If he's not interested, why does his behavior say he is? Could it be our age difference?
December 14, 2008 6:34 PM Subscribe
We've been friends for several years. Over time, all signs pointed to his having feelings for me. I just asked him out. He said no. But I have lots of evidence that he fancies me. Could this be because of our 14-year age difference?
posted by anonymous to Human Relations (30 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
I'm 14 years older than him, but he's brilliant and not a typical mid-twenties guy. We're part of the same arts group. Over the past year we've paired off more and more and split away from the group during work and outings. We've found ourselves on accidental "dates" where others were supposed to show but didn't, leaving us together alone--and we had a great time and talked about how great a time we were having. This past weekend he suggested we split from the group--during a momentous celebration of a group success--to go somewhere quieter and more secluded. He sneaked us away from the others. We had romantic comedy-style banter. He put his hand on mine as he was telling stories. We walked arm in arm, and he's not much of a toucher, to put it mildly. He left the side of a girl (close to his age) who was flirting with him to pair off with me to go to this more secluded place. I caught him checking me out all evening, as I frequently do. Friends have commented to me for months that he must have feelings for me because of the way he acts. I scoffed at that publicly because of the age difference, mostly because I didn't want him thinking I was having my friends say that on my behalf. But now that people see there's interest on both our parts, they're not teasing anymore.
Anyway, at the end of a lovely evening on Saturday, after we'd split off from the group again, I decided to ask him out on a real date. Because I was nervous and couldn't sustain the verbal pause between my question and his answer, I tacked this on: "...or would that be weird?" (Thinking, I guess, I'd give him an out for the preserving-the-friendship option or the you're-too-old option or the you're-not-yet-divorced option.) He responded that he was very flattered but that yes, it would be too weird. I was too surprised by the no to ask what was the source of the weirdness. Age? Preserving our friendship and/or working relationship? (We don't do our art for money, but I did recently become the director of the group. However, he does not report to me.) Complete misreading of the signals?
Help! I've been out of the dating pool for many years. What I know is that when a dude says what his feelings are, you take him at his word. Is that what I should be doing here? What about all the signals that he's interested? Should I ask for clarification? Because while I believe that he doesn't want to "go on a date," I also believe he's interested in me.