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Am I being silly, or is this odd?

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I'll cut right to the chase.


My girlfriend (22) started a new job just before Christmas. She hasn't found her team (mostly women) particularly welcoming, but has been "befriended" by a couple of 40-odd year old men from a different team. One of them bought her a (very) inexpensive piece of jewellery as a Christmas gift, but didn't get a gift for anyone else. She regularly has lunch with this particular man, they email a fair bit (this extends to outside of work too from what she told me when I asked, but I'm not sure to what extent), and he often asks her out for drinks. Sometimes she will take him up on this offer (normally with the another of the 40-odd year old men, but rarely or never as far as I know with other women). I'm not sure if they have ever been out socially outside of work alone together.


She says he is married so definitely doesn't harbour any non-innocent intentions and knows that he is way too old for her in any case, but in my experience, being married or being old hasn't stopped plenty of men trying it on before. I trust her, but still find this situation very strange, and if I was the wife of the particular man I think I would find the level of contact he has with my girlfriend quite inappropriate, especially given their age difference.


Am I being silly, or is this situation definitely a bit odd?

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Talk in a friendly, open, honest and trusting way with her. Tell her you are afraid and unsure. Don't accuse her of anything, just tell her how you feel and give her the opportunity to return your trust and honesty.


These could easily be seen as red flags, but not everything is an emergency. Assume good intentions, discuss things evenly and with respect and compassion if there are real concerns, and don't forget to listen carefully to her as well as speak freely and openly.


It's okay to be afraid, just don't let it make you do something too hasty. Be good to yourself and to her. I wish you good fortune and peace in your heart.


Light and laughter,


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Hmm, maybe I am the first one to not find it that odd. Maybe it is because I have been in similar situations. Groups of girls tend to not be all that excepting of a new one, I have been in this very situation once when I was interning. It was so horrible, I almost quit my internship! I got a long just fine with a lot of the older people working at the site. If she isn't getting along with her workgroup and the other girls, maybe this guy is her only companionship and the only person she can relate to.


Sometimes I think we tend to look down on age-gap relationships or friendships, but the truth is, maybe she gains something from his experience or view point in life. You would prefer that she be completely lonely and alienated from the group rather than have at least one or two contacts or friends? Sometimes I think we also view it as creepy than an older man take interest in a younger woman (even just friendly), but he can't be a complete creep since I am assuming he has a stable job, etc.


If she is telling you and being honest and open about their relationship - like telling you that he is asking her our for drinks - I don't think it is too worrisome. Maybe it would be worth commenting that it bothers you, but don't be accusing in the way you say it.

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