I'm in love with an older guy

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Alex.Idk
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I'm in love with an older guy

Unread post by Alex.Idk »

We both work at my mom's bakery and spend a lot of time interacting and talking and shared o lot of interests in common, and because of that we developed a friendship. But over time, I started having feelings for him. In one of our talks he told me about his past relationships that he had with guys, and I got surprised because until then I thought he was straight and this kind of ended up feeding the feelings I already had for him.

I told my mom about what I felt for him and that I wanted to be with him, then she told me having feelings was ok but having a relationship at the age that I am (I'm 14 and he's 27) was not, when I asked her why she said that he could be abusive and manipulate me. This got me really confused because why him being older make him an abuser and a manipulator? I once saw an Instagram video of a couple where one was 15 and the other was 22, and they were still together to this day and seemed happy. While on the news, almost every day shows an adult woman being abused by their partner.

I made a post on Reddit about my situation to know if other people had similar experience or if someone dated an older person and if it could work, people were calling me naive, that I'm a child and that he was a pedophile, that he was grooming me and would abuse me. Then someone posted a link to an article of this site about age gap and I found it really informative about what makes a good age gap relationship and things to look for. It also gave me a hope that it can be ok to have a relationship with him.

But people say so much that every relationship like this is inherently abusive that I myself have doubts that it could end up this way. And also I want that my mom see that it wouldn't make him a bad person and support me as she always does. Could it work?
Latha
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Re: I'm in love with an older guy

Unread post by Latha »

Hi there, Alex.Idk- welcome to the boards!

I'm glad you liked our article (was it this one?), and I'm sorry you've faced such judgment when you've tried to talk about this before. You're right, age disparate relationships are not inherently bad or abusive, and relationships between people of the same age are not inherently safe. People's advice to you so far has insulted your intelligence and contradicted your personal experience with this guy- I don't want to do any of that.

I do think your mother's concern is coming from a real place, though it wasn't expressed well. Being older does not necessarily make this guy an abuser, but young people in relationships with people who are significantly older than them are more likely to experience abuse. This is not because young people are not intelligent, but because they don't always have the resources and experience people need to properly advocate for themselves. Being young doesn't prevent you from understanding a lot about the world, but it is easier to identify when something is wrong in a relationship when you have other experiences to compare it to. Having resources like your own money, your own place, and the ability to travel or drive on your own can make it easier to leave a bad situation. Predatory older people who look for relationships with younger people know all this and want to take advantage of it.

Let's say that this isn't the case. You know this guy, and in your experience, he has been respectful and kind. You know what a good age-disparate relationship looks like, and you are prepared to leave if this is a bad relationship. That is great- but there are still some things we must think about.

Firstly, if you ask him out, there is a possibility that he will reject you (as there usually is when people ask each other out). If he does, there is also a real possibility that it will be because of your age. If it is, you'll need to accept that.

Secondly, when we're considering asking someone out, we should try to keep the circumstances in mind. In this case, both of you work at your mother's bakery. How would asking him out impact his employment and your working relationship?
  • If he says yes, he will be risking his employment since your mother is against the relationship. Also, will you be able to work together effectively, even if problems arise in your relationship?
  • If he says no, will he feel comfortable staying and continuing to work with you? Will you feel comfortable working with him?
I'm going to be honest with you- it is not good to put someone in this kind of position.

Does this make sense? If I may ask, what do you like about this guy?
Alex.Idk
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Re: I'm in love with an older guy

Unread post by Alex.Idk »

Hi, thanks for the reply!

Yes, that was the article I accessed and read.

Everything you pointed out about why most relationships like this are usually abusive is exactly why I want my mom to understand and support me. She always encouraged me to share my opinions and doubts I had, and she will give her opinions and discussions bout it, we always try to get in a mutual agreement about things. That's why she is my friend and I always felt that I can count on her. And since she's older, I thought she could help me to navigate a relationship like this.

