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.