So Dear Rinsers this darling is about to celebrate her dreaded 3-0 next week and as a service to all our loyal followers I decided to take one for the team and carry out a little social experiment. I absolutely despise those hater of men type chicks and so I decided that I needed to have worked my way through a fairly good number of potentials before I was in a position to judge and make any sweeping statements about the nature of the dating market or men. So I set myself the challenge of going on 30 First Dates before I turned 30 (I actually exceeded expectations and hit 31 – just saying). Not any easy task by any means but certainly a learning experience.
Here are the top 10 life lessons I learnt through this little experiment:
- After an epic break-up its normal to think that life is over or that it’ll never be the same again. But really, life does go on and foot-popping kisses will happen again (probably sooner than you think.)
- The rebound guy will likely cause more destruction in your life the ending of any meaningful relationship ever will.
- There are lots and lots of strange people out there. Serial killer-types, foot fetishists and people with very very odd sexual preferences (e.g. the dude who told me that he and his partner were on Tinder looking for swinging opportunities).
- Tinder maybe commonly known as hook-up app but don’t be too quick to judge because you might make a few best friends of it as well. You would never think that your first Tinder crush could turn into your favourite agony uncle somewhere down the line.
- After about the age of 25 everyone has baggage. Whether it comes in the form of trust issues after having been burnt a few too many times or something more epic like a divorce and three kids, baggage is something you can’t avoid. The key is knowing your deal breakers on how much of another person’s baggage you are willing to handle.
- Religious nuts. Do yourself a favour and avoid them. Unless you are one yourself in which case go for it. Believe me it’ll only end in disaster.
- Men will do/say anything if they think there is even the slightest chance they could get their leg over. Be clever and use this to your advantage. Let these imbeciles waste their time sending you epic declarations of ‘LOVE’ via WhatsApp and then have fun reading these out loud while getting drunk with your besties. If these Tinder fools want to drive you to the airport during the early hours of the morning because in their silly little minds this means they OWN you, go ahead save yourself the cab fare.
- Friends. The true ones always have your best intentions at heart and will have your back even when you fail to take their advice and end up in tears for the millionth time in the space of a few months. They’ll buy you self-help books, feed you wine, stroke your hair and tell you things will be better in the morning. Treasure those ones and NEVER ditch them for a love interest. But remember that not everyone is so straightforward so beware of the frenemies.
- Despite the lies we tell ourselves life isn’t a fairytale and love isn’t always easy. There are fights, cheating and general drama to contend with and only the strong survive. People may overshare they happiness on Facebook but remember their lives aren’t 100% peachy either. Try not to take too much notice of all the wedding albums and baby pics on Facebook. It’s totally OK that you are still living like a bachelorette at 30.
- Single time isn’t going to last forever (unless of course you’ve given up on love like a Sad Spinster) so make the most of it while you can. Hang out with your friends, date every available bachelor in Cape Town, travel the world and have a few holiday flings and believe that when you least expect it your Prince/Princess Charming will materialise.
There you go Dear Rinsers. The 20s have been real but let’s hope I enter my 30s not just a little bit older but a little bit wiser when it comes to dealing with the hazardous world of dating. Now over to you… What were the major life lessons you learnt in your 20s. Share in the comments below.
P.S. And here is a funny video about everything I have to look forward to when it comes to dating in one’s 30s….
Also published on The Urban Dater