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I have feelings for a younger woman that's moved into my home and I don't know what I should do

Tagged as: Dating<< Previous question   Next question >>
Question - (11 April 2019) 9 Answers - (Newest, 14 April 2019)
A male United Kingdom age 30-35, *kar writes:

Dear 'Cupid'

I have been in a sexless relationship for over a year and we finally split up. My evenings became about beer and take out and over many months I put on weight and didn't bother with dating or about the opposite sex barely at all.

Since my ex-partner moved out I have been letting out rooms in my home. The most recent is an attractive young woman. I didn't think this would be a problem and in fact I thought being around an attractive person of the opposite sex would make me think twice about my unhealthy lifestyle and even give me the jump start needed to want to start dating again.

It worked. I'm more active and maintaining a diet that in time will undo the damage of being in a rut for so long.

But there's a problem - i'm falling for the new tenant.

I've not had long to get to know her but everything I learn seems special and to resonate with me. Her energy and care-free nature is intoxicating. Plus she's got the looks I typically find most desirable.

I know I am probably just yearning for a connection but it's been years since I felt this way and it only comes on rarely.

I suspect its hopeless though. Not only am I her landlord but there is a 12 year age gap and she is only 20. From the boys she's been seeing, it seems she likes partners closer to her age and only a little older, but this has only been about sex so who knows?

Even if that's not an issue for her, I have to accept i've let myself go and will need severalfew months to be back at my peak, but I know I can do it. Meanwhile however she is living her life which includes being involved with other partners.

I want to live with the heartache of this while I work on myself, knowing full well she could be gone tomorrow - either off on adventures or settling with a new partner. It may not even be enough anyway and i'm just not what she's after.

I wonder if I should just encourage her to move out even though i'd be denying myself a chance at happyness, no matter how slim that chance may be. I wouldn't even have to tell her the real reason.

I've been advised that under no circumstances I should tell her how I feel and I think this is right for a couple of reasons, although if she does move out sometime there is nothing to lose.

There arn't any women in my life right now that I am comfortable to talk to this about and my male friends advice on this 'younger woman' situation as you can imagine has been... lacking in wisdom.

View related questions: moved in, moved out, my ex, split up

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A male reader, rkar United Kingdom +, writes (14 April 2019):

rkar is verified as being by the original poster of the question

Awesome advice - it's been very helpful to get some perspective on this and look at all the angles. I'm feeling better about myself day by day and really, her being just someone I get on with and enjoy the company of is a nice thing in itself.

The more I get used to her being around, the more confident I am that I dont need it to be anything more than at best platonic friendship. Yes, she is an attractive woman and yes she indiscrimanently sleeps with her male friends and so what.. does that entitle me to entertain thoughts about her and me in that way? No. I don't want to be that guy. I appreciate the comments you've made to encourage me to remember there are plenty of fish in the sea. It just hasn't felt that way after being in a rut for so long. I'd say i've got a much better grip of things now. Many thanks for your advice

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A female reader, Honeypie United States + , writes (14 April 2019):

Honeypie agony auntOP, it's not so much your age that "can" make you come across as creepy.

Creepy can be any age. Like WiseOwlE so fully explained, it's your age combined with you being in that "place of power".

Let's say you hit on her or told her how attracted you were to her and she wasn't interested beyond being a POLITE tenant. WHO would this be awkward for? HER mainly. IT is after all YOUR home.

It's like the boss who at Christmas parties hit on ALL the young new pretty interns. (kind of). You know what I mean? Don't be THAT guy.

I also think, that YOU, OP deserve to find a partner who is on your level. Of maturity, of what you are looking for, someone you SHARE things that MATTER in common with.

Want more for yourself than just a sexy pretty face.

When you ARE ready to date again, don't consider a tenant nor a coworker.

Chin up and remember... HALF the world's population is female.

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A male reader, WiseOwlE United States + , writes (14 April 2019):

I think you're placing too much emphasis on the age-difference. You're not considering the boundaries of appropriateness. You're far from an "old-man." However, you are an older-man who happens to be the landlord.

She is your tenant, and you are the guy who provides her with shelter. She doesn't live there for free. You have the right to remove her from your property, rendering her homeless. That gives you power. You have the advantage of age, financial-superiority, and life-experience. That is the inequality that makes her vulnerable; if you decide to be inappropriate, or make unwanted-advances. Honeypie and I both have responded to posts from women about inappropriate landlords over the years. It's not always the case of some crotchety deviant or an old perv. When flirtations and flowery compliments are unwanted (regardless of age); it's an imposition and encroachment on another person's space. It's awkward and scary. When you're the boss, landlord, professor, or in a position of advantage; the woman feels objectified and victimized, depending on the intensity.

I'm not implying that you are some kind of predator or creep; but you have all the power and circumstances that places you in the position of advantage, and her in the position of disadvantage and vulnerability.

Not like she's some innocent little sheep; but the fact you have the longer end of the stick. If you come-on to her, where does she go? How does she escape? If she had to rent a room, it means she may not be able to afford a whole apartment. So try and control your feelings and let the boundaries of appropriateness and respect keep things in proper perspective. Just in-case you misinterpret my post.

