't get any easier as you get older, you just have to work harder at getting what you want. But in the end, if you don't settle, it'll be worth it.

Yolanda said...

Cable Dude is consistent. LOL

The Cable Guy said...


Yes, I am :)

I respect Brooke though, and I know a good thing when I see it. Most men do, and like Jay said, a bitchass dude will run from it. Not me. There are plenty of good women out there, you included, along with Annamaria, Serena, all of you - and men need to step up to wife you. Some men aren't ready, but I am.

-V- said...

So, let me get this straight. You're still going around slaying hood rats & also-rans? Maybe it's the cat ;-)

Sillouette said...

Hey All!!!

Like anyhing in life come trial and error, and yes we all need to learn ourselves to realize what we want and dont want, and what we will tolerate and not tolerate. Its living and learning. Who want s live their life in repeat of the same BS. Sometimes you dont know what you will and will not tolerate until you go thru it. Reasonable lists are okay, Shoot everyone has a standard. But waiting for that right one to come is not a bad thing. And being in you 30's 40's or whatever is not the end of the world.. :o)

Brooke you are beautiful and smart, You knight in shining armor is coming for you.. :O)

Annamaria said...

@Courtney: DEAD AT YOUR OLD GUY IN THE CLUB COMMENT... That dude creeps me out.. LMAO

@Dominatrix..YOU ARE TOO FUNNY!:-)

Brooke said...

I don't go anywhere NEAR hood rats. Not even close.

And I don't have a cat anymore :( Cole passed away.

what are "also-rans"?

I know I can always fall back on Cable Guy......and dare I say, Domina*Tricks ;) LOL!

Annamaria said...

Cable guy is my buddy but can I say if those are your two options can you choose Dominatrix??? LMAO

And can you make her join book club...

That sounds like an insanely hilarious good time! LMAO

Stef said...

Kinda lovin' Cable Guy right now, and Jay...even though Brooke still don't want you man! LOL!

Jay on the other hand, he can get it ;)

I can't even picture Brooke dating a hood dude. She's too classy for that - which is probably why she's single. Not many men out here up to her stnadards...or most women's standards. And the ones that are are snatched up already.

Dating is hard all around, but een moreso the older you get and the more wise you become. I'm beginning to wonder if single people know something married people don't - like maybe single is better. Is marriage really all it's cracked up to be?

Sillouette said...

@ Stef

What do you mean single people? You mean single people who dont date anyone or single peaple that date someone but are not married to each other? Im just curious so I can understand better, and your question is a good one.

Relationships do take work, because your constantly learning the person. I believe marriage can be a beautiful thing if both people are willing to committ to it and honor it. Marriage is suppose to be forever. And its seems some of society takes it way too likely. As if some people get married for fashion and take it for granted.. and thats not cool. Its suppose to be something two people share that really love each other, not their money or status, and material things of what they can get. And thats has gotten lost in alot of ways no days.

People should take there time before approaching the alter and date and absorb as much as possible. And it when it feels right. Not many people may not feel they need to rush to the alter becuase the are married and commited to one another in their hearts and souls on a higher level that they may say a piece of paper does not signify who they are and what they feel. A marriage license is something "man" made. But taking the legalize way it cool too, its what ever floats your boat.

BatMan said...

Hi Stef

Stef said...

I mean single people who decide not to get married. I'm beginning to think I'm a serial monogamist - I can be faithful in a string of reltaionships rather than be with ONE man for the rest of my life.

Stef said...

Hi Batman!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for posting this. I often feel this way since the 20s was also the period in which I developped meaningful long-term relationships, the period when the average man/woman get married, etc. I totally agree that the tolerance level gets lower and lower as one gets older. I am now 32 and it gets frustrating.

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