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Undergrad wanting to date a grad student


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: I noticed a guy at my college’s gym who I would see all the time. I smiled at him and he said hi, and the next day, he initiated a conversation with me. We would see each other there a couple days a week and talk for about 20 minutes. He’s 28 ,a grad student, and I’m 19. He SEEMED to show a lot of interest in me, he would remember EVERYTHING i told him, he would always ask me how my midterms or papers went, and he would look at me for a long time and smile and laugh at everything I said. This went on for several weeks, but he never asked me for my number.

School ended, so I added him on Facebook and messaged him. We messaged for about a month, then I casually brought up hiking because it was something he showed interest in. I said that I always wanted to go but could never find anyone willing to go with me, hint hint. He never replied after this! Should I talk to him if I see him when school starts or is he not into me? I developed really strong feelings for him

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So you're stating absolute facts about people you don't know based on your vast years of experience (23) and aren't open to, you know, discussing things on a discussion board? Then why are you pos

I really don't need a lecture on people, or relationships... I am saying that a guy who is in his late 20s choosing to date a teenager is sketchy.. that is that.  i will not be changing my opinion so

I was pointing out that you can easily be sexist, paternalistic, and condescending while making factually true statements, things your previous post implied were mutually exclusive. In fact, it's prec

Maybe he was being kind? I can't really fully say, but the 11 year difference may or may not be of interest to him. If/when you do see him around on campus, just ask him to talk and find out where he stands with you? If you find that he isn't interested in anything beyond a friendship, then don't be afraid to move on from it. You're still very young and have plenty of time and opportunity to meet someone who may be a better fit for you. 

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I'm sorry but why would a 28 year old be really into dating a 19 year old? It is just 2 different stages in life. Maybe if you see him around try to talk but I doubt it would go anywhere.

I don't think this is necessarily true. Chemistry between two people is a lot more complicated than that. I think that two people these ages might be able to have a wonderful relationship depending on the maturity of the two individuals.

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I don't think this is necessarily true. Chemistry between two people is a lot more complicated than that. I think that two people these ages might be able to have a wonderful relationship depending on the maturity of the two individuals.

I agree kind of but 19 and 28? I don't see it.  Why would a 28 year old want to date a 19 year old? Anyways this guy doesn't even talk to her anymore so does it really matter? 

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This is a typical girl approach to dating, and a good example of why it is foolish to always play the "let him ask me" card. 

 

You seem to spend a lot of time wondering if he likes you (i.e. making a thread on a message board) and playing games (i.e. hint things rather than ask them). It would save a lot of lost effort and time just asking if he wanted to do something rather than waiting for him to ask you. 

 

He could have been shit testing you. Maybe he did think you were too young and wanted to see if you were mature enough to straight up ask him out. You failed. Maybe he does like you but is too much of a pansy to ask you out, maybe he doesn't like you at all. The point of what I am trying to say is that none of this really matters because you liked the dude and didn't strongly pursue something and not surprisingly, nothing happened.

Edited by victorydance
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Is he just as friendly with other people/friends? If so, then it sounds like it is just his personality that gives you the impression that he is interested in you. If he has never shown any interest in meeting up or interacting with you outside of the gym then I'm inclined to think he is/was never interested in you. Some people are just really friendly people, that's all.

 

But if he was really friendly with you and suddenly it stopped, then maybe he was single and keeping his options open and now he's seeing someone so he's not interested anymore.

 

In any case, he doesn't respond to you anymore so it sounds like a good idea to just move on.

Edited by jenste
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My sister, who is now 22, started dating her boyfriend (then 27, now 29) when she was 20. Sometimes it works just fine with that age range, so I wouldn't discount the possibility of a relationship between the OP and this guy purely based on that. 

 

OP, I'm curious as to exactly how long it's been since he contacted you, and how often you'd been FB chatting before. If you were chatting pretty erratically before, could it be that he just hasn't gotten back to you because he doesn't think it's important to respond quickly, or did he usually answer every message from you within 24 hours? 