I think a lot about what could happen if I told him, so many scenarios I imagine are giving me on nerves. But eventually I tell him, even if he rejects me, at least I did something and won't be in doubt about it anymore. But first I want my mom to approve of it, so I can count with her support.

I was really afraid she would fire him and I had to carry the blame, because at first she thought he was hitting on me. I had to clarify to her that he had not done any of that and that only me who was liking him, but he didn't know. She knows it wouldn't be fair to fire him because of something that has only to do with me when he didn't do anything wrong

Now in the scenario where we're together and eventually we had a discussion/disagreement, I think using the same method when my mom and I do could work, like, when we realize that the discussion is very heated, we give it a pause and each one goes to a room to cool our heads, and in a moment we are calmer we try to talk again. It's been working for us, so it could work with him too.

If he say no, It wouldn't be the first time I got rejected and still had to interact with the person. Honestly the kitchen is big so we don't need be be interacting all the time to do the work, and I just got work in the afternoon, in the morning I go to school. But I would try to keep our friendship, if it doesn't work, well it's life.

Also, he's not planing to work here for long, he's trying to find a job on what he graduated (Nurse) and just working here at the moment so he can sustain himself. So maybe he will keep working here until the next year.

Beside our conversation and communication being wonderful, he shares many of the view that I have about relationship and morals, he's monogamous, does not condone cheating and is also a Cristian. I love doing bread and sweets with him, and by now we're trying to make pizza. I love the moments we spend together.

I really tried to have a relationship with some boy my age or closer, but none of them here seem to care about that, they just want to have sex and go, and are all afraid. That's why I love him, he did not shy away from telling me he had relationship with guys and is confident in himself.
Last edited by Alex.Idk on Sat Dec 09, 2023 12:45 pm, edited 3 times in total.
Sam W
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Re: I'm in love with an older guy

Unread post by Sam W »

Hi Alex.Idk,

So, I have a few things to add here, that I think will shine light on why everyone you've spoken to, including me, thinks it would be incredibly unwise to pursue a relationship with this person (and why if he actively starts romantically pursuing you it's a MASSIVE warning sign).

The big one is that I am skeptical of any adult, especially anyone nearing their 30s, who would think it was a good idea to date someone who was 14. Because that signals that no one their age wants to date them, and so they've decided a younger person is a good idea because that younger person probably lacks the experience or skills to spot any warning signs and is more likely to put up with behavior that a partner their own age would not. In other words, they want someone younger because they want someone they can treat in less respectful ways and mold into the partner they want, not someone who they see and treat as an equal.

That's not to say this guy is like that. But there's also the fact that the gap between 14 and 27 is massive in terms of life experience and just plain old development. There are 13 year age gap relationships that have worked out fine, but someone who's, say 33, is likely to be closer to someone who's 46 in terms of where they are in life. At 14, there are still so many things you're just starting to figure out, so many things you haven't yet done, that you're going to want and need radically different things from a relationship than someone who's pushing 30.

Reading your question, it sounds to me like what's happening is you have a very intense crush on this guy. And that's okay! Having a crush doesn't make you naive or foolish or anything like that. It sounds like, as of now, he's stuck to being just friendly with you instead of flirtatious (please correct me if I'm wrong there), which is also okay! But having a crush one someone, even a really, really intense one, doesn't meant it's a good idea for us to pursue them. I really like how Heather explains that in this piece: https://www.scarleteen.com/article/advi ... t_pursuits

Reading all of that, how do you feel? Is it kind of bringing clarity to things like your mom's reaction?
Alex.Idk
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Re: I'm in love with an older guy

Unread post by Alex.Idk »

Hi, thanks for the reply.

No, he never flirted with me.

