A Post About Dating.

dating in your thirties // the stripe.

I don’t really like to talk about my personal life a whole lot over here. I mean, I’ll tell you what I’m doing but not talk about who it’s with, if that makes any sense? Balance the line between keeping things real and oversharing. It’s hard because there is a part of me that wants to blab to you guys about anything and everything going on, but I am also very private… and cautious, too. I had a serious boyfriend when I started this blog, and he naturally just became a part of the blog. My audience was also a lot smaller back then, so I never thought twice about throwing photos of the two of us together up, talking about our life together, and so on and so forth. And then we broke up. As if it wasn’t hard enough already, for the first year afterward, “breakup” was one of the key search words (next to my name) bringing in traffic. Or his name. Yuck. It made me feel a little sick to my stomach (and I felt like I was violating both of our privacy) and so I went through my site and deleted most of the posts with him in it.

But I think about talking about dating over here a little bit more, as there are things I want to share with you, especially with regard to dating in your thirties. So, tonight (as I spend a romantic Valentine’s Day with Tyrion + my computer) I am going to share those things with you…. And leave it at that. 😉

ONE // Things have changed, a lot. God, things have changed so much in a few short years. Five or six years ago, everything happened in real life, now everyone meets online! It was while I was with my ex that Tinder and all of the dating apps surfaced. When I was in a relationship I’d beg my single friends to let me play with their apps. They seemed so fun! Let me tell you… it’s entirely different when you are the one using the app. I did Tinder, Bumble, Happn for a while… but I quit them all over the Fall. While it’s certainly an ego boost to have so many “matches,” I ultimately found them to be a waste of time. I got harassed, I corrected their grammar, I had some good laughs and met a lot of people, but ultimately I came to the conclusion that my time is precious and the person I’m meant to be with is probably not on Tinder.

TWO // Breakups are kind of traumatizing. Mine was the absolute worst. I’m friends with my ex now and it all feels so far away now, but I think I’ve possibly blacked out how bad it was. Somehow I came out so much stronger, but I was quite literally traumatized for an entire year (maybe longer) after. I would go on dates and freak out. I’d end up back at a guy’s apartment and then get completely panicked and be like, “I need to leave. Now.” (Yes that happened, more than once, no, I never heard from those guys again…) I went on so many first dates in that first year.. maybe fifty. Seriously. Most of the dates were inconsequential and some were traumatic (there was a guy who showed up clad entirely in Lululemon, and wouldn’t stop telling me how breathable they were in the crotch area). But mostly, I spent that year focusing on my friendships and my work, and (I know this sounds trite) made myself into the person I wanted to be – stronger, happier, just… a better person.

THREE // You take the word “boyfriend” so much more seriously as you get older. (Or maybe that’s just me.) I always had a boyfriend in my twenties and didn’t really think much of the word. Boyfriends just seemed to magically appear. I’d date one, break up, be sad for a minute… and then meet another and repeat the process. I was never in a rush to get married so I never really thought about whether the person had long-term potential until my “big ex.” I had a boyfriend for a year and a half and was single for only a month before I met him. Before that one there was another boyfriend and another one before him. I haven’t called anyone my boyfriend that since my last ex. I dated someone for six months(!!!) and couldn’t bring myself to call him that. I know that’s not normal, but you get my point. If I call you my boyfriend, it’s a big effing deal.

FOUR // Dating around is really goodYou figure out what you like and what you don’t. You figure out what things are deal breakers, and what things aren’t. I think a huge problem for me was all of those boyfriends (and so little time being actually single). I didn’t go on any bad dates! I focused a lot on the wrong things in my twenties… I feel like I’ve learned a lot over the past year and know myself and what I want. The most important thing to me is that our senses of humor be aligned. They should also be smarter than me (not hard, I swear ;)), a little bit of a weirdo, naturally curious, honest, trustworthy, and able to properly communicate. And there needs to be a physical spark. (As I wrote all that down I realized I’m pickier than I claim to be… anyone know a smart, considerate, hot weirdo with great communication skillz?) I would also like my person to at least on some level, get what I do for a living. They don’t need to fully understand it all but I went on a string of dates where the guys had looked me up on Instagram and found my blog and everything just deteriorated from there. One of them actually said, “So you just get paid to look hot on Instagram?” No. Just no. There have also been some guys that are really cool with it and ask a lot of questions, which is refreshing. So all that being said, having a firmer grasp on what I’m looking for, I don’t particularly want to date around… but… such is life.

