This is the kind of question I dread seeing.

This is the kind of question I dread seeing.  Working with kids/teens/young adults my whole life and a strong believer in fighting ageism on many fronts, there are, nevertheless, some strong and necessary boundaries that cannot be crossed and should not even be considered crossing by anyone of adult age.

Someone asked [in a public forum]:

“As a 35 year old man, have you ever had a 14 year old girl “eyegasm” you?

I feel dirty…”
This was my answer:

You ever babysit? work with kids in some way? They ‘crush’ on you. That part is normal behavior for them.

But if getting a sparkle-eye in your direction is making you feel dirty, you might want to consider recalibrating something internally ’cause dude, she’s 14. You know she is ’cause you said it. When I get “crush eyes” look like that, I don’t feel dirty. They’re crushing. In their own heads.

It’s none of my business nor is it the kind of thing I make my business.

It’s a part of THEIR childhood and not a part of my adulthood.

Kids go from crush to crush to crush. They have their own reasons. I have no reason to be a part of their crushes. Is it flattering? Well, it’s nice to be looked up to. A mentor. A role model. Someone respected. Admired.

There’s no next level. You shouldn’t feel dirty. It’s not for you.

I suggest you recalibrate.

=====

Thank you, Marlene. Working with kids/teens in various capacities yet also being a singe male, age 44, the lines have to incredibly clear and without doubt or question. I can enter their world and I can help assist them towards adulthood in many ways: self-esteem, keeping creativity intact and growing, dealing with people (how to be a friend, how not to be a hater), life tips, “man rules”, and things like that.

However as much as I may enter their world and allow them to enter my world, this is each of their individual childhoods and my individual adulthood.

I respect them as individuals. I respect myself.
I respect the process.

==

Maybe she was. It doesn’t matter. She’s 14. You’re not the victim. Neither is she. If she mentally undresses you or not, it’s none of your business. The footing in your adulthood has to be more firm than this.

This is what I mean by recalibrating. Get a mirror. Walk past a school as it’s letting out. Look at yourself. Look at them. Imagine you were walking down the halls.

Are they in your world? Are you in theirs?

Someone your age comes up to you. “Why are you in this school?”

“Oh, this girl was mentally undressing me and I wanted to talk to her so I followed her to the place she goes during the day so I can have a chat with her.”

Think about it. You’re not in their world. You 35. She’s not. What she does, she does. But your response, especially your mental response, has to be recalibrated.

Look at celebrities. They get teens and preteens fawning over them. Posters on their wall. The girls and boys write fan fiction, imagining their crushes in all sorts of situations, many of which would make their parents put them on some kind of meds or have a screaming match or whatever.

But that’s normal for them.

But if the celebrity says to himself, “Oh, she is mentally undressing me.” Well, of course she is. That’s her job. Normal for her.

But what’s the next thought? Consider recalibrating to c).

a) “I feel dirty.”
b) “I should ask her out.”
c) “Hah, isn’t that cute? Silly kid.”
d) “Uh oh, I have a stalker. Security!”

=

Take it as flattering but respect not only the physical boundaries but ALSO the mental boundaries. You’re a good guy. But you’ll set yourself up for mental anguish if you start seeing yourself as a victim and the girl as oppressor.

You’re not a victim. She’s being normal for her. You have to find what’s normal for you and what’s not.

==

[response to someone who wants thread deleted]  it’s relevant and perhaps for others in the group as well. It’s an awkward issue that rarely gets addressed properly. I think when the discussion is over, [the poster]  should probably delete it (or ask to have it deleted) but I think the exposure of this may help others in the group, especially going by some of the earliest parts of the thread.

—-

Well, that’s the inbetween step. Next step is to separate one’s self from the experience and see it as normal for her to do whatever she is doing, but normal not to respond with a “dirty feeling” but rather something along the lines of, “Aw, how cute. Kid’s crushing on me. Now time to get on with my life as an adult.”

That way, if it happens again – and it does happen – it’ll be a complete non-issue. No dirty anything.

==

I have no doubt that she was. I’ve had it happen as well. I’m not minimizing the feelings _they_ have by calling it crushes. It’s a very serious thing with them just as it is for adults. Perhaps it is more serious, more forceful, more demanding, more powerful.

But no matter how forceful, how powerful, how provocative the attempts, well, I’m repeating. If the question was more generic, I’d have been less preachy. I’m just trying to help you as a person, which is why I’m not abstracting it to an “in general” stance.

==

I grew up in the 1980s. As a teenager, Wicca was VERY VERY popular among girls who were my age. Crystals, spell books, burning candles to get your one true love. Stuff like that.

There was one book a female friend of mine had. I don’t remember the name of it. But it was written for teenage girls and it was all about the secrets to flirting, getting your own way, becoming a temptress and seductress, and wrap men around your finger for money and power. I don’t know if it was a Wiccan book or maybe it was written by one of Anton Lavey’s daughters – I’m not sure honestly.

It’s the kind of thing a lot of teenage girls got into then and they get into it now. It’s normal stuff. I have friends my age who are still into it, and I think that’s great for them.

But part of me wonders, assuming C isn’t amplifying signals (which to me is likely), she could very well be practicing something like that.

Considering that possibility, however marginal, to me, makes C’ mental response even more critical *just in case*. What SHE’S doing is her business but the line stops with him.

==

Well, the passion could be real. She could be in love down to her toes. She could want you so bad it hurts. Whatever.

But it’s an abuse of a power role to respond in kind.

We had a teacher in high school who was 23 yrs old when we were 17/18 yr old seniors. That’s a small difference in age.

Some of the girls lusted over him and rightly so. He was young, handsome, well spoken, seemed worldly. I mean, he went to COLLEGE… and he was a teacher…. and so young!

Yet, if he was to respond to their advances, or laid in bed thinking about them at night… then he needs to either change himself or change his profession because it’s a slippery line.

In that situation, he’d have become an alcoholic who is a bartender. Not impossible but dangerous.

==

Yeah, it’s the power difference in that case. It’s actually the power difference in both your case and C’. You may not feel powerful, but the role you play has the power.

From your point of view, you weren’t powerful. But from their point of view, you were powerful. Humility is a very attractive features and if you’re anything in real life like you are online, you’re a nice guy and very humble.

That can be a turn on for many. A sign of power. The reluctant leader who doesn’t even know his own strength.

You’re human and we all step into awkward places sometimes and find ourselves wondering, “Wait, who am I and how did I get here?!”. But I think that’s why I’m being so preachy to C. I don’t want him to find himself in that place where he has to make a choice.

==

 

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