How Your Thinking About Men Changes From Your 20s To Your 30s
Like the beloved Carrie Bradshaw says, “Your 30s are to learn the lessons.” And do we ever learn a lot of lessons based on mistakes made in our twenties. It can be satisfying to look back and see how far you’ve come in understanding yourself, other people, what you want and how to get it. Let’s take a walk down memory lane…
In your 20s you think, “Maybe I can change his mind…”
In your twenties, if a guy you like tells you he’s not looking for anything serious, or that he’s not good at commitment, you think, “Maybe I can change his mind…” You’ll hang out with him for months, misreading the simple fact that he’s spending time with you as a change of heart, thinking maybe you’re the one that can make him a relationship man…
In your 30s, you know men say what they mean
Eventually you learn that men are simple creatures. They say what they mean. “I don’t want a relationship” isn’t a challenge for you to turn them into boyfriend material. If you continue to hang out with a man, he understands that as you being okay with the understanding nothing serious will come of it.
In your 20s you buy into the charm
You go into your twenties with the conception that it will be obvious when a guy is only after a one night stand—that he’ll be grabby, sleazy, and only engaging in frivolous conversation. So, when you meet a guy at a bar who engages in intelligent—even personal—conversation with you, you think, “He must really like me.”
In your 30s, you know most men are just trying to sleep with you
Later in life you wise up—you realize that men know exactly how to make you think they’re not just looking for a one night stand, so they can get just that. Perfectly interesting, charming, polite men will try to get into your pants, but treat you as if they want to marry you. The only way to know it’s not about sex is to hold off.
In your 20s, you make excuses if he doesn’t call all day
In your 20s you’ll date plenty of guys who go MIA during a work day—or even an entire work week –and then arise from the abyss on a Friday night, sending you a “Want to hang out?” text. And you say you get it—they’re stressed during the week, they’re in the zone, they’re distracted.
In your 30s, you know mature men keep in contact
Sure careers are time consuming and stressful, but women learn how to balance it all and we eventually learn that mature, evolved men do too. The ones ready for a relationship, and who understand women’s needs, send a text or two throughout the day, even from work. No excuses.
In your 20’s, you’re happy to be asked out at all
Young guys are generally bad at dating. They’ll invite you over to drink with them and their friends, or they’ll ask you to meet them out at a bar with a group. And in your twenties, you think, “How cute! He asked me to hang out!” The guy gets props simply for reaching out.
In your 30s, you know real men take you on dates
Only asking you to hang out in groups, or spur of the moment, is a way guys keep you around for their own purposes—flirting, hooking up, having female attention—but don’t have to do any real work. Down the line you realize that men who really care about getting to know you, and are serious about a relationship, ask you out on proper dates—that involves looking at calendars, picking you up and the whole nine yards.
In your 20s, having a job is impressive
We all go out with the bartenders, the personal trainers and the club bouncers in our twenties. The simple fact that they’re responsible enough to show up to a job and pay their bills is attractive. And we like that their relatively flexible schedule means more hang out time.
In your 30s, careers are what really matter
Later you realize that men of substance want more than to simply pay the bills—they’re thinking about their careers. These men are the truly responsible, ambitious and interesting ones. If you’re still dating a club bouncer in your thirties, you start to worry.
In your 20s, midnight texts make you giddy
When people are drunk, their true feelings come out, right? Which is why in your twenties you blush to wake up to a 2 am drunk text from the guy you like. Even if it just says, “Hi.” You think, “That must mean he really likes me!”
In your 30s, you know serious men call soberly, in the middle of the day
Perhaps a guy really is into you, but if he’s only reaching out at midnight, he’s not willing to put in much effort. Even worse, he may not want to be into you—he may not want a relationship—but reaches out in spite of his better judgment when drunk. If a guy is serious about you, he’ll call you up, soberly, in the middle of the day.
In your 20s, sleeping together twice earns you PDA
It’s exciting to have the person you’re sleeping with at the same party or bar as you. And in your twenties, if a guy has spent the night with you a few times, you think this gives you license to start hugging and kissing him in public.
In your 30s, you make men wait longer for PDA
As those guys slowly pull away in your twenties, you learn that having sex with someone does not earn you the rights to PDA. Men wait until things have evolved into a real relationship before they’ll display their affections in public.