5 Things About Dating That Get Better with Ageby Lilit Marcus on May 21, 2012
Like wine and good books, relationships definitely get better with age. And the reason why is that people often get better with age — we learn from our mistakes, we notice patterns and try to change them, and we get more specific about what we want and why. In particular, there are five things about dating in my almost-thirties that are a million times better than dating in my teens and twenties.
In college, when I got angry with my boyfriend about something, I would just sit around stewing and hoping he’d figure out that I was mad. Eventually, it dawned on me that people aren’t psychics. Just like I had to learn how to communicate my thoughts at the office, I also had to learn to communicate my feelings with my partner. Now, we can nip arguments in the bud by saying right away how we feel, rather than sitting around letting negativity fester.
You know what else gets better when communication gets better? The sex. Being able to articulate to my partner what I’m into, and what I’m not, has improved my sex life dramatically. Trusting my partner and knowing that we’re committed to each other also helped, as did getting over some of the self-esteem and confidence issues I dealt with in my 20s.
Money certainly can’t fix a broken relationship. But getting older and having more stable incomes does mean that my partner and I can have different experiences together, whether that’s a vacation, a weekend away, or a special date night out at a fancy restaurant that requires reservations a month in advance. You should be just as happy whether jaunting around Paris or sitting on the couch watching TV, but building a life together is always nicer with some extras.
Related: 13 Reasons He’s A Selfish Lover
As I’ve gotten older, I’ve been able to refine and articulate my goals. I went from saying “It would be fun to be a writer” to “I’d like to have a byline in publication X” made things more realistic and attainable. And dating is the same way: when I was in my teens and 20s I just wanted to date different guys, move to a new city where I didn’t know anyone, and otherwise make things up as I went along. But it isn’t just my career goals that got specific. Now, I’m looking for certain things in a relationship and therefore have a much better sense of whether a guy is compatible. Sure, being hot is nice. But having the same thoughts about marriage, kids, and religion is even better.
I used to think that if a guy wasn’t constantly telling me he liked me, he must want to break up. This insecurity and need for reinforcement ended some of my early relationships. Now, my partner and I sometimes sit in the same room without speaking to each other, and that’s okay. Being together doesn’t just mean talking 24/7 — it means being close enough to respect and appreciate the quiet moments just as much as the loud ones.