I'm too old for unrequited love goddammit

So there I am, 36 years old, a guy that has always been ruled more by my head then my heart. I am too rational to be interested in a young woman 14 years my junior. Or so I imagined.

I will call her M. M arrived in our department about a year ago. My sense of humour caught her attention, she befriended me and started hanging out in my office. So much so that people started to talk and rumours began about us. We make each other laugh. We also have a chemistry together which people have often commented on saying we act like a couple etc, and I have been asked if I have ‘done her yet’. The reality is I have not ‘done’ her or even gone out with her.

M is by common agreement of our co-workers a difficult person to read, and a hard person to get to know. She is a habitual liar by which I mean tall stories for amusement rather then malice. Its impossible to get a straight answer out of her, and she delights in pranks and a mischievous sense of humour (which I share). She is excellent company one on one and in small groups but is shy, and quiet and reticent at social gatherings. She dislikes personal questions and both craves and dislikes attention in general. Its hard to know what she is ever really thinking. She is also young (22), Chinese, socially conservative, and Christian and I am none of these things. She is not very worldly and is most probably a virgin.

She gives off conflicting vibes and I dont know where I stand with her. She obviously likes me and wants us to be friends yet also often acts like she doesnt want to know me. She wont go out, I have asked on a couple of occasions and been declined. She doesnt say no directly but claims she is busy that night. Since no one is always busy I get the message. Yet she will ring me at night and talk until 3 or 4am. Or a few days ago I was busy at work and had neglected her all day and she snuck up behind me ruffled my hair, and leant against me to get my attention. She enjoys being tickled by me and will provoke it.

I am very fond of her, no doubt more then is wise. I had hoped we would get together and for a while it seemed like it would happen and that my interest was reciprocated. I’m still not entirely sure it isnt but believe that’s most likely wishful thinking. My head knows she doesn’t like me the way I like her and whether its the age difference or just lack of interest or whatever it amounts to the same.

So I recently decided that we should stay away from each other as I dont want to make her uncomfortable with an elder guy’s unwanted attentions and nor do I want to be in a situation of liking someone where my feelings arent returned. I am very conscious of the age gap and also that we are co-workers and the situation could turn ugly if it went bad. She is also uncomfortable with being an office rumour like we are, so all things considered I thought it best that we just part company as friends and stay clear of each other.

M however did not see things my way and said “I know you don’t want to talk to me but I dont care” and continued as normal. And that was that. She is aware of how I feel about her and tells me not to worry about it and that it hasn’t made her uncomfortable which I am pretty sure is a white lie.

So there we are. I like her, she doesn’t like me. I’m pretty sure at my age I should know better then to like the girl but I do. And I dont have a clue about how to handle her anymore.

{{{{{Eolbo}}}}} In a manly hug sort of way… I have NO advise, just my sympathies. I went thru the same thing three years ago with a co-worker. sigh All that I did, and she wouldn’t have anything to do with me. But she was still kind and friendly… sigh

You are never too old to be an idiot (I hope) and it’s kind of fun, isn’t it?

I’d guess that she’s unable to be pinned down either because she believes that a relationship with you would be “wrong” (co-worker, older, white, non-catholic, whatever) or perhaps she is just smart about making sure she’s got friends in the workplace (the late night phone calls don’t really go with that scenario, though.)

It’s my policy to always have a “fake” boyfriend - especially when I’m in a serious relationship. I wouldn’t let him tickle me, or ruffle his hair, though. You can’t really have fun with a fake crush if you don’t keep ithe “affaire” mostly in your own mind. That is, attention and private joke good, touching or talking about each other’s dates bad.

Buddy, she may be young and (possibly) innocent, but she’s using you. As a security blanket, ego-boost, whatever. She may not be uncomfortable with the way things have been, but you clearly are. I’m willing to give her the benefit of the doubt that she doesn’t realize she’s being a tease (I was terribly naive myself as a young woman and look back at some of my behavior cringing), so you need to make it clear. She should respect your feelings and dial it down.

And the day you’re too old to feel the head-swirling rush of romance is the day to pull the dirt blanket over your head.

If it weren’t for unrequited love, I’d have no love at all!

She told me she loved me like a brother. She was from Arkansas, hence the Joy!

I agree partially with don’t mind me. Here’s my take on the situation:

She’s attracted to you in some way, but not enough to persue a relationship with you. However, she very much enjoys turning your head and knowing that you have feelings for her. A part of her feels bad for “leading you on”, even though she has no intentions to take things further. Another part of her wants to have a relationship with you…a small, hopeful part. The realistic part of her tells her that it will never work, there are too many differences. At the same time, she wants to keep you interested, because that part of her that wants you is afraid that if she doesn’t keep you stringing along, some other girl will turn your head and she’ll lose you completely.