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Is It Harder To Date Women In Their Late 20s And Early 30s?

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At times, women begin to fear that as they get older men will become less attracted to them and favor their younger counterparts. As a man who has dated younger and older, I’ve noticed some differences but I couldn’t conclusively tell you that one way or the other always holds to be better or easier. I do believe that with experience comes wisdom, but also with experience can come baggage. In my latest piece on MadameNoire, I write a piece on the pros/cons associated with dating a woman in her late twenties and early thirties.

Straight From His Mouth: Is It Harder To Date Women In Their Late 20s And Early 30s?

I’ve always had a theory that at a certain point in everyone’s life they stop developing and they start coping. Without a serious life altering event, it’s unlikely that most people will truly change after their mid-twenties. They may adapt, but they won’t really change. I’ll give you an example: after a woman is about 30 and she realizes that she has trust issues she typically reacts a certain way. She will either resolve that she has trust issues and project that onto the people she dates, expecting them to deal with it, or she will choose to suppress her trust issues because she has found that it negatively affects her dating life. As you can see, she either doesn’t take any action at all, or she adapts to get the desired result. However, those trust issues are still very present within.

I was asked one time if it gets harder to date as you got older and I responded, “Yes, for men it is. For women, it’s still a little unclear to me.” I don’t believe in generalizations but if I was forced to answer that question, I’d say that the nature of dating and relationships is cumulative and progressive and for that reason it makes it harder for women as they get older.

As a man, by the time I’ve reached my late 20s I’ve had a significant amount of experience dating. I explained to a group of women at a recent panel that at this point in my life when I make a mistake or do something wrong in a relationship, I’m fully aware of those actions. I’ve been in the dating world since adolescence, lying, cheating or being too distant aren’t ignorant mistakes a man makes – he’s very cognizant of his errors. Most men are also logical lovers; we believe that somehow we can control our emotions and feelings. We believe that if we adjust this or that, it will in turn adjust the outcome. This prevents most men from having a perspective that things will never change.

Well, in my experience from dealing with women as they near their late 20s, their experiences start to get the best of them. I think of the people with the most optimistic outlook on dating and relationships and I notice that they are typically younger. (I’m assuming these women are single. Married women who are nearing 30 or in their early 30s may not have been in the dating world for some time at this point.) As women get older, and because the majority of women are emotional lovers, they begin to inherently have baggage. Whether they’d like to admit it or not, they are carrying the cumulative transcript of their dating lives. Every time they’ve worn their heart on their sleeve too early on and had it crushed, they learn to not give too much and wait for a man to commit before them. Every time they’ve been cheated on, they’ve learned to be very careful to not give trust but let it be earned. Several examples could be given here, but I believe you get the picture. If women love emotionally, when their emotions get damaged, they can’t help but be affected.

I should say, this isn’t a bad thing. People should let past experiences guide their actions, but they just shouldn’t be held captive by them. Consequently, I think it’s harder, but I don’t know if I would say worse, to date women as they get older. I’ll explain.

I would tell any other man, by the time a woman reaches the age of 27-28, her brain has completely developed and will not be developing anymore. That’s a biological fact. That doesn’t mean she won’t emotionally or socially grow, but her brain is done. The chances are she’s going to be the way she is at that point forever unless she has a life-altering event. Life-altering events are rare in nature and don’t happen often or to everyone. The woman you’re trying to date is likely very aware of her faults and if she isn’t, will never be aware of her faults.

You can read the rest of the post here.

– Dr. J

What are your thoughts? Do you think that it becomes easier to date women as they get older and mature? Or, do you think that it’s easier to date a woman who in younger because she has not had the experiences, trials and tribulations of dating for a past decade? Ladies, do you notice a difference in yourself over the years? Are you also capable of being honest about who you are today as who you were then? I know it’s easy to look back and say, i’m better now than i’ve ever been. It’s harder to say, “You know what, I have picked up some bad habits along the way that I wish I never did.”

