Why 30 is Not the New 20 When It Comes to Dating
Today’s guest blog is from relationship expert Janet Ong Zimmerman — who looks at where we focus our energies in life, and the effects these choices bring. I think it is really interesting to think about where love falls into your list of priorities.
Some women are convinced that 30 is the new 20 — they put their love lives on the back burner as they climb the corporate ladder, assuming that they have plenty of time to settle down. Then, years later, they realize that they haven’t found a partner. Don’t let this happen to you!
The fact that we are living longer, staying healthier and looking younger perpetuates the myth that 30 is the new 20. While this may be true in many areas of life, applying it to your love life is foolish; it hurts more than it helps you. Behind this is the notion that a woman can have it all — she can focus on building her career, then when she decides she wants love, she’ll surely have that too.
The reality behind this notion is that love doesn’t just happen when you want it. Love happens when you’re ready for it. If you’ve been focused on your career, or having casual encounters, chances are you haven’t truly prepared yourself for the possibility of love. If this is the case, you’ll find yourself attracting and dating men who aren’t right for you, as well as spending time in the wrong relationships. Later in this article, we’ll talk about ways to prepare yourself and how to choose wisely. But first, here’s what happened when I lived my life thinking 30 was the new 20.
What Happened When I Believed 30 Was The New 20…
I’m a firm believer that everything happens for our greater good. The questionable choices I made early on eventually led me to my Mr. Wonderful when I was in my early 40s. I love him dearly and love our life together, but at the same time I’m only human. On occasion, I wonder what might have been if I’d known differently when I was in my 20s and 30s.
When I was in my 20s and mid 30s, I thought time was on my side, not realizing the consequences of focusing on my career at the expense of my love life. I truly believed I could have it all, but that I didn’t have to work for it all at once. I threw myself into my career and was promoted to positions of greater responsibility. In my jobs, I knew what to do and how to do things. The more I focused, the more successful I became. Focusing my attention and energy on my professional life made me feel good about myself.
When it came to love, though, it was a different story. True love eluded me because my approach was by trial and error. I honestly didn’t know what to do, and unintentionally found myself with men I shouldn’t have been with, and in relationships that didn’t progress. This reactive approach to my love life brought me disappointment mixed with lukewarm results. Each choice seemed to take me further away from love, making me feel badly about myself. In the end, the sum of each choice led me to marry later in life.
How Choices Add Up
Each individual choice results in a desired or undesired outcome. On the surface, individual choices don’t seem to be a big deal. But in the long run, when added together, they can have a tremendous impact on your love life. Here are a couple of scenarios people find themselves in when they assume 30 is the new 20.
Scenario #1 is about making momentary decisions about your love life when you’re young, like hanging out and hooking up, or spending time with men who act like your boyfriend… but really aren’t. Does this rings true for you? Spending your time, attention and energy with these men takes you further away from ones who may be better suited for you. The further off the path you go, the harder it is to get back on. And while it’s harder to get back on, it’s easier to become disillusioned and jaded about love. When you’re disillusioned and jaded, the energy you give off won’t attract high quality men.
Scenario #2 is about focusing most of your time, attention and energy on your job. If this describes you, and you continue doing this, it will require more effort to meet your ideal man at a later date. Like it or not, the reality is that many men prefer younger women. Love is possible at any age, but at the same time, the older you are, the pool of men to choose from decreases. If you want to marry and have kids, waiting until you’re older makes it more difficult and sometimes impossible to get pregnant.
Prepare Yourself And Choose Wisely
Prepare yourself for love by getting in the right mindset and being open to good men that you might not normally consider. Create a heart-catching online dating profile and get involved in activities you enjoy, where there will be opportunities to meet high quality men.
Make who you want to be in your love life a priority. For instance, if you want to be a fun-loving woman, yet work 70 hours a week, then spend more time having fun and less time working. “Like” attracts “like,” and if you want to attract a man who communicates openly, makes you a priority and shows you affection, you’ll want to embody these same qualities. Determine the must-have traits you want in your ideal partner. Then become these very qualities yourself.
Choose wisely so that the sum of each choice leads to your desired outcome. A way to choose wisely is by asking, “Is this choice I’m about to make taking me further away from my ideal love life? Or is it bringing me closer to my ideal love life?” Choose behaviors and actions that bring you closer to love, and start now.
Be smart. Don’t leave your love life to chance. Instead, act under the mentality that 20 is the new 30, and you’ll find success sooner in love.
What is one thing you can do now to make love a priority?
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This article originally appeared on YourTango: When it Comes to Love, 30 is Not the New 20
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