FIVE // Guys date around a lot too. Just know that and keep it in the back of your head before you get fully invested.

SIX // It’s really hard to find someone where there is chemistry on both a physical + emotional level. It’s usually going to be one or the other. If you find both, you more or less have yourself a unicorn, so try to keep that person around. If you can stay up late making out AND talking, you win. Obviously a lasting relationship takes more than that, but that’s your foundation.

SEVEN // Games are really dumb. But they do work. My one friend constantly tells me not to text a guy back for at least four hours. I constantly let her down. It’s so confusing though… how are you supposed to have a conversation if you do that? Especially if he’s playing games too… if that’s the case, no one is going to talk for a solid eight hours. Completely inefficient. I’m still figuring this out but I think the key is to put yourself first. Don’t ditch your friends, your work, or your other priorities for a guy. But if you like them, text them back… maybe just not immediately?

EIGHT // It takes a really long time to get to truly know someoneI think for me, this is one of the biggest revelations. I don’t know how it works. It’s really hard. It’s hard to let someone in, but it might actually be harder to really truly get to know someone. You can go on all the dates in the world, have all of the long conversations and only scratch the surface… That was the case with the six months guy. I am incredibly curious by nature, so I want to know everything about a person, from childhood details to favorite smells to what their face looks like when they sleep to what bottom of their foot looks like. (Okay not that last one but maybe I do? Is that weird?) I ask a million questions and am happier when my date is the one doing the talking. Still, even after a million questions, and even a couple months of dating, you probably don’t really know the person. I think the best way to get to know someone is to spend a prolonged period of time together. A long weekend, a roadtrip, etc. It’s doing the mundane things together… watching movies all day, grocery shopping, people watching, driving, reading the newspaper together… those are both my favorite moments + also when you learn the most about a person.

NINE // In your thirties, it can go one of two waysEither you focus on getting married, or you focus on being happy. Ideally it ends with both, but for me, I just want to be happy. I enjoy my own company more than most people and am genuinely so happy with my life exactly how it is. It’s when I bring someone else into the equation that things seem to go awry. Ideally, I want to be in a committed relationship where we both respect and adore each other. I hope I find that, but I also really believe that everything works out the way it’s supposed to. Some days it’s harder to remember that than others, but ultimately I’d rather spend the rest of my life alone (and I wouldn’t be alone – I have the most incredible friends + family) than with the wrong person. End of story.

TEN // I don’t have a tenth thing, but maybe you do. I’d love to hear your experiences and what you’ve learned.. especially if you are my age and single too! 😉

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Comments

  1. JB says 2.14.16

    I never comment on these things but just read this post and it really resonated with me. I’m turning 30 very soon and was just talking about this recently. 9 sums it up perfectly, but sometimes others have trouble understanding. Some days it’s easier than others, for sure but you are so right. It might be harder to find someone smarter than you after all ;). Thanks for sharing!

  2. Lauryn Higgins says 2.14.16

    This is so amazing. You should seriously consider writing more about relationships. Job well done!

  3. Olivia says 2.14.16

    I loved this post and definitely agree with some of the things you said. It’s always refreshing to hear someone else’s perspectives. Thanks for opening up and sharing!

  4. wendy sue says 2.14.16

    i’m so tired of people asking if I’ve tried online dating-I find it difficult, you invest time and then have to deal with feeling weird about not hearing from someone or worse hearing from someone and wishing you hadn’t!

