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How serious would you tell your 30 year old self to be about finding 'the one'?

(101 Posts)
Lastgasp Sat 31-Aug-13 12:05:36

I should say I don't actually believe in 'the one', but there are people we would want to marry/have kids with and people we would not.

I am approaching 30 and have been dating a lovely man for about six months. We have fun, I'm happy, but I know I don't want a future with him. There are reasons but I don't feel the need to unpick them here, as to me they are valid, and when you know, you know IYSWIM.

My question is, how long should I allow a relationship that makes me happy to continue, if I'm potentially missing out on locking down something long term? I frequently read posts on here by women who say that dating/meeting someone just gets harder and harder the older you get. I sometimes worry that I'm fundamentally immature and turning a blind eye to the fact that everyone around me is getting married etc. Should I continue with something that makes me happy until it naturally tails off, or do I need to be a bit more ruthless about finding someone I do feel a future with? This isn't really a biological clock issue as I absolutely don't want kids now, but I think I do one day.

I should add that he's never seemed fussed about marriage/babies etc so I don't feel I'm wasting his time at the moment.

Salbertina Sun 01-Sep-13 07:47:51

I wish I'd cottoned onto this so much younger. Glad for OP's sake that she has done so.

Lazysuzanne Sun 01-Sep-13 10:23:17

are you sure? When i was online dating i had alot of offers from younger men

Salbertina Sun 01-Sep-13 10:27:57

How old are you Lazy? Must be quite attractive still?
I had quite a lot of offers when younger but all changed, clearly lost the sexual equity or whatever i had! hmm

Like others on here, i know a fair few attractive, lovely sorted professional single women in their 40s and about 1 (tortured) rarely single man

FamiliesShareGerms Sun 01-Sep-13 10:29:14

You are much more likely to find "The One" (whatever that means for you) if you are single than if you are in a relationship.

colditz Sun 01-Sep-13 10:37:58

You can't find "the one" if you are with a man who isn't "the one", also, there is no such thing as "the one", find someone you are happy with and keep being happy.

Lazysuzanne Sun 01-Sep-13 10:53:56

im 47, i consider myself well cared for, more than can be said for most men my age!
I was contacted by alot of much younger men but generaly was only interested in those who were late 30's and upwards

Salbertina Sun 01-Sep-13 11:08:19

You give me hope! So it really doesn't seem a desert out there then or full of dodgy men?

swallowedAfly Sun 01-Sep-13 11:09:19

i'm 37 and single and can verify the pool of viable men gets very, very small.

i'm not into men who look like my dad and for some reason very few men seem to reach their 40's without looking like your dad or something (awful i know).

so you're looking at guys your own age and younger attraction wise - guys your own age don't seem to exist - i don't know if all the unmarried men go off to an island for their mid to late 30's and there's only so much younger you can go and hope to have much in common in general.

when you're at this age older men aren't what they were when you were 20 wink and actually when i was in my 20's it was older men who were chasing me around so i guess that's where the men in their 30's are off to.

i'm a bit lost though as to how someone can make you happy, be your lover and friend and you want to be with them if you've already decided you don't really want them? as in wouldn't you be happier not tied to someone you''ve decided isn't right for you?

swallowedAfly Sun 01-Sep-13 11:11:18

for me it's a desert with the odd beautiful oasis smile none i've gotten to stay in though - mostly short lived, not really suitable but lovely for a while affairs or brief encounters and staggeringly rare sometimes.

Salbertina Sun 01-Sep-13 11:19:21

Swallowed, yep reminded me of how i wasted precious time when i was hot on briefly dated a gorgeous 40yr old in my late 20s who was forever justifying it by saying women his age just wanted to trap him into marriage & kids! I now think shockangrybiscuit but at the time didn't really give a stuff (female solidarity came with age and a few knocks!) as he was FAB in bed and i didn't really take it too seriously.

Lazysuzanne Sun 01-Sep-13 11:28:09

it might be a dessert if you're looking for a full time partner...i've had enough of that sort of caper i was only ever looking for non serious relationships.
If i was looking for someone to procreate with..well, i dunno, if i had my time again i dont think i'd evenbother with all that bloody drudgery, hell nogrin

MadeMan Sun 01-Sep-13 12:28:07

"i'm not into men who look like my dad and for some reason very few men seem to reach their 40's without looking like your dad or something (awful i know)."

But what if your dad looks like Pierce Brosnan, what then?

Most men over 40 aren't going to be fake tanned chiseled hunks (unless gay), they'll have beer bellies, receding hairlines and will wear dark colours.

