I’m 18 and I met this guy who is seven years older than me almost a year ago. We dated for about a month and it was going really well, until he decided we should stop because he thought we would make mistakes due to the age difference. However I insisted that we didn’t break all ties. I really liked him. We kept on seeing each other and sleeping together. But it’s not just about sex, we get along really well. It almost feels like a relationship.
But he hasn’t told any of his friends about us and seems ashamed. When I asked him why, he told me even though he enjoys spending time with me he feels like a thief; he feels guilty but he can’t explain why.
This is really frustrating, I feel loved and rejected at the same time. I don’t think I am someone that one could be ashamed of but my self-esteem is kind of hurt by this situation. Do you have an explanation for me, guys ? Why is he so afraid ? What could I do to reassure him ?
Thanks for your question.
Your “boyfriend’s” actions show that at least he has a conscience. You see, he’s attracted to you, but feels like a thief because he understands on some level he’s stealing your youth. He knows he’s interfering with some of the experiences you should be having—experiences that he had when he was your age. Like dating guys your own age, and doing the things that 18 year olds do: college, dating, figuring out their career, going out on the town, traveling. He knows if you’re with him you’re going to miss out and he feels guilty about it.
There’s nothing wrong with dating an older guy Stella, and frankly seven years is not typically a big deal, but at your age it is. This guy is in a completely different place in life. He’s been operating in the adult world for the last four years and you’ve just completed high school. That’s not to say you’re not mature enough to handle it, and it’s not to say that these types of relationships never work, but the two of you are at very different places in your lives. And this is why he’s not introducing you to his friends and family. He’s not embarrassed of you, he’s embarrassed by his own actions. Basically he feels like he’s “robbing the cradle” and he believes all his friends will think the same thing. (He is.) And that’s why he’s keeping the relationship a secret and giving you mixed signals.
If he’s not going to change his behavior and treat you like a proper girlfriend we suggest you stop with the FWB arrangement and move on. Your self-esteem is only going to be affected more and more and that is not healthy for you. We also think you should pursue the things that 18 year olds pursue rather than date an older guy at this point in your life.
So stop fretting. Don’t feel badly about yourself. We’re sure you’re a great young woman that many a guy would be very proud to date. This situation is more about him than it is about you. Hope this helps.
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