Now I've never been a big fan of dating. I love being in a relationship, having the security of another person being there for you, no more dinners for one (which is actually the size of a dinner for two, you just eat it on your own...) and less guilt about having that bottle (or three) of wine to yourself. But it's the getting there that I can't stand, and since I turned thirty, I've found that my dating decisions have come with a whole new load of ridiculously grown up questions and 'must-haves'. J and I have been together for 3 months now and he ticks so many of the boxes, but I'm noticing that those boxes have changed a lot from what they were 5 or 10 years ago.
I think it all boils down to the fact that once we turn a certain age, we stop looking for someone who will be good fun and not scare the life out of you when you wake up and turn over in the morning, making that morning breath nightmare a little easier to deal with. The swipe lefts become less about how he styles his hair and more about if you could have babies with him.
Admittedly, life takes some major shifts in your twenties, you move out, get a job and have to book your own dentist appointments, and this undoubtedly changes your priorities in your dating life, but I think there's more to it than that. Now I'm no scientist but I've read enough Cosmo articles to know that I'm at the back end of my most fertile time of life and need to act fairly sharpish on the baby having front. Biologically (and rationally!) my decision making focuses quite quickly on if I can really see myself with this guy long term. Can I trust him to look after me when I'm sick (well we all know the answer to that after the one-too-many-espresso-martinis-hosing-down incident), will he fix things around the house when they're broken, will he make my days better when I've had a shit time at work...more importantly, will we like the same wallpaper and bathroom tiles?!
It's so much fucking pressure though. In every single previous relationship (arranged TV marriage aside) I've spent ages getting to know the guy before I've really, properly thought about if it's a forever thing or not, but this time round, my head's been the exact opposite. Every week or so I mentally check if this could be the real thing or if I'm wasting my time. Maybe it's that I had the reality of marriage right in front of me or perhaps it's because I've pressed snooze on my biological alarm clock one too many times, but the balance of 'enjoying the moment' and 'could I marry this one' has totally shifted.
Am I being totally unreasonable in thinking so seriously about this all so soon? Is it just me?! Answers on a postcard please.