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A male reader, WiseOwlE United States + , writes (14 April 2019):


"Have you read the creepy landlord posts we often receive on DC?"

"If you feel up to seeking romance, it might be best you sign-up with a dating site; or get out and do some socializing."

Post Scriptum:

It seems you've been isolated and somewhat deprived of female-companionship. The last (if not worst) place to seek it is among your tenants, or on your job. You could also place yourself in a very compromising situation; if it turns out your young tenant is a cunning opportunist.

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A male reader, WiseOwlE United States + , writes (14 April 2019):

Have your read the creepy landlord posts we often receive on DC? Young women who sign leases and agreements; only to receive unwanted advances and sexual-harassment from the landlord. Entering their apartments or flats unannounced, claiming to be doing repairs, or just randomly checking on their properties. Meanwhile, flirting and speaking inappropriately.

It's far too easy to exploit people who are under an agreement for the very roof over their heads. At the mercy of unscrupulous landlords; which can often place them in compromising or awkward situations. It makes women feel they've been scammed or set-up. Which is too often the case!

It may not be the case here, but you'll lose all credibility if you make passes or a romantic-proposition towards a female-tenant. She is there for only one reason. Shelter! Taking advantage of women in such situations is predatory, for lack of a better word. So be careful! Fishing in a barrel, or bird-watching in a bird-cage is too easy.

Meet women the old-fashioned way, or subscribe to a reputable dating-site.

You're explaining to us how you've let yourself go. A young woman of 20 moves-in thinking she has found a place to live; and you're trying to figure-out how to make your move on her. All the while evaluating what type of men she dates.

Dear sir, follow the advice to keep your so-called feelings to yourself.

If you feel up to seeking romance, it might be best you sign-up with a dating site; of get out and do some socializing. Luring a female-tenant into your home under the guise of renting rooms is how this whole scenario comes across. You can't make it look innocent from the way you've described it. The post is a little unsettling.

I don't think telling her your feelings would be appropriate; and it would certainly come across worse in reality, than it might seem in your imagination. It might also create fear.

The suggestion she's in your house only as a tenant seems quite questionable now. I suspect that won't be for long. It was quite an unwise decision on her part. Renting a room in the house of a single older-man was a risky thing to do in the first place. It seems desperate, and leaves her quite vulnerable and easy prey to the wrong kind of landlord.

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A female reader, Andie's Thoughts United Kingdom + , writes (13 April 2019):

Andie's Thoughts agony auntUnless you want a sexual harassment situation and losing the money from a tenant, don’t make the creepy decision to hit on her. Treat her like a niece, not a random woman. Cut any attraction or any non-platonic thoughts/behaviour. Find a woman your own age and not someone who relies on you for their current living situation.

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A male reader, rkar United Kingdom +, writes (13 April 2019):

rkar is verified as being by the original poster of the question

I've had a couple of days to process my feelings and it really is "just a crush" - thanks for being the voice of reason, Honeypie. I won't pursue her and I can manage the feelings I have day by day. My mind goes to thoughts of her a lot but it's easier to keep a grip by telling myself nothing will ever happen and there will be someone else out there when i'm ready.

I can't help but think she's a sweet girl who's going off the rails with the constant partying and casual flings but it's her life and I'm not her confidant, parent or partner so I keep out of it.

I don't think she think's that i'm creepy or old - we share plenty of light conversation and smiles but I won't let my imagination get carried away because of that. I must have re-read your reply on at least 3 occasions now just to help stay grounded, many thanks for your answer

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (13 April 2019):

What’s wrong with making the effort to find a woman in your own age range . Personally if I were twenty and my much older land lord started hitting on me I’d find it very sleazy. You may even leave yourself open to a sexual harrassment suit .

You say your feeling better about yourself so why not make the effort to meet someone your age

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A female reader, Honeypie United States + , writes (12 April 2019):

Honeypie agony auntI would advice against pursuing this young woman.

1. she is your tenant and just THINK how awkward it will be if she isn't AT ALL interested?!

2. She is MUCH younger and in a different stage of her life.

3. She seeming seems to be into guys HER own age and into CASUAL hook ups.

Focus on you. You say there are some more "improvements" you want to achieve, MAKE yourself the main goal.

In a way it's good that you are interested in her because it got you out of your funk, however... It might not just BE her... it might be that you are getting OVER the previous relationship and feeling ready to date.

I think, honestly, this is just a crush on your side. It's spring-time, you are feeling better about yourself, she is young and pretty. Doesn't mean she would be a good match for you. Or even WANT to date an older guy. It might actually creep her out (not saying that you ARE creepy) but for a young woman who is 20 and only dating guys her own age... then yeah, it can seem creepy that her "old" land-lord is hitting on her. It's a LITTLE to convenient for you to try and date a tenant.... And lazy, tbh.

Time for you to get out and socialize, met new people. Enjoy life.

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