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AIBU?

Younger Guy at Work

74 replies

Idealist3 · 07/09/2022 17:31

Hi!

I am posting this as hard to talk to my friends about! A new guy recently started working with me - I was initially training him in and we had to then work on a few projects together. I don’t want to say exactly but it it a very inspiring job working with people. He is twenty years younger than me and I am happily married mother but I find we have really clicked - not in a sexual way - but his spirit and my spirit are very similar! I would say we have the same values! He has a lovely energy about him and is a really good guy, emotionally mature for his age that has really impressed me as we work with some vulnerable people.

I think with Covid and this year perhaps - at times have been difficult - he has honestly been the highlight of my year. I think he is great and I found myself thinking about him over the summer. I had to text a few times and he replied immediately. On evening- which I kind of regret - I sent him a friendly text at 11pm as a check in - there was some work related back and forths and he replied in a chirpy way but warm and also immediately! Nothing flirty just a lovely text.
We are back to work now and I noticed he blushed when met me - and seems to remember little details about the things I told him. We have many of the same interests and I find at meetings he glances my way. I def feel there is a weird energy between us. When I say weird I mean tension?


I must say that I am happily married but in my fantasy world I imagine myself being younger and we would def have dated? I also am VERY clear that I am in a more senior role and he is in a younger position and it would be wrong. (I’m 45 - he is 26). I keep is professional and friendly.
I do think this is perhaps about my own ageing issues - I don’t know. I genuinely could be his mother! Age wise. But I can’t stop thinking about him. I’m not going to do anything about it - I wouldn’t risk my marriage or don’t think it would be in his plans either. I just want someone to explain what this is all about???

thanks!

OP posts:

Am I being unreasonable?

102 votes. Final results.

POLL
You are being unreasonable
72%
You are NOT being unreasonable
28%
PangolinPie · 07/09/2022 17:35

It's just a crush. Nothing to explain imo.

Don't build it up into something it isn't/shouldn't be. STOP texting him out of work immediately.

Idealist3 · 07/09/2022 17:56

Ps. I should mention I am prob a youthful 45 (it is youthful!) as often people assume I am younger. I think my own DH is a good man but we do very different jobs!

OP posts:
Antarcticant · 07/09/2022 18:02

It sounds like it is, or soon will be, an emotional affair. You are, in your own words, happily married. Your crush can't go anywhere good. Try not to have unnecessary contact and just remain professional.

Idealist3 · 07/09/2022 18:03

Good advice PangolinPie! I have never had a crush on a younger guy and it has really thrown me

OP posts:
Idealist3 · 07/09/2022 18:04

Thanks Antarticant! I am loathe to use the pandemic as an excuse but I think it is his personality/who he is that I’m more taken with - in these depressing times he is a really positive and uplifting guy

OP posts:
Testina · 07/09/2022 18:05

What’s to explain?

  1. you have a crush.
  2. you were unprofessional to text him
  3. you were unfair to your husband to text him


You don’t need to navel gaze this. Oh and starting threads about him is an outlet for mentionitis!
Idealist3 · 07/09/2022 18:08

Fair points Testina. My husband knows I texted him and joked that I “might regret texting her young guy at work!” He laughed about it….

I need to get my act together

OP posts:
Westfacing · 07/09/2022 18:09

Everyone thinks they're 'youthful' - you're still 45 and probably look the same as other women your age.

Leave this boy alone and drop the late night texts - it seems deep down you'd like to take it further or why else would you mention how youthful you are.

HundredMilesAnHour · 07/09/2022 18:09

You texted him at 11pm?? Don't you think that might have given him the wrong idea?? (assuming you work standard office hours)

Sounds like you're not quite skating on thin ice yet but you're standing by the frozen lake thinking how nice it looks.

How would you feel if this was your DH and a woman half his age that he works with? And he texts her at 11pm "about work" and says they would have dated if they were similar ages.

SillyLittleBiscuit · 07/09/2022 18:10

Starting this thread and the over analysing of blushes and how quickly he answers your texts etc - you’re heading forwards dodgy territory.

redbigbananafeet · 07/09/2022 18:12

Westfacing · 07/09/2022 18:09

Everyone thinks they're 'youthful' - you're still 45 and probably look the same as other women your age.

Leave this boy alone and drop the late night texts - it seems deep down you'd like to take it further or why else would you mention how youthful you are.

A clear fish for - "I bet he fancies you! Lucky you, us other 35+ women look like bags of shite. Oh to be you!" replies.

Quveas · 07/09/2022 18:13

You keep it "friendly and professional" - by texting a younger and more junior member of staff at 11pm??? There is nothing professional about texting or communicating about work (or anything else) with a colleague at that time of night. It sets a very poor example of working practice, and is very inappropriate.

I wonder if those posters who think this is a "harmless crush" would say the same if it were a middle aged man pursuing an unprofessional relationship with a younger and more junior female. I very much doubt it.

Whatever your intentions are, stop this behaviour now. You are setting an awful example, acting totally unprofessionally, and putting yourself and him at risk.

Aeio · 07/09/2022 18:13

Read your post back. Overanalysing his blushes, what he's remembered, texting him at 11pm. You're being inappropriate and creepy. Stop lying to yourself about your intentions and pack it in.

