A man and a woman tell all about what they look for, how they love, and what they believe about love in their 30’s.
Jared and I are both casual bloggers who live on different sides of the planet. We connected by chance through our writing. We are both Pisceans and Jared could relate to a piece I wrote quite some time ago.
We began to connect regularly, exchanging creative ideas, our stories, and words of hope and strength. In fact, very unexpectedly, Jared was exactly the guy I needed to find in those very moments.
Having gone through his own heartache not that long ago, he was able to support me through a breakup – emphasizing the little things we so easily forget when we are caught up in the pain and loss of a failed relationship. His wisdom reminded me that I knew what the love I wanted looked like, and that I would certainly find it again, only next time, with the right man who is deserving of my heart.
So when I decided to write an article on how men and women love differently, especially in their 30’s, I couldn’t think of a better person to share this piece with than Jared. He is a talented writer, and a man who is open, honest and real when it comes to sharing his own vulnerabilities, and he always speaks from the heart.
So here are our stories; uncensored, as we both share the trials and tribulations that love has taught us in the ripe age of our 30’s, plus all the things we want to know, but may be too afraid to ask when it comes to the opposite sex.
My Questions for Jared
What makes a woman beautiful, and why are these qualities important?
For me this is an easy one – a beautiful mind makes a beautiful woman. As we age, and our looks begin to fade, the exterior becomes less significant. Sure, I want a woman who takes pride in her appearance and dresses nicely, but looks only take you so far. If she has a creative mind, the experiences the two of us can share will be exhilarating and diverse. It also makes sex a lot more enjoyable.
Additionally, if she has depth and intelligence I will learn things from her. This ultimately makes me a richer man. Unfortunately a big ego, or perceived societal gender roles, cost many men the ability to experience these things from a woman.
Another important quality is being selfless. Too often people (both men and women) come into relationships with reptilian instincts. Essentially this means they will take what they can from the relationship in order to survive or feel content. But this goes against the whole concept of love. Love is about giving and taking – you need both for it to work. It’s about turning up consistently irrespective of whether it suits you or not. This is what true partnership requires.
Is there anything from your past relationships that still puzzle you?
Yes, absolutely. I feel like in my most recent relationships, communication from the women I dated was not as strong as it should have been.
It was only after the relationship was broken when some of those thoughts and feelings about the direction of the relationship were revealed. At that point the damage had been done. I think women often remain silent and store their thoughts under lock and key, which isn’t exactly fair for the man.
In the 30’s I think a lot of it has to do with the ‘elephant in the relationship’ – i.e. the biological clock.
It ticks away and too many women don’t talk about their desire to reproduce – perhaps because they don’t want to scare the man off.
But, I feel it’s just best to be up front and either make your plans together or agree to go your separate ways. If you love each other, it should be something you discuss and plan for, and a woman needs to convey to her partner exactly what message her body is sending her.
I know many men who have felt short-changed because they’ve only heard about a woman’s concerns in this area when it was too late.
Do you see any difference now with the relationships in your 30’s compared to six or seven years ago?
Definitely. After 30, a lot of the insignificant things that used to seem important simply aren’t anymore. As social circles shrink, you focus more on your personal relationship as opposed to how you and your partner fit in with friendship groups.
You realize that, at the end of the day if it is going to work out, it will be the two of you vs. the world. Friends are important but your relationship has to come first.
Do you believe there is a maturity gap between men and women? Are women always the more mature ones?
I don’t think you can generalize. Sure there are differences between the genders, but I know just as many immature women as I do men. I think it comes down to life experience, education, and someone’s emotional capacity.
What do you look for in a partner?
At this age, the first thing I look for is someone who will be just as good a lover as they will a mother. I’m at the age where I definitely want children and I want my partner to be as dedicated to her children as I plan to be for mine, if I am lucky enough to have them.
Away from being selfless and kind, I hope she can be creative, spontaneous and intelligent. I want someone I can have adventures with, someone who has good morals and principles and someone who can laugh at and with me.
What is the message you would give to women who attach themselves to the stigma that men cannot commit?
You’re simply associating with the wrong men. There are millions of men out there who can and want a committed relationship. I feel the women who complain about this are drawn to emotionally unavailable men, many of whom have had troubled upbringings. If you choose a man who comes from a good family and has solid morals, he should have no issue committing to you if the two of you have a special bond.
Does sexual chemistry need to be instantaneous for men?
Unfortunately, the answer is yes. Men and women seem to differ in this respect. Some women can make themselves attracted to a man with time. Men are wired differently; if we aren’t attracted at the beginning it is unlikely we will establish this attraction over time.
Jared’s Questions for Me
When it comes to relationships, what do you look for in a man?
Intelligence, ambition, honesty, loyalty, someone who is a good communicator and who respects me! Sexiness is also an important quality, but I believe that being truly sexy is all in a man’s energy and attitude. There is a French expression, “je ne sais quo”, which translates to, a certain something that you can’t put your finger on.
What subjects do you struggle to bring up most when you’re in a relationship with a man?
I think the fact that I’ve already been married and divorced before the age of 30. There are a few people who advised against disclosing this early on, and to that, I said fuck it. On the first date, I let the cat out of the bag, and if a man judges me based on my past, than he wasn’t the right man for me anyway. I believe that a mature man with integrity would look at a situation like that and be more curious as to how you’ve grown from it, and what you can take away, rather than what took place that it failed. They say it takes a great woman to make a great man, even better, well I also believe the opposite is true. It takes a great man to bring out the best in an already great woman.
What is the most difficult thing for a woman dating in her 30’s?
There is a lot of social pressure for women to conform to the idea of settling down and having a baby, and when that pressure gets maximized, that is usually what happens, you just “settle”. I don’t believe the ticking of the clock is a good reason to be with your partner. You pick a life partner based on mutual respect, love, communication, trust and support. Because at the end of the day you are picking them, and choosing to be an activate participant in that relationship.
The funny thing is when I finally got to a place where dating became fun and I didn’t care if I was single, that was the moment I refused to be exclusive with just any nice guy that came my way. But it was also that same moment when someone serious walked into my life who reminded me what it was I always wanted; to be a wife and a mother. I’ve used the bad experiences in my 20’s to become the woman I always wanted to be in my 30’s. I am still a work in progress, but I refuse to lose faith in believing I have what it takes to succeed in love.
What do you think it takes to make a relationship work for the long haul in your 30’s?
My dear friend Shweta has a great reference to this. She calls it the “mixed bag factor”. This is when you take all the bad and all the good of one individual, throw the pieces in the bag, and mix it up. Then, you look at the bag and decide if you can live with that person everyday and still love them for who they are. I believe that if the answer is yes, then your search is over, if it’s no, than maybe it’s time to re-examine your own mixed bag.
Through my own trials and tribulations of love, and loss, I have fallen, but I have never failed to rise back up. I have unapologetically learned how to love life, with and without a man. My past relationships have fueled my creativity as a writer, and allowed me to share my words and story on a page, as beautifully as they live in my head.
It is because of my past that I now understand the power of unconditional love. And I have finally learned how to embrace my own inner light, without allowing anyone to dull it’s shine. But most important, I can acknowledge that to be imperfect doesn’t mean I am weak. Because even though having my shit together is a nice idea, it is not as much fun as living a wildly adventurous, messy, passionate and complicated life.
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