I’m in my 30’s with an adult child whose out of the house, so I’m no youngster, but I recently met a man I’m attracted to who happens to be 23 years my senior. We met via a writer’s group. Both of us have published works and neither of us were impressed with the format or quality of feedback from the group. I don’t remember how it happened, but I ended up with his contact information. After a few emails I invited him to another writers group. He accepted and has been attending, so we see each other twice a month and usually linger after the meeting to chat before heading home.
Last week I called him and asked if we could meet for lunch because I needed someone to bounce some ideas off of. He’s a wonderful conversationalist and we talked about everything, including writing. It seems we have a lot in common: gardening, love of history and linguistics, gourmet cooking, and yes, writing. We lost track of time and 2 ½ hours later we said our goodbyes.
I ruminated over the situation for a few days, then called him and invited him to dinner. Now, I’m thinking I shouldn’t have done that. I completed a public records search on him before inviting him to dinner. I wanted to know how long he’s been divorced because I didn’t want to simply be the rebound. What I found wasn’t what I expected. No divorce records, but probate. His wife died in 2009; he’s a widower.
He accepted the dinner invitation, but has never attempted to flirt with me, nor I him. I’m afraid that if I do attempt to flirt he’ll be put off because of the age difference. I don’t want to make him uncomfortable, nor do I want to be seen as a gold-digger or as having an Oedipus complex.
I feel like dating is a mine field. I’m flustered and unsure of how, or even if, to proceed. It’s always been me who initiates contact. I invited him to the other writers group; he accepted. I invited him to lunch; he accepted. I invited him to dinner; he accepted. Is this a red flag? If he were actually interested in me, wouldn’t it be the other way around? What about the taboos regarding dating older men? I don’t want to be seen as seeking a father figure.