Can a guy in his 30s be interested in a girl in her 20s as just a friend?

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I just met an older guy who I think I would get along with well (as a friend) and he seems like he could use a friend as well and he invited me to hang out with him. But I don’t know if what he really wants is a relationship. I’m just not interested in a relationship with someone 10 years older than me, but I think we could be friends. Could this ever work out?

Category: asked November 21, 2013

8 Answers

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Simple answer? Yes

Reality? Probably not. He probably has some sort of interest, but that doesn't mean you should just cut him out. Consider where you met him? Do you have friends in common? Are you hanging out with him alone or with other people? Do you trust him and why? I get he's your friend so you may feel like you don't need to ask these things, but you really can't be too careful.

Make sure your intentions are crystal clear, that you are not looking for a relationship. And most importantly, be safe.
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Could you be friends? Yes. It is very possible (and would be great for you) to be friends with people older than you. Especially in your twenties people start to see you as an adult and often they want to help you out as you journey into adulthood.But it is also possible that this guy wants a relationship with you. It is in fact, likely. Men in their 30's love to feed their Peter-Pan syndrome by dating women a decade younger than them.So be upfront with this guy, keep things friendly but don't entertain any sex-talk or "if only I were ten years younger..." threads. Try to re-direct these with a "I wouldn't want to ruin our friendship" once or twice, but if he persists, make it clear that you're not interested in him that way.Once you've made that clear, if he persists, you will probably need to end the friendship. Guys who can't respect boundaries who are a decade older than you are not good news.This could turn out really well, but it has some pitfalls. Keep your eyes sharp, trust your gut, be clear and don't take shit and you should be okay.
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@Jessiebelle What Peter Pan syndrome are you talking about? All you know about the guy is that he is interested in Gee and nothing more about his personal circumstances. How can you reach such a conclusion?Gee, a relationship between a man and a woman can rarely be friendly. There will always be an attraction, especially if both of you are sexually attractive. My question is, if you can see yourself being friends with him despite your age gap which is not huge, why can you not see yourself having a relationship with him because of his age gap? Is age that important? For instance if he turns out to posses many of the attributes you are looking for in a guy will you turn him down simply because he is 10 years older than you?
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I think the gist of your question somehow got lost when you asked could this ever work out. Although you made it clear "this" is a friendship. Having said that, well jessiebelle and shellysbees made good response. I understand "could this ever work out" means you are wondering when you start being friends and he would mistaken it to you caring about him more as a friend. He is definitely going to be at risk of that, since he already likes you and would most likely want to think that you are interested in him as well.

Well if you want to welcome him as a friend, make sure your interactions with him are "friendly" interactions. Avoid flirting or toying with his vulnerability. Unless you are prepared for the consequences of him coming in on you strongly. Part of me thinks that you'll probably have to reserve a little bit less of yourself than you would to a friend who doesn't think of you as more than as a friend. I know I'm almost crossing the person off your friendly list, but I think that will help him move on.
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Ok, well if that's the problem then I wouldn't worry about it. If you really are immature, then you may as well mature through him, through your everyday social interaction with him. If his likes you this way he won't care. I know because I was in a similar relationship where the girl was not that mature socially-wise, but boy was she intelligent (and I reaaaaaly love that on a woman). He may even teach you how to deal with your emotions. I know I've helped a girl almost get over her sexual abuse in a couple of months while we had a relationship.Just keep an open mind. Relationships, if the partner is good can have a very "cathartic" effect on people.
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Thanks guys for the replies. There's a little more to the situation, for example, I've never been in a relationship before so the thought kind of scares me. I'm very reserved in general and don't really flirt with guys so I never let a guy know when I like him. The age thing wouldn't be a big deal except that I consider myself kind of immature, especially since I'm very insecure and not good at showing my emotions. I've never hung out alone with someone I don't know well and we only met once at a concert. But I'm trying to step out of my comfort zone and meet new people.
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I think you could. Just make sure you let him know where you're at. Tell him what you wrote here, and let him know that you'd like to be friends, but not much else right now. Best of luck to you sweetie!
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I'm sure it's possible, and if it turns out he ONLY wants to be around you for a relationship and won't take friendship instead, obviously it's not really worth being his friend. :/