Atmywitsend29 · 07/09/2022 18:14

Quveas · 07/09/2022 18:13

You keep it "friendly and professional" - by texting a younger and more junior member of staff at 11pm??? There is nothing professional about texting or communicating about work (or anything else) with a colleague at that time of night. It sets a very poor example of working practice, and is very inappropriate.

I wonder if those posters who think this is a "harmless crush" would say the same if it were a middle aged man pursuing an unprofessional relationship with a younger and more junior female. I very much doubt it.

Whatever your intentions are, stop this behaviour now. You are setting an awful example, acting totally unprofessionally, and putting yourself and him at risk.

My thoughts exactly!!

YourLipsMyLipsApocalypse · 07/09/2022 18:15

I'm in exactly the same boat and am constantly trying to remind myself it's really more to do with my midlife crisis/aging/wanting to feel 25 again.

It's quite hard and at times it's consumed me more than it should.

You'll get tarred and feathered on here for trying to discuss it though. As if we don't discuss pretty much every other emotional difficulty we encounter in life!

Antarcticant · 07/09/2022 18:16

I wonder if those posters who think this is a "harmless crush" would say the same if it were a middle aged man pursuing an unprofessional relationship with a younger and more junior female. I very much doubt it.

No one so far has said it is a harmless crush. What thread are you reading? Everyone has told the OP it is a bad idea.

Weirdlynormal · 07/09/2022 18:16

What do you want to hear OP? You’ve got a crush, you’re possibly hinting at more by texting him. Stop, it won’t go anywhere beyond an illicit shag for him, and divorce for you.

NovaDeltas · 07/09/2022 18:23

Plenty of young men enjoy the attention and leading on of older women. They're actually rather nasty about it, joking amongst themselves about desperate, lonely women feeding them attention.

He's laughing at you and you're behaving like an idiot. Have some dignity.

83DanishMum · 07/09/2022 18:24

I think some posters are being a bit mean to you OP. It's a fairly common thing to happen. But you didn't behave very well as I think you know.

The question is do you genuinely want to squish this or do you secretly want to fan the flames??

If you want to squish it then I'd say just focus on the cold harsh reality of what you write. If a 45 year old man was texting a 25 year old female colleague at 11pm you'd probably think "eew gross". You would also assume his ego was getting the better of his objectivity and that he was confusing the woman's niceness for an attraction. You would also assume the woman probably feels awkward and that she should be polite or worse suck up to this man since he is her senior colleague. You would be encouraging the woman to report inappropriate texts to HR.

Quveas · 07/09/2022 18:27

NovaDeltas · 07/09/2022 18:23

Plenty of young men enjoy the attention and leading on of older women. They're actually rather nasty about it, joking amongst themselves about desperate, lonely women feeding them attention.

He's laughing at you and you're behaving like an idiot. Have some dignity.

Wow. Make it his fault. Do younger more junior women lead on older more senior men as well? Jeez the double standards on this site are amazing. Men are always the aggressor, always in the wrong, and women helpless victims.

Antarcticant · 07/09/2022 18:30

Quveas · 07/09/2022 18:27

Wow. Make it his fault. Do younger more junior women lead on older more senior men as well? Jeez the double standards on this site are amazing. Men are always the aggressor, always in the wrong, and women helpless victims.

The poster didn't say that younger women never did this. But that's not the scenario we are talking about - it's irrelevant to the OP's situation what younger women do because she isn't. Quveas, for some reason, you seem to be combing this thread for posts you can twist to imply that everyone here is sexist.

Iwonder08 · 07/09/2022 18:32

Don't flatter yourself. The odds of him fancying you are slim no matter how 'youthful looking' you are. Best case scenario he thinks of you as a nice person. It is unlikely you would have been dating even if you were single. You have a crush but as an adult human you should be able to control it. Start by not texting someone junior to you in the workplace outside of working hours. It is unappropriate on many levels

AngelinaFibres · 07/09/2022 18:32

Idealist3 · 07/09/2022 17:56

Ps. I should mention I am prob a youthful 45 (it is youthful!) as often people assume I am younger. I think my own DH is a good man but we do very different jobs!

You may think you are a youthful 45 but you definitely wouldn't pass for 26. Stop fantasising and put some time into your marriage.

SimonAndGarthsUncle · 07/09/2022 18:33

There is no such thing as “an emotional affair” so ignore the comments about that

He probably doesn’t want to shag you, but if he does, just make sure it doesn’t happen - otherwise you ruin your marriage for a silly titillation. Everything else is meaningless, flirt if you enjoy it and he doesn’t mind it

Quveas · 07/09/2022 18:33

Antarcticant · 07/09/2022 18:16

I wonder if those posters who think this is a "harmless crush" would say the same if it were a middle aged man pursuing an unprofessional relationship with a younger and more junior female. I very much doubt it.

No one so far has said it is a harmless crush. What thread are you reading? Everyone has told the OP it is a bad idea.

A "crush" by its very definition is a silly and harmless infatuation with the unattainable. This is a senior manager acting entirely inappropriately towards a less senior member of staff, and potentially very much in position to be harmful. I would argue that line was crossed the minute the OP started texting outside working hours - shaver the subject. To be clear, anywhere I have worked this behaviour would not be tolerated. It isn't friendly. It is bordering on harassment. But the sort of professional organisations I have worked for would recognise this as what it is - bordering on dangerous and risky behaviour, at the very least.

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