Was he trying to pursue me as more than a friend?

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  • #790641 Reply


    Hi there,

    I’m a female in my 20s and I have mild Asperges syndrome, making friends has always been difficult for me also I’ve been rejected and judged a lot for my looks and social awkwardness behaviour, especially from guys I’ve really liked in the past. I’m not a shallow person and strongly believe beauty and all that is in the eye of the beholder but I also believe I deserve what everyone else does in love. I’ve had a few lovely guys also with autism that have really liked me and fancied that I didn’t feel the same way about, like me and I seem to attract people that are socially awkward and people I don’t find attractive and I’m sure that’s how I’ve came across to the guys I’ve pursued and got rejected by. Looks aren’t everything but if like to have the right to be attracted to someone who actually likes me back. I’m very honest and I know I’m not the best looking but I’m okay and there are things about myself that give me confidence.

    Almost a year a go I worked in a warehouse manufacturing products, I was one of the only female workers there and the youngest. I like older men and there was plenty of older men I dressed up for and made playful conversation with, it was the first time I ever felt confident or popular so I got carried away at times. I met this older guy in his mid 50s called Steve and we worked together closely for weeks and we just clicked basically and I felt myself energised and having fun when being around him talking and being incredibly subtlely playful. At times I guess I felt an intellectual attraction toward him, he made me feel intelligent and good about myself and he appreciated me. He was very kind and non judgemental. I eventually left that workplace but we kept in touch and even met up a few times as friends outside of work for coffee and we frequently emailed each other and he sent me gifts and cards and over time I have reasons to believe he liked me more than as a friend, reasons I will list below. I however at that point suspected it for a while and tried to let him down as I wasn’t in a place to want to go there with him because in all honesty I wasn’t and I’m still not physically attracted and turned on by him and couldn’t imagine being lovey dovey or sleeping with him. Sex isn’t everything and neither is looks in terms of someone being perfect but it’s important to me that I’m I love with not only with their true self but all of their self as everyone deserves the real deal in terms of love and sex. I did a mean thing and eventually cut him off as a friend because I felt uncomfortable but I’ve recently thought about re establishing contact as friends and seeing if that intellectual chemistry I felt would help me become more physically attracted to him and just maybe I could be happy. Steve and I have a lot in common we both have very lonely lives and we stay at home and keep to ourselves and I don’t think either of us have been with many people because of our being considered by most as outcasts but we have some mutual interests and understanding.

    I’m now going to bullet point some of the things he’s said and done that have given me reason to believe he was trying to pursue me as more than a friend, he never however actually said it but I think he may have tried to imply it. You may think this whole thread is pointless because some of these points may be obvious he likes me but the reason I question is does he like me romanticlly or sexually because once or twice he said I reminded him of his nice and he thought of me as a daughter, he’s 55 ish and I told him I thought of him as an uncle kind of figure at work and that’s why I never flirted with him at work the same way. Also I question this despite strong obvious signs is because like I said he is older and his life is rather boring and empty and maybe I’m the only one who has hung out with him, he did mention he often felt barriers when talking to people but when he met me the social barriers lifted when talking to me so maybe he’s just desperate or needy, he may be confident and straight forward and going for what he wants but it came across as a bit needy so I don’t know if he really likes me and what way he likes me?

    Here are some things he said and did over the last few months:

    1.before I left work I mentioned my giving him my number in case he ever wanted to go for a coffee and he said why not? The next day I’d not even written my number out for him and he approached me with his on a piece of paper which I thought was keen. Later he must of told people because some of them reffered to our coffee as a date

    2. On my last day of work he and I were passing and saying farewell for now and he kind of was trying to friendly come across as touching my shoulder as a friend but as he said we can contact each other it came across as he was stroking and caressing my shoulder lightly as he awkwardly smiled.

    3. At work when we were working closely next to each other I’d where these stupid expensive jeans with holes in all the young people wear, I wore them for the guys but not him. He made a jokey comment about them on more than one occasion but on one he came up stairs specifically to say hi and as he noticed my jeans and asked if I only wore them specially for him as they show flesh on the knees as he said he always sees me in them only when he is around.

    4. There have been occasions when I suspected he found excuses to come see me at work, there would be times when he’d be asked to check on me but he seemed to volunterily do it and like doing it. Sometimes I’d call him over when he’d be passing and there’d be times he’d ask me to help with his phone during break as he isn’t good with tech.

