While your 20s may be all about finding yourself, your 30s are often a period of even greater transition. Sure, some of your friends are buying homes, getting married, and having kids, but others are just starting career-track jobs, new relationships, and simply trying to make their student loan payments for another month.
No matter which camp you fall into, one thing is clear: people will always think there’s something you could be doing differently—and likely better—in your 30s. Here are the things that people say to thirtysomethings that are all but guaranteed to offend. So read on, and utter them at your own risk. And if you want to make the most of this amazing decade, discover the 30 Life Changes You Should Make After 30!
“You’re Just a Kid”
It often feels like you can’t win in your 30s: Everyone younger than you suddenly thinks you’re ancient. But perhaps, even more patronizing and offensive, is the idea that you’re still somehow just a kid when you’re in your 30s. If college is a decade or more in the rearview, it’s pretty clear you can wear that adult badge with pride. And when you want to feel happier and younger in no time, start with the 25 Best Instant Mood Boosters.
“It’s All Downhill From Here”
Why is that people seem to relish telling other people how bad things get when you’re over 29? It’s not only offensive to hear that your 30s are, without a doubt, going to be full of hardships, it’s also not true. Case in point: The 40 Best Things About Being in Your 40s.
“You Don’t Look Your Age”
“You don’t look your age” may seem like a compliment at first, but it’s a backhanded one, at best. Hearing that you don’t look like you’re in your 30s is basically someone admitting, “I think 30-somethings are old.” However, when you do want to turn back the clock, start with the 20 Easy Ways to Look a Decade Younger!
“When I Was Your Age…”
While people continue to get married, buy real estate, and have kids older than the generations that preceded them, that doesn’t mean that you’re going to avoid hearing about it—especially if you’re in your 30s.
When you’re in your 30s, expect a near-constant barrage of information about how your relatives and co-workers had it all figured out by the time they were your age. And when you want to make the most of this crucial decade, start by ditching the 30 Worst Habits for People Over 30!
“It’s Time to Settle Down”
When did everyone decide that your life is over if you’re not married with three kids and a house by the time you’re 35? If you’re in your 30s, you’re well within your rights to be offended—if not exactly surprised—by hearing over and over that you should be settling down. Not ready for a family yet? Don’t worry: just check out the 30 Reasons Why Being Single In Your 30s Is the Best Things Ever.
“You’re So Carefree for Your Age”
Of course, if you’re not happily married with a house by the time you’re in your 30s, you can still enjoy being told how blissfully carefree you seem, despite, apparently, being in your dotage. Not quite ready to grow up? You can still have fun by discovering the 20 Best Ways to Relive Your 20s!
“That Outfit Is Too Young for You”
If you’re in your 30s, get ready for the fun rules that apparently come with dressing during this decade. While nobody’s suggesting you wear the same thing to your office that you’d wear to Bonnaroo, the idea that miniskirts are suddenly off-limits because you’ve crossed some imaginary threshold is pretty offensive. Want some wardrobe inspiration? Start with the 30 Best Tips for Dressing Well in Your 30s.
“Dating at Your Age Must Be Rough”
Want to hear some offensive remarks? Just ask someone younger than you, or someone who’s the same age, but married, what they think about you dating in your 30s.
According to countless non-expert sources, the second you hit 30, you’re practically undateable. And when you want a rock-solid relationship, make sure to ignore the 40 Relationship Tips That Are Actually Terrible.
“Enjoy Your Metabolism Now”
If you’ve managed to stay relatively svelte in your 30s, just wait until you get to enjoy an endless list of reasons why it won’t last. As people love to remind you, your metabolism will only get slower from here on out. And when you want to give your fat-burning potential a jumpstart, begin with the 30 Best Ways to Boost Your Metabolism After 30!
“It’s So Brave to Not Have a Plan Yet”
One offensive thing you’ll hear over and over if you don’t have everything all figured out in your 30s? Just how brave you are for being without a plan. Of course, just because they don’t think you have a plan doesn’t mean it’s true. Want to get your work life on track? Start with the 40 Best Ways to Jumpstart Your Career!
“You Should Freeze Your Eggs”
While egg freezing may be a great option for people who want to have kids but haven’t found a partner, those who suggest that you do so in your 30s are more than deserving of your side-eye.
