You’re in your 30s, and now you know how to navigate your love life as you grow wiser.
If it were up to the aunties of the world, all desi children would be married off long before they hit the big 3-0. Generations of the patriarchy have programmed us into being obsessed with this milestone as a marker or deal breaker for a successful and happily married life. There’s no such thing as “the right age” or “the right time” to get married, but dating and marriage do change as we get older. Learning how to navigate these changes is a far more useful way to spend your time than listening to all the noise from the aunty corner. Here are some positives about dating when you’re older (and wiser!) and how you can use them to your advantage when searching for a partner.
You know what you want – so make a list!
Chances are, you’ve dated a few duds who have taught you some hard truths about what you’re really looking for in a partner (as well as some deal breakers you will absolutely not settle for). Take a trip down memory lane and make a list of attributes about each person you’ve dated, and then make a list of the attributes you want in your life partner. You’d be surprised by what you may find. You might think you know exactly what you’re looking for, but find that you have a pattern for going for the same type of guy time after time. Or you might realize that you’re holding on to a list of attributes that you’ve had for an ideal partner since you were a teenager, and that it might just be time for a refresh.
Keep an open mind.
This does NOT mean lower your standards. It just means, maybe give people a chance to show you who they really are before you make up your mind about them. If you’re doing the whole older and wiser thing right, you’ve probably learned by now that people can surprise you. There’s not a lot you can control about finding a partner – it’s probably some magical combination of luck, effort, and timing. But what you can control is being open to meeting new people and new experiences. Say yes to that second date, or that friend you might not have seen in a romantic light just yet.
No more games.
When we’re younger, we’re often afraid of scaring people away by coming on too strong, or being 100% ourselves lest some of our flaws start to peek through too early. One of the best parts about getting older is that people don’t want to play games anymore. They know what they want, and they’re not here to waste anyone’s time. Take advantage of this by being open about what you’re looking for right from the start. There’s a freedom in getting to be 100% authentically yourself while dating (as it should really be at all ages).
Ignore the Aunties.
Dating at any age is stressful enough without taking on the extra burden of all of desi society. It is no one’s business but yours when, and if, you finally choose to settle down. If the aunty circle can make themselves useful and help set you up with a cutie, then great. If not, then who really cares what they have to say? Instead of trying to factor in everyone’s opinions, pick a few trustworthy people that you can always go to if you need a sounding board. A judgement-free zone where you’ll feel safe to rant, laugh, or cry about the perils and joys of dating as you get older.
Most importantly, trust your gut and practice patience! You know who you are, and you’ve gotten this far just fine. Your age doesn’t change the boss that you are, and the right person will see you for who you are.