Love beyond 30

Isn’t it great being ‘all grown up’? We often feel so much stronger and sure of ourselves once we are established in our 30s and even better, our 40s and beyond!

When we look back at our 20s, even our teens, it’s often with a sense of nostalgia. ‘What was I wearing?!’ we ask as we look at pictures of ourselves in outfits we wouldn’t be caught dead in. ‘Remember when a hangover lasted just one morning?!’ We lament as we still feel like we’ve been hit by a train after that boozy night…last week.

But we also remember how indecisive we were, how much we worried about what other people thought, how much time we wasted on things that seemed to matter at the time. Also, by this time, many of us have had at least one significant relationship that has ended for one reason or another – be it a marriage or something else.

When these relationships end, it’s so painful we don’t think we can ever open ourselves up to that level of hurt again, cannot give another person the ability to make us feel this level of heartache. The healing process begins and we become our true selves.

But by this time we are different people. We’ve less tolerance for people that treat us poorly. We have less time for the things that don’t make us happy. We understand that nothing worth having comes without hard work and we appreciate the value of our own company.

It takes time to heal but life continues and one day we realise that we are ready again. But where do we begin? How do we go about finding someone to fit into our busy, healed lives? What is it we are even looking for by this time?

Personally, I know that when I find someone it’ll be someone with their own life, own interests and opinions, someone who’s secure in themselves and knows what they want, what they deserve. I want to be in a relationship that consists of two adults respecting one another for their individuality and quirks – I need someone who sees and appreciates my strength and independence and understands how hard I have worked for them but equally makes me feel appreciated, desired and proud to be me.

The thing is, I couldn’t have known these things in my 20s – before really having lived. I was too busy with everything else, everyone else, to really think about them. So it’s only now, after good jobs and bad jobs, loving and losing, learning hard lessons and making mistakes, that I can assess what I truly want from another human being.

And there’s a key word in that previous sentence – WANT! I shouldn’t need another person in my life to feel complete or validated, I want to want them and by golly, I don’t want them to need me either!

I’m sure there are plenty of people out there who have walked a different path, found love early on and will continue to enjoy it for the rest of their days – knew what they wanted and needed from the start and found it – you lucky people! Cherish it.

The fact is, we are all entitled to the things I’ve talked about – but we have to be prepared to give as good as we get and most importantly we have to be prepared to put ourselves out there, take risks for what you want and stand by your beliefs, values and everything else you’ve gotten out of life so far. You’re worth that – I promise.

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