Comment(31)

  1. @ J – Do you have a blog somewhere explaining this "emotional lover" phrase? You've said it a few times now, and you have also called yourself a "mental lover" —>and I'm a bit confused.

    About the blog: In the end you said it's best to take each person as they come, and I agree. However, I wish you had talked more about why 'harder' isn't necessarily bad. IMO, young people these days are too quick to tap out when things get difficult. I wish they could see that in reality, it's those "harder" types of relationships – the ones that make you dig deep and give more – that will hone them into better people in the end.

    It's the difference between a mile & a marathon. A marathon is more difficult, yes. But if you put in the proper time & effort it'll be something you can brag about for years to come.
    My recent post Are You OK With Your BF Frequenting Strip Clubs?

  2. At the age of 34, I am very guarded. But can you blame me? In the past, it seems like some men were out to do nothing but break my heart. Who wants to experience that pain and disappointment, man or woman, if they didn't have to? I think I'm a very "dateable" type of black woman: I've been employed at the same job for over a decade, beautiful, varied interests, and no children, meaning no "babydaddies." So do you think I would just subject my wonderful self to just any ol' body who's going to disrespect me, sneak behind my back to creep to the next woman, or falls short in any other way? I don't think so.

  3. Oh my, you certainly made somebody mad over there LOL. Never dated other woman so I can't really speak on that. I think it all depends on what you want out of a partner. I do know that as I get older I get a firmer understanding of myself, and I know that some of the people and things I entertained myself with when I was 20 or 21 would get nexted immediately now that I'm 26. I have a much better understanding of my worth and know not to settle, but I'm not so sure that's a woman thing, I think it's a maturity thing. Both male and female brains aren't fully developed until around the age of 25, so my guess is that any person who's been jaded and hasn't dealt with it will be carrying baggage.

    1. Serious question, since this is a notable theme in the comments on MadameNoire:

      Doesn’t saying Yes, it is harder. “Harder” meaning you are less likely to get away with bullshit. inherently imply that you have more “baggage” – not my quote – since you are then assuming from the beginning that men are allegedly predisposed to “bullshitting” you? I mean, if I saw a man say he can spot women’s “bullshit” because he’s older, I’d think that man has some baggage and feels some type of way about women in general instead of approaching each individual on a case by case basis.

      *waits for head to be bitten off*

      1. I don't think TBT's comment necessarily implies that she has baggage. Instead, I think that the way J explains the difference between 'harder' older & 'easier' younger women would make anyone (baggage or not) think that younger women tend to be naive & optimistic, even when their optimism is unwarranted.

        IMO, the *OBVIOUS* response to J's questionable word choice is to ask yourself whether older women are really 'harder'—> or are they just smarter, wiser & more discerning?

        It seems like most of the commenters here & on MN think that the title to this article should have been: "Is it harder to fool women in their late 20s & early 30s?" #uhyea

        My recent post The Measure of A Woman

        1. I disagree but respect your view points. Overall, I think everyone has less baggage when they’re younger because by our very nature, men and women, are more ignorant in their youth. I think some people just feel some type of way about the term “baggage” but it is what it is.

          Regarding your last paragraph, interestingly enough, the topic – like 95% of the MN topics we address – was pitched to us by a woman as quoted. But, I honestly see no reason for the title to change. But generally speaking, arguing semantics and subjectivity are fairly pointless as their are only opinions to debate with little fact to support them. That’s just the way of the Internet.

        2. Apologies, I’m living the iPhone comment struggle. I would clarify that – although we may disagree – the phrases listed here: IMO, the *OBVIOUS* response to J’s questionable word choice is to ask yourself whether older women are really ‘harder’—> or are they just smarter, wiser & more discerning? “smarter, wiser & more discerning” are nothing more than politically correct ways of saying “baggage” as a person with baggage would likely use all those same adjectives to describe themselves. To be more clear, as I thought J stated, having “baggage” is not inherently bad – especially when we all have are own loads to bear – as long as the baggage we have is properly managed and not inappropriately or unfairly thrust onto the backs of others.

