There’s something about turning 30 that makes you question every thought, decision, action, breakfast meal and all, up until this point. You experience many thought provoking, critical questions like “Who Am I?”, “Where Am I?” or “Who told me I look good in this outfit?” Above all else, turning 30 makes you realize you are “Single AF.” For almost the whole decade of your twenties you were focused on grades, jobs, and moving in…out…then back in with your parents. By the time you get a chance to breathe and look at the fruits of your labor, you realize you’ve accomplished everything alone. ALONE. No buddy, plaything, or boyfriend. Lately, you haven’t been on any dates either, but crossing every date off the calendar spent without having a man. Okay, maybe it’s not that sad, but you sure as hell are feeling the pressure to find a man right about now. At this point you are receiving pressure from your mother, coupled-up friends, single friends, and your Instagram timeline (smh, she’s engaged, too?) to find “The One”.
So, where do we go from here? It’s not like you haven’t been trying, right? Honestly, you have been dating. A lot. The dating pool seems to recede as you approach 30. As soon as a man walks in, he walks out or you are pushing him out… with force. Girl, I understand! Tragically, not too often will you meet a Mr. Wonderful, but Mr. Liar, Mr. Playboy, Mr. No-Job, and Mr. Waste-Your-Time are all available in full abundance. Really, it’s not that easy to land a good one, but then those around you start accusing you of being the reason you are single. It can’t be true! Or is it? From the time we were little women, we had this long list of ideals we search for in every man. He has to be good-looking, tall, rich, smart, have a car, his own place, call us all day-everyday, “bae-cationing” in Greece every summer, and the list can go on. Truthfully, some of us tend to hold on to those standards for most, if not all, of our teens and twenties. Until you reach your thirties, and you just pray that he has all his teeth and a job. How do we know when our standards are too impossible to be met?
Don’t get me wrong, standards are very important to maintain when in the dating world. However, it is important to strip your list down to the fundamentals. People change over the years, therefore just having a tall, gorgeous husband isn’t going to save you from divorce. On the flip side, I feel that as we get older we drop too many of our standards, thinking it would get us closer to a wedding. It is time we found a balance. At this stage in our life, it is useful to draw from past experiences and decide exactly what we DO NOT want. Any man that falls under that do-not-want list, we toss to the side and need not indulge. A great rule of thumb would be to focus on how you want your potential bae to make you feel. Then decide, what exactly it is that makes you feel good? For instance, you may enjoy laughing at almost anything and experiencing new foods or museums, therefore your ideal suitor may need to be a person who’s open minded and outgoing. This is a standard worth upholding because essentially you want to spend the rest of your life with someone who you like to be around. In a later article, I’ll discuss some traits and values that are worth holding out for. Whoever said “it’s what’s on the inside that counts” didn’t lie. We need to drop any shallow desires or minimal pet peeves, in order to begin to focus on the individual.
Standards should serve as guidelines, but not the final draft. Besides, the best thing about having standards is that you’re able to obliterate any trash ass man that comes your way, swiftly. The year of thirty is the perfect time to start to devote your time to really getting to know someone. Of course, you shouldn’t waste your time on the f-boys, but be more open minded. This means instead of turning away a guy who is a bit less forward than you’re used to or a guy who is not driving his own car, trying to look past things that can change or be ignored. Also, watch out for men who are able to create a façade. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve met a man and in the beginning he was the poster child for a “Great Man”, but down the line I realized that car was his friend’s car, that IT job was really a warehouse job at Dell, and that beautiful smile became the devil’s grin. Bottom line, maybe our standards aren’t too high but it could use some reassessment. Take a moment to decide what you are looking for and do not feel pressured by your age. You have time.