How do I feel? I feel like I had a hope that it could work, but I just deluded myself on thinking I had. I feel that I'll watch all my friends dating and falling in love and I have to conform myself I won't have that so soon. I feel like I will end up like those guys that only have their first relationship when they're like twenty-something years old, if not older. I feel I hate being gay and if I was at least bi things would be easier. I feel like the only thing that I'll have that is close to a romantic contact is pretending that my pillow is someone. That's how I feel.

Now, I don't know if I should keep this to myself or tell him to at least have an answer.
Latha
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Re: I'm in love with an older guy

Unread post by Latha »

Hi there, Alex.Idk

I'm sorry, I understand that this must be very disappointing since you had a lot of hope, and I wonder if you're feeling a sort of sting that can come from defending an idea, only to find out that you misunderstood something. But being hopeful and having strength of conviction are very good qualities that will help you in many situations. What you need is the skill of discernment, and that tends to come with experience. Of course, no one is ever totally immune from making mistakes, no matter how old they are- but that is okay. Life would be very boring if we understood everything worth knowing on our own.

You know, I think you're being a bit too pessimistic about your prospects! There is nothing wrong with having your first relationship when you're in your twenties or older, but if you want a relationship sooner than that, you won't have to wait that long. If you want, we can talk about ways to meet gay people and find someone you might like to date.
Now, I don't know if I should keep this to myself or tell him to at least have an answer.
Hmmm, what kind of answer do you think you might get, and what will that answer do for you?
Alex.Idk
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Re: I'm in love with an older guy

Unread post by Alex.Idk »

Thanks for the answer.

To know his opinion, what he thinks, so I don't have to keep living my life wondering what his answer would be and regretting not having done it.

You know I really don't understand this anymore. Why in that article there was a 10 year age of of 15 and 25 as an example anway if it's wrong? I feel that article now is a lie that you guys posted on here for nothing if it's inherently not ok.
Last edited by Alex.Idk on Sun Dec 10, 2023 1:55 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: I'm in love with an older guy

Unread post by Heather »

Are you asking about that first article you talked about, Alex? If so, that was a piece from 2008: it's a very old one, and it's only a piece from one given writer. She's not here anymore for me to bring her whatever questions and concerns you have, so I can't speak for her motivations about it or anything she said in there.
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead
Alex.Idk
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Re: I'm in love with an older guy

Unread post by Alex.Idk »

Hi, I want to give an update:

I talked with him yesterday on whatsapp and told him about what I felt.

Our conversation was a bit long.

He told me that he also likes our friendship, and if I was at least 20 he maybe would try to make romantic advances, but since I'm 14 that idea didn't cross his mind.

He asked why I wanted to have a relationship with him and why I didn't look for other boys my age, and I told him the reasons.

Said that if sex was an issue for him it didn't need to happen, relationships don't need to be sexual right away and it could be a romantic relationship not involving sex.

We also talked about issues that relationship like this could cause, with that I took the opportunity to say that I've talked to my mom about it twice and in the second time she gave me a chance for it, so everything was fine with her.

He said he need time to think about it. Now I'm waiting for his answer.
Last edited by Alex.Idk on Tue Dec 19, 2023 4:52 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Heather
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Re: I'm in love with an older guy

Unread post by Heather »

Hi there, Alex.

From where I'm sitting, it seems to me like he was pretty clear with you already, and since this is also in the context of his job -- a job run by your family -- and he is an adult, I imagine that this whole situation feels a lot more precarious to him than it does to you. That's not to discount the bigness of your feelings, but managing your own feelings with a crush is a very different situation, with much, much lower stakes, than the situation that this guy now finds himself in.

Personally, by that token alone, I would not have suggested you have this conversation with him. Latha also voiced these kinds of concerns in her initial response to you when she told you you'd be putting him in a bad position. I would have said that as this is his place of work, a place your family owns, no less, that it wouldn't actually be very ethical on your part to bring these feelings to him. I saw you in a post thinking of what impact this might have on you at work, but it doesn't look to me like you really considered the impact this could have on him.