    5. Within a few weeks of me leaving work he actually called me up, Ive heard the fact that a guy chooses to phone instead of text is significant so I’d thought I’d mention it. He called to set up a coffee date but not a date.

    6. During the first coffee hang out he met me where wanted to meet and he paid for my drink. During our chat I got a bit upset and he felt awkward but understanding, I was telling him about why I left work, it was because of another guy that worked there and there was some gossip at work everyone knew about with this other guy. He offered me a lift home and told me I could contact him any time I ever needed a lift anywhere. We exchanged emails as he prefers to either email or talk on the phone but not text as he doesn’t understand it on his phone.

    7. Later in to that week he called me during his break at worked and felt the need to apologise for when I got upset in the cafe because helft bad and that maybe he should have done something to confort me but he didn’t want to overstep the mark. When we walk back to the car he apologied for when I was cold because he felt he should have done something.

    8. We exchanged emails and since we first met for coffee he’d intiate an email every week or so regularly to set up another meeting. We’d only known each other a couple of months and were barley friends but on new friend basis and he invited me to go on a day trip with him to meet his parents that live far away, he said they’d love to meet me. It would of been just us two. I later declined.

    8. I was going through a hermit period and didn’t want to go outside so I kept cancelling our meetings for a while but I wanted to still talk on email. He was very understanding of the meetings but still offered to call me on the phone which we did a couple of times but I was a bit nervous too at that time and he understood. During this time he surprised me by sending me flowers and a card with a love heart on the front that said we miss you and was signed love your friend steve.

    9. At Christmas he bought me a little love heart necklace and at Christmas and new years sent me online Christmas gram cards that were signed with love.

    10. We’d talk quite alot about our film interests and music too. Film and actors is a big hobby for me and him too and everytime I’d recommend a film he’d go and buy it and watch it and tell me what he thought. He also ask me to tell him about more films I’d think he’d like.

    11.We met for coffee a couple more times in person. I’d ussally agree and be up for it but a bit reluctant. He’d always intiate with an email every week or so. Many a time he’d mention he’s going somewhere and ask if I’d like to go with him. When we made arrangements he always travelled to me and picked me up as I didn’t drive. He’d say he could be at my place for so and so time.

    12. At the time I just left work it was because of relations with another guy who worked there, I was going through a hard time as he was also an older guy and my fantasies were crushed. I’d confide in Steve and write him long emails about the situation and personal issues I was dealing with. I think it made him awkward and uncomfortable but he was understanding and cared and was worried about me. He’d often send emails checking up on me if I mentioned I had a cold or him offering to help me find a job. He was very short and to the point with emails but not very intimate or emotional he’s kinda awkward and prudish I guess but tried to extend himself in one email and signed that it was the hardest thing he’s ever had to write. There was a time when he’d write and tell me how he thought we were the same when it came to relationships. He is usually a very early bird and he once said he found the urge to email me in the morning because he wanted to talk to me but he has to resit because he thought it would wake me up.

    13. It wasn’t long after Christmas and he asked me when my birthday was, I suspected he wanted to buy me a gift and I told him I didn’t want him to spend money on me, he told me he’d tell me his birthday if I told him mine and that it made him happy to spend money on me. This is around the time I started to try and discourage him by telling him I only thought of him as a friend and a times he wouldn’t acknowledge it but finally one time he replied saying he knew I only wanted friendship and could live with that but he never actually said he didn’t want anything more just that he could live with me not wanting more.

    14. Once when he came over to mine for a coffee there was a power cut and I stood up on a stool to reach the fuse box and he’d always be jumpy and aware of my actions, he didn’t always stare in my eyes but he’d look at every inch my body moved or looked where ever I looked as if he were nervous. I stood up on the stool and he immediately lightly took hold of me whilst I stood up to assist me, I don’t know if it counts as finding an excuse to touch me? There’d be times we’d say by and I’d intiate a Purley friendly hug and he’d awkwardly hug me it was kind of like he awkwardly expected or wanted to do something.

