Hi All. This will be a long one, so I do apologize. I'll try to keep it simple without rambling.
First off, I'm a 36 year old Divorced Man, Professional career, been single since my divorce for over 5 years now, and to be honest, have adapted quite well to living alone.
In those 5 years, I have not had any interest in meeting any women, nor have I dated.
Well, here's what's happening now, and I need some input and advice from guys and gals as to what is going onhere.
Last month I began working in a new location, and a 22 year old girl was also newly hired. We hit it off from the get-go, mostly with the fact that I've been in the career longer than she has, and I sort of took her under my wing and helped her with advice, etc.
Since we began work, which is like i said, 4 weeks now, there was just something that clicked in me that really makes me like her. I do openly flirt with her, usually by saying "So, Let's go out for a drink", or "When are we going to Dinner" etc.....(The flirting HAS NEVER BEEN Sexual, nor will it ever be, as I'm not like that.)
Anyway, we do go to lunch together, and she does get pretty intimate in her conversations with me about her personal life.
Here is where it gets confusing: She has a boyfriend....said its been her only boyfriend evere, as they have been together since high school. She will tell me she really loves him, but they have a problem with his Mother be domineering, etc., and she has also told me that she is getting frustrated with the relationship.
She also tells me things that are going on at home: She recently lost her Mother, and it is hard emotionally for her....she says she has a lot of responsibility at home, like makking sure her younger sisters are doing the right thing, etc......Along these lines, she agreed when I suggested to her that she has a lot on her plate, working two jobs, taking care of home, etc....and nobody gives her the time to listen or appreciate her problems.....She agreed with me saying..."If only I would get a Thank You once in a while, or even a card now and then"
When I asked her once if I a flirting too much or taking things too far (she knows i like her), she responded by telling me: "I don't take compliments too well, because i'm not used to getting them." She told me she does not think I'm out of line with my actions or words towards her.......SO........
What do you think is going on here?
Is this a young girl that is enjoying the flirtation and care of a guy 14 years older than her?
Should I continue to follow her around like a puppy-dog, or learn to cool it for awhile and see if she makes a move?
Or do I just forget the whole darn thing and call it quits????
Help me out here Ladies and Gentlemen....THANKS ALL=Jerry
Well, I think I'd just take it slow, afterall she said she had a boyfriend. No need to even change things, right now I believe you'll get much farther by offering to go to lunch every now and then. Don't be too pushy though. Let her continue to get comfortable with you. Just lend a kinda and compassionate hand to her. She is very overloaded with all her responsibilities. Take things slow. I hope you don't have any teenagers. Cause if you do it might be hard explaining to them your relationship with her if things go further. If you have kids under 10 I think that wouldn't be so bad. Just wondering as you didn't mention children.
Thanks for your input. I appreciate it. No children in the picture. I hear what you are saying about going easy.
So, from a women's perspective, do you think she has a slight interest, or am is just enjoying the attention I'm giving her? Jerry
From a womans perspective I believe that she is flattered by your attention, mainly because she doesnt seem to be getting her needs met elswhere. She sounds VERY vulnerable right now and frankly, I would back up a bit. Until she resolves all her other issues your just going to become another "something" she has to deal with. Im not saying stop being friendly ETC but maybe not so "obvious" in your interest. Hope this helps and Good Luck!
Hey, Thanks for your thoughts. I think I agree with you.
I think I will back off it a little bit to see what happens.
Hey Everyone, keep the comments and perspectives coming...I really do appreciate them as they are a huge help to a guy that has been out of the "Scene" for as long as I've been-Jerry
Don't worry about the age difference bit, as many others here have discussed the issue and normally gets the "proceed with caution" advice.
I also believe she is new to a sympathatic ear/shoulder and has a lot on her plate right now. So, just take things slow and keep your senses in tune. If she develops feelings for you beyond friendship, it will happen quickly.
For now, keep the flirting below the PG rating and try to learn more about her. Cheers
You said your flirtation has never been sexual in nature so of course she would not find you out of line with the things you are saying to her. She may be taking it all in as a much needed ego boost as she is not getting the attention from her boyfriend.
