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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:
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Am I being unreasonable?

102 votes. Final results.

POLL
You are being unreasonable
72%
You are NOT being unreasonable
28%
Quveas · 07/09/2022 18:35

Antarcticant · 07/09/2022 18:30

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.

Not at all. But I read enough other threads to know how people respond in the opposite situation.

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Antarcticant · 07/09/2022 18:37

Quveas · 07/09/2022 18:33

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.

I have just looked up several dictionary definitions of the word 'crush' and none feature the words 'silly' or 'harmless'. A crush is usually defined as a brief but intense infatuation for someone. It's a factual description of what the OP is feeling.

You are the only person on the thread to have called a crush 'harmless'.

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Antarcticant · 07/09/2022 18:38

Quveas · 07/09/2022 18:35

Not at all. But I read enough other threads to know how people respond in the opposite situation.

So go and refute the idea on those threads, wherever they are, instead of tilting at windmills on this one.

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IrishladyNE · 07/09/2022 18:42

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.

Dont be so mean. Maybe if you got a few butterflies in your tummy you’d lighten the hell up

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tellyiscrap · 07/09/2022 18:44

Op - with kindness - please leave this young man alone and take your 45 year old self to spend some time on your relationship

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girlmom21 · 07/09/2022 18:46

A 'youthful 45' isn't all that youthful to somebody in their 20s. Women always do the faux 'there's no way you're 45?!' because the alternative is always going to offend.

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5128gap · 07/09/2022 18:46

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.

I imagine to set context. Its relevant.
All 45 year old women do not look the same. All 45 year old women do not look youthful, some very much do. There is much variation.
There would be a significant difference here between an youthful 45 year old that a young man may see as sexually attractive, and a 45 year old that a young man may see as a mother figure.

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5128gap · 07/09/2022 18:52

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.

Lol. Not if the woman's good looking enough they don't. They fawn round like puppies.

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Suzi888 · 07/09/2022 18:53

He may think your a milf 🤣 it’s just a crush! Don’t worry about it, just don’t text again.

I think it’s possible if you have similar values you would click- what if the person was a much younger girl? You wouldn’t have text then presumably? It’s ok to be mates!

Or if you were both single that would be ok.

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Delatron · 07/09/2022 18:53

Lots of younger men fancy older women….so I wouldn’t write the OP off.

It is just a crush/infatuation OP though. Maybe he does like you back but where do you see it going? Are you happy with your husband?

I always think it helps to think through the whole scenario to finish. So you have an affair - you leave your husband for him. Then you’re 50 and he’s 31 - he wants kids/ not to be with a 50 year old. You’ve thrown your marriage away for nothing.

I don’t think anything good can come of this. Don’t understand the harsh responses you’re getting though. Apart from a random text that you told your husband about you haven’t done anything wrong.

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Mummysgogetter · 07/09/2022 18:57

Why oh why do people in these scenarios think coming to MN is gonna make them feel any better? 🤷‍♀️ As soon as I read the OP I could have predicted the vitriol that was headed her way 🤣

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Antarcticant · 07/09/2022 18:58

5128gap

It doesn't matter whether the OP at 45 is sex-on-legs or frump-of-the-year. The OP is married - happily married, in her own words; and this man is her junior in the workplace - the whole thing is a bad idea; unprofessional, unfair to her subordinate and in danger of jeopardising the OP's marriage if it goes further.

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5128gap · 07/09/2022 19:00

OP you've had some spiteful comments on here from people who no doubt for their own reasons, can't imagine a woman could be youthful or attractive at 45.
Ignore them. If you're good looking and he likes you it's highly possible he fancies you.
Which is exactly the reason you need to back right off. Your job position and marriage make this an absolute no. You could do huge damage to your professional and private life and could end up hurting this guy too.
Its so not worth it for a buzz and an ego boost.

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CambsAlways · 07/09/2022 19:01

You are mentioning you are a youthful 45 what’s that got to do with anything! What would you think if your husband was doing the same thing texting a young woman, I think you are hoping for something to happen between you and this young lad!

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5128gap · 07/09/2022 19:12

Antarcticant · 07/09/2022 18:58

5128gap

It doesn't matter whether the OP at 45 is sex-on-legs or frump-of-the-year. The OP is married - happily married, in her own words; and this man is her junior in the workplace - the whole thing is a bad idea; unprofessional, unfair to her subordinate and in danger of jeopardising the OP's marriage if it goes further.

Completely agree is a terrible idea. Doesn't mean how attractive she is isn't relevant.
Dealing with a young man who has a crush on her is an entirely different matter to dealing with one who sees her as a mother figure/ mentor/nice boss. Especially given the signals her late texts may have given off. Better by far he doesn't fancy her as she can just distance, no harm done. She may have all sorts of problems ahead with him if he does.

