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Older guy: Am I misinterpreting current relationship?

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Dear Guys,

So there’s this guy from Muay Thai class that I like. I met him recently, around 5 months ago, but he is much older than me — I’m 22 and he is 33. We are now having conversations online for at least one hour a night, 70% of which are probably initiated by me, but he seems happy enough talking.

Also for the past two months now, we’ve probably hung out alone together three or four times. We go for casual dinners, watch movies, and play video games till around 3am each time. Even though we’ve been alone he has never initiated any physical contact with me. I have however seen him sneak looks at me while we are watching a movie sometimes. He has never told me what he thought of us and never called us hanging out alone a “date” so I just assumed that to him we are only friends, but is it possible that he could also have feelings for me?

I’m also shy and afraid of saying anything about that to him because it is possible that I am just blinded by my feelings, or misinterpreting things. And saying anything might result in the end of the friendship we currently have. What do you think?

Marina

Dear Marina,

Thanks for your question.

By now, you may have your answer since it took us a few weeks to get to your question. However, we think this is pretty straightforward.

No guy is going to invest that much time with a woman unless he’s interested in her beyond a friendship. However if he truly just wants you as a friend, it’s possible he’s not interested in women in general. (All we’re saying is it’s possible.)

So let’s assume he’s straight and is interested. The age difference isn’t a problem for him. Eleven years in the big picture isn’t a big deal at all, but you are slightly young to embark on a relationship with a guy eleven years your senior. Are you okay with it? Do the two of you seem compatible on many levels? (You should listen to our video on Dating Older Men for more insights.) The fact that he’s probably established in the “adult world” with a job, an apartment, and a routine, means he’s probably in a very different place than you are in your life. It’s likely you’ve just finished college, and are now trying  to get established in the world. This gap can often create divisions in a relationship if they’re not talked about frequently. Good communication is vital for a relationship to thrive and endure.

Sometimes the older person in the relationship can be smothering and not allow the younger partner to grow and evolve on their own. Be on the lookout for this, because you will end up being resentful if this occurs. This shouldn’t prevent you from moving forward, it’s just something to be aware of.

Now back to your question. We do think he’s into you. So the question is why hasn’t he made a move on you? Maybe he’s shy? Or maybe he feels a little weird since you are a lot younger than him? He may be attracted to you—that’s why you see him stealing glances—but he’s unsure how he should proceed. He’s doesn’t really know how you’re feeling so he doesn’t want to make a move for fear of being perceived as a pervert, or even worse a predator. If he is feeling this way, this is a good thing, because it means he’s got a solid awareness of his place in the world, and society.

If you want to make it easy on him, drop some hints that you’re interested. You should not be the one who makes the first move, but it’s okay to let him know it’s okay if he does. Of course nothing is guaranteed here Marina, so understand when you attempt to transition a relationship from friendship to romance, things can go either way.

Good luck and keep us posted. Please leave us a follow up comment and let us know how it goes.

THE GUYS

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4 Comments on Older guy: Am I misinterpreting current relationship?

  1. Hiya! Okay so I like this guy I work with he’s 24 and I’m 17, problem is he won’t date me because of our age differences. He doesn’t know I like him, our friend sneakily asked him in a game of ‘date and bang’, problem is this friend of mine once had a huge crush on me, and I feel like he’s chopped bits out of their conversation, yet don’t want to doubt him he’s now in a relationship so I know his feelings are weak or no longer there.

    Question is will this guy change his mind? He once asked me when I was 18 and has made it clear that he only dates 18 year old, I’m 18 in a few months. Though the legal age here Is 16. Yet I’m so confused by his actions. He tells me about all the girls he’s been sleeping with and how none of them are right for him, yet he can be so sweet and charming to me it’s like he’s two different people! He also tells small lies that involve me, such as; I once said I was going to be home alone and that I can’t cook, he said he will come round and cook me something yet he can’t cook himself?

    He also said he would take me to a drake concert and pay, yet he doesn’t like drake that much. I’m so confused by his actions, one moment I can be definite that he likes me, for instance he hugged me three times in less then 5 mins, he also told me ‘my lipstick looked nice’ when its the same one ive worn for over a month and always looks at me in the eye when he speaks to me, yet the next he can be telling me all about these woman?! What should I do? Wait for him till I’m 18? I’ve never told a guy how I feel about them before I knew how they feel about me first!? How do I go about this situation! Many thanks!

