I know I haven't written for a while. I needed a break to re-group and get my head on straight.... But, drama and dilemmas never seem to stop following me around.
I have a guy friend--we met at college and he is quite a bit younger than me, ten years younger to be exact. Before you start screaming "cougar!" and label me with a scarlet letter, hear me out.
It started when we hung out once and has turned into a weekly thing. His mom is abusive and he has a lot of health problems and a very bad home life. I started hanging out with him just to get him out of the house, at first. Then I realized that I really enjoyed his company. I didn't think spending time with him was that big of a deal because of the age difference.
I feel very protective over him because of his situation with his home life. His mom treats him like shit because he is adopted and hits him and stuff. He has a little girlfriend in Texas and he tells me all his woes and troubles.
We like to have adventures--we never plan what we are going to do, we just hop in the car and let the adventures find us.
He is a little Casanova and is a flirt, so I never took his flirting seriously. He always jumps in our laps and puts his arm around us and is just generally "fresh." If he steps over the line, I tell him to stop and he does. Yesterday, after our adventure, when I was dropping him off, he kissed me, on the mouth. He about broke my nose!
He now says he is very confused and needs to clear his head and isn't sure what he is feeling. Because of his home life, he has a very real fear of being abandoned and is depressed/suicidal. He knows that I love him and care about him. I told him to take all the time he needs to figure things out, that I would still be his friend no matter what and that I loved him and was here for him always.
I told him I thought he was just very confused and that he needed to step back and look at the big picture. He texted me and his girlfriend this morning saying he was OK and he just needed sleep last night and to clear his head. He ended the text by saying, "I love you both."
By the way, he and his girlfriend are on the verge of breaking up because she is about ready to get back with her ex-boyfriend. She is also suicidal and depressed and threatened to kill herself the other day. I think that was more to keep stringing my friend along than anything though.
I understand how confused he is and how very much he wants to be loved, but I'm not sure how to handle it without him feeling like I am abandoning him and sending him into a suicidal depression.
What would YOU do if you were in my shoes?
I truly care about him and don't want to hurt him, but being more than friends is out of the question. Weigh in with your opinions, Dear Readers!
P.S. I am wondering if it could possibly be a "mommy issue"--his attraction to an older woman. And if so, how do I handle it gracefully and in a non-hurtful way?