Guys often get stereotyped when they’re single in their 30s and 40s — think George Clooney pre-Amal. While the bad rap is sometimes unfair, perpetual singlehood can also be a huge red flag since, if a guy hasn’t found love by that point, people wonder if there’s a big reason why. If you’re getting older but having a super hard time finding “The One,” here are some things you might be doing wrong.
- You’re not trying hard enough on online dating sites. It’s a little harder for men on dating sites than it is for women, but here’s some insight. Women get a lot of crap in their inboxes, including a lot of “Sup?”, “How R U” and sexual advances. Sometimes it can be creepy. Find someone worth connecting with and actually write her a note that shows you put time into checking out her profile. Be funny. Be yourself. Don’t come on too strong but leave her intrigued enough to write you back. And if it doesn’t work, don’t get discouraged — every woman is different, and you’re likely to strike out a bit before finding someone great.
- You don’t let love grow. When you’re dating someone, you don’t really give them a chance. When the novelty of the first and second date wear off and you get into the “let’s just watch Netflix but not chill” stage, you get bored. The best relationships will often have boring points. If you’re temporarily bored, or if your dates have gotten a little too stereotypical, hang in there for a little and try to get creative with date ideas. If you’re bored so much that you’re miserable and start resenting the girl you’re dating, that’s another thing altogether.
- Your list of qualifications is the same as it was in high school. Big boobs, long blonde hair, beautiful smile with perfect teeth… Back in high school, you had a list of what your perfect girl looked like. But in your 30s and 40s, there are way more important qualities. Yes, you want to find someone you’re physically attracted to, but you also want someone you can trust. You want to find someone you can joke with. You want a partner to navigate life together. You want someone who doesn’t get immediately jealous and crazy the second she learns your office also employs other women. Y’know — things you didn’t really think about since you weren’t necessarily looking for long-term love.
- You’ve already talked yourself out of it. When something is hard — like, say, landing a top-notch girlfriend — the easy route is to talk yourself out of it. Sure, you’re lonely, but at least you have full control over your income and don’t have to spend it on dinners out with someone, right? If you don’t try, you can’t get hurt. But a big con to that is being in your 30s and 40s and still single.
- You’re too aggressive on dates. If you’ve been single for awhile, you might not really know how to act on dates. For a first date, don’t bring flowers — it’s too much. You also don’t have to present them with a huge gesture. That stuff is nice later on when you get to know her better, but for now? Grabbing a beer and a fun new bar would be nice.
- You monopolize conversations. This is a tough one since sometimes anxiety leads to being a bit too chatty. If you’re having trouble settling down and meeting “The One,” it could be because you don’t give her a chance to speak. Nobody likes going out on a date and merely listening for an hour or two. Ask her questions about herself. Fun ones. It’ll break the ice and make you both more comfortable. Plus, based on what you learn, you could get ideas for a fun second date that’ll perhaps lead to a third and fourth.
- You haven’t actually grown up. Yeah, you’re 35, but you still have the mind of a 20-year-old college kid. You don’t know how to do laundry, or load the dishwasher, or simply put your garbage in the trash when you’re done with it. You can only cook ramen, but sometimes you’ll just eat it dry because you’re not motivated to boil water. This stuff is really important since it shows you’re ready to cohabitate and coexist with someone. Sure, we all mess up sometimes and forget to take the trash out on trash day, but if you’ve never lifted a finger, you might want to start.
- You’re indecisive about your own life. You can’t find happiness with someone until you’re happy with yourself and your own personal goals. At this stage in life, you should have a good grasp on your career and know whether or not you want kids. Y’know, the big stuff. If you still work part-time at GameStop for no reason other than you love sleeping in during weekday mornings, you’re likely not someone a woman would gravitate towards. Figure yourself out first.