        3. I wasn't really giving my viewpoint on the blog in the comment above. I actually think the blog eventually got around to making a relatively neutral point—>take people as they come.

          In the comment above I was only trying to point out WHY (imo) people seem to be objecting to J calling older women "harder to date". They aren't objecting b/c they themselves have baggage (as u suggested in your response to TBT), they're objecting because in fact:

          It isn't harder to DATE older women—>it's just harder to GAME them. B/c they've played the game before.

          Although it *is* harder to date a woman who "unfairly thrusts" her pain (baggage) on you. It's NOT because she is older that she does that. She does it because she just doesn't deal with her ish well. IMExperience, young & old people alike can struggle with 'not dealing' well with their pain – so why put it all on the 28^ women? In fact, I think older women are better equipped (via wisdom & discernment) to deal with their pain without putting it on others.

  4. I think I am easier to date now that I am 30+. In my younger days I played A LOT of games. I was more guarded w/ my feelings and emotions. I was good for being the woman I thought the man wanted and not the woman I truly was. Heck most of the time I didn't even know what I wanted from the relationship I was soooo involved in but now that I am grown – it's the complete opposite. I think being old enough and secure enough makes me a better partner than I was back in my youth. I will admit that I am less compromising now – but I don't think that is a bad thing either. I think that just makes it clearer sooner whether me and someone are truly compatible.

    1. Absolutely agree. Dating me is both easier and harder, lol. Easier superficially because I have better body confidence (so some things are…more fun) and do not need to see you or speak to you everyday to trust your feelings about me. But it's also harder because I don't assume anything, am slow to progress and rarely "move" first. I wait to see your engagement before I engage, which has cost me a bit, as men in my market are used to being "chased". I've had more than one tell me they just thought I wasn't interested since I didn't care that they didn't call me for three days.

        1. aww thanks BeefBacon – don't know if I've ever been called insightful in the internet world 🙂 LMAO

      1. "I've had more than one tell me they just thought I wasn't interested since I didn't care that they didn't call me for three days."

        I'm 32. And I was JUST told (Sunday night, lol) that I have a slightly arrogant, "here I am, like it…or not, it'd be pretty cool if you stayed but I won't die if you go" type attitude. And my response was: "So what's the problem?????" I mean, other than the use of the word arrogant, the rest of that statement is extremely accurate! LOL! *shrugs* Although I actually do like him…a lot, actually.

        So, I'm trying to balance my self-confidence with my ability or willingness to make a man feel wanted, needed, and special…hand-picked (when I really like him…which I do)…all while keeping my emotions somewhat in check (cause we're still in the dating phase).

        The struggle continues…lol…smh…

        1. Correction: I'm 31 going on 32. I have NO IDEA why I keep telling people I'm 32 already! I don't turn 32 till June, LMBO…SMH!

        2. WOOT! same here. 32 in June.

          I generally start increasing my age around this time just to get used to it.

    1. Never heard of MN before you guys started writing for them. After reading their comment section twice, I just stopped going there. I don't even click on the link to finish reading the post.

    2. Bruh!!! SMH…after reading J's post I was 100% sure he worded everything relatively "safely" and figured the comments shouldn't be overly bad….how stupid and naive of me 🙁

  5. Another openminded post that’s going to be skewed based on 1 or 2 points? Cool.

    Anyway, Until I got married, I almost exclusively dated women older than me. i never looked at them as having baggage per se, but I did notice that the f¥3£ery that I could get away with when “talking” to a younger woman wouldn’t work with the vets. If I was going to engage them and get into something exclusive and serious, I had to cut the bs. They weren’t harder, they just knew what they would and wouldn’t put up with.

    As to the point about men being “logical lovers”, it’s true, but also a hindrance. Emotions can be controlled to a point, but men have to be careful to not let our controlled feelings not put us in a place where we’re manipulating a situation/person. If that happens, the relationship won’t be able to stand, unless we allow ourselves to feel what we think.