    All that said, I agree with all your points!

  5. Meredith says 2.14.16

    This was really good to read/hear on a rough Valentine’s day – thank you 🙂

    • graceatwood says 2.14.16

      thank you! I’m sorry you had a rough valentine’s day. 🙁

  6. This is a great post! The only thing I would add or share is this – don’t play games. I was single for most of my twenties besides a few 6-monthers. I tried match (meh), eharmony (hated), and Tinder. The day I signed up for Tinder (right before I turned 30) I met my current boyfriend of now almost 3 years. Granted, I think Tinder has changed these days, but, we never played games. We texted for days upon days and then finally went out. Like you said, it’s really hard to have a conversation if you hold on texting. The thing is, if a guy likes you or is interested in you, then he likes you, period. They won’t play games or act aloof. They’ll want to see you and spend time with you and text you back right away, because they are interested in what you have going on in your life. Have fun with it!

    • graceatwood says 2.14.16

      this is awesome advice, thank you! I think we’re on the same page – at the end of the day, if a guy really likes you he won’t be aloof. Also… I have a lot of friends who are seriously dating, engaged, or living with guys they met on tinder… it’s amazing. I think you are right that it’s changed a lot in the past year or so. (I’m so happy to hear you met a good one there, though!)

      And oh my gosh I did eharmony for a minute too… it was nightmare!!!! absolute nightmare!!!!! 🙂

      • Tracey says 2.15.16

        I’m recently engaged and met the guy on Tinder. After years of dating and guys acting weird and not texting, this one was super easy. We texted and talked constantly and didn’t play any games. I think guys make it so much more simple than we think, if he really likes you, he won’t make you guess. Until then, just have fun!

        • graceatwood says 2.15.16

          That is so awesome to hear!! I think you’re right. Once it’s easy (on both sides) that’s when you know there’s something real. Thanks for commenting 🙂

  7. Tanya says 2.14.16

    Great post Grace!! I can’t totally relate.

    • Tanya says 2.15.16

      * I can totally relate.

  8. lauren says 2.14.16

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts on dating. I agree with so much of what you said. I don’t know you personally but you seem like such a great person with a huge heart. I hope you find your hot weirdo soon! 🙂

    Oh and Valentine’s Day at home with your cute cat? Sounds like the perfect night!

  9. Liz says 2.14.16

    After a devestarting break up – I really enjoyed dating around. It took me about 5 months to get into into the dating game.

    I think dating really helps your refine your people skills. I mean the whole concept of sitting to dinner with someone you don’t know is really bold. I wish we could do it with girlfriends, just sit down with a cool girl and see if a friendship blossoms.
    The pressure might actually be worse than a first romantic date!

    http://www.thetongueinchic.com

  10. ABN says 2.15.16

    Grace, thanks so much for sharing. I’ve been reading your blog for two years now, but have never commented…but this post really resonated with me. Two weeks ago, I got dumped (via text…so there’s really no other word for it) after a 7-month relationship, and after a lot of soul searching, have been working up the courage to dip my toes back into the dating pool, online or otherwise, sometime in this next month. This was really helpful to read, and inspiring. I’m coming up on my 31st birthday (which scares me SO much more than turning 30 did!), and it’s sometimes refreshing to hear that there are other girls out there, dating in their 30s. Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts, and your story.

    • graceatwood says 2.15.16

      Oh my god that is terrible. It makes me think of when Jack Berger dumped Carrie Bradshaw on a post it. I guess it’s the modern day equivalent as they didn’t have text messages then. I am so sorry that happened to you and am sending you a big hug through the Internet. I don’t know what was wrong with that guy to do that to you but no one deserves it. I hope you get back out there and meet someone great! Turning 31 scared me more than turning 30 as well… but to be honest, every year of my thirties has been better and better. 32 was better than 31, and 34 has been pretty great so far! Thank you for commenting! xx

  11. LMG says 2.15.16

    Dating in your 30s is just a change because you’re more self aware and mature enough to know what you want and what you don’t. Don’t make it a choice between having fun or having love, or you’ll find yourself alone in your 40s and you’re going to freak out. Just live your life and stop trying to navigate it and figure it out. Don’t take who doesn’t want you so personally, later on you’ll see why they were all wrong. Love isn’t a game to win or a goal to attain, so sit back and figure out who you are and what you really want. When the time is right, the two of you will find each other. Until then, live your life.