 

In any case, if you didn't get the vibe that he was ever flirting with you (in person or over chat) and you've been in contact for more than a month, then he may have just been being friendly.

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A guy in their late 20s dating a teen is odd and questionable, the fact that this guy would want to pursue a 19 year old is suspect also the fact that he hasn't been in contact with her since makes it pretty obvious he just isn't that into you.. move on. 

 

 

It's not questionable at all. It doesn't happen much in educated circles of the united states, but most girls (and women) tend to be attracted to men that are older then them. People like easy things, so when someone shows interest in you, you tend to be more attracted to them. Adults are all equals. You see men dating younger women all the time as a result. I've never dated a woman older than me; I'm 24 and most of the women who show interest in me tend to be 20-22 year olds. 

 

That being said, I don't have first hand experience with this situation, and i'm no "expert" on these matters, but I'm pretty sure he was trying to figure out if you were DTF with no problems. A lot of dudes in grad school are looking to avoid the "two body problem", but also, a lot of dudes like having sex while having a "fun" relationship.  I say this as someone who looks for the same thing.  This might be teetering a bit on the misogynist side, but really a lot of people like sex without the 'baggage.'  At some point, he probably realized that you weren't a fit, but still kept on talking to you to be 'nice'.   I realize giving the 'bro' perspective might get a flack on here, but wanting this doesn't make the guy (or me for that matter) an 'asshole', but more of someone who is honest about what he wants in a relationship. He seemed he was nice enough, at least he hasn't lead you on; I would find someone else. Your feelings for him will go away.

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This is a typical girl approach to dating, and a good example of why it is foolish to always play the "let him ask me" card. 

 

You seem to spend a lot of time wondering if he likes you (i.e. making a thread on a message board) and playing games (i.e. hint things rather than ask them). It would save a lot of lost effort and time just asking if he wanted to do something rather than waiting for him to ask you. 

 

He could have been shit testing you. Maybe he did think you were too young and wanted to see if you were mature enough to straight up ask him out. You failed. Maybe he does like you but is too much of a pansy to ask you out, maybe he doesn't like you at all. The point of what I am trying to say is that none of this really matters because you liked the dude and didn't strongly pursue something and not surprisingly, nothing happened.

I don't think it's appropriate to call this a "girl approach" to dating, especially in a comment where you suggest this guy was doing way more devious game playing and testing of the OP. Plenty of men drop hints and fail to be honest about their feelings; obviously if this guy was ever interested in the OP then that's what they both did. If the OP still has strong feelings for him, they might as well ask him out and just find out for sure.

Personally though, I am 27 and I wouldn't be interested in dating a teenager and neither would anyone I know. The age difference gets less important the older you are, but for most 19 year olds it's still a lot. Most people I know are living with or marrying people within 3 years of their own age- usually less- not dating people who have probably only been living on their own for a year or two.

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It's not questionable at all. It doesn't happen much in educated circles of the united states, but most girls (and women) tend to be attracted to men that are older then them. People like easy things, so when someone shows interest in you, you tend to be more attracted to them. Adults are all equals. You see men dating younger women all the time as a result. I've never dated a woman older than me; I'm 24 and most of the women who show interest in me tend to be 20-22 year olds. 

 

That being said, I don't have first hand experience with this situation, and i'm no "expert" on these matters, but I'm pretty sure he was trying to figure out if you were DTF with no problems. A lot of dudes in grad school are looking to avoid the "two body problem", but also, a lot of dudes like having sex while having a "fun" relationship.  I say this as someone who looks for the same thing.  This might be teetering a bit on the misogynist side, but really a lot of people like sex without the 'baggage.'  At some point, he probably realized that you weren't a fit, but still kept on talking to you to be 'nice'.   I realize giving the 'bro' perspective might get a flack on here, but wanting this doesn't make the guy (or me for that matter) an 'asshole', but more of someone who is honest about what he wants in a relationship. He seemed he was nice enough, at least he hasn't lead you on; I would find someone else. Your feelings for him will go away.