  2. @Annalise…..You need to wait until you’re 18. That way he feels comfortable and you’ll be able to get a better read for what he’s thinking/feeling. We don’t think you need to come right out and tell him your feelings, but certainly it’s okay to make it obvious you’d be open to his advances. Also, a seven year difference in age is a pretty big difference at 17 and 24. Not so much when you get to be in your 30s. Why? Because he’s at a very different stage in his life. He’s already experienced much of what you’re going to be experiencing these next 7 years. Which is why we’d recommend finding a guy closer to your age so you share similar experiences. However, we’d like to help you with this situation so why don’t you touch base with us in a bit when you have more info and we’ll offer some more insight then. What do you think? ps. We hope you’ll share our site with all of your friends. Thanks. We appreciate it. @TGPBuzz. Also, help a fellow reader. Please take the time to VOTE on our Ask our Audience page.

  3. Hi! My story has to do with a guy from work; let’s call him Ethan. I met Ethan about a year ago, and although we don’t work in the same department, we see each other regularly. Ethan has a very friendly, flirty personality – it was evident from the moment we met. It was why I remembered him. For several months, we enjoyed flirting back and forth – it was meaningless. Then, my schedule changed and we saw each other almost every day. Things between us escalated rapidly, but I still wasn’t sure it meant anything. Then he started seeking me out at work. We would talk and joke – and he completely ignored the other women I was around at the time. So, I gave him my phone number. He made certain that he had my name right, read the number back to me, etc. It was encouraging. A few days later, I told him that if he did use the number, not to text since I don’t have texting. He said that he was going to call, but had been busy and “didn’t want to half-ass it”.

    For two weeks, I was high as a kite. Everytime I saw him, he would compliment my jewelry, my nail polish, something. We had lunch together – I found out that he’s fifteen years older than I am, although he looks about six years older. Then the next two weeks passed; Ethan’s behavior was the same, but he hadn’t called. A friend convinced me not to ask him what was up, but to go to a mutual friend. I did and she didn’t have any answers for me, but she told him that I’d been asking. So, he came to me; Ethan had a girlfriend. I’d half-expected it by this time, but it was still a huge shock.

    So, for awhile, we weren’t talking. It was very awkward because we were now working in the same vicinity and were able to stare each other down for hours at a time – which we both did.

    I believe that if a man tells me he has a girlfriend, he’s not going to dump her for me. So hope was gone. Eventually though, I decided I didn’t believe that this was an example of his typical behavior, that he was a decent guy, and that my friendship with him meant more than my anger.

    It’s been six months now. Neither of us has mentioned what happened or his girlfriend; no more compliments and, although he still teases, he’s more serious now. We both initiate conversations; we both seek each other out. We even park next to each other. He occasionally touches me on the shoulder or lower back. He’s hugged me once. Also, occasionally, his conversations stray towards the inappropriate (meaning sex; specifically my sexual habits) but he’s quick to retreat. I’m not offended exactly, but it confuses me.

    Recently, there’s been a definite change in his behavior. He’s started complimenting me again. He’s also started conversations, fallen silent, looked away from me, and then just walked off after a few minutes. Very rarely, he’s shared a few details about his life outside of work. If I need to lift something heavy, he does it for me. Friends have told me that when I’m not looking he stares at me. None of it seems to add up to very much, but lately people who are familiar with the story ask if we’re dating now. New hires, who have seen us intereact one time, tease me that he’s into me.

    I know he cares about me; I have no doubt that Ethan’s attracted to me. I just don’t know if he’ll ever do anything about it. The way I see it, his actions are meaningless until he tells me what they mean. And as far as I know, he still has a girlfriend. Even so, my irrational, hopeful side finds him hard to ignore. Any clues to what’s going on here? Is he just as confused as I am?

    Emily

  4. @Emily…..We don’t usually say this, but this seems pretty straightforward. He’s got a girlfriend but he’s very attracted and intrigued by you. He loves his girlfriend, but he’s questioning if he’s truly in love with her. He also feels horribly guilty. At the same time, he very much wants to see what could happen with you. It could be just sexual, but it sounds like it could be more than that. However, as soon as he feels himself going over the line, he pulls back. Why doesn’t he just break up with her? How old are you exactly? We bet the age difference is factoring into this. He probably thinks you’re too young for him and that it wouldn’t go anywhere if he pursued you. And then he’d be left with nothing. What do you think? Sound about right? Is there a way you could talk to him about this? Maybe he just needs some reassurance? Of course, you would know better than we do. Working together also makes this tougher. Good luck.

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