    • graceatwood says 2.15.16

      great advice… thanks for taking the time to comment! xx

  12. Edes says 2.15.16

    Thank you so much for writing this! Sometimes I feel like the biggest weirdo when I see all these bloggers in picture-perfect marriages while I go on crummy Match dates weekend after weekend.

    I’ve definitely had my ups and downs with the online dating scene, and the biggest realization I’ve come to is that you can have some say over how “easy” your next relationship will be. In the past I would click with smart but moody guys who loved to dwell on their grievances and see each day as a struggle. That outlook holds them–and you–back.

    It took way too long to notice this, but since then I’ve focused on dating guys with a positive outlook, and it’s been so much better. Like you mentioned, sometimes it takes time to see what he’s like, for example, if he’s a Negative Nelly, but if you do see that, think long and hard if that’s worth you time. (For some women it’s worth the other trade-offs.)

    I also learned that some guys will like you as much as they know how, and you might totally adore them, but they just don’t have their acts together. They don’t intentionally play games, but it’s the most frustrating thing ever and you can’t help wonder what’s wrong with you. This fall I decided I wasn’t going to keep waiting for guys to “figure it out,” and that has been a huge relief. That gives you more time to meet guys who do have their acts together.

    I’ve really enjoyed reading everyone else’s thoughts on this. Good luck to everyone on their search, and remember you deserve the best!

    • graceatwood says 2.15.16

      HAHA. I know. Sometimes I feel that way too – why is it that every blogger out there seems to be in one of those picture-perfect marriages? Makes me feel like something is wrong with me too! It’s funny though, a lot of my married friends seem to envy my life and constantly ask me what I’m up to to live vicariously. So maybe the grass is always greener. your comment about the smart but moody guys is so incredibly dead on. I did that too a lot when I was younger, but now if a guy is a downer it is an immediate red flag. Your other comment also rang very true, maybe a little too true to be honest as I’ve had too many of those. 🙂 Thank you so much for taking the time to write such a thoughtful comment.

  13. Lindsay Ava says 2.15.16

    I love this post! Especially the point about dating around, because it really helps you know exactly what you want and exactly what you don’t want. I think it’s extremely important to have the same goals in life and want to live in the same place, otherwise you are just wasting time.

  14. Lauren says 2.15.16

    As someone turning 33 this year, who hasn’t dated in years, I found so much in this that I relate to. I don’t know yet that I want to actively (read: online sites) try dating again yet. Like you, when I add that into the equation of my life, it seems to go awry, to say the least. I also went through one particularly heart-wrenching breakup that can still give me pangs of deep sadness.

    I’ve come to feel that a significant other should complement my life, but not necessarily complete it. I’ve also started thinking I need to be open to others that don’t necessarily fit the idea I have in my head of the type of person I *assume* I’d be happy with. Maybe find someone that does have some different interests and experiences so that we can both open each other up to new paths in life.

    But I also feel that the relationship I have with myself needs to be nurtured so that, amongst other things, I can be my best self and be the kind of partner that a person I choose to be with deserves

    Thank you for sharing this.

