Age difference; how can I convince him to take me seriously?

Dear Guys,

I believe there is something wrong with me. I have never dated.

A year ago I met this really great guy who just started out as a co-worker. After that, we became friends. I developed a crush on him, but remained only as friends because I thought it would ruin my friendship with him. When he left, I always wondered if I would ever see him again. When I saw him again months later, I felt very happy to see him. Too happy. I pushed the thought aside that it was only my imagination that was causing me to think like that. When we started to hang out, I realized that the more I was with him, the more I felt I could make things work between us. When I told him how I felt, he was surprised that I liked him. This is where the trouble begins; when I first met him, I was 20 and he just turned 34. We have talked about dating, but he only wants to stay as friends. His reason is that I am too innocent for him and he is too old for me.

How can I convince him that I want to be taken seriously about taking the next step? I know that the age difference is what makes him nervous, but isn’t there a way for him to not think about the age for the moment? I just want to be given a chance.


Dear Molly,

Thanks for your question. To be honest, this is a pretty big age difference, at least at the point you are in your life. If you were say, 30, and he was 44, it wouldn’t be as big of a deal. But since you’re only a few years out of high school with not much life experience—you said yourself that you haven’t dated—and he’s been out in the adult/working world for the last twelve years, that’s a huge difference. However, we’re not saying it’s not possible, we’re just saying that your compatibility on a base level is not there. (Please watch our video on, “Dating older Men.” it might help shed some light on your situation.)

This guy seems like an admirable guy. And we give him props for that. He could easily take advantage of you, but instead his paternal instincts have kicked in and he’s actually trying to protect you. We know this is the last thing you probably want to hear, but he’s actually doing you a favor. He knows that you need to experience life with someone closer to your age, and do the things that 20 year olds do. Go to college. Go out with friends. Date different types of guys. Travel. See the world. Figure out what you really want. Because we can assure you that what you want now is going to be very different than what you want in five years or ten years.

If you feel you must pursue this further then talk to him again. Or ask him out. Invite him over for dinner. Show him that you’re more mature for your age.

However, we’re with him. We think you should keep this right where it is now: a crush.

Good luck,


ps. What are your thoughts? Feel free to ask us a follow up question. And let your friends know about us. Thanks!

Also, check out our “Relationship Memoirs” page, especially Charlotte Pescale’s, “Rebecca, a memoir.” You might enjoy it!

Other questions about dating older guys: 

Sugar Daddy: Could he be serious about me?

Does my coach love me or am I being delusional?

Teacher/student: I thought he was into me but he never asked me out


14 Comments on Age difference; how can I convince him to take me seriously?

  1. Hi Guys, it’s Molly.
    I did take your words into consideration. There is, however, another part to the story.

    Not too long ago, I had been to his place. We were watching movies and drinking. He had realized that I was drunk even though I have had only two wine coolers. (I got drunk easily and it was my first time drinking outside of my home.) He was willing to take me home, but I told him that I didn’t want my family to see me drunk. If my mom saw me and knew that I had been drinking with a man who was old enough to be my uncle and is Caucasian, she will yell at me that Asian girls don’t date Caucasian unless that have a good paying job and a home. So he allowed me to stay just for an hour or two; just to sleep off the effects of alcohol. I guess he also took the opportunity to ask me a few questions. I don’t remember what he had asked, but I remember replying to him, “You are kind, nice….and handsome! A true gentleman, through and through and you are one of a kind!” I remember he had laughed. He really does have a nice laugh.  Anyways, before I went to sleep, we had kissed. I thought it was nice for my first. But when I woke up an hour and a half later, he said that he shouldn’t have done that. He also said to not tell anyone and it has to stay a secret. I told him that at least we didn’t have sex and he said that it could’ve happened. We are still friends, but I feel like he is ashamed and disappointed that the kiss happened. When he feels miserable, I feel the same way. I just want him to be happy.

    I am so confused. I feel like I am not good enough for any men: those that are the same age or older than me. Do I give off a vibe of “just a friend” or “little sister” material? How is it that other people are able to have a stable relationship and find love even though the age difference is totally messed up? I don’t want to sound mean, but is he afraid that he might be labeled as a sugar daddy?