I think she may just see you as a sympathetic ear and a good friend. She has a lot going on in her life and appreciates you as a good listener and friend. If she has made no effort to make any moves on you this may be all it is. I wouldn't read anything more into this relationship unless she has been upfront with feelings for you.
She does have a boyfriend after all - a first love which I don't think she is going to let go of easily. Outside stresses are putting a burden on her relationship with her boyfriend and once those cool down her relationship with him may be repaired.
You shouldn't make any moves with her until she is single. It really isn't appropriate for you to be looking for a relationship with a girl who is taken already. Friends is fine but leave it at that. If they do break up then you will see what her feelings for you are.
Hey Jerry........To answer your question........Yes I think she possibly could be interested. After all, this day and time, younger women like older men. Not too old though. I think you barely made it. LOL LOL LOL Just kidding.
She very well could be interested but as I said before take it slow and wait til you know she catches up with you on the feelings part and then the two of you can move a little further. Take it easy. She also might be looking to you for advice, a friendly ear, or even someone that she respects kinda like a father figure. I know I'm sorry you didn't want to hear that. But yet it is true. Just keep hangin out and takin things slow and I believe before you know it she'll most likely let you know by a signal or a conversation the two of you could have, about what shes feeling. Don't be too pushy either afterall she does have a boyfriend. Although if she starts talking about breaking up then she might just be hunting a reason to get out and start a relationship with you. Not saying that is altogether honest. But sometimes we don't know what our younger friends are thinking or rationalizing.
Odds are, the more sympathetic you are - and the more she is able to talk to you and feel like someone is on her side (you), she will become more interested. This is classic female behavior when a relationship is going stale. I say this only because I've been through it a few times myself. If I find my relationship is lacking, my boyfriend is no longer attentive or caring, if I find a male friend who will listen to me and sympathize and really give me what I'm lacking - I can't help but get a crush on this person. It's resulted in two ended relationships on my part, so obviously the other guys weren't meant to be - but the last guy I turned to is now my fiance, and he hasn't STOPPED focusing and listening and being attentive.
Ultimately, she probably has a growing spot in her thoughts for you. She will likely continue to be more interested the more time you talk and spend together, because we women like to have someone who genuinely listens and cares, and it's one thing when the relationship is all dandy - then it really is just a friendship and you can draw that line, however, because her relationship appears to be lacking in addition to all of her other stress factors, she's probably not getting what she wants/needs in her relationship right now - and that generally leads to a crush, which turns into feelings...
I'm sure you see where I'm going with this. This is the #1 way affairs take place, and while it doesn't sound like anything is out of line here, I think this is a completely NATURAL and NORMAL way for people to discover what they're missing at home and realizing there may just be something more in line with what they're looking for.
Be yourself, don't push the "dinner" or "let's go get a drink together" stuff, but I'd take a random bet that says within a few months you will probably be spending more time together if you just continue to listen and be a friend as you have been Your call! It could break up her relationship, but maybe this is a relationship that she needs to see through REAL vision, and not rose colored glasses.
Many Thanks, all of you, for your thoughts and advice. Truly, it goes a long way with me, as I really have nobody to share these thoughts and questions with. You are all so appreciated.
I have taken all of your ideas, thoughts, and advice, and a placing them all together in my head to formulate a course of action.
As for the latest update:
Today, I did what was suggested. I eased up a bit on the flirtation. She, in fact, came to me and said "Well, I have more drama to tell you about from something that happened last night."
At lunch, she told me the details of her relationship problems. It seems that her Father does not care for her boyfriend, and the boyfriends mother does not really care for her. She told me that last night, her Father, whom she lives with, told her he does not want her BF over the house anymore.
She told me she does not know what to do, she cried all night, loves her BF, but loves her DAd...wants to get her own place, ......
Again, I listened and gave her my ear....but did not make any flirtatious comments. I just listened.
