Skip to content
April 30, 2017 / catherinebwrites

Things You Didn’t Know About Dating Men in Their 30s

The following is a guest blog post from American humor novelist Jeff Gephart, whose new novel is called ‘Accidental Adulthood: One Man’s Adventures With Dating and Other Friggin’ Nonsense.’  Learn more about Jeff and his work at


5 Things You Didn’t Know About Dating Men in Their 30s



    Many women feel their 30s are their “do or die” time to find that special someone. Whether it’s their biological clock ticking, or whether it’s just their family and friends (or society, indeed, in general) applying intentional or unintentional peer pressure. Becoming half of a couple, settling down–these are the “normal” things to do at this point in your life. Men are not immune to this pressure. In Accidental Adulthood, the main character Mick feels like everyone around him views him as a “fraction,” or an incomplete entity, because he doesn’t have a wife and kids, not even a girlfriend. This causes him, and most men in his situation, to do some peculiar things. They try to project an image of confidence, supreme masculinity, laissez-faire, but most of that is just insecurity causing them to mimic movie characters that seem desirable to women. I’ve heard women say most of the messages they get on online dating sites are bland, vague, and they don’t make the person sound as if he’s even read their profile. What they may not realize is that a man who sends that kind of message is just copying-and-pasting the same message to lots of women. Why? Casting a wider net. Why? Because they’ve probably already been ignored or turned down by so many women on the site that their fragile egos are telling them it’s probably not going to work, so don’t put much effort into it, but cast a wide net and you may get lucky. Mick tries this very tactic in the book. I’ve been there too, and I daresay I’m far from alone.


    Ladies, most men are physically attracted to younger, fit women because society has made that our ideal. Or perhaps it’s an extremely common personal preference. As Mick explains in Chapter 11, “If the average man didn’t find young women desirable, Playboy would’ve stopped publishing college issues a long time ago.” The thing is, the kind of man women in their 30s want is someone whose maturity actually matches their age. And there are plenty of us. The problem with those young, nubile women, is that they’re on a completely different wavelength than a thirtysomething man. They’re by and large too immature or self-absorbed to hold a man’s interest in conversation for very long. They’re boring. Admittedly, there are legions of men in their thirties that have not progressed mentally past horny teenager, and younger women fulfill their one and only use for them. But ladies, if you want a man that doesn’t solely think with his penis, then you have to attract them first with your mind. Your intellect, your sense of humor, your ability to talk about big ideas, whatever. If you whet his appetite with a good conversation (or an entertaining online profile) chances are you won’t have to look like an ill-fed swimsuit model to get and hold his attention.


    Bring home your free soup and gather around the radio for one of FDR’s “Fireside Chats” while….oh wait, nevermind. This one is from my blog about Dating Men in the ‘30s.


    And that’s why they’re as paranoid and crazy as they seem. I’ve heard lots of young women deploring all the “creeps” they run into, especially when dating online, but it goes both ways. In Accidental Adulthood, Mick experiences some surreal moments while dating: getting patted down in public like a drug suspect, being invited to do a Sears portrait on the first date, being shown dozens of pictures of the “slut” who stole her man from her, receiving a marriage proposal on a first date. Let me tell you, not all of these events sprung from my imagination. So if a guy seems to have trouble letting his guard down, or being distant, or putting up some kind of front, it’s just self-preservation mode. Don’t read too much into it. Don’t dismiss him from your mind right away, simply because he didn’t do everything right on the first date. He needs time to get comfortable too, and to assure himself you’re not just another girl who’s going to end up another bizarre story to tell his buddies at the bar.


    If you want to be treated like a princess and have every date feel like a magical prom night, you have to ask yourself what level of seriousness you’re truly trying to achieve through dating. There is nothing wrong with romantic gestures and grand adventures that seem like they’re out of the movies, but not every guy has that in them. Men get just as lonely as women. If a man is divorced, he’s facing a level of isolation that he’s not used to. If he’s still single in his thirties, he’s used to it, but it doesn’t make it any easier. Be prepared for–and even suggest–a date now and then that just involves hanging out. Watching TV, just getting coffee and going somewhere to simply people watch, making dinner together. Sometimes a guy just wants someone to share his space, someone who “gets him” and makes him feel wanted. Let me tell you from experience, it sucks when a cool event is happening in town, but it doesn’t sound cool to any of your friends and then you face the prospect of attending alone. Don’t come into a new relationship with grandiose expectations; you’re just going to feel let down. Look for someone whose company you genuinely enjoy, even if you’re not actually “doing” anything.


    Men who have stayed single into their thirties haven’t gotten there by falling in love too easily. Men who married and are now back on the market in their thirties are most likely aren’t in a hurry to declare their love as quickly as they did the first time around. In Chapter 5, Mick has a memorable first date with a woman who proclaims her love for him and even hints at having children with him. It’s a funny scene, and I’m not saying it happened to me in real life (But, it did.), but the message is clear: Too much, too soon. Some men can’t wait to settle down and start a family, but I gotta say most of those types are not still online dating in their thirties. The majority are still single because nothing has worked out so far, so naturally they’re a bit wary. If a man says he loves you too early in your acquaintanceship, take that as a GIGANTIC RED FLAG. By the same notion, if he starts too soon with the pet names–babe, bae, boo–and it seems like he’s trying to progress things strangely fast, he’s probably one of those one-track mind guys that we spoke about before. Steer clear. If you’ve been dating for a year and he still hasn’t said any of these things, well, that’s a problem for a different article somewhere down the line.



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: