Dating in Your Early 30s vs. Your Early 20s

Contributed by: Ashley Davidson. Twitter: @missashuhlee

I met my (soon-to-be-ex) husband when I was 23 and figured I’d never have to date again. Seven years later … I now have to date again. As I've mentally prepared myself to enter that horrible world of awkward small talk, bad first dates, and being terrified to be seen without makeup on, I’ve begun to think about the stark — and often hilarious — differences in what my priorities will be and what I find attractive now that I’m in my early 30s.


In Your 20s… Single and searching for a guy who likes to party.

In Your 30s… Single and searching for a guy who knows how to load a dishwasher effectively.


In Your 20s… “Sure, I can do a dinner reservation at 9 p.m. Maybe grab drinks after?”

In Your 30s… “Do you mind if we move up our dinner reservation to 6:30? I’d like to be home and in bed by 10.”


In Your 20s… You have long discussions debating who has the craziest black-out-drunk story.

In Your 30s… You have long discussions about whose joints crack/pop more often when you move, bend over, sit, get up…


In Your 20s… “Wanna go to da club?”

In Your 30s… “Wanna binge Netflix?”


In Your 20s… Must dress impressively and do hair/makeup every day.

In Your 30s… Sets the bar low by wearing yoga pants most days, so he’s super impressed when you put on a dress for date night.


In Your 20s… “Can I buy you a shot?”

In Your 30s… “Would you like to accompany me to a casual wine tasting?”


In Your 20s… “Cool futon. IKEA?”

In Your 30s… “Yes, I absolutely understand why you spent several thousand dollars on a king size Tempur-Pedic.”


In Your 20s… “This guy I’m dating really has his shit together. He has a savings account. With money in it.”

In Your 30s… “This guy I’m dating really has his shit together. He got a mortgage with an amazing interest rate.”