I'm not saying you can't date younger, I am 23 I date older all the time, and much older. But that age gap is pretty big and I cannot see a 27 or 28 year old man having real relationship interest in a 19 year old.  I mean yeah he might hook up with her but beyond that I doubt he would date her, show her off to his friends or something.  There is a big difference at 23 dating 20-22 year olds and being 27/28 dating 18 and 19 year olds. 

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I don't think it's appropriate to call this a "girl approach" to dating, especially in a comment where you suggest this guy was doing way more devious game playing and testing of the OP. Plenty of men drop hints and fail to be honest about their feelings; obviously if this guy was ever interested in the OP then that's what they both did. If the OP still has strong feelings for him, they might as well ask him out and just find out for sure.

 

Why not exactly? Girls typically never ask out guys, even when they are interested and this story was a perfect example of that.

 

I did not suggest what he was doing, I suggested possible things he could have been doing. Who knows what was actually going through his head. 

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A lot of dudes in grad school are looking to avoid the "two body problem", but also, a lot of dudes like having sex while having a "fun" relationship.  I say this as someone who looks for the same thing.  This might be teetering a bit on the misogynist side, but really a lot of people like sex without the 'baggage.'  At some point, he probably realized that you weren't a fit, but still kept on talking to you to be 'nice'.   I realize giving the 'bro' perspective might get a flack on here, but wanting this doesn't make the guy (or me for that matter) an 'asshole', but more of someone who is honest about what he wants in a relationship. He seemed he was nice enough, at least he hasn't lead you on; I would find someone else. Your feelings for him will go away.

 

As someone who is currently dealing with the 2 body problem, I can attest to the fact that it sucks. At the same time though, I am not the type of person who enjoys casual relationships. Relationships have never seemed like baggage to me. I enjoy the company more than I dislike the work necesary to make it work. I dont think that having a different opinion and perfering the opposite makes anyone an 'asshole' at all. I think that term comes into play when someone is not upfront about their expectations and gets sex at the expense of the other person's feelings.

 

I do know plenty of people in grad school who feel the same way as I do. Even though the 2 body problem is difficult, I think that it is worth it to have a great partner to go through life with. I dont think my opinion is unusual so I dont think that we can assume that this guy feels that way. OP, why not ask the guy out and see what he says?

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Why not exactly? Girls typically never ask out guys, even when they are interested and this story was a perfect example of that.

 

Because doing so is paternalistic, condescending, and ignores the massive amount of social conditioning women are subjected to which instructs them to behave in that exact way?

 

I'm not saying you can't date younger, I am 23 I date older all the time, and much older. But that age gap is pretty big and I cannot see a 27 or 28 year old man having real relationship interest in a 19 year old.  I mean yeah he might hook up with her but beyond that I doubt he would date her, show her off to his friends or something.  There is a big difference at 23 dating 20-22 year olds and being 27/28 dating 18 and 19 year olds. 

 

Different things work for different people. It's not yours or mine to prejudge, particularly not after a 2-line internet forum interaction.

Edited by telkanuru
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Because doing so is paternalistic, condescending, and ignores the massive amount of social conditioning women are subjected to which instructs them to behave in that exact way?

Different things work for different people. It's not yours or mine to prejudge, particularly not after a 2-line internet forum interaction.

I still think it's off and I'm judging it. It doesn't matter though because he's obviously not into her anymore

Edited by LittleDarlings
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It could also be, and no one has stated the obvious, that he is a graduate student, and graduate students tend to be nerdier than the general population. Perhaps he was too shy, and chickened out when she was very heavily hinting. It could be worth another flyer as long as you can handle it.

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Because doing so is paternalistic, condescending, and ignores the massive amount of social conditioning women are subjected to which instructs them to behave in that exact way?

 

You mean the way that is convenient for them? I fail to see how in any way whatsoever that pointing out the reason this girl isn't prospectively dating this guy or knows where she stands is because she never simply asked him is paternalistic (this one in particular makes no sense whatsoever) or condescending. 

