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Wants what's best for me... So he broke my heart.

BeachHut

New member
You don't know how much this forum has helped me just in that I don't feel so totally alone anymore...

I've cried every freaking night for like 3 weeks now, supremely out of character for me.

I am 23 and he is 50 and I would do anything for him. I love him. I have thought about the upsides and downsides of an age gap this big and I...
[am crying just writing this] would do anything just to be with him.

[guys, I'm sorry, this is a long post, but I just need to get it out. Don't feel you have to read the whole thing...]

Anyhow I have known this man for several years now, as a casual acquaintance. Then my sister died a week before Christmas in 2011, and my world fell apart. He was one of the people who was there for me in a very real way, [not just platitudes and flowers, but simple understanding and a hug or two]

We ended up doing some projects together and spending long hours working on stuff in his apartment [legitamately, that was ALL we did :)] and then going out for dinner together cause it was convenient. Well, it spiralled, and anyone who saw us would've assumed we were together.

A few months ago, we finally talked about it for a few weeks/months... and at first it was simple and the most beautiful thing ever. Discovering someone loves you for exactly who you are is the most precious thing ever.
Then I found out how old he was, and it hit me like a ton of bricks. [I had previously guessed he was 40- he's super fit and young at heart- never married, no kids, basically perfect :)]

So I had a lot of more serious thinking to do. But I came to my conclusions- I want him anyways. The age gap bothers him much more than me. it was frustratingly inconclusive and we went in circles, it seemed, although admitting deep mutual caring and attraction. We decided to let it be and see what happened.
Acting as friends, we hung out and had wonderful times. Went to movies, for walks in the park, and he asked me to a party as a date. The real problem was how hard I was falling for him. Like I would always be SOOOOOOO close to just stopping him in any random hallway or sidewalk and just kissing him like mad. I can't stress enough how CLOSE i was.

In short, I couldn't handle being friends anymore because I wanted him in entirely different ways. [If I was terribly honest I'd have to admit that my sexual attraction to him ruined the perfect, wonderful friendship we had.]

So before I went completely mad, I wrote him a letter admitting I love him. [it was humorous and heartfelt, not clingy]
Gave it to him 3 weeks ago, and although he read it with great care, he eventually said he doesn't feel the same way.

Here's the thing. I could accept it if I believed him. I've had lots of guys who didn't want me at all, who I thought I loved. But I have good reason to suspect he cares much more deeply than he's letting on. The way I see it, he's choosing to suffer in silence and pretend he doesn't want me in order to do what HE thinks is best for me.

Maybe I'm deluded, convincing myself.

All this stuff we were doing- movies, parties, etc. He had somehow convinced himself he was doing a great job at just being friends.
Now who's deluded? :)


If you've read this far, you are really some kind of online superhero-ninja.

I just want to know how I can treat him in order to show him he can actually trust me, and how to stay strong and independant and interesting and compassionate and loving at the same time.

Have any of you had this experience, where it's hard for an older guy to open up to a younger woman?

Sometimes he would smile benevolently and just tell me I was naive. This was one of the few times I've been mad at him. I may not be 50 but I have been through some major life situations that give me more depth than most guys my age. [This is another problem. I've been so spoiled by how well he treated me that it makes every other guy look like a loser at best, or a jerk, at worst. I'm scared I'll never want someone my own age again...]

This man has shown me the closest thing to heaven I've ever known, just to be locked in his arms and surrender to his strength and warmth...
and now, to be honest, it hurts like, well, the opposite of heaven.

If you saw how he treated me, the gentleness with which he held me at my sister's grave, the way he smiles when I'm around, the way he jokes with me... You would know why I love this man far too much for my own good.

I just want to break through the pessimistic, crusty shell he's hiding in. There's gold in him. Now that I've seen the beauty in him, I can't 'un-see' it, unfortunately.

Half my family loves him, the other half hates him because they think he's not good enough for me.

Sincerely,

me. [the girl with the sad smile]
 

SheLikesKitties

OW/YM 21YR GAP
Hello, you write beautifully.
I am in an OW/YM relationship, "only" 21 year difference though.
Why would he tell you that he does not have feelings for you?
Maybe he really does not.
Maybe he is afraid of being hurt by a younger woman.
Could he be gay?
Could he have a woman already in a LDR?