    15. One of our last conversations before I kinda detached from him rather coldly and regrettably was he reached out casually or intently just to talk, he knew I wanted to return to work and emailed me about returning to work. I was fed up of hearing from him and was uncomfortable after he having asked when my birthday was because I felt he was moving a bit fast and I didn’t know if it was desperation. The only thing that potentially makes me turned on by him and potentially liking him sexually and what not is his coolness when we chat but he was lately coming off as not an attractive older guy but a desperate grandad I wasn’t physically attracted to it made me a bit sick and uncomfortable which I now feel a bit bad for. I started not replying as quick and if I didn’t answer he’d send up a follow up email asking if I’m okay and ask if I’d like him him to give me space. I mentioned to him him my meeting someone my own age and that my life was getting busier, he replied and said good to hear I’ve met someone but he still hoped it wasn’t the end of our meeting up. I don’t know if it meant jealousy. He’d always try and please me and be very kind and understanding and he’d tell me he just wants me to be happy. He hardly knew me but I’d made an impression on him because we were both similar in the sense that we aren’t socially accepted by many people.

    I definitely felt chemistry and a tiny bit of attraction and flirtatiousness when we spoke of films and music but there was any physical attraction for me and its important to have the whole package but recently I’ve reconsidered reaching out as I may have been quick to dismiss.

    I definitely know he liked me and wanted to talk and see me but just don’t know if he actually liked me mor than a friend or if he was sutbley affectionate because he saw me as a niece or daughter?

    I apologise for such a long and detailed post everyone but I’d appreciate it if someone read it and gave me their thoughts.

    #790649 Reply


    I didn’t have time to read your book but it doesn’t matter!

    The answer is you cannot force attraction, its either there or its not. Based on the amount of time you’ve spent together its not magically going to happen. The only reason you should contact him is to apologize for your immature behavior, as its more of a case of ‘guilt’ your feeling irregardless of all the ‘bullet points’ as those don’t matter. The only thing that matters is that you find the guy who you can be totally smitten with, both physically and emotionally, and he’s just as smitten with you in the same way.

    #790662 Reply

    Liz Lemon

    It sounds like he was attracted to you and enjoyed your company, but there are mixed feelings here since he’s old enough to be your father.

    It’s totally possible to be in this situation and have mixed feelings about it. It sounds like you enjoyed his attention and his company, which is normal. Especially if you have trouble connecting with guys, it feels good to have positive male attention, even if it’s from an older man. But instead of feeling physical attraction to him, he comes off as a “desperate granddad” to you. I can’t blame you for that either. He is much older than you.

    He may very well have been interested in you as more than a friend, but if you don’t feel physical attraction to him, it’s OK. You’re not obligated to return his interest. You say you’re not attracted to him and can’t imagine sleeping with him. You deserve to be with someone you feel physically attracted to!

    I’m not sure if you’re asking whether you should stay in touch with him or not? I would recommend not doing it. It would be more appropriate for you to seek out friends/boyfriends your own age. Whatever his intentions are, I get the feeling it’s making you uncomfortable, or else you wouldn’t be writing a long post asking for advice. If it doesn’t feel good to you, you’re not obligated to continue this friendship.

    #790665 Reply


    This guy is 30 years older than you so of course he is interested. But from what you said, not in a very meaningful way. Or maybe he knows he is way too old for you. I want to mention some other things
    From what i get from your post is that you like to dress up for the guys at work who are older. I consider that a huge mistake. You dont go to work to flirt with guys and what i got from your post you even quit your job because of a crush at work. Forgot about guys at work. Consider them neutral, not allowed to date ground.
    Second you say you like older men, but do you really? Or is this a calculated move because you think you cant attract a guy your age and actually start a family with? Doing all this atuff woth a man 30 years older solely for the purpose of flirting is a waste of time. Yes you can find a good man, also your own age, it just might take a bit longer than a super attractive outgoing girl. Dont sweat it, youre young. My best advice is not to doll up to impress some old dudes at work but actually start to date. Go out of your comfort zone. Be honest in your profile. There are guys who like your type of personality. Go outthere and find him.

    #790670 Reply


    Many of us have been rejected in love or struggled ot make friends. But you can move past that. I suggest seeing someone for counselling to deal with it, because it sounds like it’s really affected your self esteem.

    You say you like older men. Some women have the confidence and life experience to take on a much older partner on an equal footing. However, if you’re shy and inexperienced and have a lot of insecuritues, that makes you very vulnerable to being taken advantage of. I really recommend therapy because you’ve been through a lot, and your self esteem sounds like it’s taken a battering.

    I feel that you’re looking for a father figure, here. I worry you want to be with him, not because you like him – you’re clearly not romantically or sexually interested in any serious way. But because you are lonely and don’t have many people to hang out with – your age or not. I suggest focusing first on making friends – especially friends your own age. Pick up some hobbies. Spend time with others who have stuff in common with you. When men who are 30 years older, there’s usually a reason they can’t get women their own age. And why they prefer women who lack experience and don’t know what to look out for.