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You do tend to judge a lot.

I have friends who are happily dating 19/20 year old girls, so I wouldn't say there's anything off about it. Some have even stayed together for quite some time.

And it's my right to judge them, actually I can pretty much judge anyone I want.. If a man in his late 20s would pursue a teenager I'm going to judge and say that is questionable and suspect. I doubt he is going to pursue a long term relationship with her. Maybe some fun for a little while but like I said before I doubt that's the person he would eventually marry or be with forever.

I'm not even saying that age gaps are bad, just the whole being an adult dating a teen is weird in my opinion. Like I said I have dated older as a 22 and 23 year old but when I was 18 and 19 dating someone who was 27 or 28 was just a no.

Edited by LittleDarlings
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And it's my right to judge them, actually I can pretty much judge anyone I want.. If a man in his late 20s would pursue a teenager I'm going to judge and say that is questionable and suspect. I doubt he is going to pursue a long term relationship with her. Maybe some fun for a little while but like I said before I doubt that's the person he would eventually marry or be with forever.

 

Why in the world would you judge someone for searching for a partner? Even if a 40 year old man wanted to date a 20 year old, it is really not your place to judge. For all you know, the 40 year old man might just relate better to 20 year olds due to events in his life. Or maybe this man has had a difficult time finding the perfect partner and he finally found someone wonderful and there happens to be an age gap. You have no idea whether he would be comfortable in a long term relationship with someone younger so it makes no sense to doubt that. Honestly, it is difficult enough finding a partner with a perfect personality fit without people judging you due to differences in age, ethnicity, social class, etc. Judgements likes these, made without any justification, cause nothing but problems. If you want to judge people due to their relationships then judge men who beat their wives or treat them horribly or murder their children. That is justified. Judging someone who is searching for love and wants to find someone to settle down and be happy with is completely uncalled for.

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Why in the world would you judge someone for searching for a partner? Even if a 40 year old man wanted to date a 20 year old, it is really not your place to judge. For all you know, the 40 year old man might just relate better to 20 year olds due to events in his life. Or maybe this man has had a difficult time finding the perfect partner and he finally found someone wonderful and there happens to be an age gap. You have no idea whether he would be comfortable in a long term relationship with someone younger so it makes no sense to doubt that. Honestly, it is difficult enough finding a partner with a perfect personality fit without people judging you due to differences in age, ethnicity, social class, etc. Judgements likes these, made without any justification, cause nothing but problems. If you want to judge people due to their relationships then judge men who beat their wives or treat them horribly or murder their children. That is justified. Judging someone who is searching for love and wants to find someone to settle down and be happy with is completely uncalled for.

Oh whatever, you wouldn't question a 40 year old dating a 20 year old? Anyone would. Anyways doesn't matter, I'm going to judge it. Like I said I don't necessarily see the issue with an early 20 something dating an older 20 something or 30 something. Been there done that... Still doing it... but a late 20s dating a TEENAGER yeah that's a problem and I'm going to judge it.

Edited by LittleDarlings
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This completely depends on the people involved.  For what it's worth, my SO and I have a 9 year age gap.  I've known my SO for 10 years, dated for 6, and we're getting married in less than a month.

 

Is it going to work for everyone?  No.  As others have noted, it's less about age than it is about maturity.

 

Honestly, I'd be more worried about the potential for an inappropriate power dynamic if the guy ends up TAing one of your classes (as someone else already noted).  Otherwise, *shrugs*.  Be careful as you would in any dating situation where you're putting yourself out there.  Again, as has been noted, he may have just been being friendly.

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Why not exactly? Girls typically never ask out guys, even when they are interested and this story was a perfect example of that.

 

I did not suggest what he was doing, I suggested possible things he could have been doing. Who knows what was actually going through his head. 

 

Because it's a sexist assumption that is not even necessarily true? Plenty of people regardless of gender hang around waiting for the other person to make a move. Lots of women make the first move at least some of the time. If it's your experience that they never do, then it sounds like your personal experience is limited.

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