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to think it is unacceptable for a 45-year-old man to date girls just out of their teens?

(189 Posts)
Werksallhourz Sat 05-Dec-15 02:52:42

Please someone tell me that I have not slipped through a rip in the fabric of reality here.

I have an old friend who does not have a partner, and has never had a serious relationship. He's now 45.

I had a conversation with him about looking for a partner, and some of the things he was saying started to sound, to me, very disturbing.

He seems to think that there is no problem with him dating a girl in her early 20s. He says that I am "old-fashioned" for saying it is not really appropriate for a man of his age to date a girl so young.

Just to reiterate: we would be talking about a 45 year old man dating a 21 year old girl.

He also seems to be of the opinion that this is okay because young women look at him on the street because "they fancy him". At this point, I started to get alarmed.

When I suggested that he might be mistaken, he claimed that people think he is a lot younger than his age anyway, that girls in their early 20s can be "very mature", and told me this story about how a young woman looked at him on the bus and how he knew she wanted him to follow her when she went to get off.

Now maybe I could understand all this if my friend looked like a something off the cover of Esquire, but he doesn't. He's in very poor physical health -- in fact, I would go so far as to say he looks terrible.

And we are not talking about someone who has done very well in life in conventional terms either. He now lives in a room in a house-share after losing his flat, and as far as I know, he hasn't worked for years. The last time I visited him at his flat, the place was a state: filthy floors, bin-bags of clothes on the floor, holes in the walls, and a strong fetid smell in the air.

I am starting to suspect that his life circumstances have meant that he has become so removed from normal society that he has become delusional.

But most of all, I have a really foreboding feeling about his attitude that it would be okay for him, at 45, to date a 21-year-old, particularly when he seems to think these young women are checking him out on the street. To me, it seems to indicate something worrying, but I am not sure what it is.


BastardGoDarkly Sat 05-Dec-15 02:55:34

21 year olds are grown women, on that alone I'd say that's up to them.

The 'I knew she wanted me to follow her' sounds creepy as fuck though! Did he follow her!?

KoalaDownUnder Sat 05-Dec-15 03:00:03


He sounds deluded, to the point of being potentially dangerous.

Not sure what you can do, but yuck.

LaLyra Sat 05-Dec-15 03:01:09

If someone in their early 20's wants to date a 45 year old that's their prerogative imo. My husband is older than me and a number of people had issues with our relationship in the beginning purely based on the age issue, but it works for us. Don't know why, it just does.

However the bit about following people is horrid. That's just creepy and wrong. if he actually followed her then he needs someone to give him a reality check because that's hideous.

TiredButFineODFOJ Sat 05-Dec-15 03:01:39

Yup sounds wrong to me, and I wouldn't date anyone under thirty at that age. And some of them were put off saying I was too young for them!
Really it does sound wrong- no idea how to approach this. Is it too cruel to burst his bubble "how did you know she wanted you to follow? What have you got going for you that would make her so unusually interested?"

LaLyra Sat 05-Dec-15 03:02:50

Actually if he has actually taken to following women because he thinks they want him too then I think I'd be speaking to the police for advice. It might be a massive over-reaction to some, but "I just knew she wanted it" just sounds like it has horrible potential for more.

AgentZigzag Sat 05-Dec-15 03:05:26

I thought the same as Bastard reading through, of course a woman in her 20s can have a relationship with whoever she wants, but projecting the idea that the woman wanted him to follow her is pretty disturbing.

His health and general situation isn't always a deal breaker, it takes all sorts, could he just be fantasising what he'd like his life to be like and not necessarily in a stalker/straying into creepy fuck way?

Werksallhourz Sat 05-Dec-15 03:05:34

No, he didn't follow her, BGD. But there is just something about all this that I find really perturbing.

There aren't any specific 21-year-olds who want to date him; it's not like he's met someone who is that age and is having a relationship with them -- even though, I admit, I would find that scenario disconcerting. There's something about the balance of power in a relationship between a 45 year old male and a female in their early 20s that I find troubling.

I think what really bothers me is the notion that he could date them because he believes they find him attractive on the street. There is just no way this happens, but trying to suggest otherwise, he simply will not listen or accept it.

HelenaDove Sat 05-Dec-15 03:06:04

When DH and i met 23 years ago i was 19 and he was 42. He asked me out .