    • graceatwood says 2.15.16

      Thank you so much for commenting. You sound a lot like one of my close girlfriends, who I keep encouraging to get back out there and date… (we met up a few weekends ago to take photos for her profile which was awkward, hilarious, and amazing all at once). As loathsome as online dating can be, I hope you give it a try. At the very least you will learn a lot about yourself and what you want in the process. 🙂

  15. Tierney says 2.15.16

    Grace, I loved this post. I’m sure it wasn’t the easiest one to write, but please never forget that you such a beautiful person–inside and out. I’ve followed your blog for five (six?) years, and every time we’ve interacted, you’ve been so kind and gracious.

    I’m not going to shower you with all the typical things people say to us single girls (“The right one is out there!” or “You are such a catch–someone will realize it someday!”). I’m a big believer in God and fate, and I know the perfect person will come along exactly when you need him. The part about you always having been in a relationship–maybe this is your time to really learn how to be alone (in the best way possible–it’s probably the only time in your life that you’ll get to live alone and travel alone and do what you want….alone). A lot of my married friends tell me they wish they’d done more while they were single–traveling and buying cool things.

    Anyway, you’re a strong, brave girl, and I wish you all the best!

    • graceatwood says 2.15.16

      thanks lady! xo

  16. Heather says 2.15.16

    Don’t think people necessarily Google your breakup as a bad thing. Maybe they know you went through a bad breakup and they’re going through the same thing and are looking to read about how you got through it. I think people like to relate to others that are in similar situations on the Internet.
    The playing the game thing totally works which is kind of sad. I was seriously dating a guy in my 20s and we wound up living together but before that, a guy friend would tell me not to text back so quickly so there would be a little “thrill of the chase”. It totally worked. With so many ways of communication and everything being so instant now a days, there is nothing wrong with being a little bit unavailable so he gets excited when you do call or text or when he gets to see you. The anticipation is key.
    Also, I think that if you have to force something like give someone an ultimatum or a condition, it’s not meant to be. A great relationship just works.
    When I met my husband, things just clicked. Here we are almost 7 years later with boy girl twins and a little boy due in 3 weeks.
    I know we dated in a “different time” but I feel like people should move away from texting. A phone cal or seeing someone in person builds so much more of a connection.

    • graceatwood says 2.15.16

      That’s a really good point regarding google and the breakup, it was just so hard to see it out there especially when I was in such a sad place. But it makes me happy that maybe it helped some people to read what I was dealing with. All really good advice too… thank you for taking the time to comment! 🙂

  17. Mackenzie says 2.15.16

    I totally understand the need to balance sharing with privacy, but seriously the few relationship posts you’ve written have been so spot-on and insightful. I’m still in my early 20’s, but I think that your main points are applicable to people dating at all ages. Plus, it’s so refreshing to read about what people have learned along the way. I think that everyone (girl, guy, 20, 30, whatever) should remember that until you have a good grip on yourself, you’re going to be looking for all the wrong things from the people you date. Which is why it’s so awesome to hear how happy you are hanging out solo rather than with people who you don’t feel a connection with (and I can totally relate!)– it means the men you’re looking for aren’t going to be around to try to fill a void, they’re going to be in your life because they add to it! Thanks for the great post.

    • graceatwood says 2.15.16

      Thank you 🙂 I totally agree. You need to have a grasp on your own self before you can add anyone else to the equation. Thanks for taking the time to comment!

  18. Erin says 2.15.16

    I haven’t been reading your blog very long, and you may know this already, but Aziz Ansari came out with a book recently called Modern Romance. It’s about so many of these issues, but especially online dating and the weird rules/games we all deal with. He interviewed people all over the world to get their opinions, too! If you’re into his humor I would highly recommend the book, and he narrates the audiobook himself, which is hilarious.
    Anyways, I really liked your post too and wish you the best!

