Dating advice for women in their thirties

"I think you can afford to do that in your twenties," she says.

"Those relationships, in fact, can teach you a lot."Now that you (hopefully) know a red flag when you see it, don't let that knowledge bank of toxic partners go to waste.

In your 20s, you dated around, kissed a few frogs, partied with your girls, survived school and got a firm grip on your career (finally! The twenty-something decade is full of exploration and change—but then, you blow out 30 candles and something feels decidedly different."There's this really unique thing that happens in your thirties," says psychologist Kristen Carpenter, Ph D, Director of Women's Behavioral Health at Ohio State's Wexner Medical Center.

"You really begin refining and enriching your life, and gaining career traction so you are where you want to be in your forties."According to Carpenter, this is where work-life balance starts to become the top priority.

Here's how to take stock of your goals, make some strategic changes and get long-term satisfaction out of love and life.

In your 20s, you were probably dreaming up what would be the pinnacle of your career life, because, why not?

Most of us are probably a bit romantic about potential partners in our 20s.

Maybe we'll meet a brooding, handsome stranger in a coffee shop, or some witty guy will approach us at the neighborhood bar one night.

So while you should keep those sky-high goals close to your heart, you also have to hold yourself accountable for not missing out on something else you really want—like marriage and kids.

If you're looking for marriage or biological babies, says Steinberg, your job is to recognize these zero-potential guys early and often.

"Don't spend years, or even months, with guys who are clearly commitment-phobic, wish-washy or emotionally unavailable," says Steinberg.

You could even have some sort of "list" for what you want in a guy.

But after a decade of missed connections or random encounters, it might be time to get real."If a woman is interested in marriage and biological babies, it's time to really take the reins of your love life," says Boston-based dating coach Neely Steinberg, author of Skin in the Game.

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); actually putting yourself out there at events and activities where you're likely to meet people; tapping into your network of friends for set-ups; and so on.

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