'Late Bloomer' TikTok Takes The Shame Out Of Dating In Your 30s And Beyond

Living your life according to your own values and desires should never be something to be ashamed of. But when it comes to dating, women in particular are often made to feel like there's something wrong with them if they don't meet the deadlines that have been set out. Society has decided that there's an ideal age for every milestone in our love lives, from having your first kiss to going on your first date to finally settling down. Those who don't conform, including single women dating in their 30s and beyond, are often baselessly shamed, ridiculed, and threatened with becoming sad old cat ladies. 


Although you're made to feel excluded if you don't follow the "ideal" timeline, the truth is you're never alone. There are people from all walks of life traveling on infinite timelines, and plenty of them are just like you. One woman has taken to TikTok to show solidarity with people who society often refers to as "late bloomers."

The pressure on women to settle down quickly

Our society puts pressure on people in general to reach milestones by certain ages, but we seem to judge women especially harshly when they don't fit into the life plans set out for them. A lot of this stems from the concept of the "ticking biological clock," where a woman's fertility is believed to start declining after the age of 32, per Healthline.


Women tend to feel more pressure to reach targets relating to relationships, families, and children more quickly than men do. This may be due to the fact that society still views women primarily as wives and mothers, and anything else they may achieve, from financial independence to thriving careers to personal growth and genuine happiness, pales in comparison. While single men who are dating in their 30s may feel judged for their marital status, single women dating in their 30s are frequently stereotyped as miserable, lonely, or failures because they haven't married or had children. Compare this to the friendlier labels that older single men often attract, like bachelor, and the double standard is clear.


The mental health experts at Creating Change Psychology and Counseling confirm that this unfair pressure can lead single women dating in their 30s to second-guess their own choices and even start judging themselves. More importantly, this constant anxiety may lead some women to settle down before they're ready, accepting relationships in which they're not treated properly, and ultimately, being unhappy.

The TikTokker changing the narrative

The world has a long way to go in learning to value women as more than only wives and mothers. But things are slowly changing, and despite the pressure, it's now more acceptable to remain single and postpone dating until your 30s or beyond. One of the pioneers paving the way for women to withstand the pressure and move in their own time is self-described "late bloomer" Allora Campbell.


First uploading a #latebloomer video in late 2022, Campbell has been slowly filling her page with a stream of content surrounding the fact that she didn't begin to date until her 30s. She revealed to her growing base of viewers over several videos that she didn't have her first kiss until she was 32, and that this was once her "most embarrassing secret." Since owning her individual journey, Campbell has garnered tens of thousands of views and created a safe place for other late bloomers to share their stories.

Along with documenting the recent dates she's been on, she also posts helpful content for other like-minded TikTok users, including kissing advice from a late bloomer and misconceptions about single people. The comment sections of her videos are flooded with users owning the late bloomer identity and no longer feeling ashamed or stressed by it — confirmation that people like Campbell are slowly but surely changing the narrative for the better.


Where are most people when they're 30?

According to Cision US, 2016 data found that the majority of Americans had their first kiss at 15 and were ready to go on their first date at 16. And in 2022, the average age for American women to get married was 30 (via The Knot).


But if Campbell's TikTok videos and their comment sections are anything to go by, you're not alone if you don't want to date until your 30s or later (or if you never want to date at all). One of the most beautiful things about TikTok is that it provides the opportunity for people who might feel alone in their lives to find communities in which they feel seen and heard.

The majority of people might date earlier than their 30s, but you're still in good company if you decide to hold off. Campbell is just one example of many people who are date-free in their 20s.

Why it doesn't matter

Because of the deadlines that society imposes on women with regards to dating, marriage, and children, it's easy to feel like you're the odd one out if you don't meet these targets by a certain time. That's especially true if your friends or family members happened to start dating a lot earlier; you could end up feeling like there's something wrong with you for not keeping up.


Despite the statistics (which may show that you're ahead, behind, or where most people are), there is no right timeline to follow.

Everyone moves at their own pace; not dating until you're 30 or older doesn't mean there's anything wrong with you or you're doing life wrong. It's perfectly fine to value other things in life besides dating or marriage, and endeavors like building a great career or building financial independence do take time and resources. It's okay to focus on these until you kick goals in those areas, before prioritizing your love life. Dating can be draining, difficult, and time-consuming (not to mention expensive!), so it's always better to wait until you're ready to dive in.


As for the biological clock, Healthline confirms that it is possible to have a healthy pregnancy later in life, even if peak fertility does decline in your mid-30s. Trying to beat the clock is not a good enough reason to rush crucial life decisions that should be made in your own time.

The pros of dating in your 30s

Waiting until your 30s to date isn't just acceptable; for many people, it's better than dating in your 20s. There are the obvious limitations, like the fact that there may be more potential dates off the market or with baggage. But in many ways, waiting until your 30s to date opens a new world of opportunities.


One of the biggest advantages of waiting until you're really ready to date is the fact that you'll know yourself better when you're older. How many of us really knew who we were or what we wanted in our early 20s? When you date in your 30s, you'll likely understand a lot more about what you need from a potential partner (even if you haven't got it all figured out yet). That makes it more likely that you'll have real power over your love life. You'll also have the advantage of maturity (and hope that there's more maturity in the dating pool around you, too).

Many of us tend to be more confident and independent in our 30s than we were when we were younger, and this sort of self-reliance often means we're less likely to put up with mind games and poor treatment. There's also the fact that you may be more established and financially stable in your 30s, which tends to make dating all the more exciting.


Though there are some advantages to dating when you're younger as well, these are some of the things you'll have to look forward to — only when you're ready to start dating.