This isn’t to say that there aren’t men in their 20s that don’t have it together – hell, there are men in their 70s that still don’t – nor is it to say that these things are gender-specific, as in, things that only change about men once they hit their third decade of life. It is to say, however, that the difference between dating a man whose had a few more years to mature is like sipping a finely aged Italian wine after years of choking down a bitter boxed Zinfandel because it’s all your friends’ roommates keep at their house. You just literally didn’t know you could get drunk without the bite of some poorly crafted shit vino that gives you a debilitating headache. Here, 30 reasons why dating men in their 30s is the salvation you’re waiting for:
1. You have a better idea of who they are vs. who they could potentially become. By their 30s, they’ve molded into a lot of the person they’re going to be. What this means is that you aren’t stuck trying to determine which aspects of them will change over time, and which are deal-breakers.
2. They’ve had their hearts broken. This is important because they’re less inclined to take love for granted, they’re a little more sensitive with other people’s feelings, and a lot more in touch with their own.
3. They’re more concerned with being honest than looking cool. This isn’t a gender-specific thing, really, it’s an age-specific thing. At some point in your 20s, you reach the bottom of the “perform for other people” barrel, and all of a sudden, being genuine is a lot more appealing (albeit scary).
4. They no longer perceive the perks of being single as being the best things in the world. Their primary concerns are no longer just being able to have sex with whomever they want and hangout with their friends and drink.
5. Binge drinking and publicly flirting with girls they barely know on Instagram moves from being “normal things to do on the weekend” to “an embarrassing problem.”
6. Their idea of toxic masculinity, at least to some degree, subsides. Life experience teaches them that real strength is not an impenetrably stubborn ego, nor being humiliatingly arrogant and self-important. Their desire to be macho is replaced by their desire to be valued, to embody responsibility, straightforwardness, loyalty, and so on.
7. Their tastes in the people they’re attracted to deepen significantly – all of a sudden, they’re interested in the kind of men/women they want to spend each day with, not one night every few weeks.
8. Their focus shifts from wanting to be the guy who has the most fun to being the guy who has it together. They have come to understand that reading a book, dressing well, cooking dinner, sending a “thank you” card and properly asking someone out on a date is not uncool, dorky, boring behavior, rather the cornerstones of a well-rounded, considerate, functioning individual.
9. Society encourages men to be “free” in their 20s, and to be “settled” in their 30s, and subconsciously or not, that impacts the way they think and what they value. This is to say: they take relationships more seriously, and as a byproduct, treat the people in them with more respect.
10. They’ve spent a few years developing their career, and if they haven’t, they’ve at least spent a few years doing some kind of work, which is great on a few levels: it humbles them, it makes them knowledgable about some field or skill, and it either informs what they want to be doing for their lives, or what they definitely don’t.
11. They’re capable of basic functioning, because at 30, most of them have had no choice but to learn how to cook a few meals, keep an apartment organized, and know how to change a lightbulb.
12. They’ve grown to value being with someone more than they value being “right” all of the time.
13. They’ve grown to know that the two cannot usually coexist – and many loves are lost to the latter.
14. They aren’t afraid to care. Once upon a time, it was cooler (and safer) to shove feelings underneath a thinly veiled layer of anger and dismissiveness. Now, they’ve learned it’s better to deal with them, be honest with them, and risk them being hurt in favor of being loved. (There’s always a lot more at risk if you don’t.)
15. They’ve lived long enough to know that there aren’t as many fish in the sea as one would think think – at least, not if you have any kind of preferences or standards. Once you live for a few years out of college and discover that finding someone with whom you have attraction and love is a lot more rare than you’re led to believe, you never take it for granted again.