I'm just still not sure if I'm just a shoulder and ear, and if I am that, can a romantic interest develop (or do women rely on "instant attraction" like most guys do?)
I'll keep you all updated....please continue with your advice!!
OK, People......I guess some will say i should start running the other way.....but, I am just not that type of man........................
UPDATE: If your following my daily posts on here, you can see that things are just going downhill for this girl...and, I'm not sure where I should be in all of this......
This Morning(Wednesday), upon coming to work, she called me into a private area, began crying, and said last night she had a fight with her DAD(over her boyfriend again), and it got so bad that her Dad accused the BF of putting a nail in his car tire. She got fed up with his yelling at her, then he told her she cannot use his car anymore(including for work).....she told me she left the house and went to the other side of town to stay with her older sister. During the night, she got a call from her other sister that her Dad was taken to the hospital for heart problems and he will be staying overnight.
Well, he was released later today, but I'm not sure what was going on. She tells me that he gets panic attacks a lot, so it could have been that.
Anyway, again, taking everyones advice on here, I lended a sympathetic ear and shoulder to cry on......She asked me if I would mind giving her a ride to her sisters after work, and of course, I agreed to. She also asked if I can pick her up in the morning for work, and yes, I said OK...I mean, C'mon, I'm not going to say no to someone in such a dreaded situation......
To go on, she went on to tell me that her DAd used to physically abuse her Mother, and that now that her mom is dead, her DAD takes everything out on her. She denies being physically abused, but said it is mental abuse.
She never did offer to me why he dislikes her BF so much, and I didn't ask. I feel if there is something she wants to tell me, she will(although I'm starting to get the feeling that maybe the reason her Dad dislikes him is because he may be a good-for-nothing or something along the line.) I'm also wondering where he is(the BF) during all this...perhaps he does not drive or have a car-I dont know.....anyway, as you can see, this girl has got a ton of nasty stuff going on in her life, but irregardless of all this, I am still strangly attracted to her........Of course, in a time like this, I'm not pursuing anything other than to give her my help and listen to her......but deep down I'm wondering if that is all I'm wanted for?????
A previous female poster asked if she is throwing any signs my way that would give a hint that she has an interest in me....My question is, what type of signs? I'm terrible at interpreting girls. Thanks All-JERRY
Jerry......she is really going thru some tough times. Please continue to do as you are doing. Don't want to take advantage of her feelings while she is in this type of turmoil. Some of the best relationships are born out of friendship. So be there for her without being pushy. Your doing a great job.
If she decides that the relationship with her bf and dad isn't worth fighting and it costs her alot to keep it going with her bf at the expense of her father and her relationship then she'll most likely fall back to you. Keep us posted and udated and be the very best friend you can be. Even if nothing romanticly happens then you've got a friendship nothing will be able to break. This is really important in her life right now and shes gonna pull from that.
I agree with Moospys, I think you need to be very careful that you don't turn into her slave during all of this. I'm not saying you shouldn't be supportive and listen to her problems, but it already sounds like you've turned into her taxi service, and that could be just the beginning if things keep getting worse for her.
Whilst there is a chance she may have genuine feelings for you, there is also a real chance that she just sees you as a friend and also a convenience that she can use when she wants to get lifts etc. At the end of it she might stay with her bf forever, or find someone else, and you'll be left hurting and feeling totally used.
Don't bail on her yet, but just be careful that you don't get too involved without some real signs from her that it would be reciprocated sometime down the line.
Patti: Thanks for responding again. I love your insight and encouraging words, but I must say that Moospys has a great question.
Moospys: Hi. Yes-Great question. In fact, i have been asking myself the exact same thing. I really cannot figure this out. Like I said, I was very happy and content being Single for so long after my divorce. Never thought about dating, never went online or elsewhere trying to "pick up dates".
I dont know what happened here. It just happened. Something just clicked in me with this girl that has me feeling the "Attraction at first site" syndrome.
Is it a crush that will fade away? I don't know, but I really don't think so. I just cannot, for the life of me, figure out why my feelings developed for her.