    • graceatwood says 2.15.16

      So many people have told me I have to read it! I actually have it, but haven’t started it yet. Maybe I will start reading it tonight!! 🙂

  19. Jen says 2.15.16

    Dear Grace,
    I read your blog regularly and feel like we live parallel lives! I’m a 35 year old professional living in Boston, trying to navigate work, dating, and a healthy lifestyle. You make it seem so easy! I really cannot thank you enough for opening up and sharing your thoughts on dating. I agree 100% and look forward to you sharing more!
    xx Jen

    • graceatwood says 2.15.16

      Aw, I love this! I lived in Boston for 3.5 years after college, I wonder if we know any of the same people. A lot of my best girlfriends live there and I try to go back a few times a year to see them. 🙂
      Trust me, it isn’t easy!!! I often joke that I feel like everyone around me is so effortless and I’m so… effortful!

  20. Rachel says 2.15.16

    As someone who is in their late 20’s and is engaged, I can’t imagine dating in 2016. Like you said, those apps/dating sites are TERRIBLE and mainly seem to be used for the hookup culture and nothing serious. Which is fine if that’s what you want, of course…

    The idea of Tinder still weirds me out. You’re passing judgement on someone’s looks for 2 seconds and THAT’S how we’re measuring our connection with someone?! Crazy.

  21. Melissa Smith says 2.15.16

    Number 10- Never settle for good enough. There were plenty of guys that I dated (online and otherwise) that I tried to tailor myself to. Like what they liked. Act like I thought they wanted a woman to act instead of how I wanted to act. It always failed and I never felt good around them.

    Someday, someone will show up that allows you to be fully yourself (no matter how goofy/weird/dorky that may be). So don’t ever settle for anyone less than great.

    Also, I have an idea for a book- compilation of hilarious horror stories of online dating gone wrong from women. Let’s do this!

  22. Jenn says 2.15.16

    This was such a wonderful and insightful post. I agree with the other posters (?), your real-life posts are so poignant and well written.

    I am single and in my *gasp* mid 30s – and I am just beginning to get the whole dating thing – it’s about me – not him. I went through several long-term not-quite-boyfriend relationships in my 20s, The longest of which was 2 years, with someone who just couldn’t quite commit, but wouldn’t let me go. At the time, I felt like I wasn’t going to find anyone or anything better because I was 31 by the time things ended – and it certainly made me question love and fear getting close to someone else again.

    Taking some time off, and being alone, I feel so much more secure and sure of myself now than I did then. It’s taken a lot of work – but I finally got that until you realize your own worth, you aren’t going to find a fulfilling relationship.

    I have to say, the one of the harder things about being single in your 30s, is the outside (unsolicited) commentary. I hear “Don’t worry you’ll meet someone,” or “Maybe you’re too picky,” ALL THE TIME. I’m not as worried about being single now – I’m in a great place (funnily enough, I attract more men now than I did in my 20s). Why shouldn’t 30-somethings wait for a partner with whom they really connect and love?

    No one, no matter what age, should settle for less than someone you have chemistry with, who is respectful and caring and everything else you need!

    P.S. Online dating IS a lot of work!

    • graceatwood says 2.16.16

      Love your comment, thanks for taking the time to write. I can relate to so much of what you are saying, especially the unsolicited commentary. That’s probably the worst part… people need to learn to keep quiet!

  23. Belen says 2.15.16

    I love this post, it’s very real. I can’t imagine finding dates online, to me that seems sooo weird! But a lot of people do find the right person on these apps. It’s a crazy world and we are just part of it.
    – Belen
    Check out my work-life balance blog! A Hint of Life

  24. Cy says 2.15.16

    Beautiful post Grace. # 9 is the answer! My BFF and I are practicing surrender. Buddhist flowing with the current, don’t try so hard, etc. enjoy life, who knows what will happen tomorrow? I listen to my sister( she in NY, me in SF) dating so hard ! She’s bummed out a lot. Granted sometimes it’s easier said then done, but I’m so much happier, just living a good life. I rarely feel lonely.

  25. Thuy says 2.15.16

    Great post. Too many things to comment on but I basically agree with you.

