Ok this is a little confusingly vague to keep from being doxxy, but here goes! I started talking to someone new, whom I met in real life and with whom things very slowly developed, but there’s a age difference (noted at the end) that gives me some pause.

So. This guy works in the same building as where I had my student job, so, same academic department, but very much adjacent to me and had no supervisory position over me. He was friends with my supervisor, but as I was the only grad student working there I was treated much more as an equal - and we all had a bunch of very friendly conversations about our field and interests, etc., I helped direct the undergrads, I brought in an independent project to the space. (Anyways, he managed the workshop space in another part of the building, not the public facing space I was working in! Convoluted because vague!)

I always thought he was attractive, thoughtful, and seemingly very kind, if from a distance. But in the past couple weeks this guy and I had some really wonderful, long conversations kind of accidentally. At the end of year event we totally monopolized each other and sort of came out of a daze at the end, and we would run into each other and try to only say hi but boom twenty minutes would go by.

So at my last day of work he asked me out, very politely and..softly? If that makes sense? But! Alas! I was leaving the next day to go home before doing a summer language intensive abroad for three months. (OMG SO EXCITED OMG.) He seemed disappointed and suggested we maybe keep in touch over the summer. So, I slid into his DMs to give him my number, because at this point I was definitely lightly crushing and Feeling Free with my immanent departure.

And NOW we are sending BONA FIDE LETTERS over text. Did you know if you send too long of an iMessage text it opens up into a new plain text window?? Neither did I! And we’re having wide ranging conversations about literature and art and our lives and it’s wonderful and it’s clear he’s actually *listening* to what I’m saying and thinking about it, and we both keep saying how much we enjoy the other person’s texts and how happy this is making us. So now I’m really crushing hard.

BUT. The problem. I’m 25, he’s 38. I thought he was early to mid 30s until I googled him. (Also never dated/flirted with anyone with a (small) Wikipedia page before!) I’m...uncomfortable politically with men in their thirties dating twenty somethings. Date your own age!! I actually initially thought he wouldn’t be interested because I was younger. I also give some side eye to things that get more intense over text instead of in person. On the other hand...he seems really, really kind. I genuinely like him. We did know each other before this texting. And in some ways, getting to know each other better like this over text also feels like some assurance that it’s not just him trying to hit on a younger woman. Sooo...am I crazy for having a good feeling about this despite the age difference and the fact that we’re not going to see each other for three months? It’s so weird and unexpected!