I know you're the much younger person here, but in this situation, where your family owns and runs his place of work, I actually think you have more power here than he does, and I suspect this guy might have even felt like he had to engage in this conversation for that reason rather than just telling you what he did at the start about now being interested in you by virtue of your age. It might help to take a second to recognize that had you been an adult and done this at his workplace owned by your family, it technically would count as workplace sexual harassment in some legal systems. In some ways, your age in this allows you protections from what you did here that you wouldn't have otherwise. I suspect his saying he is thinking about what to say to you probably has more to do with him thinking about how to say no to you without it having blowback on him than anything else. I think you have to know and work on accepting that this 27 year old person is not at all likely to circle back to you as a 14 year old person wanting to get involved in any way.

Honestly, if you care for this guy, I think the best thing you can do from here is back off and let him be able to just work at his job without any of this in the mix. As it is, I think because of what you shared with you Mom, and what you have said to him, he's probably not going to ever feel as comfortable working there as he has before. I do think that by virtue of your own age and time in life, you perhaps aren't understanding that even if and when someone has a job that isn't the ultimate job they want, it doesn't mean that work isn't essential for their survival and long-term plans.

Do you get what I'm saying?
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead
Alex.Idk
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Re: I'm in love with an older guy

Unread post by Alex.Idk »

Hi, thanks for the reply.

I did thought on the beginning what impact it would might have on him, but was not the same perspective as yours such as sexual harassment and that he might feeling pressured. But I did worry if the whole situation for him would make it all uncomfortable at work, and actually the first response made me think how he might feel.

After that first response I also thought about if would it be better if I took some time away from work to study since I'm going to take the national exam for the first time next year. That way I would take time away from work and consequently not see him as much.

Would this hold the same if he worked at a differet job? It would make a less pressure for him? Like I said he will stay here untill next year, maybe until the beginning of the year.
Last edited by Alex.Idk on Wed Dec 20, 2023 10:18 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: I'm in love with an older guy

Unread post by Heather »

I think that at this point, the best thing you can do is just leave this where it is, save that maybe the next time you see him at work, apologizing to him for putting any kind of pressure on him, or for making his workplace uncomfortable. You can then let him know that while, as he knows, you have a crush on him, you're going to take care of your own feelings so that he can just be at work and not worry about this. I'd also suggest thanking him for his kindness.

I think you need to let this go, not think of the what-ifs if and when he works somewhere else. This sounds like a crush that you have on someone unattainable, not like mutual shared feelings, and I'd be very surprised if that changed. Honestly, separate from work things, someone 27 is in such a different place in life than someone 14. An emotionally healthy 27 year old is just are going to want things (and I'm talking about much more than just sex) when it comes to intimate relationships that someone that much younger can't offer. I think seeing all of what you didn't in this interaction is actually a pretty good example of that: someone his same age probably would have been way more aware of the stakes and possible impacts here because they'd have a better sense of what it means to need a job, or to have the son of a boss involving their mother (the boss) in a crush on them. It's an emotional maturity and life experience difference, you know? If that doesn't fully hit for you now, I can assure you it will probably make a lot more sense ten or so years from now.

So, I would not make any life decisions based on this guy. You do what you can now to make things easier for him around this, then let it go, let ideas of being with him go. I know it can feel like a heartbreak to have big feelings like this that don't go where you feel like you want them to. But I assure you, these kinds of feelings pass and, in time, make room for relationships that are actually likely to be mutually beneficial and equitable love relationships, a thing one-sided crushes never turn into. <3
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead
Alex.Idk
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Re: I'm in love with an older guy

Unread post by Alex.Idk »

Heather wrote: Wed Dec 20, 2023 11:38 am This sounds like a crush that you have on someone unattainable, not like mutual shared feelings, and I'd be very surprised if that changed.
What do you mean by that? What if he shared the same feelings and demonstrates it? He would be wrong, right? He would be a questionable guy that is immature and want to manipulate me if he demonstrated anything like that.

