Awkward situation: rejecting someone gently...
Thursday, April 04, 2013
You know how I've blogged about socializing with my friend and her crowd of friends? Well, one of them is this nice, older man R. He's pushing 50 years old but we always have good conversation. I've ran into him three times, the last was at the salsa venue I attended the other night. Now, keep in mind I'm not a flirtatious person. Nor have I consciously given him any signals that I am romantically interested in him (which I am NOT!). But R. seems to now have this notion for us to "get to know each other better" over coffee and/or go hiking with our respective dogs (he volunteers at a dog rescue, one of the subjects we talk about), since he messaged me both through FB and my cell phone about it. The group is all connected through FB and we share cell phone numbers, so I didn't think that gave him mixed signals...
I guess I should feel flattered, but a part of me can't help but feel irritated. If he were, per se, a random man who I wasn't interested in that I met at salsa, I wouldn't feel so awkward in turning him down. But the fact that he frequently socializes with a crowd that is becoming my go-to for social outings puts me in an awkward position... If he were to suggest doing a coffee or hiking get together as a group would be OK, but does he really think a young (er, I hope I'm still considered young at 31), single woman wants to do one-on-one activities with a man old enough to be her father?!?
Anyway, I didn't directly answer his inquiry about the hike/coffee get together. I texted something along the lines of, "Good seeing you guys last night at salsa. Look forward to seeing the group next week." I hope he got the indirect message that I'm not interested in one-on-one time nor developing a deeper "friendship" other than from group settings.
I think a part of me is just frustrated that out of all the men in my friend's crowd, the only one showing a straightforward interest in me is a man old enough to be my father :( But I DID at least suss out that C. (a man who I met at one of the earlier parties) is taken. Apparently, he has a girlfriend who lives two hours away in another city. So I assume it's somewhat serious if they're committed to a long-distance relationship. I found this out from a mutual friend because C. along with some others from the group were at the salsa venue last night. Even though it was disappointing to find out that he was unavailable, it was some relief to know his status so that I wouldn't be kept wondering... A part of me, though, felt like Carrie Fisher's character from the movie When Harry Met Sally, "Oh, well, he may become available in the future..." But even then it's silly to ponder the thought because C. has a rather shy personality. I know now he is currently unavailable, but it was difficult to tell if he was even attracted to me.
Thank goodness I have this blog to vent my frustrations! Venting is always preferable to stuffing my face through emotional eating.
Member Comments About This Blog Post
Next time R ask you to do something with him. How about texting him back and say "Thanks but no thanks. R you are too old for me."? How does that sound? I think that is very honest and if I was R I would appreciate hearing a straight forward answer, instead of other lame excuses. Tell him the truth.
1420 days ago
Yes, you are young at 31 and I think a 19 year gap in a potential relationship is a lot. There is a 13 year gap between my husband and myself. The gap was not really apparent in earlier years, but as we both age, the gap becomes larger and larger.
I understand your feelings of awkwardness...I think your response to his message was very appropriate and hopefully he will "get the message" and nothing further will be needed.
1422 days ago
You know me, I'm a big believer in the therapeutic properties of venting. ;)
As long as this guy isn't too pushy, it can be a nice ego boost knowing that an older man finds you attractive.
But, you do have to let him know up front that the age difference doesn't work for you. 19 years is a big generational gap. So, you have to tell him that you prefer dating guys in your own age range. You might have to be brutally honest so that he doesn't get carried away.
You did the right thing. Will he get the message ? I hope so.
From my own sordid days of trying online dating, this is what I've learned. Men my age (this guy) aren't interested in me because we (women his age) remind them of their own mortality. They prefer younger women because it makes them feel younger. This is one reason women my age are becoming cougars ! We want a younger man because the older ones are off chasing younger women ! LOL !!!
The point ? If you don't feel comfortable dating this guy because his age, you're going to have to let him know and you might have to be blunt about it. Otherwise, he might follow you around like love sick puppy.
1422 days ago
I'm with BAKER1009, it is nice to know someone has interest on you, but you don't have to date him...
Just feel good/better about yourself and keep going...
1423 days ago
Yes, awkward situation, for sure.
1423 days ago
I'm glad too that you have your blogs to vent this out...we all need that! Hang in there girl!
OK, there is flattery to be had by an older man taking in interest in you. From my perspective, this means you truly are a gem (as if we didn't already know that!). Remember, men mature much later than us women. So it often takes an older man to recognize how truly awesome you are! Just saying!
This does not mean however that you should date him...I'm certainly not saying that. My point, take the compliment, enjoy it, and nicely keep giving him those hints that you enjoy hanging with the "group".
1423 days ago
I think you did an admirable job of letting R. know that you weren't interested in anything above and beyond friendship.
1423 days ago
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