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Antarcticant · 07/09/2022 19:14

5128gap · 07/09/2022 19:12

Completely agree is a terrible idea. Doesn't mean how attractive she is isn't relevant.
Dealing with a young man who has a crush on her is an entirely different matter to dealing with one who sees her as a mother figure/ mentor/nice boss. Especially given the signals her late texts may have given off. Better by far he doesn't fancy her as she can just distance, no harm done. She may have all sorts of problems ahead with him if he does.

I agree it would be better if he didn't fancy her, but whether he does or doesn't, the remedy is the same - the OP needs to stop all unnecessary contact with him and keep necessary interactions strictly professional.

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Lunar270 · 07/09/2022 19:19

Yes definitely. It's not going to end well unless you take yourself away from the situation.

I fell in love with a woman at work and whilst I/we didn't do anything, it was horrible. As per the OP I'm happily married and it wasn't intentional but sometimes you just meet someone, work closely and you hit it off.

It was totally not a pursuit on my part but I had to leave jobs as it was a complete nightmare mentally.

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5128gap · 07/09/2022 19:22

Antarcticant · 07/09/2022 19:14

I agree it would be better if he didn't fancy her, but whether he does or doesn't, the remedy is the same - the OP needs to stop all unnecessary contact with him and keep necessary interactions strictly professional.

Indeed. And if he fancies her also plan on how to deal with the the 'Is everything OK, you seem a bit off with me. I thought after the text...' hurt puppy dog behaviour that so often characterises these young men/older woman scenarios. They can be awfully intense at that age and OP could put herself in a vulnerable position professionally if she doesn't handle this properly.

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Andromachehadabadday · 07/09/2022 19:22

Op it’s a crush. I think you actually posted here to try and drag some more drama out of it.

If someone Senior to me text me at 11am, I would reply. And be polite. I wouldn’t be happy though. And honestly, at some point in future he could use those texts as evidence of unprofessional behaviour.

you told you husband you were texting a 26 year old that you have a crush on at 11pm at night and he was fine with it?

You think he is so nice and his spirit matches yours and you have the same values and his energy is so nice? You don’t even know him. You know his work persona, which for lots of people is completely different to who they actually are. You can often see how people are different around colleagues to how they are around a senior member of staff. People often change how they come across depending on who you are dealing with.

I hate to say this, but when young women start at work, whenever a much older man has a crush on them or tries to flirt, everyone cringes and then makes sure they leave her alone. 2 have been sacked for trying to contact them outside work as they used information they got through work to initiate contact outside work.

Nobody respects these men and it’s worse for women. People will notice you have a crush and people will talk behind you back. It’s always more damaging for women and their careers when this happens.

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Sparklythings1 · 07/09/2022 19:29

I posted on here a few months ago in a different situation but similar in a way.. I had just ran into my ex on a night out, we had a quick chat in the passing but I found myself rerunning it over and over in my head. We never really came to anything as such when we were together but he had such great chat and I didn’t realise I missed it til I met him. I wanted to message him, despite being ‘happily married’ as you say. Everyone on here said not to. I didn’t even want to message in a flirty way, just something to say we should keep in touch or something as friends. Curiosity got the better of me in the end and I messaged him. We texted back and forwards for a few texts then that was it. We agreed to remain friends but obviously we won’t, you just say that! I’m glad I did text him now as it’s completely out of my system and he hasn’t crossed my mind again since.

Sometimes in a work environment it’s not the case that this person is actually that attractive, that funny etc but your day is so mundane that they can so easily be the highlight of it and it feels exciting when they’re maybe not even that great!

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Fennellathewitch · 07/09/2022 19:39

Sometimes people in the team are just on your wavelength irrespective of age sex etc. I often think about them if I know they have problems, or they are on holiday important occasions etc. Unusual for mumsnet but I do really care for my colleagues. Often get texts from them don't think anything of it, evenings weekends etc

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Antarcticant · 07/09/2022 19:47

Fennellathewitch · 07/09/2022 19:39

Sometimes people in the team are just on your wavelength irrespective of age sex etc. I often think about them if I know they have problems, or they are on holiday important occasions etc. Unusual for mumsnet but I do really care for my colleagues. Often get texts from them don't think anything of it, evenings weekends etc

Nothing wrong with that, it's when you start analysing their blushes and the time it takes them to reply to your texts that you are straying onto dangerous grounds!

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BetsyBigNose · 07/09/2022 22:19

I'm not saying this is the case, but imagine if his blushes were because he was embarrassed by your behaviour - imagine if he was thinking of reporting you for sexual harassment, considering you are so senior to him. Try to reframe it, I'm sure you don't want to endanger your marriage or your job over this. I know I would be sad to know my DH was feeling this way about a much younger woman.

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LaurieFairyCake · 07/09/2022 22:24

It's not ok to text junior colleagues who work for you and would likely feel obliged to respond out of working hours

That way sexual harassment lies --->

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bumpertobumper · 07/09/2022 22:26

It's a crush, it will pass, give it another six months and you'll be fine. Just be sure to maintain professionalism and avoid him

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