“Hey, I’m a 20-year-old male in love with a 32-year-old male…
I’m a first-year student at uni, and I met a really handsome guy off of Instagram. Long story short, we hooked up in my halls and I’ve slept with him one other time since.
Agony Aunt, I’m afraid I’ve caught feelings! I really like him and how he makes me feel. However, he lives in London and I live in Manchester…
How do I get over this and fancy gay guys my age instead?”
If Call Me By Your Name was set in 90s England, this would be the plot – far less romanticised and a lot messier.
I pity your silly self, my love, for catching feelings. First things first, don’t feel ashamed for liking older men. As long as the relationship is respectful and healthy, there is nothing to worry about. Age gaps are something that society scrutinises when you are in your twenties, but as you grow older, it really doesn’t matter.
As for the long-distance… it depends on how serious things were. Currently, I am in the same boat – I dated an American girl over the summer and we have now parted as friends who still have feelings.
The one perk I have is that the feelings are mutual. The downside? The 4,000-mile distance. From what I can gather, your situation is the opposite. The feelings are likely not mutual but you are not thousands of miles apart.
As you are probably aware, the relationship might not work due to the distance. Travelling to and from London is expensive, especially on a student budget. It’s also tiring and stressful. Accepting these facts can help you move on quicker.
However, distance can make the heart grow fonder. By not seeing or hearing from him, you can overly romanticise what you once had, making it harder to move on. The worst thing you can do right now is to listen to Lana Del Rey or force yourself into a ‘hot girl summer’ – you will still feel shitty at the end of the day.
My advice is just to be open about it and confide in friends. You will be able to get your feelings off your chest and vent, which will help you get over him in time. Go out and enjoy yourself. Allow yourself to feel what you had for him, but don’t forget to have fun.
When it comes to wanting to feel attracted to men your age, I would say don’t force it. Write down what you specifically like about older men and how that contrasts with guys your age. My guess is that you like someone more mature, confident, and who has their shit together. These qualities can be rare among our age group, but once you figure out what draws you to older men, you can look for those same traits in guys your age. Take your time and don’t be quick to judge; it takes a while to genuinely get to know someone and fall for them.
In the end, the best thing I can recommend is to watch or read Call Me By Your Name. Particularly this scene.
Aunt Angela x
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