finding love in your 30s

This is so unbelievably hard. The dating apps are soil destroying and I have returned from 3 months off -  Tips please 

Never did the apps but would think meet asap, but possibly for lunch or after work drink. Dating and social life is exhausting

Oh and obviously be more attractive x

Don’t know but a colleague in her 30s just got divorced and the volume of  bad date stories that I get leads me to think there is a crowdfunding case for an orange matchmaking service 


Executive dating club.  A decent one will weed out the loons and the cost will weed out the povos.  So the people you do meet will be stable, solvent, and interested in an LTR, hopefully. 

Think meet as soon as possible. Also think worth a second date even if first isn't the best. Just so you always give someone a chance.

Get what you mean re apps but the other methods are even less likely to bear fruit.

Also maybe be a bit more open to what wouldn't be your ideal- e.g. if guy is under 6 ft etc.

And don’t take any of it personally. You’re awesome and just because some guy might be looking for something else, that doesn’t change. Assume everyone is pursuing multiple options and if you get ghosted, it’s nothing you did. 

I find dating is normally best when I’m not actively doing it.  Having been away from it all for two weeks I’m only going to respond to people who’ve shown an interest in me rather than aimless swiping and also being more ruthless about not trying to make something of it if the chat isn’t happening from the off.

Hah I don't think so Gaga. Just a number of women and men have preferences and it might be worth exploring outside them - give someone a chance especially as you get older.

New hobbies and friends of friends/social circle are much better than apps. 

Having said that, most people still meet at work. So have a look around who is interesting. 

Art galleries, museums and professional networking events are also good. 

If all fails, give me a shout.  I am free since I stopped dating my charming money-laundering girl.  


If you don’t mind venturing forth on your own do a holiday or course based around whatever hobby you enjoy. Bound to meet like minded people that way and you will enjoy it anyway 

I went to Gails earlier and ordered a six shot espresso and when the woman said "six shot espresso for clergs!" a very tall (and I assume handsome although his face was high so I didn't examine closely) man turned my way in astonishment.

I felt sure we could have been a thing if I were on the market.

Or he was thinking "she should cut down at her age".

But why assume the worst.

When you leave the house smile and treat everyone you meet as someone special who is pleased to meet you.

Do not focus solely on work and ‘dating’ if they are not making you feel great. Don’t waste this life as it will speed past and before you know it you will be looking back thinking why did I waste my time worrying about this s***. 

Find the things in life that make you feel great and ensure there is time in your life to do them everyday.

As above join a sports club or other if that is not your thing and particularly one with field trips. 

finding love in your 30s

Are you sure you're at the right place - did you see how many responded to the "working in London in the 90s" thread?

You’re awesome    

 The OP may well be, but to offer that sort of comment uncritically (unless you know each other IRL, in which case apols) strikes me as giving every contestant in a kid's race a medal - in other words, a bit of a sop.  Fact is, most of us, by definition, aren't awesome - we're just normal folks getting by as best we can.  

Art galleries, museums

only if that accords with your own interests and enthusiasms.  Otherwise it's sheer purgatory.  

Yes, maybe it was an oversimplification. What I was driving at is that - as far as possible - your sense of self worth should be independent of the dating process, not dependent on how the people you encounter perceive you. They often don’t know you all that well, after all. 

But OTOH I’ve been through some tough times recently and have honestly experienced an overwhelming avalanche of awesomeness from virtually everyone I know in response to that, so my perspective is perhaps a bit skewed. 


Fontaine, I hear you, the apps have made things a zillion times worse. Went on a mad swiping spree Mon eve - 40 odd matches. About an 8th of those actually want to chat - for most it's an ego boost only. From those probably 2 will ghost/ want to actually meet up. The new "ghosting trend" appears to be arranging a set time for a date then deleting just before meeting up. Happened to me twice in a week on eves I could've been meeting others who wanted to. This week I've met 3 already and 2 were nothing like photos, had no social skills and asked me nothing about me. Then you've got the issue of having to block them if they get weird on you..It's completely exhausting and feels like Groundhog Day..

I've done climbing, running, watersports, choirs, frisbee, tennis, loads of hobbies. Met loads of lovely single women, no lovely single men so you go back online and it begins again...

Tonight I'm going to a networking event in a slinky outfit. In it to win it and all that..If only I could become a lesbatron life would be very simple!


Also it's not limited to your 30s. I hear the same stories from people in their 20s, 30s, 40s, 50s. The apps have made people disposable and it's very sad.