    Luckily for me, I spent the first large part of my life working on myself so I’m very happy with myself as an individual. Now it’s just working on all my relationships with people and first and foremost, chasing my career ambitions 🙂

    http://www.dressupchowdown.com

  26. Astrid Sanders says 2.16.16

    Great post Grace! I’ve followed your blog for a while now and can honestly say you seem happier now than before. I think you’re a real inspiration to everyone out there. You don’t need someone else to make you happy, but the righ person can share in your happiness 🙂 I hope you find what you are looking for, but more than that I hope you continue to be happy (generally speaking).

  27. Delaney says 2.16.16

    Thank you for sharing, Grace! It really seems like a lot of bloggers try to glamorize or perfect their relationships… and it’s honestly kinda annoying.
    I don’t really date (not because I don’t want to, but because I feel like I just set really high expectations and am just scared to open up to people other than my girlfriends…). I’ve worked hard in the past few years to be happy with myself but I think I have left out the possibility for a relationship. But as I’ve grown comfortable being “me”, it’s become a little easier to just entertain ideas of accepting someone into my life.

    Thanks again! Also, I really hope that you don’t feel pressured to share too much of your personal life. Check-in’s and little discussions like this are, in my opinion, perfect 🙂

  28. Christina says 2.16.16

    Great post, though I feel that your outlook on online dating is a bit cynical. I’ve used the apps both single, on my part, and on my friend’s phones when I was relationship. Yes, you have to wade through a lot of garbage profiles, but I think it helps you connect with people you might never run into in real life. I met my boyfriend on a dating app, and considering we have no mutual friends, we never would have run into each other in real life. That said, I think you have a wonderful, open attitude to dating and I’m sure you will find someone amazing, online or not.

  29. Aly says 2.17.16

    I loved reading this and I can’t wait to have you here in two days. Also, you’re amazing and the one that makes the cut for Ainty Grace will be a keeper xx

  30. this is so fantastic, grace. thanks so much for sharing. as someone who has FINALLY gotten past her ‘big ex,’ i cannot thank you enough for this post and the reminder that i’m not alone in it. and as someone who’s made it to the other side (aka actually calling someone else ‘boyfriend’), i want to urge you to just keep going. you’ve got this.

    oh and one more thing, thank you for that bit about being happy or married in your 30s. i’ve struggled with looking at all of my friends being married, owning a house, and popping out babies when i feel like i’m way too much of a wanderer and free spirit to ever do those things. your words in #9 really ring true for me.

    xo

  31. first time reading your blog. but love this honest, kind, advice.

  32. Kristyn says 2.19.16

    This is such a great post!!! I have felt the same way lately. The whole online dating thing is just insane. I’ve been on so many terrible dates. Many that I can laugh at now. But it makes dating so much more exhausting and frustrating. I really agree with all of your points. As someone who is 25, it’s nice to hear your perspective and implement things now. And realize that it will happen when it’s meant to. I have faith we’ll both find a wonderful man soon!! Hope you have a great weekend!! Xo

    Kristyn
    Primp & Proper
    http://www.kristynalysse.com

  33. Em C says 2.19.16

    Dating in your thirties is HARD! I try to remember that even though most of my friends have settled down, they don’t “win” anything by having done it first (and many of them honestly seem jealous of my single lady existence.) Like you, I truly enjoy my own company and am happy & satisfied with my life at present.

    If you ever make it to New Orleana look me up & I will take you out for a girls’ night!

  34. Rachelle says 2.19.16

    I wanted to read all the comments but there’s so much of them, this post resonated with me because my story is kinda the same. After a traumatic breakup at 25, I was single for 5 years, well I am still single. But these past 5 years have been the best in my life, I’ve learned who I was and I can now say I love myself and I’m my biggest cheerleader. I also made such amazing friendships that I am so grateful for.
    I just started seeing somebody I met on Tinder, enter eye roll here and so far so good. My advice would be that yes times are changing and online dating is a THING and it’s not going anywhere. My approach to OD is, if the person is making an effort to text and after a few days they want to meet then they are worth a shot. I made sure not to waste time with the ones that are playing games or are just plain weird.
    Pretty much if a guy likes you he will reach out to you and if you like him, don’t play games just be true to yourself and your feelings. So much about dating is about trusting your intuition, because deep down you know.
    My ultimate approach to dating is to focus on being the best version of myself as possible then I will know when I meet a guy that deserves me.

