Falling in Love with Someone Older

By Pamela, age 26, South Africa
Sweet Designs Featured Writer

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I am 16 and am seeing a fella who is in his early 20s. He is a close family friend and he has had a girlfriend for many years, but now it's been over for months, and we've had sexual activity and I'm starting to have these feelings for him. I dunno what to do though. Can you give me advice please?

Caitlin, 16

Hi Caitlin,

Thanks for the question.

I'm just going to get right down to it. I think that this guy is too old for you. If you were in your early 20s and he in his late 20s, it would be fine. But you're still technically a child, and he is an adult. A significant age gap such as this at your age is a big deal. A man in his early 20s is much more emotionally, physically, intellectually, and sexually mature than a 16-year-old girl. If he really cared about you and had your best interests at heart, he wouldn't be taking advantage of you, because that's what a guy his age having sex with a girl your age is doing.

You said that you're starting to develop feelings for him since the two of you have been sexually active. This is because females fall in love through sex. Females become more attached to the guy when they start having sex, and males become less attached when they start having sex. Bonding hormones are released when you have sex with him, that is why you're starting to develop feelings for him. By having sex with him, you're emotionally bonding yourself to him. This sets you up for being hurt if he is just using you.

You didn't give a lot of details, but it sounds like you're having sex with him without being exclusive - in other words, he hasn't asked you to be his girlfriend. If you're having sex with any guy without being in a relationship with him, you're going to get hurt. Some girls sleep with guys hoping that it'll make the guys like them and ask them out, but that doesn't usually happen.

Since he's a close family friend, I have a feeling that your parents would also feel that he is taking advantage of you. I think that you should stop the sexual activity between you and him. If he really does have feelings for you then he won't mind waiting until you're 18. If he has a problem with that, then he's just after one thing. That being said, even if you just see him and stop doing anything sexual, I still think that he's too old for you at this stage of your life. It would be much healthier for you to date a guy your own age or one or two years older. A guy around your age would be more on your level and you will feel much more in control of the relationship. I know that you have feelings for him and you're experiencing new and exciting sexual feelings, but be sensible and put yourself first.

Good luck.

* * * * *

The Unavailable Noticing Me

There is this boy in my year. He's in many of my classes, and I really like him, but there is one problem ... he has a girlfriend. I think I fancy him - I have for the last 3 years - but it's just recently that I had proper feelings for him. I realise that him having a girlfriend means he is unavailable, but he may be available in later time. If he is, and I still have feelings for him, how do I let him know I like him?

Emily, 14

PS - I've never had a boyfriend. Please help ... ;-D Thanks

Hi Emily.

I'm glad you realise that it's not right to go after a guy who has a girlfriend. So, well done for that! :)

You say that you've had a crush on him for three years but only really started to like him now. I don't want you to waste more years only focused on this guy because who knows if or when he and his girlfriend will break-up. It could be years. Who knows, maybe they'll get married? (Okay, they probably won't get married.) My point is that it's probably a good idea to let him go. Maybe there is a guy who has a crush on you and you don't even know it because you're focused on the guy who has a girlfriend. It's fine to like him, but don't close yourself off to possible other guys who may be dying to date you.

That being said, you asked for some tips on how to get him to like you if he ever becomes available and you still have feelings for him, so here goes:

Guys like to do the chasing, so don't show him that you have a huge crush on him. Become friends with him if you aren't already and be your fun, friendly self. Just treat him like a friend, and show him your great personality. While being friends with him, don't be too eager, don't offer to do errands for him or give him gifts as this makes guys feel uncomfortable. Act like you have a crush on another guy, or let him see you talking and laughing with other guys in your class. Guys love competition, and if he's single he might start noticing that other guys find you attractive and this might make him jealous. I don't want you to not pay attention in class because of him, but occasionally make eye contact with him and smile, then look away. This subtle flirting will let him know that there's a spark between the two of you, and he'd better ask you out before another guy snaps you up!

Good luck! :)

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February & March Magazine Issues

March 15, 2012

The February and March issues of Sweet Designs Magazine are now online, featuring a combined 53 new articles and features!!

- Cover: Stephanie Lynn reflects on 5 years
- Cover: India (of Darn-licious knitwear)
- Life in the dumps (moving in with my bf)
- The difference between men and women
- Angels among us (parts 1 and 2)
- Arts graduates & the dark night of the soul
- Triple threat (how I survived my teen yrs)
- Dating isn't easy (my true story)
- How to turn not-so-great gifts ... (fashion)
- Ten reasons to love being single
- Taking the big leap (college)
- Valentine's Day (not what you'd expect!)
- The last of the cold (hopefully) (fashion)
- A month full of love
- Ten tips for successful airline travel
- Reasons I love writing for SDM
- Who needs love?
- They're not all the same
- The life I'm glad I don't have (fiction)
- Professional dress/ finding Fendi (fashion)
- An airport anniversary: a true story
- Inappropriate Facebook photos
- The perks of a big city (college)
- A night(mare) to forget (part 2)
- The Anita Blake series (book review)
- Saving June by Hannah Harrington (book)
- Under the Mesquite by GG McCall (book)
- The Lullaby by Sarah Dessen (book)
- If I Stay by Gayle Foreman (book review)
- My sweetheart (original poetry)
- Isn't it funny (original poetry)
- The stranger (original poetry)
- A winter wonderland (original poetry)
- One night valentine
- The thick envelopes (college acceptance)
- Southern love
- Healthy hair and vitamins
- It's a date (dating idea alternatives)
- The 30 hour famine
- School's out forever!
- Marching right back into spring? (fashion)
- Dear John
- When TV shows depict your life
- 3 Fun ways to rock spring's hottest trends
- Neglected teeth
- Starting something new
- Guy movies
- To hesitate or dive in?
- Deadly, by Julie Chibbaro (book review)
- Beastly, by Alex Flinn (book review)
- I don't care (poetry)
- Together, alone (poetry)

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