You’ve probably been told that your 20s will be the best years of your life. As someone a little older, I can tell you honestly that nothing could be further from the truth. Here are 13 reasons you’ll love your 30s. Editor’s note: Witness Sean Connery. The dashing Scotsman was 32 when the first James Bond film dropped—and in his mid-thirties whilst hanging out with former Miss France/20-something Thunderball co-star Claudine Augur here.
13. There are no judgments: People in their 30s are busy dealing with getting engaged, getting married and getting pregnant. So they don’t have nearly as much time to pass judgment on the things you wear, the music you listen to, or the people you hang out with. By the time you hit your 30s, you pretty much know who you are, what you like, and what you don’t. Now you can relax and embrace your secret love for My Little Pony, because honestly, nobody cares, bro.
12. You develop excellent “crazy radar”: Sure, that beautiful girl rambling on at the party about how much she loves cocaine and her stalker ex-boyfriend seems like a lot of fun when you’re in your 20s! But now you know better.
11. You become a professor of booze: Back in college, you tried every possible nasty liquor combination ever known to man, from Jägerbombs to shots of Green Chartreuse. We get it: You were hardcore, broke and had no discerning taste. Fast forward just a few years and you’ll gain tremendous respect for fine wine and develop an encyclopedic knowledge of whiskey. It’ll happen overnight—or after a particularly bad hangover.
10. You develop a sudden and deep appreciation for Steely Dan: One day it just happens. You’re driving along in your car and a Steely Dan song that you’ve probably heard a million times comes on the radio. But this time it’s different, you can’t put your finger on it, but holy crap isn’t “Deacon Blues” one of the best songs ever made? Yeah it is.
9. You no longer debate partying vs. staying in: In your 30s, you’ll rarely find yourself at a crappy late-night house party, convincing yourself that this one night will be the most epic Harold & Kumar life-changing event of your life. It sounds crazy, but you’ll find a deep appreciation for staying home, kicking back and chilling—not even like a villain, but like a common, law-abiding man.
8. You appreciate life through death: If you haven’t already had a family member die, be prepared to have to deal with this in your 30s. Yes, it’s horrible when a loved one passes, but it makes you appreciate your own life more. And remember, you’re only in your 30s, so still you have plenty of time left to enjoy it.
7. You find your friends and ditch your acquaintances: In your 30s, you truly understand the difference between real friends and happy hour acquaintances. You may have been pretty popular in college, but in your 30s you’d trade all your workplace beer o’clock dudes and your Facebook frat brothers for your few best friends.
6. You lose the fear of missing out: Young people are often fueled by a fear that if they’re not at the right party, concert, club or vacation spot, they’re missing out on life. While this fear never fully goes away, it does lessen greatly in your 30s. You won’t really feel bad about missing out on anything because you’ve done it all before, and you’re focused on yourself, not others.
5. You’re a grown-ass man: By the time you reach your early- to mid-30s, you should know how to properly fill out your tax returns, file your own medical claims, and maybe even buy and sell your first house. And ideally you’ll learn to read the fine print in contracts, and ask your lawyer friends to read said contracts before you sign them.
4. You go gray: Statistically speaking, you will most likely begin to start finding gray hairs on your head and in your beard in your early 30s. Don’t try to fight this by plucking them. Embrace your inner George Clooney like a boss. It suits you.
3. You’re looking good and feeling good: A few wrinkles? A couple of extra pounds? Not a problem at all. You’re mature man and smarter than you’ve ever been, even if that’s not saying a lot. You’ve seen and done so many stupid things over the course of your young lifetime that you’re now looking like a sexy, sophisticated, safe bet to everyone… including your parents. Good job, Mom and Dad!
2. It’s easier to get laid: You’re now old enough to be that older guy who all the girls in their 20s want to be with. But you’re still young enough for all the woman in their 30s to settle down with. By now you’re either with a longtime girlfriend or wife who knows how to fulfill your sexual kinks inside and out, or you’re dating multiple people and living a sweet Barney from How I Met Your Mother bachelor lifestyle. Either way, congratulations, you win at life.
1. You’re not too old … yet: There is nothing worse in life than being told you’re too old to do something. As long as you’re young, your time will come—all you have to do is work toward it. So while you may never be a professional starting pitcher for the Yankees, you still have plenty of time to work on that old muscle car in the garage. Vroom-vroom!