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Much confusion and lots of mixed signals

Yenny

New member
Hello everyone! I'm new here and after reading a lot of threads of you guys sharing your personal experiences with age gap relationship, I thought I'd like to share my own problems and maybe ask for your help and advice.
I'm a 22 YW who's developing serious feelings for a 46 yr old man. We know it each other through a friend and after some convos together, I realized I was attracted to him and thus asked our mutual friend for his number and started asking him out. We've gone out about 4 times, and I enjoyed all of them very much. However, he has never been the one to initiate contacts or the "dates" ( we mostly communicate through emails or in person, as a millenial, it's quite annoying for me to not be able to message sb through a messaging app, especially sb special; and I say "dates" because we have never acknowledged our going out as anything concrete).
Anyway, as much as I enjoyed our time together and have come to seriously care about the man, I was sick of always being the one who wants more and yet not dare to ask for too much. So I just decided fo stop initiating anything together and move on with my life, and he didn't do anything about it for the last 2 months until he emailed me and wished me a happy birthday two weeks ago.
He's the first person I have ever developed serious feelings for, and I feel like not only am I confused and troubled by the age gap, but also I am sorely lacking in dating and relationship experience.
I don't know what to do with that man. He's a good, kind man and I feel like I have been giving up on more than a love interest when I stopped talking to him, like I have lost a close friend and it's been hurting me so much.
 

SummerBob

Super Moderator
Hi Yenny, and welcome to Ageless.

I'm sorry to hear about your frustration, I know how distressing things like this can be.

It sounds like he is afraid to take the next step; he fears may be making a fool of himself, that you may change your mind and want someone your own age after all, that he ultimately won't be able to relate to someone like you. There could be a number of things going through his mind. He may also be playing kind of a "father" figure and doing what he thinks is "best" for you. All of that is very unfortunate, but it's how a lot of older people think.

Let him know that you value his friendship, that you don't just see him as a "date" and you want to get to know him as a person. When he realizes it's not just "infatuation" he may come around and be open to your friendship. When that happens he may discover his attraction to you and the inhibitions about your age difference will melt away. Who's to say what could happen? I've been on this forum a long time, and have seen other pairs like you and him start out this way and end up with something beautiful.

Good luck, and keep us posted.
 

Yenny

New member
Hi Yenny, and welcome to Ageless.

I'm sorry to hear about your frustration, I know how distressing things like this can be.

It sounds like he is afraid to take the next step; he fears may be making a fool of himself, that you may change your mind and want someone your own age after all, that he ultimately won't be able to relate to someone like you. There could be a number of things going through his mind. He may also be playing kind of a "father" figure and doing what he thinks is "best" for you. All of that is very unfortunate, but it's how a lot of older people think.

Let him know that you value his friendship, that you don't just see him as a "date" and you want to get to know him as a person. When he realizes it's not just "infatuation" he may come around and be open to your friendship. When that happens he may discover his attraction to you and the inhibitions about your age difference will melt away. Who's to say what could happen? I've been on this forum a long time, and have seen other pairs like you and him start out this way and end up with something beautiful.

Good luck, and keep us posted.

Hi SummerBob, thank you for your kind reply and encouragement. I now am facing a decision between going after the man I want and facing the pains of getting over him. I still don't know if it's a good idea to keep pursuing him since the future is so unknown and unforeseeable. What if I just keep falling for him deeper and deeper and then it turns out he doesn't feel the same way? Irrational though it may be, I'm already in so much pain getting over him now, I don't think I want to set myself up for greater failure and heartbreak.
 

LondonCalling

New member
Yenny

Hi SummerBob, thank you for your kind reply and encouragement. I now am facing a decision between going after the man I want and facing the pains of getting over him. I still don't know if it's a good idea to keep pursuing him since the future is so unknown and unforeseeable. What if I just keep falling for him deeper and deeper and then it turns out he doesn't feel the same way? Irrational though it may be, I'm already in so much pain getting over him now, I don't think I want to set myself up for greater failure and heartbreak.

I think you should do whatever you feel comfortable with, but let me offer my own experience for perspective.

When I started seeing my older guy, he would make mentions of us seeing each other outside of work (when we worked together) but nothing ever came of it on his end. I am more impatient than you, obviously, because it took me about two weeks of waiting around for a phone call before I got up the nerve to ask him to a movie myself.

We didn't call the outing a date and he played coy the whole evening. Later that night we admitted our feelings for each other. About two weeks later he suggested we just be friends. He was worried he didn't have enough time for me. I told him I appreciated his concern but that I would like to reserve the right to make decisions for my own good. After three days he agreed and we have been inseparable since.

Every experience is unique, but I am willing to bet this guy, like mine, is worried about your disinterest in his baggage and in the simple fact that you have an age gap. Between me and my OM, I initiated our first date, I soothed his anxiety about about our age gap, and I am the reason we are still enjoying each other's company today as partners.

It is possible he isn't interested in something romantic. Perhaps he wants a friendship- perhaps he sought romance but changed his mind. The most anxiety-causing part of any relationship is that you have to be willing to be vulnerable. That same vunerability also results in the biggest, most exhilarating rewards. Ask him for an outing again and bring up that you are interested in seeing where a romantic relationship might go. It's the only way to know for certain.

He remembered your birthday. Don't hang onto it as a sign that he is enamoured, but don't totally discount it as a coincidental nicety. Use it for courage, and good luck!
 
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