When she did go on dates, Spicher was very clear about what was (or wasn’t) on the table sexually

When she did go on dates, Spicher was very clear about what was (or wasn’t) on the table sexually

As Spicher says in one of her #latebloomers posts, “I was like, I’m not looking for the one, I’m just looking for something special.” She has had some romantic experiences, though. “I’ve gone out with men, ukrainska dejting webbplatser and we’ve hooked up,” she says. “I just hadn’t had penetrative sex, or however you define ‘The Big One. I was waiting for a special something to happen, and it just never did.” While she’s not a believer now, Spicher did grow up “religious,” and she does wonder if her decision to wait for that perfect moment-ideally within a relationship, something this “chronically single” VP at a retail company hasn’t experienced yet-is a hangover from the purity culture of her youth. (Okereke is also open about her Christian faith.)

“It’s a very difficult thing to navigate, especially as an adult, because everyone just assumes that it’s already happened for you,” she says. While no one balked right away, some did get angry when she stuck by those boundaries down the line. “They’re like, ‘I thought you would change your mind, »’ she recalls. “Some guys have gotten a little too mad, and I’ve been in precarious situations.”

Feeling invisible-both to society, and to somebody else on a personal level-is central to Okereke’s experience of being a late bloomer

Last year, when she was 29, Spicher decided to “take the control back,” and is no longer a virgin. “It wasn’t a big deal anymore,” she says. “At some point, it just felt like a park that I hadn’t been to.” Her goal of a relationship that lasts beyond a few dates, however, remains unmet, and the pandemic, which has put many people’s personal lives on pause, isn’t helping. “I don’t know if it’s my pheromones or the phase of the moon or that I’m a Scorpio,” she laughs. “It just hasn’t worked out for me, but I’m still trying.”

“I’m too amazing not to find someone,” she says matter-of-factly. That’s her message to all the other late bloomers out there as well. “So often, late bloomers can feel we’re crazy, we want too much, we’re thinking too much about it,” she says, “but whoever you are, whatever you do, you’re deserving of the love you desire.”

“For me, the pain doesn’t come from being constantly rejected,” she says. “It’s that I’m not even a consideration when it comes to a relationship for a guy.” By her account, she has “tried everything,” including signing up for 14 dating apps, hiring a dating coach, and getting male friends to review her profile. (The feedback? “I’m too wholesome,” she says with a wry laugh. “A guy sees my profile and probably thinks of their mom.”) It is hard for her, and many other later bloomers, to not see their lack of romantic experience as sign of their value in the eyes of the world.

Okereke remains equally optimistic

This sense of being an outcast or a freak is a very real part of many late bloomers’ story. Take the last time Callan Spicher mentioned to a friend that she was a virgin. “It was 2014, and I was 22,” recalls Spicher, who’s now 30. “It was a woman I liked and respected, but her reaction was ginormous. Like, ‘I cannot believe you haven’t done this!’ I was mortified, completely embarrassed.” After that, she learned to be very careful about who she shared this information with-until, like Okereke, it came out on TikTok during a video about her dating life. “There were a lot more people that jumped on it than I expected, which was super comforting,” she says.