I apologize for how long this is, I just feel like the details are important, and I could really use the advice! Over the summer I met this guy while on a group vacation, he's related to some very close family friends; we have several connections, but this was our first time ever meeting. It was definitely mutual attraction at first sight... Here is the thing though, he is 5 years younger than me (don't worry, it's a perfectly LEGAL age difference, however the age difference is a vital part of the story). Anyways, we definitely clicked; he was the first guy I felt any sort of connection with in a very long time, I mean, there are very few people in this life we ever truly connect with, so I thought it was significant. I definitely had feelings for him at first, but kept trying to fight them; I didn't want to let him go, but knew that he was about to start his freshman year of college as soon as the summer ended, and I wanted him to experience everything on his own and figure out what he wanted when he got a little older. Don't get me wrong, the age difference never bothered me. He is very mature and cultured for his age, but still, I think one's freshman year of college is a crucial part of one's growth, and as much as I didn't want to let him go, I didn't want to get in the way of that. However, things never go the way you plan. I ended up extending my vacation and spending some extra time with his family... during this time, him and I got even closer... We ended up being each other's *firsts* ... and of course, that always complicates things. If I have to admit one thing, it's that things went very fast between us... VERY fast... However, just to be clear, I don't regret anything that happened between us, and I wouldn't take anything back. After the vacation ended, I didn't see him for a few weeks. We kept in touch by phone though. He literally called every day or as often as he could. We were definitely in that "lovey dovey" honeymoon phase and part of me just felt that it was way too good to be true. When he finally arrived in my home state (the same state he was about to start college in), I saw him for the first couple of days (keep in mind that this whole thing had been kept a secret from everyone except a few very close friends). After those couple days, the contact stopped. I was unable to get a hold of him and I was going crazy. Finally he contacted me after a week, and told me that he hadn't been in contact because he was told not to contact me anymore. Turns out my mother found out about us (she should work for the CIA) and being completely against the age difference, had a fit and went and told his family, who told him that it had to end. My mother gave me crap about it for days, and I just didn't want to hear it. I was furious with her. Truth be told, I am still furious with her. If a relationship ends, it should be because it ended on its own, not because other people didn't approve of it. So him and I talked it out and decided it was best to just end it because it was such a burden on our families and just wait until a few years go by and see where we are at. So, in a few days there was going to be this surprise party for him hosted by one of his family members. I contacted him via text a few days before the party telling him I wanted to speak with him over the phone whenever he was free, (I wanted to ask him what he wanted for a gift as best as I could without spoiling the surprise.) To my disgust, he responded with something so arrogant that reading it still makes me angry. Something like "You need to set the line here sweetie, I'm seeing you on Sunday." -- I was FURIOUS. After everything him and I had been through, this is how he's talking to me. So I went to the party, he approached me to say hello, and me being my angry, passive aggressive self, completely ignored his existence. He did it right back, and we didn't talk for months. After that, I pretty much fell off the face of the Earth for a while. A few days ago was the first time I saw him in a few months, at a family party. I knew I was going to see him, and considering how much I regretted how things ended between us, I decided to change that. So I went up to him, gave him a hug, wished him well, and he was very sweet and responsive and did it right back. No mention of the past. I saw him later that night at an after party, and we were very friendly towards one another, things were still a bit weird, but it was nice and definitely felt like a huge burden had lifted. Again, no mention of the past, I just wanted to know how his present college life was going. Some of my guy friends kept telling me that it was very obvious that he still has feelings for me, and that he was just intimidated by the age difference, and that I should initiate the flirting and text him sometime this week and make the first move, just telling him that it was nice to see him and see where it goes from there in hopes of rekindling what we had. A couple of my girl friends completely disagree. They want me to just let him go, let him enjoy his college life because it's very important for him, and just see where the future takes us. So here is where I really need the advice. Now you know my past, so maybe now you can help me with my present dilemma. Do I try and rekindle what we had, being sure to take it a little slower. Or do I, in loving him with all my heart, do the selfless thing and just let him go and grow without me in the picture, and see what happens in the future? The thought of letting him go breaks my heart, but maybe it's for the best. What do you think? Does anyone have any similar experiences where they chose one option but wished they had chosen another? Thank you so much to those who can offer advice, I apologize again for how long this is.
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reader, anonymous, writes (1 December 2010):This is verified as being by the original poster of the questionHi Dorothy Dix,
Once again your answer is completely sensible and also offers hope as well. Which is much appreciated. :)
Yes, I think starting anew as just "friends" and taking it slower would be best.
Believe me, I more than anyone know what it's like to have a relationship negatively affect one's studies. I would never want that to happen to him or me, because I only ended up resenting that person, something I don't want to happen between us.
I definitely don't plan on sending him a text apart from "merry christmas", "happy birthday", etc... nor do I plan on initiating anything for the time being... I am just going to give him space and give it time. I really think that's best. I want him to have this time to figure out what he really wants.
You're right. I doubt he's ready for a serious, monogamous relationship. Hello, freshman guy at an Urban, American College (lol). And who knows if or when he will ever be ready? I think that it's best for him to go his way and for me to go mine, and just let some time to go by and see what the future holds.
What's that saying? If you love something, set it free...
Again, thank you so much,
You can't imagine how helpful and supportive you have been.
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reader, Dorothy Dix +, writes (29 November 2010):Hi. You're very welcome.
Sometimes it just takes a little time to pass and a few things to happen in between, for it to get to a certain stage where it's all ready again, to just flow the way it was meant to.
It might not be a good idea to text him too soon, just in case you get a message like what he said before, when he said - "You need to set the line here sweetie, I'm seeing you on Sunday." You don't want him to say something like that again.
So just keep any contact with him light and friendly, and try not to talk about what you previously had, even though it will be difficult. It's like starting anew.
Things will probably flow better, once he settles in at college. So for now, just give it a bit more time.
I'm guessing that he was also taking it slow, and probably still is.
It might also be, that he doesn't want to get into a deep and meaningful relationship, while he is going to college, just in case anything goes wrong and it affects his studies - which it would.
So for that reason, stay friends and perhaps let him initiate most of the contact, just for a while until you see how things begin to pan out.
If you give him some space like this, it will probably go a lot more smoothly between you. Also, he won't feel as if he is being pressured into a relationship, when he might not be quite ready just yet.
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reader, anonymous, writes (29 November 2010):This is verified as being by the original poster of the questionThank you so much for your answer, Dorothy Dix. I really appreciate you taking the time to read it all! As much as it hurts to think about it, I think you're right. I've gotten similar advice from some other people and it seems like the most sensible solution. Him and I really are at slightly different stages of our lives right now; where he's just started his college journey and I've almost ended mine, and perhaps it's best to just let things ride for the moment, as you put it. Wish me luck! Thank you again. Best wishes. :-)
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reader, Dorothy Dix +, writes (28 November 2010):Hi there. Perhaps just let things ride for the moment, and see what happens over time.
You just never know what might happen down the track.
Perhaps the age difference might concern him a bit.
That 5 years puts you both into slightly different stages of your lives. Perhaps you are more at the stage of considering getting serious soon - marriage, then kids, mortgages, bills etc.
He on the other hand, still has a way to go till he gets to that place.
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