Saturday, March 22, 2008

Falling in Love with Younger Man

I am falling in love with a man young enough to be my son (he is in his late twenties; I am in my late forties). We have a very good friendship and I don't want to lose it. I suspect that he is a bit lonely and relies on my friendship and company. I know I should do the sensible thing and not see him anymore before I get in too deep, but I know this would hurt him, and I know I would miss him a lot. I just don't know what to do. RR

A blunt question: Who is really the lonely one -- you or him? Young gay men occasionally develop attachments to older gay men who sort of become father surrogates to them. Meanwhile the older man is falling in love. Sometimes good, solid relationships can develop between two people of different generations, and that includes romantic relationships, but both parties have to share the same feelings. I suspect the real problem here is that you sense this young man only sees you as a platonic friend, whereas your feelings go much, much deeper.

My advice: Try and keep him as a friend, but replace him in your romantic and sexual fantasies with someone who can actually play these things back to you. The more time you spend devoted to this younger man, the less time you'll have to meet someone in your own age group, or at least someone of any age who can become a special person in your life. Don't spend all your time with this guy, as you probably do if you're as smitten as I suspect. Gradually your feelings for this young man may change, until he becomes a cherished friend, maybe the son you never had -- but not a love object.

The sad truth is that younger men often "rely" on older guys until they meet someone their own age and the friendship they have with the older guy then becomes less and less important. Some younger men end a friendship if they even suspect the older person has "feelings" for them, and it can be brutal. I'm not saying that that is always the case. As hard as it might be for you to do at this point, you will some day be able to see this fellow as someone you love but are not in love with, especially if you open your heart to the possibilities of finding someone else as a lover.

Don't despair over this situation. The forties is still young. Think of some happy future time when you and your lover and he and his lover can all get together as friends, a scenario that is certainly not impossible. In the meantime, get what you can from the friendship, but look around for someone else to fulfill your romantic and sexual fantasies.

Keep a positive attitude and Good Luck.


Anonymous said...

Wow i'm going through a similar situation with a 23 year old guy right now. I'm 38. Difference is this boy and I have a very intense sexual relationship. We told each other we were in love. We were co-habitating back n forth between each others apts. too. The affair has lasted 3 months until yesterday. He ended it by an email saying he still loved me but couldn't see me anymore no other reasons. I'm very hurt right now and don't know what to do? Was it love or just pure lust?

Bill Samuels said...

Sounds like it might have been a very intense sexual fling, at least on his part. There are exceptions, but most 23-year-olds aren't ready to settle down, and your feelings for him might have scared him -- maybe his feelings for you as well. (He might love you, but he might not be IN love just yet.) In any case, you deserve better than an email breaking it off with no other explanation. If you reply to him, tell him you're willing to take it slow, you can just be f--k buddies if that's what he prefers. Don't expect him to be exclusive with you at this point, and that may take some of the pressure off him. Let me say that a 38-year-old who can have a hot sexual relationship with someone 15 years younger will probably not have a problem finding someone else, if that's what ultimately has to happen. Go slow, take it easy, and maybe you and this guy can resume. But keep your options open in any case -- don't put all your eggs in one basket, LOL.

Anonymous said...

Variation on a theme here. But I think the same outcome for me in the end.

The age difference is larger (I'm 42 and he's 19), and we've chatted online and webcammed for 6 months. We live in different cities and while we met briefly a few months ago just to hang out for a few hours, finally met this past weekend and pretty much spent the weekend together having a wild time (which included sex for two nights). I can't stop thinking about him and he says the same about me. Feels like love to me and I'm not sure at 19 he knows what that is, but he says the same about me.

I think there are only a few choices for the future here. Change my life to be with him, change the relationship and still be friends or totally end it. My heart wants the first one but realistically it has to be one of the other two. I'm not sure how to get to those stages though to be honest. I guess I'm having trouble building the courage to get there as well. Open to thoughts and opinions. Thinking I need to grow up here and "do the right thing". Rip the bandage off as it were and see where it ends up.

Bill Samuels said...

Thanks for your comments. If you don't mind I'm going to respond to them on a new post in the next couple of days. Best, Bill

Anonymous said...

im 32 my friend is 64.he calls me nephew to shop assistants when we go family dont like me spending so much time with him but its almost like I have a father figure back.its never been sexual I have my own room at his house and he always helps me with my past projects and stuff.however I feel im not going to be able to find a relationship with anyone as soon as I get bored at my mums house I ring him up and he picks me up to go to his even feels like we are in a so confused with everything.

Bill Samuels said...

If being freinds with this guy is preventing you from connecting with someone you might fall in love with and have a "real" relationship" with, then you have to think seriously about the friendship. On the other hand, good friends are hard to find and this older man seems to care about you. However, he might get very hurt if he has sexual or romantic feelings for you and you don't feel the same. Tread carefully. Maybe you can sit down and have an honest talk with him about his feelings for your and your feelings for him. Maybe all he wants is a good friendship as well.