  6. I thought it was a solid post, even though I disagreed with a point or two. As I noted on Twitter, though, I can see how easily is would be to "skim" the post and glean the author is saying " >30 women= Easy to Manipulate, 30+ Women= Damaged, proceed with caution", and it is mostly due to the context of the word "hard". Yes he elaborated briefly and noted that it is not a "negative" thing per say, but that was 300+ words down and by then, the average MN reader has already decided upon her rebuttal comment. This is not his fault, though.
    I also think part of the reason I read it so objectively was because I "knew" the author was under 30 and lived in a skewed dating market. I had similar views until I reached the age and began to understand there was a difference between "baggage" and "wisdom" that comes from trial and error. I wouldn't consider a person that has fine-tuned their discernment to be loaded with baggage, just…smarter. Conversely, many in my age group rather enjoy women 30+ and have stated they are EASIER to date, as they have their own lives and are less likely to be "stage 5 clingers". Also, they usually are vocal from jump as to what they want from the man, be it a casual connection or otherwise. However, this IS likely to be impacted by how long a woman has lived in a skewed dating market. A 35 year old single woman in Denver is going to have a vastly different view of dating than a 35 year old single woman in DC.

  7. In my experience older women with "baggage" (assuming baggage is synonymous with experience) are easier to date, assuming a man isn't trying to play them. If a man is looking for something serious, older women are less more likely to BS around if you get past date 1. They know what they are looking for, so if you meet their base requirements and can get past a few phone calls and a date without saying anything too stupid, they are more likely to entertain a man seriously and see where things lead. A lot of younger women will still play games.

    But if a man is trying to play them? That's not going to work with an most older woman. They've seen that too many times to fall for it.

  8. Good topic, I haven’t checked out MN yet though and quite frankly I’m a little bit afraid, lol.

    The idea of having “baggage” is prevalent in the dating marketplace, but I’m not sure why it’s always a bad thing. It depends on how you handle it I suppose. I can only speak on myself, but for example if I wasn’t for a bad, yet brief (thank God) experience in college that taught me to avoid men who are reluctant to establish the direction of our relationship. In my case, I turned it into a positive in that I not only know how to choose wiser, but I’ve talked to my two younger sisters about establishing boundaries early.

    Before I go on, I want to add that I’m only 25.

    Since I want to be married, nowadays I focus on learning what it means to be a good wife (the mentors I have in much older women are soooo helpful) and not falling for the bs/okie doke of guys who aren’t serious. I’m not angry (which is why I added the bit about how we handle baggage–aka experiences). I’m just more focused than ever.

    Unfortunately I obviously don’t know firsthand who is tougher to date since I’m not quite in my late 20s yet, but I believe those with a definite objective are easiest. When I go to the grocery store with a list to stick to I do much better than if I’m just roaming around. Just sayin. 🙂

  9. I find that since I turned 30 last month, I feel that I'm more able to be truthful to myself and step out of my head. I'm understanding myself more everyday and working on my faults. I can't speak for every woman, but for me, I've leared not to invest so much emotionally in things or people that don't add positively to my life. My dos pesos.

  10. Man im 22 and the women my age swear they are mature but cant seem to just flat out tell me that they want to enjoy their hoe phase, like if thats what you want to do just say it, dont drag me into thinking this is something when you know what you really want to do.

  11. I read your comments here, and my comment still stands

    “Adonis • 2 days ago −
    Men just need to learn game & stay away from women who are 27 – 39. Too much trouble.”

    If you are an average smart black guy like myself, women are headaches at times. Women this ages I just described give negroes migraines. Now, at least with women 18-26, they are at their s**ual peak and that is as physically beautiful as they are going to get, so I can justify their BS, they are bringing value.

    Women 40+ know what It is, so they cool & most of the time, they are willing share financially.

    And listening to the comments here (I am subscribed to MN, so the nut bags are in my e-mail), I feel even more strongly about my assertions

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