The part I do not understand is that he would not be willing to have a sexual relationship, which most men are more than willing to have, no strings attached, even if they care for the woman.

How to treat him?
Let him take the lead.
You made your move already.

When he told you that he did not feel that way, did he mean sexually, emotionally or both?
 
G

gorillagirl

Guest
definitely back off and don't talk about love/romance anymore and go live your life and find new friends/boyfriend...don't wait for him, don't second guess him, don't try to analyze his feelings. you'll just tear yourself up inside. whether you're wrong or right about him loving/wanting you, only time and distance will tell. so step back and detach emotionally and physically and then see if he comes to you. don't make him the center of your world. he's already said he's not ready for that. sorry.
 
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thatoneperson

New member
I'd ask him what he wants out of your relationship. And then do that while pursuing other opportunities. If you can't handle it, then you should probably start talking to him less.

People say no for all sorts of reasons. It's not really your place to determine whether you feel his reason is legitimate or not. If he really wanted you, he would let you know.

I know this is hard. Hang in there. :grouphug:
 

VenusDarkStarLA

New member
When a man says in so many words he's not into you, BELIEVE. He knows how you feel, so there's no need for a sales pitch. He's done....he walked out of the store. If he has a change of heart, he may come back to buy, but there are other stores. That sounds cold, doesn't it? We don't even know what's going on in his mind. From what you've written, it's obvious he cares for you deeply. But for whatever reason, he's gonna walk away. Let him.

One day he might turn around and come walking back, but by then, you might have moved on with someone who KNEW how he felt about you and wouldn't let you get away. Believe it or not, the pain DOES go away, and in its place can be a memory....good or bad. Maybe he just wanted to be sure that your memory of him was good.
 

soul

New member
Well, after reading your post and seeing the replies, It seems I differ in my opinion. I don't believe he would neccessarily let you know if he felt the same as you. I actually think you've already guessed his reasoning yourself, he's trying to protect himself and protect you.

When you said "he would smile benevolently and just tell me I was naive" I don't think that in any way reflects badly on you or that he believes youre unworldly. But, if I say somethimes youth brings a certain carelessness/freedom and in this instance you have time on your side and not much too lose.

As frustrating as it is to have some one older take the reigns and make decissions for you, under the guise it's for your best interest. You must also understand that as an older person they are more experienced and that can make them wiser, that doesn't mean you don't have good qualities too. You seem intuitive I can say from just reading your opening thread.

Before you try to win him around. You need to think very seriously about what you want beyond this immediate need to fix a aching heart. I mean long term. You need to consider things that you might otherwise leave until a little later in life, like children. Consider that, if it did work out, it's most likely he'll die while you're still in your prime of life. The bigger the age gap, the more these unromantic things need to be considered. You need to be truthful to yourself and rational about the decissions you make.

When you've covered everything and can prove to him you're going in eyes wide open, then he might be more receptive. :yes:
 

BeachHut

New member
Thank you for your questions--- helped me see some things a little differently. I am quite sure that he is not gay [we've discussed it, as I suspected at one point]... he does not have another long distance relationship- and ours is not an LDR, just in case it wasn't clear. We've been friends for several years in the same city, which rocks.

He told me that initially he did have feelings for me [and it was really clear he cared A LOT], but that he 'realized it wouldn't work' and somehow managed to stop those feelings back then.
If this was true, he would have treated me differently than he did afterwards... we'd be out in public, museums, restaurants, or just walking, and I don't think we were fooling anyone but ourselves.

The sexual side is the part that gets me... Mind you, I didn't outright proposition him at any point, but he could've made a move many times but didn't... I used to be extremely conservative, but I have become much more willing to explore, so to speak. He may assume I'm still the girl he first knew, who wouldn't have a fling just for the fun of it... nah, I still probably wouldn't. I love too deeply. I commit too much.

In the end, I think you may have nailed it by saying he might be scared of being hurt. I really do...
 

BeachHut

New member
Thank you so much... I feel like you really understand what I'm trying to say... it's mad. I know him pretty well. [obviously :) ] and it wouldn't be unrealistic to suspect that he'd lie to protect me, even if it hurt him a lot. the suffering, silent type, you know.