Salbertina Sun 01-Sep-13 12:32:11

Funny how women ARE expected to be the equivalent of "fake tanned chiseled hunks" though, hey? Toned, tanned, plucked and groomed with no grey hairs! Nothing less is socially acceptable let alone desirable. And all for some overweight badly dressed guy who fails to look after himself. -got one of those at home Fume.

MadeMan Sun 01-Sep-13 12:38:00

"Funny how women ARE expected to be the equivalent of "fake tanned chiseled hunks" though, hey?"

To be honest apart from leg hair and underarm hair, I prefer women to be fairly natural and a lot of men would probably agree with me. I cannot stand fake tan, hard toned bodies, over plucked eyebrows, excessive makeup, dyed/bleached hair, etc, etc.

I always get the impression that women doll themselves up to look good for each other rather than for men anyway.

swallowedAfly Sun 01-Sep-13 12:46:02

but i don't fancy fat balding men who have let themselves go mentally as well physically.

i am still learning and growing and open and pretty hot for an old bird so i'm not going to be attracted to people who really aren't.

and yes OP, as someone else said i'd skip the whole marriage and kids thing if i was you. get yourself a nice dog smile

MadeMan Sun 01-Sep-13 12:48:22

"...get yourself a nice dog."

Yes, unless the dog is fat, bald and mental. wink

swallowedAfly Sun 01-Sep-13 12:48:24

focus on your career and your aspirations and surrounding yourself with the kind of people who support and inspire you.

if or when you get to wanting to have children you can make your choices about how, who with etc then.

you're fortunate to live in a time where if it came to it and you never did meet 'the one' you have options for having child/ren on your own. especially if you've taken care of your career and surrounded yourself with positive supportive people.

swallowedAfly Sun 01-Sep-13 12:48:48

grin my dogs will never be fat!

Salbertina Sun 01-Sep-13 12:49:20

Interesting... But them how much do you really notice? Most women use light fake tan, most women cover the grey, diet, pluck etc but not to a remarkable extent "just" to (ever more demanding) cultural norms. All of this takes considerable time, effort and money and yet is seen as basic maintenance! Believe me, in my experience, men DO notice the absence of this.

DragonI Sun 01-Sep-13 13:00:07

OP, seriously, if you want kids do not waste any time on unsuitable men. I am so thankful that age 30 I got serious and found my DH. I feel like i was 'just in time', the marriage and kids ship nearly sailed without me. Even if you met someone tomorrow it takes time to build that relationship. Whether we like it or not fertility declines radically between 30 and 40.

If you don't want children then it's much less of an issue.

MadeMan Sun 01-Sep-13 13:03:49

Light maintenance is one thing, but some women do go quite a bit overboard with trying to look good and then it does notice for the wrong reasons.

I agree with you though that men can let themselves go as they get older without thinking they have to make any effort and there is a sort of acceptance of that somehow.

MadeMan Sun 01-Sep-13 13:05:12

^ Previous post was reply to Salbertina. smile

Fraxinus Sun 01-Sep-13 13:35:45

Sorry, op, but for those of us interested in finding a partner, perhaps you give us the answer to where all the decent eligible men are.... With slightly younger women who are not really in love with them. let him go. He might fall for somebody else me and want to get married and have babies with them me .

swallowedAfly Sun 01-Sep-13 13:48:14

good point frax. maybe they're all tied up with women who are not really into them but just killing time and not wanting to be 'on their own'.

hmm. right! it's all the op's fault grin

TheContrastofWhiteonWhite Sun 01-Sep-13 14:30:41

If you think you want 'kids' (plural) one day, I would think quite carefully about your timescales. I think it's reasonable to assume that it would be better to plan to finish having children by 40, as although many women successfully have children past this age, many others find that their fertility has fallen significantly.

So, last child at 40, previous one at what, 38? Pregnancy plus time TTC takes you back to 36/37 and time getting to know your partner first takes you back to what, about 34?

Of course, of course, many women meet and have children quickly, or have children later, etc, etc. And of course many women simply don't meet the right person with optimum timing. Equally, for some women fertility declines a lot much earlier than 40.

I would be telling my 30 year old self that if I knew I wanted children, and I knew the man I was with was not the man I wanted them with, I needed to seriously evaluate my choices. The right man might not cross your path that often, and if he's a decent man he will give you a wide berth if you are in a relationship.

I also agree that the pool of decent men falls alarmingly in your 30s.

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