In today’s world, meeting men in your 30s and 40s absolutely sucks. That has been my perspective for over a decade. When I was still single–just over a year ago and about to turn 40–I would often joke with my friends: Where am I supposed to meet the right guy for me? At Church? The laundromat? The grocery store? The truth was, none of those spots were places I would even go to anymore. I stopped going to Church many years ago, much to my mother’s disappointment, after determining that my Catholic faith did not need to be dictated by preachy Sunday sermons. The only time I walk into a laundromat is when I have a million blankets to wash post winter season. And, I still take full advantage of curbside pickup and Instacart. So what was I left with?
Dating apps; those were my options. And let me tell you, all those dating apps suck too. I have tried them all. Some boast about being the app where you can find serious connections and true love. But let’s face it, the apps are only as good as the true intentions of those who are on the apps trying to “date.” After filling out compatibility surveys, writing profile bios that men are not even going to take 5 seconds to read, pouring over your image gallery to choose the best photos that show your multifaceted life, you publish your profile and cross your fingers hoping that this time you actually meet someone worth your time. And then it begins: swipe left, swipe right, then take a break because your thumb starts to hurt from all the swiping. And that is just the start–I would need an entire series to dive into my dating stories!
As I was growing up, my mother would send me to Mexico during summer vacations to spend time with my grandparents, aunts and cousins. On several occasions, throughout all those summers, my grandmother would tell me, “Hija, no sea pendeja como su abuela que creía que su abuelo sería el único hombre del mundo.” My grandmother married at a young age and soon after began having children. I think I took my grandmother’s advice so much to heart that all throughout my 20s, and into my early 30s, my focus was my career, traveling, and casual dating. I did not want to fall into the Latina stereotype of marrying and having children instead of going to college. That was not the life I envisioned for myself. I wanted to live a full and happy life, choosing to do the things that made me the happiest before settling down.
It was around the age of 33 that the urge to find my life-long partner and become a mother became a more constant thought in my mind. I wanted to meet someone who was supportive of my goals and dreams, someone I could travel with, someone who shared the same values; simply put, someone I could do life with.
As I jumped back into the dating scene, this time with my future in mind, I realized I had my own internal work to do. I read the self-help books, followed relationship coaching Instagram accounts, attended relationship expert seminars, went to therapy and consulted with friends. And after all of that, I came to several conclusions. First, and most importantly, I am worthy of an amazing, healthy and loving relationship despite my personal traumas and previous dating disasters. The second realization was that self-awareness is key and for me that meant accepting that I am a work in progress–working towards healing from previous traumas is a part of the never ending journey of self-love. The third realization was that this is my life–I am living my life for myself and no one else and everything will flow on my own timeline.
Meeting men in your 30s and 40s is not easy and I know I am not the only one that has felt this way on their journey to finding love. Someone recently reached out to me to ask which dating app I had used to meet my now boyfriend of one year (Yay! Happy Anniversary to us!). I was 100% honest about my journey: dating apps are junk but I randomly chose to give Facebook Dating a try, you have to be patient and encounter several duds before coming across someone who could potentially be worthwhile, try to have fun with dating otherwise the journey to finding love can feel hopeless, and most importantly, know that you deserve love at any age and trust that it will happen, even when you least expect it.