If someone wants to date someone older then as long as both are grown adults and consenting i dont see the problem.

However the following comment.......creepy, stalkerish and a massive red flag.

TheHouseOnTheLane Sat 05-Dec-15 03:08:25

I'm torn, mainly because when I was 19 I was in a relationship with a man of 40.

I'm 43 now and still friends with him. He's a perfectly reasonable and nice man who is now married to a woman his own age that he met in his 50s.

There was no "balance of power" issue at all with us...we got on very well, laughed a LOT and had good sex.

Of course he fancied me....I was very attractive but so was he! He had a good body and was handsome. We had a lot of fun together. I was no virgin and had already had 3 partners.

I'm married and happy now to a man my own age...I'm not damaged.

TheHouseOnTheLane Sat 05-Dec-15 03:09:26

Also why on earth would you imagine a woman in her 20s couldn't find a man in his 40s handsome "on the street"?

AgentZigzag Sat 05-Dec-15 03:12:19

Sometimes that imbalance of power can be attractive.

It doesn't have to be negative or abusive.

(Can't help thinking of Mrs Merton asking Debbie Mcgee 'So, what first attracted you to the millionaire Paul Daniels?' grin)

Werksallhourz Sat 05-Dec-15 03:15:19

I mentioned the health and life situation because he's no David Beckham, iyswim. If he were driving around in a top of the range car, wearing an Italian suit, flashing cash, with rock hard biceps and cut-glass cheekbones, then, yes, he might attract attention from young women on the street.

But that just aint the case. His health is so poor that he stoops quite badly when he walks. Most of his clothes are in very bad condition.

I just don't know what to do about it. I have gently tried to say something, but he just gets argumentative.

TheHouseOnTheLane Sat 05-Dec-15 03:17:23

Why are you even friends with him? confused you seem to have a very poor opinion of him.

TheHouseOnTheLane Sat 05-Dec-15 03:18:22

Also you're not listening to anyone's comments...asking "I don't know what to do about it..."

Don't do anything. It's nothing to do with you.

Werksallhourz Sat 05-Dec-15 03:18:22

House ... I very much doubt the majority of young women would find my friend "attractive on the street". sad

AgentZigzag Sat 05-Dec-15 03:19:08

I thought the same House, but the OP's surely concerned for her friend?

TheHouseOnTheLane Sat 05-Dec-15 03:19:51

Well then why are they dating him? Is he making them? Doubt it. LEave it alone, you sound like you either fancy him yourself or are jealous or something.

It's not your business. If you don't like him then don't be his friend. As I said before you sound like you have a low opinion of him.

TheHouseOnTheLane Sat 05-Dec-15 03:20:35

Concerned in what way Zig he's not doing anything illegal. He's a grown man!

BastardGoDarkly Sat 05-Dec-15 03:22:31

So he's a tad optimistic about his appeal!?

If he's not actually following/harassing young women, or even dating young women, then I can't understand your problem?

AgentZigzag Sat 05-Dec-15 03:22:43

Has something happened that's made you think he's a genuine threat to the women?

Something more than just saying it?

If it has, then like someone said up thread, get advice from the police.

If not, just nod, smile and change the subject, same as you do with anyone else spouting bollocks you know will never happen.

AgentZigzag Sat 05-Dec-15 03:26:18

No House grin I meant concerned for how her friend is feeling, and he actually sounds lonely to me.

Werksallhourz Sat 05-Dec-15 03:27:08

House I have been friends with him for twenty years. He can be very difficult, but the reason why I have stayed friends with him is that we do get on most of the time, we have a lot of history together, and, to be honest, he has no-one else.

If I were to cut contact with him, it could possibly become a situation where if anything happened to him, no-one would realise for a very long time. That worries me.

Hence, why I was encouraging him to think about trying to meet someone and what that might entail.

AgentZigzag Sat 05-Dec-15 03:32:27

sad he sounds quite a sad character really.

And it must be quite difficult for you OP, as other posters have said you're not 100% keen on him but feel as though you can't leave him to his fate either.

mathanxiety Sat 05-Dec-15 03:37:55

...a young woman looked at him on the bus and how he knew she wanted him to follow her when she went to get off.

This is the important bit. He is nuts. You are right to be worried.

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