Hi BSG! So I’m in a tricky situation. I met this amazing guy about a month ago; we were totally in sync, talked for hours (until he missed his train home!) the physical attraction is there etc etc. HOWEVER, the one problem is, he’s a good 13/14 years older than me (I’m in my teens). He has since told me that he would want to date me/finds me attractive but a mutual friend has warned him off because of the age gap.
So I’m not sure what to do! Do take the initiative and go for it with him, risking being labeled desperate and maybe driving him away; or do I leave him alone and try to be content with what we have. Any advice is appreciated, thank you! ~Older Man Dilemma~
Dear OMD: The BSG’s first question (and the first question of many of his readers, he bets) is exactly what “teen” you are? Because if your particular teen-ness is below the age of consent in your state, then the Bitter Single Guy sincerely hopes that your Old Man stays the hell away from you, regardless of how awesome you are.
That aside, if the BSG assumes that a relationship between the two of you is at least legal, he still finds himself skeptical. At the top end of “teen”, you’re 19 years old, which puts your Old Man around 32 or 33. Adults develop and mature tremendously between our late teens and our late twenties…so much so that the BSG is wary of a 32 year-old man who finds himself emotionally connected to a 19 year old girl. The BSG thinks that the BEST you can hope for is a relationship that is legal and won’t go sour until you change in a few years.
But really what the BSG thinks is that Older Man should keep a firm boundary, not lead you on by saying that he’s attracted to you. The BSG is in no way opposed to younger/older pairings, but thinks that late 20’s is the earliest that they’re likely to have much hope for lasting. ~BSG~
Dear Bitter Single Guy: I met this girl last summer and we really hit it off. She basically ended up saying she liked me too. I liked and still like her a lot. The thing is when we text, sometimes she just never texts back. It’s getting bad because I cannot believe how perfect this girl is. I can’t pass this up. I just don’t know if it’s too late to try and tell her I like her. What do I do? ~Missing Last Summer~
Dear MLS: The Bitter Single Guy couldn’t help it…an “awwww” slipped out while he read your letter. Dude, the BSG has some good news and some bad news for you and because it’s the Christmas season he’s going to give you the good news first.
THE GOOD NEWS: It’s never too late to tell someone you like them. The BSG has had letters from people who ask if it’s OK to tell someone 40 years later that they Ike them. Oddly, these seem to mostly be me so the BSG doesn’t know if women are better at communicating their feelings, or if they’re better at squashing their feelings. The BSG suspects it’s the former (right?). In fact MLS, the BSG is going to go out on a limb here and tell you that you have an obligation to tell this girl how you feel. You have an obligation to all the men (and the 5 women who were raised by wolves and barely know themselves) who are reading this and nodding their heads, wishing they had told someone in their past that they liked them. The BSG realizes that this has taken on the hue of a thousand random romantic comedy movies, but the fact that this theme gets repeated over and over in movies means that it’s the lesson we just don’t learn. So do it, MLS. Contact this girl and tell her that the summer meant a lot to you and you really like her and you think that the two of you have a chance for real happiness. Do it today.
THE BAD NEWS: She’s going to break your heart. In this age of text messaging (whatever happened to phone calls?) if she’s delaying her answers or just not answering some of your texts, then she’s probably hoping you’ll “take the hint” and stop texting her. As a side note, the BSG REALLY hates people who are so unable to communicate that they rely on people taking hints.
Now MLS there is always the chance that the BSG is wrong and this girl isn’t getting your texts, or she doesn’t keep her phone next to her at all times in case a text comes in, or even worse…what if she thinks of her phone as a convenience and actually leaves it OFF sometimes! The horror!
So yeah, there is a chance that she’s really into YOU, but not really into TEXTING, but the BSG suspects not. So get ready to be shot down, but don’t let that keep you from telling her that you like her…seriously. You’ll regret it forever if you don’t and you’ll be writing to the BSG in 20 years about the one who got away because you never told her how you felt. So get that boom box up on your shoulder and make your feelings known. ~BSG~
Dear Bitter Single Guy: I am a 20 year old college student and I have had a crush on one of my male acquaintances for about six months now. Let’s call him Ren. Ren had been in a long term relationship with a girl from his hometown for as long as I have known him. They broke up about a month and a half ago, and he recently asked me to hang out. Ren and I texted constantly for a week and then got dinner together last Friday night. He invited me to his place, where we watched movies, played guitar, and talked. We ended up hooking up at the end of the night, although we did not have sex.
After we hooked up, he told me that “he wasn’t looking to like or be liked” since he just got out of a long relationship and in addition to that he doesn’t really know who he is. I felt upset deep down but I agreed that he should be single for a while. Since that night, Ren has texted me every day, which I find a little odd. He says he wants to be friends, but I don’t text my guy friends every day. Once or twice we have alluded to a possible hookup in the future, but the majority of our conversations are intellectual and interesting. I also know him well enough to be sure that he isn’t simply looking to get some, although I know he views that as a plus.
One night I asked him outright if me liking him someday would present a problem, to which he responded: “No, not necessarily. But it would complicate our friendship if it were to happen too soon in the future.” Should I hold out any hope at all? I already realize that I should try to “move on” and keep my eyes out for other guys who are ready for commitment. But I’m just not sure if I should continue to hang out with or hook up with Ren. Should I back out or see where it goes? ~One Toe in The Pool~
Dear OTITP: The Bitter Single Guy can see why this is confusing for you…it’s as if you’re getting mixed messages from Reluctant Ren. Of course, that’s because you’re getting mixed messages from Reluctant Ren.
