Dating at 30 in the Digital Age

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I’ve been single for a few months now after getting my heart shredded into pieces and am finally ready to “come out” about it. Breaking up at 30, with the guy who I thought was “the one” makes me feel like such a failure. Thankfully, in NYC there are a lot of women who find themselves in situations such as myself, and I’ve been told that women my age are actually the cream of the crop for serious guys looking for the real deal. For real. Right. Right?
Now that I’ve gotten the sad, self-indulgent bit out of the way, can we um, talk about dating apps? I’ve been off the market for a WHILE now and now that I’m back ON the market I have no idea what I’m dealing with. The only thing in town a few years ago was Tinder, but now that that’s officially creepy and dead, where do I go? What photos do I choose? What do I say to inquisitive internet strangers? Will they want to go out with me just because they can find stuff on Google about who I am? All I can say is, I’m not sure how I feel about this newfound, strange place I’m entering in to.

I’ve dabbled a bit on Raya and Hinge so far – two wildly different apps with wildly different types of men on them. Raya is mostly full of Angelenos and British photographers, photos of The Playa abound. Where are the New Yorkers on this thing? Ones who aren’t models? Help? I even had to configure a song to play alongside my profile of alluring photos and that was the most stressful piece in all of it. So far, I’ve matched with Lupe Fiasco. I’m sure he is nice, but I don’t see a future with a man that lives in Chicago.

Hinge is TOTALLY different. My phone won’t stop beeping at me. I’m close to pressing the delete button, but there do seem to be some moderately nice dudes on there? It kind of feels like what Tinder used to feel like in the early days, with a smaller community but still swiping through mass amounts of people. I feel exposed and naked, especially because they require you to provide quotes like “what you’re looking for” in a mate. I chose to write: “Looking for a crunchy beef taco in a city full of soft tacos. This is not a metaphor.” And truly, it’s not. I’m from Southern California and I’m dying for a fucking PERFECT CRUNCHY BEEF TACO in NYC. Everyone thinks it’s a joke. They are wrong.

Is this my future since my fantasy future imploded? Whatever happened to meeting a nice guy at a bar or through a friend? I don’t want to be in this place, yet, here I am. Long story short, that’s how far I’ve made it after a few days of dipping my toe back into the water – with caution, because it’s scary, I’m scared, and what if my ex pops up on my phone with a profile of his own? That would surely be heart-melting. The thought alone makes me miss him, miss our little family, and the life we so carefully constructed together – the one that is no longer.


Are you an online dater? What are your favorite apps? Leave me a comment below!

Image via Mashable.

19 comments
  1. met my current boyfriend through work and the last one through mutual friends, one of whom i’d met on Bumble!
    apparently i can be a great wing woman too so let me know ! socal women gotta stick together

  2. I met the current guy I’m with through Tinder. I think it just depends on where you are and which apps work in your area. In mine, you can find some good ones on Tinder

  3. Met my last boyfriend through Meetup. You should check it out, I’m sure there are events in NYC. It’s a great way to meet people in person first and then you can tell if you have chemistry rather than relying on an app.

    1. That is exactly my take! Nice to meet so many people with similar interests in meetup groups. And you get to see them in their natural habitat, without going on an awkward date only to discover your guy is rude to the waiter, or lied about their age. Plus, you get to meet other cool people that become lifelong friends. Met my husband on Meetup, as have many of my friends.

  4. First of all, don’t look at it from the damsel in distress lens. From what I have seen since your Laguna Beach days, you have done incredible things, which weighs 10x more than whatever perfect future you had envisioned. Second, fill your time with activities that make you happy. Men over a certain age who have their sh*t together and want something serious won’t play around with apps. Friends have met their loves through volunteer trips, events geared to your specific interests… etc. Finally, don’t obsess because then you’ll settle! Do you, and happiness will come 🙂 Best of luck, lady!

  5. Thank you for sharing your sweet sentiments, Lo. I feel for you girl and appreciate your raw truth that you’re putting out for the world. I am keeping my fingers crossed for you. Sucks to feel like ‘the real world’ we grew up learning about is all just a lie. Good luck <3

  6. Might be irrelevant now, but I met my fiancé on march.com. I had my heart shattered into a million pieces, and I was so tired of going to dates with men who I met organically only to find that our goals were very different. I was starting grad school to become a psychologist and researcher, and I need some more hard evidence that someone was worth my time before agreeing to spend time with him! I figured that if I was going to online date, I was going to be as picky as possible, from eye colour and height to education and salary, I chose everything and was extremely honest with myself. I had my doubts, but in the end I was a 97% match with the second guy I went out with, and I haven’t looked back. I contacted him, he didn’t contact me. He was sweet and kind, and I waited forever for him to be a jerk. It just never happened, so I finally had to accept that maybe he really was the elusive “nice guy”. We get married next month and I still can’t believe we met online.
    There is nothing that can prepare you for a broken heart. But I came out on be other side of that heartbreak a better woman. I never take my love for granted, and I am acutely aware of how it feels to have a heart carelessly looked after. Now, I take care of partner’s heart, and of the love that exists between us, and he has really shown me how to do this.