"Before you try to win him around. You need to think very seriously about what you want beyond this immediate need to fix a aching heart. I mean long term. You need to consider things that you might otherwise leave until a little later in life, like children. Consider that, if it did work out, it's most likely he'll die while you're still in your prime of life. The bigger the age gap, the more these unromantic things need to be considered. You need to be truthful to yourself and rational about the decissions you make. "

and this^- I have seriously thought through... Interestingly enough, he would've liked to have children [he loves them], but he realizes it's probably too late for that. The honest truth is, I do NOT want children. I don't. Lots of people write my stance off as immaturity but I've given a lot of thought to it and to my career and, well, suffice to say it wouldn't be an issue if we never had kids.

"When you've covered everything and can prove to him you're going in eyes wide open, then he might be more receptive."

I want to. I'm gonna take some time [a few months] and then reevaluate if it's still something I want to do. i.e. if I can't forget him and move on no matter how hard I try....
 

BeachHut

New member
definitely back off and don't talk about love/romance anymore and go live your life and find new friends/boyfriend...don't wait for him, don't second guess him, don't try to analyze his feelings. you'll just tear yourself up inside. whether you're wrong or right about him loving/wanting you, only time and distance will tell. so step back and detach emotionally and physically and then see if he comes to you. don't make him the center of your world. he's already said he's not ready for that. sorry.

I'm trying. And it's not working. And yes it's tearing me up inside and it's mad. It hurts worse than when my 20 year old sister died. Seriously. I will never make light of anyone's heartbreak ever again.

Thanks for the attempt at a reality check :) I don't know what I can really do... But I'm surviving, at least...
 

BeachHut

New member
I'd ask him what he wants out of your relationship. And then do that while pursuing other opportunities. If you can't handle it, then you should probably start talking to him less.

People say no for all sorts of reasons. It's not really your place to determine whether you feel his reason is legitimate or not. If he really wanted you, he would let you know.

I know this is hard. Hang in there. :grouphug:

Thank you <3

Also I have been pursuing other opportunities. A few guys later, and I want nothing else to do with guys my age. I am so darn spoiled... Young guys don't seem to know how to treat a woman. [I'm sure many of you OW/YM ladies would disagree...] :yes:
 

thatoneperson

New member
Thank you <3

Also I have been pursuing other opportunities. A few guys later, and I want nothing else to do with guys my age. I am so darn spoiled... Young guys don't seem to know how to treat a woman. [I'm sure many of you OW/YM ladies would disagree...] :yes:

Believe me, I definitely get the attraction to older men. I, myself, am a 23 year old dating a 52 year old. I don't think it has anything to do with younger men being inherently "bad" or not knowing how to treat women---I consider it the same as being more attracted to brunettes than blondes. All personal preference :)

Have you asked him what he wants out of the relationship yet? Sometimes it helps all people involved to explicitly set up those boundaries. And if he makes it clear that he's not interested in a relationship, there are other silver foxes out in the world ;)
 

BeachHut

New member
Because maybe this fellow does not fall into your assumption of what most men are about.

You hit the nail on the head...
He's not like other guys... seriously such a treasure to me... I'm sure he has the same needs and desires as most men, but there are so many other factors why we get along like magic, so much so that i'd even be happy with a relationship where there might not be... a ton of physical interaction.
But I have reason to believe he has a perfectly healthy drive... [and I'm not particularly passive myself...]

It's tough sitting back and doing nothing, knowing that we would both make each other quite happy. Quite!
 
T

truckman

Guest
You hit the nail on the head...

That was actually to SLK because none of my friends screw anything that breathes and thus in my mind, violates the idea of "most men".

It's tough sitting back and doing nothing, knowing that we would both make each other quite happy. Quite!

Well, you "know" that. From what you've described, he doesn't seem to agree.

I can appreciate wanting someone really bad in whatever capacity you are seeking, but if someone's not as enthusiastic and excited about it as you are, it's unfortunately never going to work out.
 

SheLikesKitties

OW/YM 21YR GAP
Because maybe this fellow does not fall into your assumption of what most men are about.
I am not assuming. There are stats and studies about this.
Several of those studies were carried out in the US, so that should take care of any claim of cultural bias I may have.
:)
 
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