Mumsnet has not checked the qualifications of anyone posting here. If you need help urgently, please see our domestic violence webguide and/or relationships webguide, which can point you to expert advice and support.
I'm very close friends with an older man. Opinions on this?(83 Posts)
Over the last year, I have developed a very close friendship with a man who is 54. I'm 29. We met at work.
He is married and has three kids. He is very dedicated to his family life. I have been single for a while but go on many dates, almost every weekend.. still hopeful to meet the one!
Me and this man talk a lot. We text almost everyday. We don't speak on the phone but will sometimes meet for lunch and we never see each other at weekends or in the evening. Sometimes sex comes into the conversation, but only like it would in any other friendship with a man... ie if there's an obvious pun. Never about me and him. It's a purely platonic relationship which started as we have almost identical sense of humour.
I've never asked this man if his wife knows we speak so much, but he mentions her to me now and again...what she's up to at work and things like that. This man has also met my parents when they were in town one lunchtime. My parents know we are close but don't know we speak as much as we do.
I am asking this question because I know it is not a common thing and not because I have a guilty conscience - I personally dont think there is anything wrong with it, but that is because I am part of it, I suppose!
Do people think this is genuine/ok/etc? I just wonder if anyone has had any experience of this? I genuinely feel like this man is so kind and supportive towards me, and I feel I offer the same to him ...like any friendship. It's based fundamentally on our shared sense of humour.
Sounds like you're on the verge of an affair to me, I wouldn't be happy if I was his wife
Seems a nice friendship!
You met at work and seems formal and boundaried enough. I'd not let things socially escalate though beyond lunches.
Not because I think your friend has any designs on you, but because it could be misconstrued (and similarly with texts, etc, just be aware that don't write anything that could be taken as flirtatious/attention-seeking even if you don't mean it - if that makes sense?)
Also I can see you see the guy as "kind and supportive" but if you have a crisis, you might be best off finding some female friends or single male friends to offload onto - keep it as a light "shared sense of humour" thing, don't turn him into your white knight or open up too much about your intimate life.
Would you be happy if you were his wife?
Ask to meet her. Double date?
I don't know, I think men and women can be platonic friends!
However, I think I would be a bit perturbed if my husband was texting several times a day with a much younger single work colleague. Unless he had that kind of relationship with other people.
I don't text anyone daily, it feels a bit much and a little too intimate!
You don't mention whether you have feelings for this man. Do you? I think that is a massive factor in determining whether to continue the friendship tbh.
For some reason I read your post with the assumption that you'd possibly take it further if he was single too. I have no idea why!
The only reason he's nice to you is because he wants to get in your knickers.
It will end in tears. Be warned!
How much texting are you doing each day? Personally I think you have over stepped boundaries here and I would pull back. I don't think it is appropriate to be texting every day to a married man. I don't text my friends every day. Do you text your other friends every day? I doubt his wife would be happy.
Agreed. You seem quite clear on what your boundaries are with him. But it would be easy for the relationship you have to be misinterpreted. I don't think I would be exactly overjoyed at my DH texting another woman several times a day and meeting her regularly, just the two of them.
I'm hoping not, but could it be a bit of an emotional affair for him? I think it would be a shame to end a friendship that really is innocent but I also think you need to be a little cautious around your texts/communication with him so that there is no room for anyone to misunderstand anything in the future.
It does sound like a nice friendship. But be careful, being older, he could be bored, and take things the wrong way. He might feel flattered.
To be honest, if I was the wife, and found out I would not be happy.
As some might know, my DH had affair. Trying to move on.
Anyway, while out shopping the other night, DH, bumped into a young woman he knew. All innocent. He greeted her with a kiss. I saw the look of shock on her face. He introduced her and she was a bar maid at a local pub. It looked like he overstepped the mark with her.
My thoughts are, an older mans friendship, with a young woman, even an innocent friendship stokes their ego.
No, not on. It sounds like an affair is brewing.
I have never had a platonic relationship with a man (apart from gay men) as they have always made a pass at some stage, including the married ones. I used to be so naive and innocent but I don't trust any man any more. I find they are so easily flattered that if you act remotely friendly they take it as a come on.
Some posters will come on and say of course men and women can be friends and maybe they can but thats not my experience.
Here we go again. He's only being nice to you because he wants to get in your knickers? He's older so probably bored?
Wow. Older people are bastards aren't they?
