7 Must-Read Tips for Dating in Your 30s

Dating in your twenties is easy. It seems like there are single people no matter which way you turn, and if you don’t hit it off with one person, it’s not going to be long before someone else catches your eye.

Once you reach thirty, though, the dating pool begins to thin out, and it becomes less easy to meet new people. People pair off and couple up, and your friends may settle into coupledom and have less time to go out and be your wing-person. Once your friends start having kids, they might not have the time or energy to join you, even if they could.

Add in the demands of work and you have even less time on your hands to go out as well. It can be tough to watch your friends meet their other half when you’re still single. Don’t despair! It’s really not as hard as it seems. To help you out, we’ve put together seven sure-fire tips for navigating the dating world on the other side of your twenties.

Decline the Friends Who Want to Play Matchmaker

There may be fewer fish in the sea past thirty, but there’s nothing more awkward and cringeworthy than when your buddies try to set you up. They mean well, but nobody knows you better than you. The touchstones that may motivate your friends to recommend dinner with their spouse’s ex-dorm mate’s sister may not reflect the common ground you’re looking for in the dating world.

No matter how close a friend, they still may not have a clear picture of your dream mate. Feel free to get dinner with someone they suggest who sounds genuinely interesting, but there’s nothing wrong with a polite “thanks, but no thanks” when your friends offer to set you up.

Check Out An App or Two

By the time you’ve hit thirty, you can find yourself knee-deep in you career. Once you’re done with your workday, are you really likely to want to hit the town for a slim chance at meeting “the one?” Dating apps make it easy to filter by interests, personal philosophies—and age. If you’re interested in dating someone older or younger than you, great!

But there’s nothing like shared experiences and not having to halt a conversation to explain your pop-culture references. If you’re looking for an age-appropriate single person, dating apps are the best way to filter out the noise and increase your chances at finding a single someone you’ll fall head over heels for. We’ve selected a few of our favorite dating apps for singles in their thirties. Give one a spin. You never know who you’ll find!

For You: Best Dating Apps for 30s

Speed Dating—Yes, Really.

It sounds like an ultra-awkward, accelerated version of friends playing matchmaker, but it can’t be denied that you’ll know if you’re attracted to a person within just a few minutes of meeting them. Most speed dating events curate their attendees by things like age or interests.

While there’s a chance you’ll run into some of the people you meet at speed dating in the real world, it’s really tough to put your foot in your mouth in just a few minutes. The stakes are low. Try something new and meet several singles in their thirties all at once, and see if you can generate chemistry in a short conversation. If you’re not sure where to find a speed dating events, lots of dating sites and apps also help arrange IRL events.

Hone Your Hobbies

There’s definitely a smaller single population past thirty, and yelling at a stranger in a loud bar is unlikely to lead to a genuine connection. Spending time on a social hobby, like softball or a cooking workshop, will introduce you to new faces without the pressure of the meat market.

You’re also guaranteed to meet someone who shares your interests, and you’ll have a topic of conversation immediately. Want to try something new? Sign up for a workshop and develop a new way to spend your free time, at the same time. It’s a win-win.

Resist the Urge To Date Colleagues

You’re sure to bond with a co-worker or two when you work in close quarters eight hours per day. Still, it’s best to leave the office at the office. While your workplace romance could be one of the few cases where true love prevails, it’s a lot more likely to lead to hurt feelings and future awkward staff meetings.

Same field, different company? Be careful there, too. While there may be no hard feelings if things end, dating other people in your industry may make for a tougher job hunt when the time comes.

And in both cases, your company may specifically forbid you from dating coworkers or clients. Weigh if a “maybe there’s something there” against awkwardness and future employment prospects before deciding you’re going to be the next Jim and Pam.

Leave It Up to Fate and Wait

There’s never any reason to settle, but especially not as early as when you’re in your thirties! There’s no ticking clock on finding the right person for you. The person you’re meant to meet may come into your life when you least expect it. If you’re the independent type, there’s definitely no reason to rush the process.

The better you know yourself, the better you know the personality type that would complement you best. Information like that will save you countless nights on fruitless dates.

Take the Scenic Route

If your dating scene feels stale, change it up a bit and take a vacation someplace new. Many apps and online dating sites will help you filter by location, so if you’re going out of town, consider getting dinner with someone who can show you around town.

Don’t worry about how you feel about moving or long distance relationships just yet. There’s plenty of time to figure those things out. In the meantime, just enjoy a change from the same old, same-old of your own town.