    It feels terrible. I remember saying that I never would wish this pain on someone. But, I truly believe that that whole heartbreak will give you something irreplaceable in the end. In the meantime, do only things that make you feel good, nothing that makes you feel worse. Be your own champion ❤

  7. Honestly, I’ve met my now fiancé on OKCupid, which is ridiculous since it’s full of creepers. The new hot app I’m seeing is Bumble, my best friend is on it and I think it’s perfect for us early 30s women! It must be tough being a public figure though, but you are so gorgeous, I am sure it won’t be difficult. Just hopefully whoever it is is as genuine and open hearted as you! 🌱That reminds me! There’s one called meet mindful, and I think with your openness about mental health and healthy living, it might be a good fit for you. ☺️

  8. I feel you girl! I have been on many many dating app dates. And I agree, that Hinge is constantly beeping at me, lol. But I do like Hinge, besides that. My main app is Bumble. Try that one. There is also “The League” which is supposed to be exclusive (there’s a waitlist) and for professionals who went to good colleges and have good jobs. You may like that one in NYC. Good Luck! I’m sure you’ll meet someone amazing. 🙂

  9. I am really sorry to hear about your breakup! I’ve been single for a while (I’m 43, by the way), but I have no desire to meet people on a dating app. Lol the world is so different now. I don’t trust it!

  10. Can I just say, I think you’re Amazing! Your breakup makes me sad. I hope you can overcome it. I’ve been through a terrible break up that has left me single for the last ten years. I’m kind of scared of a relationship with the way the last one made me feel. Never had I would’ve imagined what it feels like to have had a broken heart. What really is the best thing ever is I have a crush on you. You remind me of myself. Single and on your own. You have some depression. I’ve had depression. But I do have to say, you make me smile and give me butterflies, I giggle a little. Lol. You’re also the same as my martial arts astrology. 1986 a Fire Tiger. Love you Lo😘

  11. Hi love,
    Reading your post, (esp the last line) I can totally relate. Change is hard. Even harder when you thought you had everything figured out and life throws you a major curveball that knocks you to the ground. Needless to say, dating in NYC is a doozy. Most important advice us women need to remind each other is to be careful out there! Though some of these dudes can be truly caring- most I’ve encountered are disguised douchebags. When we fall, we fall hard. And these men we meet at bars or dating apps are only ready to catch us if we take our clothes off first. And then drop us once they are done. But stay positive, Lo. Things will get better. Things will change, and you’ll see why they had to.

    Xx
    Gaby

  12. thank you for being so open about the breakup. I am going through one as well and i am choosing to focus on doing fun things i like and when I’m ready, I’m sure I’ll bump into the right person and so will you.
    much love

  13. Lauren, if your in Boston anytime this year i’ll take you on a date to the MFA and to eat at Dorado Tacos Boston in Brookline (best Mexican food you’ll eat outside of Cali). Let me know before Jan. 9th because I’m leaving for Brazil for eight months.
    857-334-1355

  14. Hi Lo…let’s just say I was never fond of online dating but never tried it myself. I’m old fashioned and always had the perception and hope that I would meet my future husband and have this incredible story to tell. Well, my life didn’t work out that way. I met who I thought would be my future husband in University and was with him for almost 10yrs before he came home one day and that was it. Heart completely torn out. Should I not have seen this coming? But I didn’t. I thought how the heck am I going to meet anyone? By now I was almost 31 and had no clue where to start. After fighting with my idea and dreams of how I wanted things to go, I convinced myself, with some friends’ pushing me, to sign up for Match. Never in a million yrs did I think it would ever work for me, despite the fact that 3 of my closest friends met their significant others in the exact same way. I was lucky. I met the man that I now have a daughter with, the man who showed me that it’s not about how we met but rather the story of how we came to be…as a family. I say to try and live outside your comfort zone. Try something you maybe always said no way to. You never know what can come from it.

  15. Online dating is definitely scary! I met my husband on Match,com almost 4 years ago. Let me tell you, it was not a walk in the park to find him either.When I signed up for the site I told myself that if I was going to do this then I was going to talk to almost everyone who contacted me. ( I say almost because there were to obvious creepers out there) I didn’t want to be judged solely on my appearance, so I was going to try my hardest to do the same.
    I went on a lot (like really a lot) of bad dates! People can makes themselves sound so great via e-mail or text but then are very dull in person or turn out to be one of those creepers who hides themselves well via text and e-mail. I soon realized it was better to not draw out the text and email conversations for more than a few days. It was better to meet for coffee or something in person as soon as possible. This way you know if you would like to continue to see someone fairly quickly. Instead of talking for someone for a few weeks via text and then you meet in person and there is just absolutely no chemistry.
    Its not easy. In fact it downright sucks. I hated dating. I remember being on the phone with my best friend telling her that I was okay with it just being me for the the rest of my life. (I really was) One day I came across my now husband and even though we were only a 60 something percent match according to Match.com (what do they know anyway) I winked at him. A week later we met for coffee, and 5 hours later, we were making plans for our second date. Now here we are almost 4 years later. We have been married for 2 years this October.
    So basically what I’m saying is, online dating hard and very scary. You will go on a million first dates. You will laugh, cry, cringe, and have some really good stories to tell your friends. But if you put in the work you will meet some great people and maybe even your forever! Happy Dating! <3

  16. I am DONE with dating apps. So fed up at this point. I was in Bumble for a little while and I even met my ex from that app but there are too many dudes on there looking for a hook up and not a relationship and don’t even get my started on Tinder, big fat delete. I’ve decided to just let fate work in my life. Going to put myself out there and join activity groups that are interesting to me and meet a man that way…or through a friend 😅

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