    Don’t date at work – this is your livelihood, you don’t want gross rumors going around about you because some pervy old men are talking. And don’t dress up for old pervs – dress for yourself. At work, people should respect you for what you contribute to the team – they shouldn’t all be hoping they can sleep with you. By all means, do whatever you like with people privately – but it’s better for that to not risk your work situation.

    Even with this man – nothing about your interactions suggest you actually want to be with him romantically. It’s OK that you were repulsed by him, and it’s OK that you can’t see yourself doing lovey things or having sex with him. But that means you’re not interested in him romantically. You like him and you find him cool, but he reminds you more of a granddad. Don’t date anyone you can’t see yourself being intimate with.

    He’s sending weak signals, and mixed ones at that. Perhaps he’s also a lonely, awkward person who is too scared to meet other people – but do you really want a man who wants you only because he can’t get anyone else? You can’t be a relculse and rely on a recluse man – your lives need to be more than just your romantic partner. The interactions between you sound awkward – I think he knows being with you would not be appropriate. I don’t think he is seriously interested in a romantic relationship with you, and it wouldn’t work anyway. You’re repulsed by him and find the idea of being sexy or romantic with him repulsive. He’s just not suitable to be your boyfriend in a million different ways.

    You don’t sound ready for a relationship or dating right now, either. You push people away, cancel plans, and freak out at even minor things because they feel like too much – when you’re ready, you won’t feel that way. When you like someone, it’s not difficult to keep seeing them. Work on yourself, and when you really honestly feel ready to date, give it a go.

    You seem like you haven’t got much experience with atraction – romantic or sexual. Has your heart ever jumped out of your chest when a guy you liked started talking to you? Have you felt your hairs on end because they touched you? Have you yearned to be with them? Have you felt aroused just because the person you like did something you found sexy? Have you imagined touching them, or them touching you, with longing? You don’t need to answer these questions – but I’m trying to say that you will KNOW attraction when you feel it, because it’s not mild.

    If you haven’t felt passionate about someone, maybe do some reading about asexuality or aromanticism. There’s a spectrum of sexuality and not all of us are attracted to people easily – some not at all. It doesn’t have to describe you – you’re young and you have time to meet lots of people and decide if that fits you or not. But don’t feel like you ‘have’ to be atrracted, or ‘have’ to have a relationship with anyone. Focus on yourself and take the time to find out who you are and make some friends.

    I don’t think you should contact him – your interactions have been vague and confusing, and you don’t want to date him.

    #790694 Reply


    To answer your title question, I believe he did want more. He was probably playing it cool/slow. Even if I give him the benefit of the doubt, he seems conflicted and doesn’t show good judgement. If I were him and truly saw you as a niece/daughter, I’d be pushing you towards self-growth routes like building up your confidence, pursuing someone around your age, all with proper boundaries. Not send you heart shaped necklaces. That one was a yikes for me. I don’t see loneliness as an excuse to compromise on integrity. Maybe I’m being a bit harsh. But I can give examples from my own life to prove that.

    If a guy comes on strongly and makes you uncomfortable, it is not mean to shut off communication. I don’t see any need to contact him just because you may have been cold. He’s an adult man and will be well-hardened to handle such a response. There are women who’ve rejected my advances or I’ve read they weren’t entirely comfortable and I’ve immediately let them be, and respected them too.

    @mell is right that your self-esteem seems rock bottom and needs a lot of work. By any chance is the reason you like way older men because you don’t feel good enough for guys around your age?

    I can understand dressing up for guys at your work to impress them. When I was 22 and in a summer fling, I was texting/calling 3-4 other girls. One time in front of my then-gf too! I look back at myself in shame now, but many people have such phases. I hope eventually you arrive at a place in life where you don’t need so much, if any, validation from the opposite sex. It’s a nice and stable place to be.

    I agree with @Newbie that there are certainly guys out there closer to your age who find someone like you attractive. Socially awkward or shy girls are very cute. You ever heard the quote, “Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.” Similarly, everyone’s attractive too but not -everywhere-. If I were to walk into a night club or bar I wouldn’t be surprised if all the women there reject me. But something like a hiking group, or various chill or academic environments and I do very well, and the women there are more my type too. It’s just a matter of stumbling upon your type, so don’t let rejection discourage you towards poor options. Sometimes it can literally even be about living in the wrong town.

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