There are enough frustrating obstacles in modern dating without irritating dating clichés being constantly hammered into our heads. One of the worst things about modern dating is bad dating advice from friends and family. The first sign of bad advice is when someone decides to throw a few predictable dating clichés at you and call it a day. Feel free to roll your eyes and say, “real original advice!” the next time this happens to you.
We want real advice tailored to our story, and we want to hear something useful and new – not a tired cliché that we’ve already heard a million times and has lost all meaning.
A few years ago, when I was still in my twenties, I wrote an article about the dating clichés that actually hold truth. Now that I’m in my 30s, however, I know that many of these commonly believed dating clichés are false. I guess certain dating clichés have a shelf life before they are simply no longer true, or a certain amount of life experience is required to become wise to their true meaning.
If you’re 30-something and single, you have to be very careful about letting stupid dating clichés take up permanent residence in your head. They can get in the way of your dating life, as they act as a form of guidance for game-playing, rather than allowing you to find love. Here are 10 dating clichés you need to stop believing in, as they are no longer true in your 30s:
1. “Love Will Find You When You Stop Looking For It.”
You’re cute if you think “the one” will randomly sit next to you on an airplane one day when you least expect it. If you’re 30, single, and still a believer that love finds you when you aren’t looking – that’s probably why you’re 30 and single. Believing the love of your life finds you when you aren’t looking is voiding all responsibility for your own love life. It’s like saying that you don’t need to put yourself out there if you want to find love – but you do need to put yourself out there. If putting yourself out there and looking didn’t work, all of these online dating sites wouldn’t have millions of success stories.
Mr. or Mrs. Right isn’t going to come knocking on your door one day while you’re watching Netflix, asking you if they can borrow a cup of sugar. People don’t do that anymore. If you happen to meet someone by chance, you’re the exception – not the rule.
2. “Sex on a First Date Dooms Any Chance of a Relationship.”
In your 30s, it’s no longer true that sex on the first date affects the potential of the relationship. One of my longest, most loving relationships started with sex on the first date. The same success after sex on the first date happened to several of my friends.
Sexual liberties are natural in this day and age, and the stigma and judgments attached to it are retiring. Modern singles don’t need to worry as much about having sex too early. As long as you’re attuned to morning after etiquette, you’re fine.
3. “Stay Single if You’re Still a Work in Progress”
Many people believe that you should stay single until you’re where you want to be in life, you fully love yourself and your career goals have been achieved. It’s aligned with the belief that a relationship will distract us from reaching our full potential. Perhaps you used to believe in this cliché, until you realized that most of us are perpetually a work in progress – and that’s just fine.
We’re always learning, growing and changing. We all have things we need to work on, and daily struggles. For example, you might have an anxiety disorder which gets in the way of your relationships – but that doesn’t mean you should stay single. As adults, we’d expect that the person we’re dating would know how to date someone with anxiety. If the person you’re dating provokes or triggers your anxiety, they’re the wrong partner for you.
4. “Love Like You’ve Never Been Hurt.”
Although the sentiment of this cliché is nice, it’s simply not sustainable. By age 30, we have baggage. We’ve been hurt. We aren’t going to be able to love like we’ve never been hurt, and anyone who says they can is lying.
To love like you’ve never been hurt is the same thing as blindly trusting your new partner. You shouldn’t do this. It’s more appropriate to let someone earn your trust than to have blind faith. It’s smart to have a bit of a guard up, because all of those bad boys have memorized the good guy lines, and the way they deliver those lines is identical to the delivery of the good guy. It’s simply not okay to believe everything you hear or see, especially when every man knows exactly what to say and do to get their hooks into you.
Keep that guard up, and only drop it when someone has proved themselves with time, patterns of goodness, and consistency.
5. “Women Love Bad Boys.”
Correction: Girls love bad boys. Not women. Bad boys don’t dote on women, they aren’t very sweet or attentive, and they generally act like they don’t care about their girlfriend. Girls tend to fall for this trick, and they therefore place a higher value on an elusive bad boy’s attention.
This cliché has a shelf life. It’s only a matter of time before a woman gets tired of dating jerks, and decides once and for all that she’s not going to date an asshole ever again. In our 30s, we want to date a nice guy who treats us amazingly. We want to date a real man.
6. “Listen To Someone’s Actions, Because Actions Say Everything”
Actions speak louder than words, but actions do not speak the loudest. In your twenties, you might have believed that someone’s actions show their true feelings for you. In your 30s, however, you start to become wise to the fact that it’s actually someone’s patterns that show their true feelings.
Anyone can act perfect for a night, but someone’s patterns are what you should really pay attention to.
7. “Ignorance is Bliss”
I’ll give you an example of an “ignorance is bliss” scenario: Let’s say, hypothetically, your boyfriend went to Vegas for a bachelor party and a ton of inappropriate behavior took place – behavior he should not have engaged in if he was in a relationship. I’m talking about scenarios that involve naked women, drugs, hookups – the works. If you’re in your twenties and your boyfriend has a Vegas experience like this, but tells you that Vegas didn’t get too crazy, then yeah – ignorance is bliss. You get to blissfully continue your relationship without a care in the world, having no idea what happened in Vegas.
In your 30s, however, you’d want to know if the person you’re considering a lifelong commitment with is acting like this in your absence. Ignorance, therefore, is certainly not bliss when you’re in your 30s.
8. “Opposites Attract.”
When we were younger, we used to be okay staying with someone despite having zero in common with them, as long as we were attracted to them. Plus, we thought it was kind of fun when someone we were dating was just so incredibly different from us.
In our 30s, however, we’re starting to think long-term. We’re starting to think about marriage. It’s at this stage that we realize how beneficial it is to have similar values, a similar lifestyle, and similar interests. It would be pretty difficult to commit a lifetime to someone who is the exact opposite of you in every way.
9. “There Are Plenty of Fish in The Sea”
When you’re younger, you truly believe your options are endless. You believe that even if you find someone special, there’s probably someone better around the corner. It’s only when you’re older that you start to realize how rare it is to truly connect with someone. You know that if you find someone you feel connected to and lose that person, that connection is not so easy to replace. In your 30s, you’ve come to realize that if you find a rainbow fish, you should hold onto it because it’ll be extremely difficult to find another rainbow fish.
10. “Whoever Cares Less, Wins.”
The problem with this dating cliché is that if you truly believe that whoever cares less gets the upper hand in relationships, you’ll probably try to make it seem like you care less. In essence, you’re just a game player, which will get you (and your relationship) nowhere.
So, even if it’s sort of true that whoever cares less has more power in the relationship, you need to throw this belief out the window if you’re serious about finding something real.
This cliché is irrelevant if both people in the relationship are mutually very into each other and care a lot about each other. This is the ideal, and this should be the goal. Nobody should be trying to pretend they care less to gain the upper hand, because both of you should want to show each other how deeply you care. That’s what an adult relationship looks like, people.