Social Question

Blonderaven's avatar

Large age differences in male/female friendship (specific situation)

Asked by Blonderaven (387points) February 24th, 2012

I’m kind of looking for a sounding board here, I guess.

I’m in a foreign country on a high school exchange. In my town, I don’t have a lot of friends to do stuff after school. Many kids live far away, or just aren’t in to the same kind of stuff as me.

The point is, I can get lonely sometimes and I don’t doubt it clouds my judgement.

A few days ago someone messaged me on Facebook. He was a friend of a friend who had recently come to town and wanted someone to hang out with. I asked our mutual friend about him. She only had positive things to say, but she told me that he was 10 years older than me.

Possibly against my better judgement, I went out to meet with him after school. He seems like a nice, honest person, we share similar interests etc. His behavior was appropriate, nothing remotely sexual/romantic.

We are planning to meet up again, but I feel uneasy because of the age difference. My main worry is that he is interested in being more than friends, which I am not OK with. From his behavior, I don’t have any reason to think that (I’m not getting that vibe) I guess I just wonder why he would be interested in hanging out with someone so much younger. I would like to think it’s because he’s interested in foreigners (His friendship with our mutual friend and her boyfriend make me think that) and/or he wants to keep up his English.

Does this scream “red flag?” or is it not a big deal?

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8 Answers

Blackberry's avatar

I have to ask: why are you putting gasoline in a water bottle lol?

You’re going to have to ask him. He could just be a cool guy that also wants to hang out with someone, or he could just be a nice guy that also happens to like you. Just because he’s older doesn’t mean he’s strange or something.

janbb's avatar

How much do you trust your own instincts and/or ability to protect yourself? If you are pretty confident in your ability to say no if the situation gets uncomfortable, meet him again. If you are feeling too vulnerable, I would send him a note saying the age difference makes you too uncomfortable for a continued acquaintanceship. In either case, I would only meet in public places for a long time. He may be just fine but take care of yourself.

saint's avatar

As long as you maintain control of the agenda what is the big deal. Can’t have too many friends.

nikipedia's avatar

From what you’ve described here, the situation sounds ok and not creepy to me. Like @Blackberry said, it might be helpful to just ask him. If he freaks out and gets defensive, there’s your answer. And even if his intentions are good, it will be a reminder for him to stay far away from any gray area.

CaptainHarley's avatar

The whole thing sounds relatively harmless to me, but what caught my eye was the “ten years older than me” statement. I guess my age is showing here because that doesn’t sound like too much of an age difference to me. My wife is 15 years younger than me, but perhaps the difference between 68 and 53 isn’t as great as the difference between say, 25 and 40?

AshLeigh's avatar

One of my best friends in the world is a man in Ireland, that I met online by accident. I think he said he was like 49, or something. Haha. I’m only 16..
I guess some people would think it’s weird. But friendship happens.

janbb's avatar

@AshLeigh You should see the animated film Mary and Max. It is about a similar friendship.

MollyMcGuire's avatar

How silly. You say you can and want to just hang out with someone with no interest in romance but question why someone older and wiser could do the same. Perhaps you should just stay home.

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