The BSG thinks that Ren 1) Isn’t all that into you or 2) IS all that into you, but can’t get past his own recent relationship drama enough to do anything about it. This, like many things, makes the BSG think about his cat.
A few years ago the BSG’s cat was sick. The vet said that it was either Illness A or Illness B and that the only way to tell was to get the BSG’s cat onto the operating table, cut him open and take a gander at his insides. Clearly this was stressful for the BSG (and presumably for his cat), but interestingly, the vet said that the treatment for both Illnesses was exactly the same! So really, there wasn’t any reason to dig around in cat entrails, all the BSG had to do was give his cat a pill for awhile and whammo! Problem solved.
OTITP, it doesn’t matter whether Reluctant Ren isn’t into you or isn’t willing to act on the fact that he IS into you…your treatment is the same. Here it is:
- Stop answering his texts. When he texts you, decide that you’re only going to answer every second text or every third text. Don’t let him keep leading you on.
- Stop sending him texts. When you think you want to text him, don’t. If you would normally text him 5 times a day, reduce that to two times, then once, then every other day. This is like quitting smoking and it’s not easy, but it’s the only way since he’s apparently not going to set a boundary himself.
- Don’t talk to him about hooking up. If you want a casual hook-up, find someone who you’re not emotionally wrapped up in. Or choose not to have casual hook-ups, that works too. But either way, Reluctant Ren isn’t going to let his lack of willingness to take action get in the way of a little action, if you get the BSG’s drift.
- Start pulling away. Be friendly to Reluctant Ren, but you’ve had enough conversations about what’s goig on already. Just start setting a boundary until he fits into the pattern that you’d expect from a friend who isn’t interested in you.
After all this, if he IS interested, you’ll probably spur him to action. Either way, if his friendship with you is based on him being attracted but unwilling (or unable) to do anything about it, if you set a boundary, you may lose his friendship but that likely means it was never there to begin with.
Dear Bitter Single Guy: I’m a sophomore in college, and have just recently broken off a three year relationship. It wasn’t a healthy relationship at all, I supported him and let him take advantage of me for far too long. The reason for breaking off this relationship, or what I like to think of as my reality check, was a new fellow that I met at school. I was actually moving into my apartment, when I saw a cute guy unloading the trunk of his car. I don’t know why I was feeling so ballsy that day, but after I finished unpacking I decided to write, “You’re cute. -513” and put it on a sticky note that ended up on the windshield of his car. The next day, he caught me off guard by asking if I knew who put a note on his windshield, and I in a nervous shock said, “No of course not.” Well, I wasn’t very happy to have told a lie, knowing that wouldn’t make a very good first impression, so my roommate took the liberty of putting my number on another sticky note on his car with my phone number. Needless to say, he knew it was me, and texted me the next day. We talked for a few hours and he asked for me to meet up with him, to “go on a walk.” No guy had ever asked me to go on a walk before, it was usually let’s watch a movie, or let’s hook up, etc. etc. so I was kind of excited. We walked and talked for a very long time, he took me for a drive in his car and ultimately invited me up to his apartment to continue our conversation. One thing led to another and he asked me to stay, I did. He didn’t try anything, well.. he kissed me and it was very wonderful. We cuddled and the next morning he walked me down to my apartment and within a few min. texted me to let me know that “I was something else.”
I typically work on the weekends, but I drove an extra 30 min. back to school just because he wanted to see me, well I couldn’t control myself and I ended up having sex with him. The night ended, I stayed with him, he again walked me down to my apartment kissed me goodbye and we went on our ways. He continued to text me, and approach me when we would see each other around campus, and I have started to like him as a person. He tells me that he cares, and misses me when I am not around, has introduced me to his friends and roommates and continues to surprise me. He is unlike any man I have ever met, and I like the way that things are going right now, I however have never been very good at being single. We have a very strange connection that I am having a hard time putting to words, and I know if this relationship, (whatever it is) continues I will ultimately develop some kind of feelings for him. He has made it clear, that he is not looking to “jump into a relationship” and I have also made it very clear that I am not used to not being in a relationship. He has told me that he is not “talking” to anyone, and meeting me has been the best thing to happen to him in a very long time. He has just transferred to this school from out of state, and I am thinking he was coming to school looking to “have a good time.” and not to connect with the first girl to show interest in him. Anyway, knowing where I stand with where we are, he still acts and behaves as if we are together, or at least “officially” talking to each other. I am new to this game, and I am not very sure on how to move forward or better yet to remain in the same place. ~Not Good at Singlehood~
Dear NGS: The Bitter Single Guy doesn’t understand…did you break up with your three year relationship BEFORE you met this new Gallant Gent? It’s unclear whether you broke it off first, or if you cheated on your crappy boyfriend then dumped him, but either way the BSG doesn’t think your question is anything about the appropriateness of the breakup with Bad Boyfriend, he’s hearing that you’re wondering how to move forward with Gallant Gent, yes?
NGS, the BSG wants you to get over your fear of being single because frankly, the jump from fully-committed relationship #1 to fully-committed relationship #2 is rarely an instantaneous thing. The path to a relationship usually looks like what you and Gallant Gent are doing…some hanging out, some kissing and cuddling, some slap-and-tickle, some meeting of friends, some romantic walks…this is called “dating” the BSG is told. Dating can often lead to relationships, but not always.
So relax, NGS. Have some fun and get to know Gallant Gent. Maybe you’ll live Happily Ever After and maybe you won’t, but the alternative is…well…bitter and single. ~BSG~