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Older man and weird behavior

(26 Posts)
AlexaSmiles Fri 31-Mar-17 12:24:14

I've been working in a small team for about 18 months. There's one person in my team I am particularly close to - he is 54, twice my age at 27. He's not conventionally attractive (although not unattractive) but has a heart of gold and I adore him.

We have always had chemistry and get a little bit flirty at times (our work environment is very informal). When we went out on our Christmas night out we all got very drunk and he made quite a few comments that made me suspect he might like me as more than a friend.

I over analysed this for months and started to question if I actually had feelings for him too. There's not an awful lot of physical attraction but there is something about him I can't put my finger on. If I'm honest with myself then yes, I do have feelings for him. He is one of my most favourite people.

We went out again with our team a few nights ago and once again got very drunk (not a regular occurance, I'm not much of a drinker). The chemistry was intense and we had a great night. He kept telling our line manager how amazing I am and how I'm such an asset to the team. He walked me back to my station, arm around me - to stop me from stumbling I'm sure - and I got a bear hug goodbye. I text him to let him know I got home safe and to thank him for buying my dinner, and he told me he had a really great night.

Since then he has gone quiet on me. I've been on annual leave but text him about something and got a very polite but not particularly chatty response back. The same thing happened after the Christmas night out.

I don't know if he perhaps feels that he has overstepped the mark a bit and thinks I might not be interested in him because of the age gap? We are both single, there is obviously something between us, but I just can't tell if he likes me or not and I don't want to make a complete idiot of myself by asking him.

Fuck it I feel like a 14 year old over analysing every single thing he says!!

ImperialBlether Fri 31-Mar-17 12:25:41

I think it's more likely that he's realised the age difference is huge and that he ought to back off.

Aridane Fri 31-Mar-17 12:30:38

Yes - I think he realises he has overstepped the mark (or that you have). You may have a very informal work environment, but it is still a work environment

ILostItInTheEarlyNineties Fri 31-Mar-17 12:32:21

I don't think starting a relationship with anyone you work closely with is a good idea, sorry sad. It's too complicated.

floraeasy Fri 31-Mar-17 12:35:06

Maybe he didn't like you getting drunk and that's changed the image he had of you?

Maybe he felt he made a fool of himself and had overstepped the mark.

Maybe he felt that your responses were because you were drunk rather than anything else.

Maybe he's realised that a work romance could be very problematic or someone's warned him off.

I'd just carry on the way I'd always been with him and see what, if anything, develops.

toofarfromcivilisation Fri 31-Mar-17 12:37:16

My husband is 24 years older than me. We met when I was 35 & have been together 15 years. I adore him & it's perfect. Age doesn't matter.

WeAreNotInKansasAnymore Fri 31-Mar-17 12:41:37

It's likely he is putting up boundaries as he has realised he overstepped the mark.

You could analyse this from so many perspectives. Go for it if you feel like having a relationship with him (agree with PP that combining love with work is not a good idea) or work on moving on.

I am coming out of a marriage with a big age gap (over 10 years but under 20) and it is very hard work. We also met at work and I always thought age didn't matter. I am mature and he is youthful, we met in the middle. It has caused problems now that he is ready for retirement and I am ready to commit further to my career. He has aged very, very rapidly (me too!) and is no longer the person he was in his early 30s.

I am also aware, through psychoanalysis, that the gap I was filling in my life through this relationship was one of the absent father.

QuiteLikely5 Fri 31-Mar-17 12:44:55

I think he fancies you but you haven't reciprocated it so he's backed off?!

Ask him for dinner?!

FinallyHere Fri 31-Mar-17 12:47:49

I'd guess he almost certainly is holding back because he sees the issues, work and age is quite something. If you are really serious about him, could you get a new job and then, stay in touch and see where it goes? Probably much easier for you to do than for him.

Consider also how the age difference will show up over the next 10, 20, 30 etc years

54 and 27
64 and 37
74 and 47
84 and 57
94 and 67

I married someone a good few years older than me in quite a similar situation. We have, I think, accommodated each other but it has required some adjustments and keeping some parts of our lives quite separate. I am glad I met him but could wish for a smaller age gap, especially as we both get older. All the best.

scaryclown Fri 31-Mar-17 12:52:58

I suspect he is paranoid you see him as a sinister pervert. Be nice to him!

AlexaSmiles Fri 31-Mar-17 13:07:41

I'm coming up to the end of my required time in my job anyway as my role moves every two years, so it probably would be best to leave anything until then.

The age gap really doesn't bother me, but it's only now that it doesn't bother me. I don't know how I would feel in 10 years time.

I do think that I reciprocate when he flirts so I'm not sure he is embarrassed. He said something the other night about my outfit and then said in a jokey way "I AM sorry was that inappropriate?" and I said "of course it was, but I love it!". I think it's fairly obvious that I like him!