Thank you all for your suggestions. Will re-consider networking and will look into more sports (outside tennis) ! Ps I am a northerner… and can say with some authority that the scene up there is even worse than london xxx 


My issue is none of my self-worth is related to whether or not I’m single so it’s damn hard to persuade me that I really want to change anything on that front.

I'm too old to have been dating in the age of apps; but pre 2010 I was all about meeting people in one of two ways:

- through work (not direct colleagues but the wider work network/events/etc)

-through friends (mostly house parties with friends of friends that you've never met before)

Sociable hobby probably a good shout, lot of friends met their partners through cycling, curling, sport

"dating apps are awful - I got 40 matches and only 5 wanted to talk "



#not the bloke quote 


It is interesting that men who survive such an incredibly brutal selection process where 99pc of us will fail completely , then turn out to have no social skills though 

Walking/trekking holidays, Exodus and the like. Went on about 8 of them over a period of several years in late 30's early 40's & made one good long term climbing buddy and one girlfriend.  But really any hobby you are into do that with a club, you'll be meeting people who already share an interest with you.   

Be patient. Luck plays such a large part that many years of perceived “failure” doesn’t mean you’re doing anything wrong.  If you’re intelligent and self-aware (as your postings suggest) then as long as you’re meeting plenty of new people it’ll probably happen. 

Then there's the concept of "I've got a really great life and just need a partner to make it to complete".  I've got a great life and don't really need to add anything to it.

Society is set up to be anti single people and demand that anyone single explain themselves/be doing everything they can to rid themselves of said status asap though

The next 40 years are gonna be fun. Not

I can't remember the last time I had to explain to anyone why I was single.  Have had a few chats about why I simply can't be shagged with the ball ache of dating.

FFS, peeps! Grow up.

Solitude is the best state. Do not confuse it with loneliness.

The stigma against singledom is shocking (and expensive).

All this coupledom is boring and makes us lone warriors sick.

Travelling alone is fantastic.


A legitimately helpful tip I received - when using the apps, once the date is locked in then suggest a ten minute phone call the night before the break the ice. You'd be amazed how it weeds out those people with zero chat or social skills. 

as others have said, go old school. get to know people enough to know that you like them. get pissed and shag. see what happens.
the modern emphasis on ‘chat’ is weird. I have no fvcking chat at all and begrudge putting effort into being pleasant to people whom I will probably dislike once I get to know them but I haven’t been single since 1989 

It's just about conservation.  If the conversation is stilted by text it's generally no better in person but at least these days you find out that before you've given up an evening to discover to you have little in common.

I can't be the only one who met someone lashed in a club and swapped numbers only to find that when we met sober there was nothing there.

My single mate (male) who got divorced (good job, great chat, not much hair, but tall and not fat) said the single late 30s dating scene is marvelous.


To borrow a phrase previously used by a member of this parish “he is knee deep wading through clunge”.


I realise this may not help.

I said something to my mother a while ago about it being strange that there seemed to be a surplus of clever, attractive women with good jobs who were fun and yet, inexplicably to me, they couldn’t seem to find the right person.


She gave me a withering look and said “it was ever thus”.    

I am happy to altruistically offer up an evening with myself to those rofettes in search of love.


Guaranteed you won't find it with me but the rest of the board could probably do with a laugh.

My single mate (male) who got divorced (good job, great chat, not much hair, but tall and not fat) said the single late 30s dating scene is marvelous.


To borrow a phrase previously used by a member of this parish “he is knee deep wading through clunge”.


I realise this may not help.


It can be. It goes in fits and starts, I tend to find.

That said, I just met someone I like a lot via one of the apps, and I think it's reciprocated. So, there's hope.

Re "it's easy" and "get a hobby" -  clubs and groups, hiking, Meet up etc are full of women and IME and from male friends bloke just CBA - that's why they go online. No one I know has met anyone at work in the last 10 years. 1 went travelling and met a guy up a mountain who lived a mile up the road in London after she'd been online dating and single in London for 20 years. 3 people I know paid over £6K for matchmakers only to be matched with peopele from the apps as the "Matchmakers" just went online swiping (tinder, POF, bumble), desperate to meet any men who'd sign up for free whilst the women paid £6k. No actual matching based on the criteria as they'd been promised. Everyone else has met online, either very lucky after 1 date or after years and over 100.

Lamlong - oh how I'd love to be a single guy in my 30s - there are just oodles of hot women wanting a partner. Feel free to pimp him out. My male friend did very very well with my friends...

Lord Gaga - for every single woman I know who really wants to meet someone the standard is -  doesn't make my skin crawl, can hold a conversation and make eye contact and actually wants a relationship not just a shag. Hardly a high bar re your "brutal selection process". The trouble is there are just so many people online, the needle in haystacking is just luck and the dating culture now has made it acceptable for men and women to behave badly. Apps should just delete those who don't chat and make it easy for everyone.

