CULTURE, FEATURE STORY

Relationship Advice: Five Ways to ‘Prepare and Position Yourself for the Right One’

Let’s be real– dating in your 30s and beyond can be challenging. You’re a little older and (hopefully) a little wiser so your approach to dating is going to be different from when you were in your 20s. It’s quite possible you may have experienced a committed relationship or an “entanglement” or two. Hey– we’ve all been there! 

Whether positive or negative, previous dating experiences can have an effect on you. That’s why it’s important to be prepared before jumping into a new relationship.

Motivational speaker and relationship expert Bishop Greg Davis strongly agrees. According to the Detroit pastor, preparation is the key part of finding what you want in a partner. “One of my favorite sayings is in order to be with the right one, you have to become the right one,” says Bishop Davis. “I think you draw from who you are, and so preparing has a lot to do with self-examination.”

Relationship Advice: Five Tips for Dating in Your 30s and Beyond (Image of a woman with short curly hair next to a man whose arm is wrapped around her shoulder.)
“When you know your own value, nobody can devalue you again.” — Bishop Greg Davis

Davis wears many hats in his professional life. He is a founding father of the Full Gospel Baptist Church Fellowship International, President and CEO of Groundbreaking Productions and Entertainment, and the host of The Greg Davis Show on 910am Superstation in Detroit.

Most recently, he released a new book called Preparing and Positioning for the Right One. In his book, Bishop Davis discusses how singles can prepare themselves for a healthy relationship and marriage. “It’s important to learn what you want in a relationship,” he says. “When you know your own value, nobody can devalue you again.”

“Here’s my biggest phrase and one of my top 10 things I say: ‘if you’re going to be single, you might as well get what you want.’ Why would you be single and get what you don’t want? “

Bishop Greg Davis, Motivational Speaker and Relationship Expert

RELATIONSHIP ADVICE: FIVE TIPS FOR DATING IN YOUR 30s AND BEYOND

I connected with Bishop Davis a couple of weeks ago and we talked about the challenges of dating in your 30s and beyond. During our conversation, he shared a few ways singles can prepare themselves for a healthy dating experience and future relationship. 

GLD: Do you think that dating in your mid-30s and beyond is challenging?

BISHOP DAVIS: “Absolutely! Dating is challenging– PERIOD! I think you’re a better person by the time you get to your 30s and up. Thirties and up is even better to date because you know yourself better. You know where you’re going. 

You should know where you’re going and what it is that you’re going to accomplish so that whoever you bring into your life, you’re going the same way.” 

GLD: Speaking of age, sometimes people get fixated on finding love by a certain age. For instance, “Oh I want to be married by age 30.” What are your thoughts on how to change this mindset so you’re not fixated on finding love by a certain age?

BISHOP DAVIS: “So many people have made the wrong choices based upon that because they’re rushing to a goal to be married by a certain age. Sometimes we take the wrong one in. We’re on a time clock that sometimes is not realistic. Everybody’s path is different. 

You should set a goal. In goal setting, you have to become your goal. And I think to pressure yourself if it doesn’t happen or you don’t meet that person, then that’s detrimental because you start feeling bad about yourself. That may not be your path at that age. That person may still be getting ready for you. You should know what you want in a person, but don’t pressure yourself by a certain age. The clock is different for everybody.”

GLD: In a recent Instagram post, you had shared a quote: “If you don’t know what you want in a relationship, you will settle for anything.” How can someone discover what they’re looking for so they don’t settle for anything?

BISHOP DAVIS: “You should have a list of what you want because if you don’t know what you want, then you will settle for anything. It’s amazing– we do vision boards for everything else in our lives, except for relationships. So make a list: what do you want? What’s your type? [For example,] put on the list you want somebody that stimulates you intellectually. Whatever your list is, everybody’s list is different. 

And loneliness will also cause you to settle for anything, especially in the times we’re in right now. Don’t rush because you’ve been in the house for a while and the pandemic has found you single. Time is the reveal of all things. Take your time.”

“So many times we want people to make us happy. Nobody can make you happy– they enhance your happiness.” 

Bishop Greg Davis, Motivational Speaker and Relationship Expert
Bishop Greg Davis Motivational Speaker and Relationship Expert
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GLD: Let’s talk about that dreaded word baggage. How can singles shift their mindset on baggage into a positive dating experience?

BISHOP DAVIS: “Everybody comes with baggage. Everybody. You just have to decide which baggage from who you want to unpack. The worst type is the emotional baggage. You have to know what your tolerance level is and what you will take without compromising who you are.

I don’t believe you change for anybody. I believe you adjust. Change is when you completely turn yourself around. If I [have] to change for you, you don’t really want me. I think that we make adjustments. 

What are my non-negotiables? What am I willing not to put up with? Because here’s the thing– two people come together. And if they get married, they have to make that thing work. It’s like a merger. I’m not talking about little stuff like, ‘You don’t put the stool up. You don’t put the cap back on the toothpaste.’ Whenever you see people that they’re hard to get along with, it’s either something generational or something that came from another relationship.

This person may come with some baggage and it’s not really that bad, but we still have our guards up because of what the last one did. There are 7.7 billion people in the world and you don’t have to put up with anything you don’t want to put up with. Wait for the right one.”

Dating in Your 30s Relationship Advice (Image of a young Black couple standing outside a city building with coffee cups in their hand.)
“There are 7.7 billion people in the world and you don’t have to put up with anything you don’t want to put up with. Wait for the right one.” — Bishop Greg Davis

GLD: What advice would you give someone who feels nervous or scared to date after heartbreak?

BISHOP DAVIS: Number one: heal. Number two: make sure you’re whole. You can heal and not be whole. Number three: Take your time. Dating for me is getting data. It’s okay to get data from more than one person as long as you’re not committed. 

Again, go back to the list. Make sure you know what you don’t want. Relationships are lessons. Failed relationships are lessons, [too]. If a relationship fails, write down why it failed so that you won’t make that same mistake when you get back out there. 

But don’t let anybody pressure you to get back out there until you’re ready because hurt people hurt people. Take your time, but make sure you’re healed. And then again, there’s nothing wrong with therapy. I’m a preacher and I believe in therapy.

You should get back out there. If you take too long, then you’ll get set in your ways. You’ll let somebody that you’re not even with control your future. Anybody that can control your thoughts and your movements is controlling your life.”


Special thanks to Bishop Greg Davis for taking the time to share his insight on relationships with GLD! 

Bishop Greg Davis is the Lead Pastor of Celebration Church of Detroit (CCOD). He has a heart for the city of Detroit and the community in which CCOD is located. Bishop Davis has been in ministry for 34 years and leads with the vision of mending communities through God. 

Connect with Bishop Davis on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. Click here to purchase his book Preparing and Positioning for the Right One. All photographs are courtesy of Bishop Greg Davis.

Check out Bishop Davis’ new music Lord I Need A Miracle Right Now! Out now on streaming services such as Amazon, Pandora, Spotify, and more! This up-tempo live worship experience is one that people will carry to their churches all across the country.

It opens with a repetitive declaration that, “Today is your day for a miracle…” —perfect for the beginning of a new year! The rest of the song highlights an organic worship experience that was written under the unction of the Holy Spirit beckoning listeners to join together with the expectant faith of a miracle.


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