I want him to be in my life once I leave this job. I don't know if a relationship could work and I don't want to lose him if it doesn't! So I guess I will have to just encourage a friendship outside of work.

floraeasy Fri 31-Mar-17 13:09:55

Ah, maybe that's it, OP!

If you are leaving the job soon, he probably thinks he'll never see you again.

If you want to pursue this, you must let him know how you feel before you move on.

ILostItInTheEarlyNineties Fri 31-Mar-17 13:16:57

Have a long think about what you want though and what he might want.
Are you wanting a bit of fun or a fling? Do you want an older friend, a sort of father figure?
Does he have grown up children? Will you want children?
Do you have interests in common?
Is he wanting someone to look after him as he gets older? Does he hold fairly old fashioned views on the roles in relationships?
I don't think you can ignore the age gap, it does make things more difficult.

PastaOfMuppets Fri 31-Mar-17 13:16:58

OP if he has been praising you to your manager and being semi flirty in front of colleagues, could someone have had a word with him, perhaps said it's not really appropriate and that he should back off a bit?

AlexaSmiles Fri 31-Mar-17 13:24:06

I do wonder if our manager has had a word with him - they are very good friends so I think it's possible.

He doesn't have children, up until about 10 years ago his life was all about drinking and partying and it's only lately that he's "grown up" in his words. I can't have children so that's not an issue for me.

I'm not after a father figure, I have a great relationship with my dad (who is younger than this man - christ it will never work!). I do think I fancy this man but also have some much deeper feelings. A relationship really wouldn't work though would it? Maybe my feelings would be satisfied with a proper friendship rather than a relationship.

floraeasy Fri 31-Mar-17 13:29:58

At least if you do start a relationship, it will be after you've ceased to work together. Which will at least eliminate a lot of the work-related complications.

TheNaze73 Fri 31-Mar-17 13:34:32

I think his conscience has woken up.

Cricrichan Fri 31-Mar-17 13:43:16

He's old enough to be your father. He's going to start ageing rapidly from now on and you're young and the time you should be having fun, building your career and perhaps starting to look for a mate to settle down with in the next few years. There are plenty of much younger guys so don't pursue anything further from this much older man. The age difference is huge.

toofarfromcivilisation Fri 31-Mar-17 14:10:24

Awww, you've fallen for him. Just go in with your eyes open. I have no regrets.

Delphi2022 Fri 31-Mar-17 14:41:31

Hi OP,

Is he married or in a relationship?
D

Ellisandra Fri 31-Mar-17 14:45:51

Well, you may be put off that he's old enough to be your dad.
So perhaps he's put off that you're young enough to be his daughter.
Paying for your dinner and having to hold you up from being falling down drunk would certainly make me feel more parental towards someone than sexual!

Renaissance2017 Fri 31-Mar-17 14:49:51

Oh stop over analysing! Just bloody tell him how you feel!

bonfireheart Fri 31-Mar-17 21:19:59

I think you're over analysing, there could be a multitude of reasons which actually have nothing to do with you (stress at home, stress at work, etc)

onemorecupofcoffeefortheroad Sat 01-Apr-17 07:47:15

Ask him out. He clearly likes you (a lot), I think he's either been warned off by his boss (but if you're not be going to working together in the future then his view is irrelevant) or in the cold light of day he thought he'd overstepped the mark. I have no doubt he thought "no 27 yr old would be interested in me".

I understand the age difference might be difficult long term but who says you have to marry the guy. Ask him out for a drink - he'll be flattered I'm sure - what's the worst that can happen? If he says yes you might have fun for a bit even if it doesn't work long term - or he says 'no thanks' and you have your answer and can stop puzzling about it and move on.

Dadaist Sat 01-Apr-17 13:22:11

OP - I think your account is very endearing, because it's not so often that people's minds and hearts make a connection across such an age gap. In truth, he may be hanging back because he knows you were a little drunk and you may regret what developed between you. He may also feel like he would be coming across as a 'dirty old man' to cross any line beyond a mild flirtation. Personally that is very much how I would feel!!. I'm sure we can all understand what might see in you - 'cos he will never deserve youth such as yours again! And of course, he may just know that even if things developed - you will probably end up breaking his heart.
That all said - maybe be you have something to give and something to learn from each other? No one can start out with a promise of 'forever' and hearts are broken with far more compatible beginnings than yours. But if it really is in your mind to initiate something - i think it sounds like considering embarking on a holiday romance really! Not forever but not to forget as life is short. But just be very honest and open. And don't stop being that way, and leave him kindly when you have to leave if he's been good to you. Whatever you choose - good luck OP!

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