Sometimes I feel I shouldn't have come here and only stick to that article.

When I first made my research into it before I made that post on reddit and fount this site, many of the sites that talked about age gap as a teen (only involving other older/younger teenagers) many of them said to talk to parents about it, saying to be open and honest and to have an open communication, and I took that as the right thing to do since it was a pretty common advise among them. This and the trust that I have with my mom to talk to her. Now I'm wrong for fallowing the advice, what an outcome. I don't think I would have involved my mom into it if I was the same age as him, or at least not a minor, but since I am a minor I thought it would be necessary.

I will fallow your advice and talk to him. If our age difference is inherently wrong independent of the situation, then I'll put an end to it.
Last edited by Alex.Idk on Wed Dec 20, 2023 1:11 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Heather
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Re: I'm in love with an older guy

Unread post by Heather »

Alex: I'm sorry that you're feeling the way that you are, in every way. We certainly never want anyone to feel bad about their experiences here, and I also know what it feels like to get hopes dashed when we develop feelings for someone.

What I meant by what I said is that it sounds like he's already been clear with you that he hasn't thought of you romantically in the conversation you had, and that that has to do with the very different places you are at in life. I understand that when he said that to you, you then came back explaining things like that it was okay with your mother, or that you didn't need the relationship to be sexual, and then, as I understand it, he said he needed time to come back to you with a response. My guess is that that's not about him deciding to have a different relationship with you or not, but trying to probably figure out how to tell you what he already did in both a sensitive way that won't hurt your feelings, but also a way that allows him to still keep his job.

No one here, myself included, has suggested that talking to your mother about this was a misstep. I feel the misstep was telling this guy about this, namely because he is an employee of your family business. Respectfully, we also aren't responsible for advice you were given elsewhere, and very early in this conversation, Latha did take time to explain why trying to pursue a relationship with this guy or bringing this to him would put him in a bad position because you know him from a workplace owned by your family. Sam said similar. Suggesting we gave you advice that you followed (and that any unwanted or uncomfortable outcomes aren't about your choices, but advice you were given) simply isn't honest on your part.

To be clear: I don't think that he does or will share the same feelings and I think he already made that clear to you, and it sounds like even when he did, you did some pushing, instead of just accepting what he said about appreciating your friendship and not thinking of you that way. Talking about what kind of person he would be if he felt differently seems to the side of things to me, especially since the person with the feelings here doesn't seem to be him, but you.

What we have been trying to say is that we're suggesting you back off here out of care and respect for this person who is in the employ of your family: that trying to pursue something that given, and also given they seem to have already said no to you, is what's not okay, especially since that power you have and the fact that you and a young minor puts him in a very precarious position, especially as an adult gay man. I imagine that at this point, he might well be feeling pretty scared about trying to figure out the right way to respond to you all of this given.
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead
Alex.Idk
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Re: I'm in love with an older guy

Unread post by Alex.Idk »

Hi,

So, I’ve been trying to write about what happened when we met and talked to each other, but after realizing how this conversation was going, I decided to not talk about this here again.

Some of what you wrote was actually helpful, like things I may have not considerate and that I didn’t know. But part of it just felt like the comments in that Reddit post I made, especially with the assumptions about his doings/actions, about his thoughts, about his personal feelings, what it does or what would make him a certain kind of person.

I also want to apologize if I wrote anything that was seen as offensive.

So, with all that said: this is also the last time I’m writing a message here.

I wish a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.
Last edited by Alex.Idk on Sat Dec 23, 2023 8:51 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: I'm in love with an older guy

Unread post by Sam W »

Hi Alex.Idk,

Thank you for apologizing. I'm glad some of Heather's points helped you consider things you may not have before; I know this situation involves some big emotions, and I hope that if you need to you can return to what Heather wrote if you need to in order to continue having some important perspective on the whole thing.
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