But yes, I hear you-what exactly am I getting out of this? Really nothing at this time, except the fact that I am being a caring, understanding, shoulder to lean on for a girl with some big-time problems in her life.
Do I want to be more?-Of course I do, but I'm doing what everyone here is advising....take it slow, do not push it, be there as a friend, and if its going to happen, she will move on it......
Hi Willapp-Thanks also for responding. Yep-I hear what you are saying also. I wont bail yet, but I'm going to take your advice also, coupled with everyone elses, and see how this plays out. Thanks all....I'll keep you posted-JERRY
be very careful.....she's using you as her "emotional tampon"
sure she may like you, or she may like what she thinks you can do for her..... I think she may be looking at you to rescue her from her situation. Be careful that you don't get caught up in that midset and want to rescue her. This girl is engulfed in drama, and honestly, I think you're a little too old for all that.....
you say you were happy being along.....remember that and don't get caught up in some young girls problems.
tone it down a little.....listen, but don't get too involved.
UPDATE......I THINK I CAN SEE WHERE I WENT WRONG...........
Hi Everyone.....I've really been analyzing all this in my head the past few days, trying to piece it all together, and I come to the conclusion that I may be at fault for just misinterpreting certain signs and actions that I thought were a genuine interest in me.
(This is how it began-in chronological order-over the past 3 weeks)(Remember-we just met 3 weeks ago,as we both are new to the company)
1) As I am much more experienced in the type of professional work we do, (I've got 17 yrs experience in the field, and she is brand new to it), she began asking me for advice on how to do reports, and I was glad to help out(As I would be with anyone that would ask-just the kind of guy I am-I really enjoy helping people.)
2)We began a nice friendship, and she began seeking advice from me, even on other issues, like family affairs, work, school, etc., and again, I was happy to help out.
3)She told me that she thinks I'm a great guy, and she also told her younger sisters the same thing.
4) After about the first week, with hearing she thinks I'm a great guy, and relying on me for help, etc....I guess I became sort of enamoured with a younger girl paying attention to me, so I began my flirtatious remarks.
5) I remember saying things like "So, we'll have to go out for dinner sometime", and she would just respond with a "yeah-OK", or something like that, I thought she may be interested.
6)So, i took it a little further and when I would see her younger sister, I would say to her, "Hey, tell your sis I'm really interested in her", and her sister did tell her just that.
7)So, now I laid the groundwork, and we are at week 2, so I know for a fact that she knows of my feelings for her, cuz i would daily make comments like-"I really do like you", and "I think your a very nice girl", etc....
8)Yeah-she would talk about her boyfriend sometimes, but then she would also tell me of their problems mentioned in earlier posts, so again, I thought, woI guess i do a chance here.
9)she would always wait to take her lunch with me so we could talk somemore.
10) I started to do more things for her, like I took her watch to the store to get fixed(she offered to pay, but I told her forget it).....I gave her the aforementioned rides to and from work for 3 days when she was fighting with her Father (brought her coffee also when I picked her up-figured it was a nice gesture)
So, I guess I took these actions out of context to think that I may have meant something to her.
What do you all think? Was I an older guy being falsly led by a young girl with a host of problems in her life, or am I someone who took things the wrong way? JERRY
This thing is going to end badly if you don't do some damage control. Now, you really like this girl. And she HAS TO know it. In my opinion, she is totally using you. You're almost becoming her sugar daddy. Truthfully, I don't see how she is leading you on. You're the one bending over backwards for her, and she can see that she has a good thing going on here. So, she's taking advantage of it.
Bottom line, she has a boyfriend. And she talks to you about said boyfriend. If I am interested in a guy, the laaaast thing I'm gonna do is mention my boyfriend in any context, even to complain.
It's getting dangerous because now you're paying for things, like getting the watch fixed. I don't know WHY she let you do that. I know that if a guy offers to pick up the tab for anything, he wants sex. The more you do for her, the more bitter you're going to be if you don't end up together.