  2. @Molly……Like we said, he seems like an honorable guy. But he’s feeling conflicted inside. On the one hand he’s probably attracted to you physically, but on the other, he feels you are too young and that it’s wrong to take advantage of you. Of course a kiss is hardly taking advantage of you drunk or not. (If more had happened then we might say otherwise. But not just a kiss.) As per your other question: We doubt all men see you as only a “friend or little sister” material. And obviously this guy is attracted to you physically. But is it possible you’re giving off a vibe of being too eager? For both sexes, someone’s who’s a bit too eager may not be as attractive because there’s a hint of desperation. (We’re not saying you are, but we’re just putting it out there for you to consider.) And to clarify, there’s nothing wrong with wanting love, even badly. But sometimes in order to get it, you have to play it cool, at least for a bit. And finally, don’t worry about what other people are getting or not getting. Everyone might seem happy and content but you’re not in their skin. You have no idea how good their relationships really are. Focus on yourself. Learn about who you are. Find out what you’re looking for in a partner, and keep yourself open to new opportunities and possibilities. If you do all of those things, you’ll meet the kind of people you’re meant to meet, and hopefully love will follow. Your thoughts?

  3. Guys, you might be on to something here.
    I might be eager to find love because I always thought the first guy I like will be the one. I come from a culture that is very traditional and also very strict. In other words, they love to gossip and are always waiting for some scandal to happen. (Especially the older women’s.) Where I come from, some of the girls marry young. I guess that is where I thought I missed out on finding love. I missed out on things girls got to do while growing up. I was never allowed to go out with friends and was told never date unless my parents approve the guy. And I have to admit, I have a low self-esteem. (I blame my mom and aunts!!!) Then my older sister started to date a Caucasian and my parent’s threaten to disown her if she didn’t break off the relationship. They fought all the time and it scared my siblings so much that it made us afraid to date outside of our culture. Another time they tried to do an arrange marriage for her. My parents fought so much that they thought about getting a divorce, but never got the chance to. But that’s not the case. The point is, I always thought I would get the one shot and get it right away. So far…zero point for me.
    If you were in my shoes, how would you look past all those bad events and still think positive about having a healthy relationship with someone who is not use to so much problems?

  4. @Molly…..Just the fact that you’re able to express all of these thoughts is a positive first step. You seem pretty self-aware and mature for your age, which will help you figure out what works for you. We would never tell you to go against the traditions of your family, but at the same time people do need to make decisions for themselves. It’s a balance of course. Ideally you’d find a man who you have a great relationship with AND someone your parents approve of. But that may or may not happen. If it doesn’t you’ll then be faced with two choices. Settle for someone your parents approve of, or find someone you want to spend your life with. We know, it’s a lot to digest, and we hope it doesn’t come to that. But honestly Molly, you’re still young. Try not to focus on what the other girls in your culture are doing. (They are not necessarily happier than you, even if they look it or say it. They are likely struggling with some of the same issues you are.) Focus on yourself and what makes you happy. Get out in the world and explore. Date different people, if possible. Travel. Go to school. Be open to the world and all its possibilities. You’re smart, and we think the answers will come to you over time. There’s no rush here. Everyone is on a different timeline. And remember, it’s you who has control over your destiny. The bad events in your life do not have to dictate the rest of your life. That’s the beauty of life. You can reinvent at any point you choose to. Hope this helps. What do you think?

  5. Thank you, Guys!!
    With the information that you guys have been giving to me, it’s has been a lot to digest it all at once. It’s been hard, but I will do my best to better myself. I will remember what you guys have told me. Also, you guys are very wise, you know that? 😛 Anyway, thanks again. I might contact you guys further into the future. 😀

  6. @Molly….Please keep in touch. We’re definitely interested in how life progresses for you. Take care of yourself and stay positive! And feel free to ask another question anytime. Thanks!

  7. hey! i love your dedication right here 😀 thank you for your hard work!

