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I'm attracted to a man 21 years older than me...


Devia

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...and I'm not sure what to do about it. I'm 28, he's 49. We met a little over a week ago through this medical testing thing we're both involved in. I'm a very social person and started chatting with several people in our group during our first overnight stay and he was one of them. We hit it off GREAT, we laugh a lot, can talk about anything, and enjoy playing board/card games together. After a couple days I found out his age. I had thought he was at least 10 years younger than that as he looks and acts much younger, is physically fit etc.

 

I see him briefly every morning for our medical study returns and then this weekend we had a 2-night/day stay where we were basically inseparable during all the waking hours. Since we have a week off and our terrible breakfast and coffee restrictions are temporarily lifted, he asked if I wanted to go to breakfast this morning. We did and, of course, had a great time. We haven't really gotten into many relationship conversations - I've vaguely mentioned some of my own here and there but he hasn't(and I haven't asked). All I know is he's living with a male roommate currently and has never had kids.

 

I'm not entirely sure if he's attracted to me or if he just thoroughly enjoys me as a friend. If he is attracted to me then he's being very respectful by not coming on to me without knowing how I feel. I know I'm very attracted to him. The other thing is...I'm not entirely sure if he's into women. There have been no clear signs of his sexuality in either direction but(I know, only based on stereotypes) I assume he is straight.

 

I probably will not see him again until he picks me up for our next overnight stay in a week from today(although he did mention he might stop by the restaurant I deliver for to check out their food), so I will have plenty of time to brood over what to do. If you can help me out, I have two questions:

 

1) Is there even a chance that something good might come of this, or should I just do everything I can to suppress my feelings towards him? I'm curious to find out what could come of it but I also love the friendship we've been developing and would not want to jeopardize it by making him feel uncomfortable if it's not mutual.

 

2) What would be a "sneaky" or polite way to find out whether a person is straight or gay? Because, if he is gay, then obviously the subject is closed. However, I don't want to be insulting to him which could happen no matter what his sexual preference is.

 

Advice appreciated.

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I once had a girl nearly 20 years younger than me who had a crush on me so I'm only answering based on personal experience. Yes, I was very flattered but I knew she was young enough to be my daughter and that is a line I don't want to cross. It would just be too weird. Do you have similar taste in music, films, etc? I could never date anyone who hadn't heard of Jimi Hendrix.

 

He's from a generation (as am I) where you could safely assume that everyone of the opposite sex was straight. You didn't question someone's sexuality unless they made it very specific so, unless you have more evidence, I should assume he's not gay.

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I once had a girl nearly 20 years younger than me who had a crush on me so I'm only answering based on personal experience. Yes, I was very flattered but I knew she was young enough to be my daughter and that is a line I don't want to cross. It would just be too weird. Do you have similar taste in music, films, etc? I could never date anyone who hadn't heard of Jimi Hendrix.

 

We haven't really talked about music much but we do have a similar taste in activities, movies, and books. Honestly I've only ever dated one person who had the same taste in music as me no matter the age and the music differences were never the reason those relationships ended. Yes it's true that he was old enough to have a child the year I was born but he was also old enough when he was 13. And my parents are 61 and 64 so he IS closer to their age but it's not like he's "the same age as my dad".

 

He's from a generation (as am I) where you could safely assume that everyone of the opposite sex was straight. You didn't question someone's sexuality unless they made it very specific so, unless you have more evidence, I should assume he's not gay.

 

I could be wrong, but I don't think this is a true statement. In your generation it was less ACCEPTABLE to be gay, there were not fewer gay people. They were just quiet about it, and either didn't get married, or married the opposite sex because they thought they should and perhaps were not in love the way that they should be.

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I, twice, tried to start a relationship with one guy who is 16 years older than I am. Things did not work out between us. We did not have a whole lot in common. I am advising you to go slowly with him. I would see if you had similar interests. Chances are very unlikely that you would make a good match, but I could be wrong.

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I, twice, tried to start a relationship with one guy who is 16 years older than I am. Things did not work out between us. We did not have a whole lot in common. I am advising you to go slowly with him. I would see if you had similar interests. Chances are very unlikely that you would make a good match, but I could be wrong.

 

Going slowly is always good advice. We definitely do have several things in common, but I will continue to learn and discover more. I'll hold off on saying anything to him for a while...and who knows, maybe after a week of not seeing him I'll feel differently. Heck, since we met we haven't gone without communicating for more than 24 hours. It's just hard to control these feelings, and you can't help who you're attracted to, you know? Like, there are several guys in our group who are much closer to my age and I enjoy talking to them but I just don't feel a connection with any of them and seem to not have much in common. I'm not even necessarily looking to see anyone right now, but my feelings always catch me by surprise.

 

Do you say it's unlikely that we'd make a good match because you don't think we could possibly have much in common or because even if we do the age gap thing never works? I've read through a few threads on this sub forum and the first ones all sound like unsuccessful relationships but that's mostly what I read around here. Aren't there any long-term success stories for an age gap with a section dedicated strictly to it?

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Well, I guess not many people seemed to be interested in this but I thought I'd give an update if there were any curious readers out there. We went out for a couple drinks last week and I stumbled accross finding out that he's bisexual but that the attraction is mutual. We had a great time, and now it's out in the open so we'll just see where it goes. So yea, Hoagy, please don't be so close-minded as to think that sexuality is a "generational" trait. It's not. It's always been there, and it always will be. The only thing that will change is how comfortable people can feel about expressing it.

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Well, I guess not many people seemed to be interested in this but I thought I'd give an update if there were any curious readers out there. We went out for a couple drinks last week and I stumbled accross finding out that he's bisexual but that the attraction is mutual. We had a great time, and now it's out in the open so we'll just see where it goes. So yea, Hoagy, please don't be so close-minded as to think that sexuality is a "generational" trait. It's not. It's always been there, and it always will be. The only thing that will change is how comfortable people can feel about expressing it.

