Never Been Kissed
Screenshot of a TikTok late bloomer video

“Late Bloomers” Are Sharing Their Dating Experiences On TikTok

And redefining what it means to be “late.”

Originally Published: 
TikTok: @alyssataylorharper

In 2005, The 40-Year-Old Virgin told the story of a hopelessly awkward man (played by Steve Carrell) who doesn’t lose his virginity until the age of 40. Fortunately, we’ve moved past those stereotypes, and there’s now a whole section of TikTok redefining what it means to be a late bloomer — and reminding each other there’s no such thing as “too late.”

The #LateBloomer hashtag on TikTok has 169 million views, with most videos encouraging fellow late bloomers to take their time and stop judging themselves. “There is no rush truly. Enjoy your youth,” one TikTok user @futureghost6 captioned her video, explaining how she was 24 before she had her first kiss (and wishes she hadn’t felt so much pressure to do it then).

The comments section was full of people relating to her story. “We all go at our own pace,” one TikToker wrote. Another commented, “I’m 25 and haven’t even held hands romantically - honestly, it’s been 25 years so at this point I might as well go with the flow.”

On the late bloomer side of TikTok, this isn’t unusual. People are using the self-proclaimed label to find community and give each other advice. Here are some of their videos:

The overall message? Take your time, and you’re not alone. “Feeling validated in this comment section,” one TikToker chimed in. “I’ve found my people,” another wrote.

It makes sense that TikTok would be a gathering place for late bloomers, especially for those who might not have friends IRL who share their same journey. “It’s so much easier to open up to strangers online about your challenges and insecurities surrounding dating and relationships,” Meredith Prescott, LCSW and couples therapist, tells Elite Daily. “It can feel shameful to talk about sexual experiences with friends, especially if you feel like they have more experience than you. You may feel desperate to find someone who ‘gets it.’”

The silver lining? There’s really nothing to feel “shameful” about — as these stories on TikTok illustrate. “Society puts a lot of pressure to have sex or be in a relationship by a certain age when the reality is that it’s such a personal and vulnerable decision,” Prescott adds. “Everyone comes into their own at a different time — there’s no one ‘right’ age to start dating, have sex, or be in a relationship.” And if you ever need that reminder, the #LateBloomer community has got you.

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