“Your Days of Going Out Are Behind You”
Whoever decided that 30 is the arbitrary cut-off point for having fun clearly isn’t having a lot of fun themselves.
“You Don’t Seem Like You’re Over 30”
If you’re over 30, people trying to get in your good graces will fall all over themselves to tell you that you absolutely don’t seem like you’re over 30. Who said that your whole personality has to change just because you’re blowing out one more candle on your birthday cake? And when you want to look your best after 30, here are the 30 Ways to Get Six-Pack Abs After 30.
“Your Generation Will Never Grow Up”
We get it: according to everyone older than us, we’ve got a serious Peter Pan complex for not wanting all the things our parents did. But if we can still pay our bills and crush it in a Mario Kart tournament, what’s it to you?
“30 Is the New 20”
People love to tell you that something is the new something else: pink is the new black. Matcha is the new kombucha. But hearing that 30 is the new 20? Well, it just kind of makes you wonder what people think is so bad about being in your 30s to begin with.
“Do You Wish You Were Still in Your 20s?”
Crushing student loan payments, bad dates, a job that overworked us and still managed to pay us nothing, and the pressure to go out every night of the week? Why would we miss that?
“You’re Just Starting Your Career”
If you’re in your 30s, don’t be surprised if your older co-workers love telling you just how green you are in your career. However, considering that you’ve likely been in the workforce for over a decade, hearing this is a lot less motivational than it is offensive.
“You Should Be More Serious About Your Career”
Of course, there will also always be those friends, family members, and co-workers who don’t think that, by the time you’re in your 30s, you should be working 70 hours a week if you ever want to amount to something.
“You’re Not Getting Any Younger”
Short of finding a time machine, this is probably true for all of us. But the reason people seem to feel the need to point it out to you because you’ve crossed the 30 threshold is as perplexing as it is rude.
“I Read an Article About 30-Somethings…”
Yes, our papers of record love to chronicle the lives of 30-somethings. However, that doesn’t mean you want to hear about how nobody your age is getting married, but they’re all becoming obese and getting cancer, either.
“It Must Be Nice Having So Much Free Time”
If you don’t have kids by the time you’re in your 30s, you’ll hear a lot of this offensive line. Because, of course, you don’t have a job, friends, hobbies, and other obligations to attend to.
“I Have a Friend Who is On the Market”
Just because you’re over 30 doesn’t mean you’re suddenly in marriage mode, but that won’t stop every aunt, cousin, and friend-of-a-friend from trying to set you up.
“By the Time I’m 30…”
While it’s unlikely that you’ve ever asked someone younger than you how you could live your life better, that doesn’t mean you won’t hear their offensive opinions on the matter from time to time. There will always be one person who insists that, by the time they’re your age, they’ll have everything figured out. Wish them the best of luck with that.
“I Can’t Imagine Being Married Already”
If you’re married by the time you’re in your 30s, there will always be those friends who insist upon telling you how that being married at your age seems like a fate worse than death.
“I Can’t Imagine Having Kids Already”
The same goes for having kids: if you’ve already got one (or a few) by the time you’re in your 30s, there will always be those people who think you did so at the expense of your freedom and fun.
“Good Things Come to Those Who Wait”
If you don’t have everything figured out by the time you’re in your 30s, there are plenty of people who will be eager to tell you that those things are still possible for you. Clearly, you didn’t already know.
“Do You Feel Old?”
Asking someone if they feel old is basically the same thing as telling them you think they are old. And yes, it’s always offensive.
“You Need to Learn Some Practical Skills”
It’s amazing how you can have an engineering degree and still be told that your inability to make a perfect hardboiled egg has basically rendered you useless.
“I Can’t Believe You’re Still Single”
If you’re not in a committed relationship by the time you’re in your 30s, people will be eager to express their disbelief over your still-single status. Apparently, being single is never a choice, so much as something that happens to you.
“Just Wait Until You’re in Your 40s”
If you think you’ve heard a lot of fatalistic talk about the things you should do or not do in your 30s, just wait until you’re rounding the corner into your 40s. And when you want to make the most of the next decade, make sure you’re not using the 40 Slang Terms No One Over 40 Should Use.
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