Age is just a number...?
February 17, 2014 8:02 AM Subscribe
Me (female): 24. Him: 19. I can tell he likes me; I feel confused and feel like I'm leading him on. Help!
posted by anonymous to Human Relations (25 answers total)
We are both students - him in undergrad, me in grad school. We'll both be at the same institution for the next few years. We know each other through an extra-curricular activity here, and when we are at the activity that's when I feel attracted to him the most - he has a mesmerising natural flair, and is also incredibly passionate and dedicated about it which I always find attractive in anyone. We also share the same cultural background; he is a lot of fun to be around, makes me laugh, and I find him quite endearing.
On the other hand - he is 19. He is not really the typical college-aged guy (studious, does not drink, seems quite sensible about sex etc) and in some respects fairly mature; but I can definitely see his inexperience, carefreeness and naivety that makes me realise just how much younger he is. While he brings out the fun side in me, I'm also not sure if he's the type that I would be able to engage in serious and abstract conversations. In part, I might be projecting my own experiences: I changed so much between the ages of 18 and 22 - I was a bag of social anxiety and insecurity when I was 19, and I'm definitely glad to have got over that phase of my life. I want to keep moving forward; I'm apprehensive that if I pursue this, I'm going to end up having to mother him and pull him along that I'll eventually end up unfulfilled and frustrated. I'm also wary that his attention to me is mainly out of his inexperience and lack of contact with girls, and once he gets to know girls of his own age he'd stop taking an interest (yeah, perhaps I am still insecure).
I have very little proper relationship experience, however, and I'm not sure how much of it is my gut feeling and how much of it is me second-guessing myself (which I tend to do in general). I am definitely sexually attracted to him, but I also think that I have some kind of motherly protective instinct about him as well, and I'm not sure if that kind of inequality is a good sign. I'll also admit that I am quite flattered by the amount of attention he gives me and maybe that kind of ego-boosting is clouding my real judgments.
I guess my question is - is this something that would work? If not, how do I take a step back while staying friends with him?