There seems to be a pretty common belief that women follow a specific trajectory in life when it comes to relationships. We start dating as teenagers, get married in our 20s and start having kids, and we’re fully settled by our 30s. That may have been the case back in the ’90s, but in the 2020s, that’s just not the experience many of us have had. Thankfully, women on TikTok are starting to celebrate being a “late bloomer” in love. Instead of it being sad to be single as we get older, it’s actually pretty empowering.
Who started the late bloomer trend on TikTok?
Hi! I’m Allora. I’m 32, and I’ve never been on a date and never been kissed. I couldn’t even SAY THOSE WORDS OUT LOUD until I decided to word vomit them to the internet a few days before New Year’s Eve. I have no advice for us, only pure delight that this is a really LOVELY and KIND portion of the internet and you all have been so supportive and welcoming. #latebloomers WE ARE NOT ALONE! And I hope, whatever your goals are for this year, that you learn to SHED the shame. It has no place here. ❤️ Let’s be terrified together! 😂 #latebloomers #latebloomerstories #dating #onlinedating #learningtodate #single #singlelife
You can thank self-described late bloomer Allora Campbell for popularizing the term (and the topic of dating in your 30s in general) on TikTok. She posted a video back in 2022 in which she revealed that she didn’t even start dating properly until she hit her 30s.
Since then, she’s continued opening up about everything from having her first kiss at 32 to what her dates have been like. And she’s not alone. The #latebloomer hashtag on TikTok has more than 106 million views and is full of videos from women just like Campbell. As it turns out, those of us who got a late start in love aren’t weird at all — we’re actually pretty common!
Being single in your 30s isn’t actually rare
keep your expectations low and standards high and you’ll be surprised how things work out
You might have envisioned settling down by now, but the fact that you’re not doesn’t make you some kind of black sheep in the romance department. In fact, women are staying single for longer these days, and not everyone has dating as their number one priority.
- Sure, a lot of people get an early start. Cision US says that the average American has their first kiss at 15 and goes on their first date at 16. However, that’s the average, not the rule. I didn’t have my first real kiss until I was 26 and I was nearly 30 when I got into my first proper relationship. As every late bloomer knows, on TikTok or otherwise, there are other things in life besides romantic love.
- Women are getting married later, too. Those who actually want to get married are taking their time before saying “I do.” According to The Knot, the average age for women to get married is 30. That number is set to rise as people prioritize living their best single life rather than desperately seeking a partner.
- Dating in your 30s is actually kinda great. By that age, you know yourself a whole lot better than you did when you were in your late teens and 20s. You also know what you want in both a relationship and a partner. That comes in handy! Plus, if you’re dating someone in your age group, chances are, they’re going to take dating a bit more seriously. They’ve had their fun and have sown their wild oats, and now it’s time to get down to business. That makes the whole process much less stressful.
- There’s no one timeline your life has to follow. Being a late bloomer in love might feel embarrassing or shameful, but it’s really not. Everyone’s path is different. Some people find the love of their lives in high school and live happily ever after. Others don’t even go on a date until they’re nearly 30. The perfect timeline in life doesn’t exist. The path you’re on is the one you’re meant to be on. And when you find what’s meant for you, you’ll understand that so much better.
- You don’t even have to want romantic love. If you’d rather spend your life surrounded by your best friends and family members and focus on doing your own thing rather than coupling up, you totally can. Again, you get to determine how your life goes. Don’t let anyone try and tell you that you need something you don’t even want. Live how you see fit and you’ll be just fine.