 

It's my impression on this forum that age gap relationships are not very popular and are generally seen as suspect. I don't know if you are straight or not, but dating bisexuals is a challenge in itself if you are either straight or gay. I have known females friends have their hands full with bisexual men. If you are straight, I think dating a bisexual is going to be more of a challenge than the age gap.

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Before you go any farther, you need to make REALLY sure that his 'roommate' isn't his domestic partner (i.e., his BF) and you are going to be his woman on the side.

 

Cheating is cheating, whether is it man-woman or man-man or woman-woman, and you need to make sure that he really is free and available before you proceed. Some bi- people will try to use the argument that it is OK to have a primary partner of one gender and then people on the side of another gender because they are bi-, but cheating is cheating and there's no excuse for that. A straight person chooses one partner and sticks to it, and just because he is bi- doesn't mean he should use you on the side and cheat.

 

So make sure this roommate of his isn't really his partner before you agree to date him. And also make sure you use condoms if you do take it further to protect your health and life.

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  • 2 weeks later...
  • 1 year later...

I know this thread is over a year old. I've had a hell of a time since I last posted here. I want you all to know that, while it may have been the reason in the future, neither our age gap nor his sexual preference were the reasons this didn't work out. We were having a great time together, and then boom, on February 4th, 2014 my mother died of a brain aneurism. I went through absolute hell. And I almost dropped out of the medical study where he and I met, as I had to return at 6am the day after my mother's death, and had a 2 day overnight right afterwards. If it wasn't for him, I would have dropped the study. He was caring, supportive, and there for me. He even drove clear accross town in a blizzard the night she died in order to give me a ride to my parents' house. He stayed up with me talking to me until I fell asleep one night at the facility, because I couldn't stop crying and I couldn't fall asleep because of thinking about her. However, as wonderful as he was to me during that time, a few weeks later I told him that I wouldn't be able to continue seeing him as I couldn't help but associate our relationship with my mom's death(not a blaming thing, just a mindset thing). Things ended amicably.

 

I just wanted you all to know this, in case you ever had any further wonderments about bisexual and/or age gap relationships. It didn't work out, but it wasn't because of that.

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Deva I'm very sorry for your loss. My condolences.

 

I've had an age gap of 21 years, two actually. It wasn't the age gap either of why it didn't work out. Looking back on it I'm very relieved to be honest I'm not dating such an old man anymore. And although he wasn't a closed minded person and he looked younger than he was, I know it still bothered me that he was that old. Not immediately but later...

 

Plus there were these little things. He would tell me that his way of doing this or that was better and he spent 20 more years finding out what was the best way than I did. So I should listen to him and do it his way. I could argue what I want but he would laugh it off.

 

He never understood my 'hobby's' online. He never understood why I needed to talk on forums, was 'addicted' to my phone etc. My mom is very active on the Internet so I tried to let him see that it isn't a generation thing. Nonetheless it still is evident that more people from our generation are doing more on the Internet than 'their' generation is doing.

 

He would listen to his music. Which is probably fine. I like music from the 70's and 80's. But he would dismiss my music and say 'that is not music! That's what you call music?!' So after awhile I would only play my music when he was away. And he stopped playing his music around me too because I was sick hearing it (more I was feeling agitated that he said that stuff about my music, yet we had to listen to his music all the time).

 

Now a lot of this stuff didn't had to do anything with his age but all about his personality. Yet I still would not recommend such an age gap for anyone.

 

The good things about the age gap was that he gave me security. That my life experience somewhat felt equalized by his age.

 

 

I'm now with a guy who is only two years older. We have so much in common in what we like and do. So much more than I had with my ex. It's a relieve honestly. I would recommend that 10x more than having such an age gap.

 

Plus I was always afraid of the future. Growing old together is just not the same if one of you already turns old before your eyes while you and your friends are still enjoying your youth. It doesn't matter how vital someone is. Aging is faster. I would be petrified sometimes to think how he would end up in a nursing home or would want to take things slower like my parents do. And I'm sure you've thought about these things too.

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Pros: Older men can (usually) provide more security and stability, especially financially. They are also less prone to playing 'mind games' and being wishy-washy about what they want in life. They have lived longer and gained more life experience.

 

Cons: Sometimes an older man is looking to date a younger woman because he is in the middle of a mid-life crisis. Then, all the above reasons (pros) for dating an older man could just go out the window. You could end up merely arm candy. It all comes down to getting to know the man in question and making good choices.

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  • 2 weeks later...
Yes go for it! They are not like the youngsters they know just how to treat and make a woman feel loved thats for sure. I think about my xx often. He would still to this day drop everything to help me and my sons who he claims as his.

 

My SO does this too. Nothing to do with age.

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Devia.

 

Very sorry to hear about your mother's death. What a difficult time you had with one thing and another.

 

No, I do not think a 20 year age gap makes a difference. It does depend, of course, entirely on the parties involved. One of my relatives (now long deceased) married a man of 52 when she was 23. They had a long and happy marriage, and she wanted him and no other, even though at the time some did opose the idea.

I could cite many other examples.

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Thanks for your replies, just to be clear this is a relationship that isn't going to happen, for many reasons that are unrelated to the age gap. The biggie being that I'm in Seattle now and he's in Nebraska. However, I did call him up a few weeks ago and had a nice chat with him - I hadn't spoke to him in over a year since shortly after the loss of my mother and explaining my mental association with our relationship and losing her. But to everyone else - definitely don't let an age gap get in the way!! He's a really great guy, just too many other factors worked against us.

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