In general -  20 years afgo Match et al were for those who wanted a serious r/ship and those who didn't made it very clear upfront they wanted a shag. Now the industry and impact is just f**ed. I spoke socially to a counsellor recently who said most of  her work was from singletons depressed about how hard it is to find a partner and their self-esteem had plumetted from swipe culture. Ker-ching for the counsellors of this world, sucky for everyone else. 

Anon @10:21 has it right I reckon.

The modern way of conversing in writing and then meeting is probably the cause.  Of course people present the best of themselves in this way.  Better to meet in serendipity if you can and the way to maximise the chances of that is to go out and do things you like doing.

Re apps, I met someone who works for a dating app and he said that straight women shouldn't rely on them because they are geared to make money off straight men: basically for the straight folks, after a while women on dating apps only need to have a decent profile and maybe tweak it every once in a while to be 'reordered' by the algorithm so that they will be seen more by whoever is using the app or has just signed up.  For straight men though, the algorithm (and he said this is common across the industry regardless of what app you use) will prioritise whoever is paying to use the various features of the app and the straight women will be seeing more of these men's profiles (thereby decreasing the chance you'll see someone you might fancy, or be compatible with).

On a slightly different note, has any one read or watched Alain de Boton's commentaries on relationships?  DeSelby posted an article by ADB once about how you'll end up marrying the wrong person which led me to a great video ADB did at the Opera House on how the Romantic movement really fvcked up love and relationships (as a drastic social response to the political marriage or marriage of mind that prioritises rational/pragmatic reasons for marrying).  Anyway he says modern society prioritises instinct over reason and so there's this prestige attached to 'gut feeling' and 'chemistry' when those are ridiculous reasons for giving or not giving someone or a relationship a chance.  Dating apps, and gauging your compatibility with someone off one date, surely just entrenches that mentality. 

(ADB's view is that we need to enter the age of the pshycological marriage where you first  understand yourself and all the ways in which you are a crazy PITA, then find someone pyschologically compatible.  I'm paraphrasing but you get the gist.)

Also Fontaine is it really worse oop north? Peopel keep telling me to move as London is so brutal for this but it's knowing where to go..1 friend went to Bristol and it wasnt any easier but you have got the higher chance of bumping into someone in the same pubs/ circls thing that you don't in London. Also chatted to a friend of a friend who'd moved to Cambridge for the same reasons and she said it was worse and had considered moving back to London. So sad.

Sizzlers, I've read around this too - interesting isn't it? The whole concept of "the one" is just a modern day meedja creation.Marriage as an institution was based on shared social class/ position not feelings and chemistry and lots of generations survived just fine.

Bring back arranged marriages/ church hall dances/ village hall piss ups and meting friends of friends of your families/ friends - my mum's been sayingthat for 20 years and she is obviously Always Right :)

As a single guy in his 30s looking for a LTR via the apps - I don't think it's fair to say it's just the guys who aren't making an effort, or are just looking for a shag.

I have matched with plenty of women who either ghost, meet IRL and have dull/self-absorbed personalities, or just match and don't reply (presumably collecting likes for the self-esteem boost; or else mindlessly swipe and only read your profile after matching).

Ultimately the apps exist with the key determining factor being how "hot" someone looks in their photos. Even the serious apps have moved to this, with thin-veneer of "compatibility tests" to try and differentiate themselves from Tinder, etc. This just encourages everyone to just try and match with the most attractive people they can and ignore (or be ignorant of) the factors that ultimately matters more - your personality and your priorities in life (which the apps are terrible at gauging). It's a terrible strategy for trying to start a LTR.

But what choice do we have? Most women I know prefer to use apps to meet guys rather than being "approached" in public, and most men I know are terrified of dating someone from work due to the risk of harassment claims (and "approaching" people in public is also a bit of a nightmare, for various reasons not least the doubt they are even single).

It's ultimately a numbers game and you've got to try and leverage the small amount of evidence the apps provide to whittle down the matches into serious ones for a date. And not just focus on how "hot" they are. You'll be disappointed a lot either way, but you only need to hit the jackpot once. What have you got to lose?

