Below is the case of a woman falling for a family friend who also happens to younger than her. It is not clear how he feels about her. I advise this woman to take things slowly and not declare her love for him at this time.
Candice writes, “I am a woman, in my mid-twenties, and I have found myself in love with an 18 year old guy. It’s not that I was looking for a younger man; it’s more that we just happen to spend a lot of time together, and one day he just looked at me for longer than usual, and I couldn’t help but to keep looking back at him. I was in an on-off relationship at the time, with an older guy who was really fun to be with, but never made me feel like he really wanted me. So I never said anything to the younger guy, because I still liked the older one. Now that I am very much over the older one, and spending a fair amount of time with the younger guy I feel like I just can’t get enough of him. However, I don’t want to ruin his life or make him feel uncomfortable around me if I have gotten this whole situation wrong, so even though I have tried to give subtle (and maybe some not so subtle) hints, I am trying really hard not to say anything. But I don’t want to keep going like this, because it’s frustrating, and it’s lonely sometimes, so I feel it would be best to at least know where I stand. But I am really worried that things will be a little weird, because I know his family and they all know mine, and I don’t think he has been in many relationships up till now, so I am not sure if he would be ready to deal with me. I have tried to make my goals and plans for a family one day quite clear, and he is a very down to earth, logical, mature guy, compared with many of the boys I have met around his age. And I really want to tell him how I feel, but I am not sure what would be the best way, or the best time, although I have found out that he is going away to school, so if I told him right before he leaves I will at least be away from him for a few months if I needed to. I am just a bit concerned that he may turn me down (even if he does like me) because he is so practical and level headed about things. What should I do?”
Dating a family friend is always problematic
You are in a very sticky situation because your families know each other. If his family is not so open-minded about such relationships, they could completely freak out and accuse you of taking advantage of a teenager. Do you think that they would be supportive if you two announced that you were dating?
I think he is a good man based on what you tell me, but considering the age gap, the families being close, the fact that he might see you as a good family friend (or someone almost big-sis like), and that he is going away for months, I am not sure if he is the perfect man for you at this stage. While I am not downplaying your attraction towards him, but could it be that you liked him because he just happened to be around and made it clear that he wanted to spend time with you while your boyfriend at the time didn’t. Would you have considered him romantically if you were not single?
Since this is rather complex set of circumstances, I suggest that you maintain things the way you are and while he is in college, stay in touch with him to the extent possible. He is a good guy and even if your romantic vision does not materialize, he could be an awesome friend for life. Maybe a few years later, while he is mature enough to be independent and take his own decisions, if you two have feelings for each other, you can both approach your parents and tell them that even with the age difference you both can be happy.
In the meantime, just date as you would as a single girl.
Life isn’t fair and not everything in life turns out perfectly. Sometimes the most awesome job comes from a city that you cannot relocate to or the man you find to be perfect is married. What is important is to appreciate the constraints we all live with and make the best of what is offered to us. You seem like a nice girl and I see no reason at this young age for you to find another nice man.