  35. Tracy Schwartz says 2.19.16

    This post really resonated with me. First, dating is hard. I never realized how hard especially being an hour outside NYC and everyone wanting someone within 5 miles. Tinder, JSwipe, Mach, and every other online website or App have been tried. I deleted all but Match. Who knows maybe it’s time to delete that one to.

    I am also working on loving myself fully and as everyone says; when you stop looking it will find you. Sure it’s annoying to hear on repeat but I’m starting to think it will be true.

  36. Grace, I feel like everything you’ve described matches my own experience to a T. The good and the bad. I was the exact same way as you in my twenties, until THE breakup. Then everything shifted, and it was a steep learning curve to open myself up to the idea of another relationship again. And then Tinder arrived, and I dated, a lot. Ultimately, I agree that quitting dating apps (and focusing instead on becoming a better person, and taking care of the important relationships in my life) has made me a happier, more well rounded person. I also think that the people I’ve met since have been kinder more genuine, and that relationships have happened a lot more organically. So—I think we’re both at a similar point, and doing pretty good 🙂 Keep doing exactly what you’re doing—you’ll find someone great for sure. xo

  37. Taylor says 3.2.16

    Hi lady,

    Just jumping in on the comment train here, I just spent a good 10 minutes reading all these really lovely and heartfelt comments from your readers after reading your post and feel so like, I can take a deep breath. I know that WE know that there are lots of single women out there in their 30s but at times it’s really hard to remember that and to stay positive. I think your mentality is spot on, and I’m in a similar place. I haven’t given up on the apps yet, but I have recently been canceled on for a first date 4 times—twice by the same guy. So you know, neat.

    As a fellow independent lady and blogger/writer, what you said about finding someone who understands or at least TRIES to understand what you do? That rang SO true. The other night I went on a date with a guy, and when I told him that I wrote for Teen Vogue as a freelancer, he laughed at me. Needless to say, I didn’t mention ye olde blog nor did I ever see him again.

    Anyway, I agree with everyone that these personal posts are always so charming and relatable so whenever you feel up to it, keep ’em coming! xx

    • graceatwood says 3.2.16

      Hahhahaha… I can’t believe he laughed at you. What an asshole. You don’t have to fully get it. Just ask questions. Try to understand it!
      I miss you lady, hope we can hang out soon!!! Thank you so much for taking the time to pop over and leave such a heartfelt comment. XOXO

  38. Lara Bojko says 3.8.16

    Amazing post! Lara xx

  39. I love 8, it’s so true! I’ve been married for almost 2 years and have known my husband for over 10 years and I still find that we’re learning new things about each other. I realized that we’ve also both changed over the years and I’m thankful that we’ve grown together 🙂 great post!

  40. Adela says 3.16.16

    I’ve found your blog thanks to the lovely Briony from a girl a style and man am I glad I did! Love your article.
    I am turning 35 next week and apparently being single and childless in your 30s is the worst thing that can happen to a woman! People have been persuading me to get on tinder so I did. I had mostly bad experiences and I kind of hate it but there are some happy stories and after reading the comments here I may give it another try. I live in London and you’d think that in such a big city with so many people it would be easy to meet someone but it really isn’t. Seems like everyone meets online these days..
    Anyway good luck to all of single and fabulous ladies in our 30s.
    Adela xxx

    • graceatwood says 3.16.16

      Hi Adela,
      Thank you so much for stopping by (and commenting!) I love Briony… she’s one of my favorite bloggers!
      I felt the same way about the happy stories in the comments here… I guess it really does work for some. Good luck and thanks again for stopping by 🙂 xo