Ep. 2- Marriage and Dating

In this episode of Let’s Talk 30, Latesha and Tiana discuss dating and marriage. With Latesha just a few months away from tying the knot, she talks about her experiences leading up to marriage and offers Tiana some advice on dating while in her 30’s. Both ladies take a walk down memory lane, discussing their dating horror stories and mistakes and exploring how they approach situations differently being in their 30’s.

With me being on the brink of marriage (my wedding is September 2) and Tiana hopping back into the dating scene, it got us thinking of how much dating and marriage have changed over time. Tiana found, in this article from The Atlantic, that the average age that women get married is 27, which is slightly older than what it was in the 90s which were 23 years old. Well here I am at 32 and just about to take the plunge. So what is the right age to get married?

Well, Brides.com tapped some relationship experts who came to the conclusion that the ideal age women should get married is 28 and for men, that age is 32. We make it clear in this episode of the podcast that we both agree that most men need a bit more time to mature before they make the commitment to marriage. As for my relationship, my fiance will be 33 by the time of our wedding so we’re right on track!

So what is our take on relationships? Well, we are complete OPPOSITES! Tiana has a habit of not giving in to the emotions that being in a relationship can bring. That results in her missing out on the high level of interest shown by her guys in the early stage, and then catching on to it when the guy has begun to check out later on.

I, on the other hand, am a habitual dater and a serial monogamous. I have the patience of a 2-year-old when it comes to relationship problems so I have a habit of kicking a guy to the curb, without putting in the work it really takes to have a lasting relationship (up until now).

“What do you think would be different if you were dating now rather than being on your way to marriage?”

Tiana and I have both had a yo-yo relationship with the dating apps, meaning we reactivate them when we’re single and lonely, then we run into a bunch of creepers, some catfish, and some potential boyfriends, and then promptly delete those apps time and time again. Speaking of apps, in this episode Tiana poses an interesting question to me, “What do you think would be different if you were dating now rather than being on your way to marriage?” It’s a hard question to answer. When I was in the height of my dating life where I wasn’t really ready for marriage and just trying to find my way, dating apps like Coffee Meets Bagel, Tinder, and Bumble were just starting to become popular.  Even though I found my now fiance on OkCupid back in 2013, I was still so skeptical that you could meet your “forever” on these apps.

Think about it, 40% of Americans use online dating sites according to eHarmony, and apparently of that, 53% of them are lying on their profile about things like their age, weight, height, income and relationship status. I believe that there are simply too many choices out there for people to focus on the true potential one person may have simply because their profile picture wasn’t worth looking at for an extra second or a right swipe. In this episode, we both talk about how social media is also a relationship killer with the prevalence of social media stalking and the abundance of profile information on all potential suitors. We think we “know” a person based on their digital profile before we actually get to know a person in reality.

From the single person’s perspective, Tiana reflects on how hearing stories from her coupled friends affects her ideal of how relationships really are. She shares a profound quote by Warsan Shire that will help any single gal focus her dating energy on what matters to her most. If she’d rather be alone, then she doesn’t need you.

My alone feels so good, I’ll only have you if you’re sweeter than my solitude.

Tiana also makes a good point about how dating in your 30s and how it becomes less about vanity qualities like height and attractiveness and more about longterm qualities like financial stability and whether or not you’re on the same page about marriage. We both share our dating profile turnoffs that we commonly find on guys accounts like pictures with women or obviously Diddy cropped images.

In the podcast, I shared a few of the 11 Things That No One Tells You About Dating in Your 30s featured in Women’s Health Magazine (see the full list below). Tiana and I reflect on whether or not we agree with these things based on our own dating experiences.

  1. Why are you still single? Plays on repeat– We’ve all had that one guy tell you how amazing you are so they pose the infamous question, “Why are you still single?” And all you can think is, because [insert self-deprecating excuse here].
  2. Everyone is Somewhat Set in Their Ways– Honestly, by the time we graduate college, we’re pretty much come into who we are as adults. Sure there will be growth as you get older, but the core of who you are is set.
  3. Sex is Usually Great– You not only have figured out your likes and dislikes in the bedroom but in your 30s you’re also more likely to speak up and ask for what you need from your partner.
  4. The Baggage Can be Bulkier– The likelihood of dating someone with a child or a previous marriage in your 20s is very low, but by your 30s it is almost certain you will come across more of these potential mates.
  5. Kids Complicate the Sh*t Out of Dating– I can attest that my time and focus is limited beyond what my child needs. I can’t imagine trying to date with a toddler.
  6. You Don’t Pick Up Dudes at a Bar Anymore– Honestly, who the heck wants to be going to a bar in their 30s with the goal of meeting a potential mate? We both agree there is potential, but you’re more likely to find them at a grocery store or event when you’re in your 30s.
  7. Health Issues are an Issue– At this point you know you’re committed to being a vegan and refuse to date a smoker. Stick to your guns and find someone who shares similar values in regards to health.
  8. Younger Men are Definitely Into You, but the Feeling Isn’t Always Mutual– Tiana is especially against dating younger men, and for good reason (listen to the podcast to see why). Even the relationship experts agree that men are not ready for marriage until well after women.
  9. Your Swiping Skills are on Fleek– We’ve all swiped right on enough duds to be able to weed out those clowns in our 30s.
  10. You Know Pregnancy Over 30 Isn’t Easy– As women, we all know someone or a friend of a friend who is either struggling to have a baby or has lost a baby due to miscarriage or stillbirth. It’s a scary thought but becomes truer as we hit our 30s.
  11. You Know Your Deal Breakers by Heart– Tiana shares her 3 dealbreakers in this episode, and we all have them. The crap we won’t put up with for all the money in the world.

So if you’re dating or just getting married in your 30s you’ll be able to relate to this episode of our podcast, so check it out and don’t forget to subscribe!