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Why You Should Stop Dating in Your 30s

Before you dive in, remember that every relationship you are in—whether it’s serious or casual—is going to be a dance. You’re both trying to get comfortable with the other, and you both know that it’s a part of dating, but it can be a bit overwhelming. Here are the six key steps to guide you into finding love:

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1. Network And Be Yourself

While meeting people and dating online can seem intimidating, there are plenty of ways to learn how to meet people and get the dates rolling. Of course, if you live in a big city, it’s easy to meet people, even for someone who is looking specifically for a partner. But if you’re in a smaller area, or even if you just don’t want to have a social life, there are plenty of sites and apps to meet other singles, no matter your location. Popular ones include eHarmony, OKCupid, Match, Plenty of Fish, and even Facebook.

You’ll want to spend some time networking. Take online dating apps and sites with a grain of salt. Think of them as great ways to meet people, but none of them are really designed to get you the love of your life. So don’t just join a site and go looking for dates. Instead, be active in your area. Sign up for events at local bars and cafes, make friends with your neighbors, join community groups, and just see where things might lead. Networking is just the beginning.

Also, make sure you network online. Keep up with friends and family who may have spare time you can use to your advantage. These sites and apps are only as good as the information they can access and gather about you, so show them as much as you can on your profile. Don’t be afraid to be yourself, and show them what you want to do, what you enjoy, and even what your values are.

2. Find Community

One of the biggest reasons I’ve been so successful at dating, is that I’ve always shown up to the dance. I’ve always been up for a night on the town, or at a party, or at a mutual friend’s house, or at a party the friend threw. I’ve never turned down a group of friends who wanted to go out. This isn’t something new to me—I was just lucky enough to have the right friends for that at the right times.

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You can work to improve your dating game, but first it’s important to understand why it’s your fault that you’re not meeting dates. If you’re looking for relationship advice, you can learn all about tips for conversations and more at The Smart Girl’s Guide To Being A Girl.

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1. The Secret to Getting Out There

Some people believe that staying in and keeping busy will make you feel less pressure to go out and meet people—but that’s really not the case. In a study published in the journal Current Biology, Yale researchers found that people who are active in a certain way feel less pressure to perform in social situations, and people who are home alone actually feel more stressed when they’re around people they don’t want to be around. So if you want to go on a date, even if you’re a homebody, you still have to go out and see the people you want to be around.

“You can sit at home and just watch Netflix, but if you want to go on dates, you’re going to have to just go out there and meet people, and that’s that,” says Kevin Zolli, a dating coach and founder of Have a Nice Life. “You are what you do. You are what you’re in.”

2. Want To Get More Dates? Maintain Your Social Media Accounts

Bragging about new accomplishments or new connections feels good, but if you show off a lot of that on social media it will likely feel like a waste of time, according to a study by the University of Florida.

“If you see something happen and you’re putting out a comment, that’s a bit disingenuous because you’re right there, saying this happened to you,” says Linsey Guzman, a clinical psychologist at Columbia University. “Why would I put out that?” By making a comment about what is going on in your social sphere and what you’ve accomplished in the last week, you’re letting other people know how busy you are, so you may as well just put it out there because you’ve already done it.

But if you’re not showing any activity, making comments about what’s happening on social media in your life will probably give you more opportunities to meet people, says Guzman. “Sometimes people feel like if you see everything and read everything and know everything, you’ve got so much to offer. So [if you see] you’re not posting and you’re not responding to your friends

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