Thanks for responses. I personally don't think he wants to 'get in my knickers.'
I was wondering if anyone else had ever had this with someone with such a big age gap.
I have a female friend I met at work- we've both moved on now but we still text every day. If you have plenty to say to each other (and you haven't used up all of your amusing anecdotes) then that it's itself isn't unusual to me.
I've also had a workmate who I was very close to with the same age gap as you two. Even though he was 25 years older than me we just clicked and spoke most days. I still think very highly of him and would text him the odd time (again, old job) and still meet for lunch occasionally. There was absolutely nothing romantic in it whatsoever on either side, but equally I would have zero desire to have lunch or dinner with his wife as well. He's my mate, she isn't.
I think a good rule of thumb would be "would I be happy if his wife read this", when texting. If the answer is "no", then I think you've got to be more honest about how much of yourself you're investing in this friendship and the people who could get hurt.
No it's seems there's more too it to me!!! I would not be happy at all if it was DH, why don't you meet with his wife as well, or does he not tell her???!!!!
What are you texting about? Would you be happy with his wife reading them?
I think you should focus on looking for a man who's single, tbh.
Why would sex be coming into the conversation at all in that context?
nope, this is not right.
would you be happy to say what you just wrote there to his wife?
if i was his wife, i'd be VERY pissed off.
I agree I've had male friends who HAVE made a pass at me (including one with the age difference the OP describes, we became intimate, although he wasn't married so nae bother there).
But I think the setting of social boundaries sort of reduces that risk?
A uni flatmate of mine was complaining about a joint tenant who she claimed was having designs on her despite her "innocent" friendship.
(she wouldn't have mentioned she went into his room many nights to "chill out", and ended up curling up in his bed and drank together and complained about her boyfriend to him and liked using him to "take her out" on pseudo-dates )
Or the older male friend who I ended up dating, nothing would have happened without some boozy nights and some instigating/encouraging on my part and some intimate conversations.
I think cutting down on texts, keeping the contact formal (so no "awww want to hear about my terrible date hun? xxx" texts). Or the attention-seeking "I NEED you to speak to me right now I'm a damsel in distress having a crisis".
I don't think it's good for society to encourage women to view all men as predatory. Or to imply all men see all women as things to stick their willies in and their company as valueless.
Why would sex be coming into the conversation at all in that context?
Plausible deniability. It's just joking around.
I'd agree that the texting about sex should stop.
Also, I do think that it seems a bit over-reliant to be this close to one man (who isn't really socially going to improve your life beyond a few interesting conversations).
It's hard making friends sometimes, but you should look to reach out and see if you can meet others.
Maybe OP you should look to expand your social circle a bit so you have others to text/banter with - if it's just a simple platonic friendship, you should be able to cut down the contact no problem at all with no offence taken.
I have male friends, a couple much older. Dh has plenty of female friends, neither of us struggle to manage this. I went for a curry last night with a good male friend while DH was at home with the kids, if we can't trust each other and our friends then we have real problems.
I think you will know if it's a friendship or more, there aren't many surprise outcomes if we are honest with ourselfs.
I am a man aged 52 and happily married.
I cannot imagine any circumstance where I would be texting a woman of any age several times a day and having regular lunches with her EXCEPT and only if I was a work colleague on the same project and all our texts were project related and all our lunches were work lunches.
I have female friends around a hobby but we are not routinely contacting each other and my DW reads all the emails and they are all about the hobby. The occasional text is about group meeting times and all the social occasions are in a group.
Men and women can be friends and it is a good thing.
I have a few male colleagues I would count as confidants. Mainly around career stuff.
I would say that we catch up once a fortnight/ maybe once a week and only if it is work related. We also whatsapp on work projects occasionally.
If we spoke every day and texted....something is hugely wrong. Lines have been crossed.
I wouldn't DREAM of having a relationship like that with a colleague.
OP you are both getting more out of this then either of you care to admit. It definitely sounds from your post that you are developing feelings for him. Do the sensible thing and start to pull back.
It's a difficult one, but generally if I have a male friend who is married or partnered then I expect to be introduced to their partner, add the partner on facebook, double dates etc.
I did used to have mainly male friendships and I ended up sleeping with nearly all of them when I was younger Since I instigated the above rule, I've not slept with any of them (well not the attached ones!) and feel much better about myself as a result.
Can I ask how you met?
Join the discussion
Please login first.