There's nothing wrong with being a friend, but I think you should avoid buying anything for her or paying for anything unless you go out on an official date. It will just confuse the situation.
The grass is always greener on the other side...until you get closer and see that it's astroturf~
Yes-I guess your correct. I am kinda bending over backwards, totally obsessed with this gal, and again, I dont know why.
I'm a retired police officer, and now I work at a large city high school as a Security Officer, and she is also. Like I said before, she has no experience in this field, and I'm well-versed, so thats how things began....me helping her out.
but your right, I've become so enamoured that I'm following her around like a lost puppy-dog.....making sure I stop at her different posts, looking for her in the hallways, asking her if she needs help(although she usually comes to me with questions).....asking her if she is going to take lunch together.
Would it be mean of me to stop this and just be cordial....like a Hello in the morning, then just basically do my own thing during work, and stop the chit-chat? or is that a blatant sign of ignorance on my part? JERRY
Oh my, Jerry, do I see a pattern here? You were a police officer, now a security officer and now you're trying to save the damsel in distress??
I don't mean to be obvious here, but I see where you're coming from. I was in the similar situation not too very long ago and it was with someone in the law enforcement arena. I was the girl you're talking about. I had initially called to hire him to investigate the death of my mom. I don't know what it was, because he eventually admitted that he was drawn to me immediately and I gave no indications to him that I was up for it.
I told him frequently of my husband and children, but he would ask about what was going on in my life in regards to my mom and why things were so hard for me. I was emotional after having to decide to let my mom die, my health was in the can, my youngest having difficulties, my oldest son falling apart from the loss and a husband who didn't know what to do to pick his sobbing wife up off the floor.
So, the way things started was similar, he started complimenting me on how I was coping, then he offered me a job (at IMO a rather large chunk of money, more than I was qualified to earn...again, IMO to keep me close), offered to do the case for free, then took on a friends case for free, none of which I asked for (I did ask for the friend, but she was willing and able to pay for services), and in the end, he dropped the bombshell, that he couldn't imagine not making love to me.
I couldn't believe it. In my heart I saw it going this way, but I figured that since I never said anything back and made sure to drop my husband in the conversation at any time, he would have gotten the point. We were friends, but that was all I was interested in and he had more in mind. He was married and going through some stress, and I think he used me to focus on something else....although, I must admit, I'm confused as to what it was about me that made him fall for me, without even having met me in the beginning. He was already 'into me' before he met me.
I know you care for this girl, but IMO, she's not usinging you, you are doing things willingly and it's up to you to stop it if you don't want to get hurt.
IMO, you will get hurt and may even risk your job if you keep this pace up. Because, what's the likelihood that you can keep your romantic intentions under wraps for much longer. You've already made comments to show you're interested, and those have not been reciprocated. She may truly just enjoy having a friend at work.
I know I enjoy my male friends in different ways that my female friends. They bring a different perspective to things and it's nice to have a big guy in your corner...but I'm afraid that may be all it is.
I think you may talk yourself into believing that you can only be friends with her, but make sure you start adjusting accordingly. It will be hard, but it may prove to be the best thing. One of two things, you will not be the go-to guy all the time or she'll realize that she does have feelings for you and she'll initiate contact. But, either way, it's probably in your best interest to let her come to you.
It sounds like you love your job and wouldn't want to jeopardize it, especially for something that's not a sure thing. It also sounds like you miss being needed by someone so fragile at this point in her life. I think it makes any human feel good to feel like they're protecting someone from more pain or easing what they're already going through, but this is not your job, sweetpea, you need to take a step back and view it from a different angle.
You've already proven you are a great guy and worthy of someone to love and being loved back, you just aren't getting loved back right now. Maybe this girl was in your life to show you what you've been missing and that it's time to start getting into the game again. Maybe that's all this was, was to re-awaken the sleeping teddybear within and let him out where he can get as much as he gives.
Good luck, I truly hope this works out for you, you deserve it.
If you don't experience anything bad, you'll never appreciate the good when it comes around!!!