The apps are indeed desperate. I went through a phase of resorting to them in a bid to get over an ill-advised relationship with someone married that I met at work (an error but single mothers in their 40s can be prone to ethical compromises of this sort). It worked well in terms of getting laid. It did not work in terms of meeting anyone with whom to have a relationship or even a third date. After a year of being ghosted/ disappointed, frightened or bored on meeting date/failing to match with people I thought seemed perfect even after carefully not right swiping where I thought they were out of my league/finding out dates were married/awkwardly trying to stop being pursued by those more keen than me/approached to be part of a threesome instead of go on a date etc I decided I'd had enough and COVID gave me the excuse I needed. Thought I might download them again once the pandemic was over. Haven't done and am in no doubt my mental health is better for it. When my child is less needful of me, I may try more social activities etc. For now, I am just going to make the most of hanging out with my many good friends (even if they're not bloody single!), try to take opportunities where they present themselves and if they don't so be it - I shall be the crazy cat lady I always feared I'd be. 

Guy - completely agree - that's why I was careful to say above that the apps encourage cra**y behaviour form men and women. I know from male friends women dick them around too. I don't know of any women who have, however, chatted for weeks and arranged dates at a rpecise time and then deleted their date just before, showing a cimplete disregard and respect for time, effort, travelling to the date etc, which is just so horrible and pointless it's unreal.

Bring on being approached. I've bought a pear ring although I've seen precisely zero other people in London wearing one!!

It's also so hard to know what peopel are looking for. After a week of 4 awful ones I went on a really good one at the theatre. We had exactly the same interests, hobbies, sense of huour, background, education level. We have exactly the same fave films, comedy shows, music tastes and spent hours chatting about them and flirted and laughed so I doubt there wasnt any attraction there. He said he'd had a great time and wanted to see me again. I texted normally. No reply. 

So then you think well maybe having absolutely nothing in common is the way forward but then what is there to talk about if you dont even fancy them? I'm overthinking it so am having a break from it!

Maid Marian/Bullace you should read ADB's essays on the subject. I also like how he basically says, you can't blame other people for being 'crazy' and therefore undatable (to you) because everyone's crazy. We're just different flavours of crazy.

Sizzlers yes my friend loves that crazy phrase too ie yhou cant blame someone for not being your cup of tea or vice versa. You can, however, blame them for ghosting/ other bad behaviour.

Oh yes, bad behaviour is just that.  (I was thinking more in terms of eccentricities or unexpected responses to things you'd think are 'normally' rather that the abominations listed in Loren Ipsums

Also re Guy's point, the LTR I had from the apps for over 3 years had one photo and I could barely see his face but took a chance os not everyone is superficial re hotness!

Oh MM, I didn't mean you or anyone on the thread in particular, faod...Just that there's a general tendency to write others off.  I've definitely been guilty of it in the past. Getting older and reading adb's essays really got me thinking about all the ways that I'm a pain in the arse.  (Though not about changing those ways, mind you.) smiley

Yes I tink that's harder as we get older too. If you meet someone at 25 you grow together, point out each other's foibles etc and the longer you are not in an LTR you develop your own habits/ ways of being a PITA that make it harder when you're then with someone. Throw in the finances situ, home owning situ, potential divorces and childcare and it's a minefield!!

Apps should just delete those who don't chat and make it easy for everyone.

Then they'd have to delete all the fake profiles which are there to like me and persuade me to keep spending money...

If I see anyone who says they are looking for "the one" I run a mile.

The problem in your thirties is that basically 2/3 of the men are already in an LTR.  Loads of women hope to find a partner in the same age bracket but mutual spark/chemistry is a chance of less than a result, many women find themselves at age of 39-42 without a viable partner. 

So basically women in their thirties have to hope for a divorced guy in the 40s/50s 



The problem in your thirties is that basically 2/3 of the men are already in an LTR.  Loads of women hope to find a partner in the same age bracket but mutual spark/chemistry is a chance of less than a result, many women find themselves at age of 39-42 without a viable partner. 

So basically women in their thirties have to hope for a divorced guy in the 40s/50s 



Maid - it hasn't happened personally to me, but a close guy friend had two dates in a month where they ghosted him the day of the date (or just cancelled with an hour's notice).

Sorry to hear about your theatre date - what a mind f*ck! I think people date multiple people (1st-3rd dates) at once, and then "pick" someone. But jesus, couldn't he at least have acknowledged you had a connection but for whatever reason now isn't the time. Not isolated to dating apps, but anonymity seems to empower some people to behave like assholes because they won't see the consequences. Git.

A date (nice but unsuccessful) last week told me about the pear ring thing. Sounds like it'd be worth a shot. Though as a guy (we don't usually wear rings) I'd worry I look like I'm in a cult.

Roger that's a bit patronising. I don't think any of the pple posting about their dating disasters DON'T appreciate a night in on the sofa or times out with chums. They aren't dating for the sake if it (I assume). They would like what you probably have: a reliable romantic partner to share occasional nights on the sofa with.