    I have a prob. There’s a friend i reallyyy like, i am in love and am ready to be with him. He has all I’ve ever wanted in a man.

    i used to somehow push him away cuz of the age difference..i used to think guys his age are not compatible for but i was so wrong and i started to fall for him after getting to know him..

    I am 23 and he is 33.. he’s been in a marriage before which was broken because of some cheating problems..not by him ofcourse (I’m sure because the story is famous here)..

    so after divorce he wasn’t really excited about getting married again..but after meeting me once and hearing about me he told a friend that he wants a relationship with me that would lead to marriage…

    but he never told me..he’s actually a shy guy but i don’t know if that has anything to do with him not telling me his feelings..we started talking on facebook and he used to always initiate conversations all the time..then he started to send text messages from time to time but we used to mostly talk on facebook.. he would call at times but not much..

    our chats weren’t so long or so short and i used to love it..talking to him made me always happy..he would ask about my personality and some personal stuff…he nicknames all the time and won’t stop calling me beautiful..

    we then personally met after a long time and he brought his sister along as well..we went to some nice place.. i felt like he wanted us to talk separately just me and him but i felt so shy and i wouldn’t separate from his sister… but we got to talk a bit and giggle and was nice..then he dropped me home..his sis was there and they came in with me to the house to meet mom..and all went cool..

    he used to complain about him not being able to find someone and so i said ”i’ll help u find sum1”…and i did try to help him..and he isn’t pleased with whatever girls i present to him…

    that was so dum of me to act like i didn’t want him wen i really did…

    so now we continued talking on fb.. his sis is pregnant and he told me that he suggested his sister to call the baby ”deena” which is my name..dun know if that means anything..but then he stopped talking on fb..

    he then called once and said just wanted to hear your voice and bla bla..

    few days later i sent him a txt msg and said that i miss the conversations and hope he’s ok …he immediately called and we talked and he was happy and all..and then again no contact on fb..

    after a couple of days i txted saying just ”are you buzy?”..and he immediately called and we talked..asked him wat happened and said he was busy and finally i had to hang up and he said ”please keep contacting me or just make a missed call and i’ll call, cuz i’m so buzy now and i might forget”… i got angry and said well ”u dont seem bothered if people ask for you so i’m not caliing you either” and he was like noo i am gona call you def and sent a kiss over the phone..

    i miss him like every secong i wanna tell him i like him but i don’t know!! he keeps telling me he’s looking for someone and it kills me..

    Is he not admitting bcoz i already pushed him once? and y did he stp the daily fb chats? I know that he has a very busy schedule but he used to contact me on fb alot b4..i have this feeling that he’s sick of fb and wants to move to phone calls mayb?? oh please help sorry for the boring stuff 🙁

    stay safe!

  8. @Dina…….Did he make it clear he wanted to date you before you pushed him away, or started trying to introduce him around? We’re just trying to get a sense of how he views you. Are you in the friend zone, or does he just feel rebuffed so he’s pretending he’s not into you. It’s a tough call.

  9. we’re still friends…just friends.. he never told me that he wants more..but only told to my friend that he wants a serious relationship ..he used to drop hints all the time but he wasn’t straightforward..he used to drop hints and i pushed him away..

  10. one more thing…i’m looking forward to admit to him that i like him…should i admit to him? how should I? and should i do it on facebook or mobile? we are far away from one anothet so we can’t meet…

  11. @Dina…..This is your call. What do your friends think you should do?

  12. lol u guys are my friends when it comes to this!!! I need an advice from you!! Not gon take any of my girls advice..please please please help.. 🙂

  13. @dina…..Okay. So here’s the deal. You need resolution here. You need to know what’s going on. He’s the best source to get that answer, so we think you should tell him how you feel and then see what happens. No guarantees here. He may not feel the same way. It’s hard to say what he’s going to say. But at least you’ll get some sort of answer which will help you move forward. Good luck. We know it’s hard to take this risk, but relationships are all about risks. How should you do it? In person is best. Next best: Phone. Skype. So he can hear your voice or see your face. Not on Facebook or text.

  14. thank you for your patience and time!

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