Wanderlust and Wanderfrust

It was in the spring when my colleague asked me if I would like to go hiking with her. We had not been close friends until now, but she had already asked me the autumn before about a hike. My colleague is a very structured and hardworking woman, but she is not particularly popular. She is also very silent. We both have the same zodiac sign, Capricorn, and share the love for camping, outdoor and hiking. What separates us is age. She is over 20 years younger. But you don’t notice that, because I keep myself very fit. I had never thought about it.

Until she had to make it clear to me during the first hike how absurd my idea was to pass us off as a couple at the border with Germany in order to be allowed to enter because of Corona. Her behavior and defense irritated and hurt me from an early age. She stressed that she would eventually be mistaken by people for a twenty-year-old. Objectively speaking, this is complete nonsense.

Clear boundaries from the very beginning
After the first hike, I was therefore unsure how to proceed, but seven more great hikes followed in the period of four months. However, every time after that I fell into a deep hole. Messages on WhatsApp generally remained unanswered, my remarks about how nice it was with her always remained uncommented. We never had physical contact, the backpack was always placed as a spacer in between. When saying goodbye after a hike, she never stopped and thanked me for the fantastic day, which I always did. I complimented her, brought her something and invited her to dinner at the hut. Once I got feedback, it was only vague allusions to my age. Or she gave me the hint that she was not a “typical woman”. I have not understood this statement until today.

Between the walks at work, communication was extremely difficult. What surprised me very much was that we had arranged to go on a holiday together in the autumn. She had postponed her holidays for this purpose. But suddenly the contact was completely broken off by her. There was a last conversation in which I had the impression that something was on her mind. This was preceded by our eighth and to date last hike, during which I could no longer restrain myself so much. I told her how comfortable I would feel with her, that we were carved from the same wood, etc. But I always respected all boundaries!

Did she feel distressed?
Last weekend we would actually have had time for both of us, especially with regard to the upcoming trip, to meet outside of hikes. Instead, there was a total withdrawal. I haven’t seen her status on WhatsApp for weeks. In the company I was shunned all week and I did not even see her. I ask myself over and over again the question of why. What have I done wrong? Did she just want a walking robot without feelings, a father figure? What will happen to the holidays?

I have suffered extremely in the last four weeks because of too little or no feedback, because of the emotional coldness, the lack of feelings and also because of feelings of inferiority regarding my age. By the way, I am already the second colleague who has been like this. He is also much older than you. However, he was shot down by her after the second hike, because he already showed feelings there.

Friendship between a man and a woman?
After this experience, I know that a mere friendship between a man and a woman is not possible. It is probably the case that at some point the feelings always knock on the man’s door. While this seems to be completely insignificant for the woman. After half a year, I am now completely exhausted and ghosted, more injured and worse than before our hikes.

The activities with her had fired my imagination, after three and a half years of single life. I intensely imagined a relationship with her, barely slept and was emotionally on the roller coaster. I will not seek contact from myself and completely withdraw. Because of the trip, she has to approach me, but she probably won’t. I will wait and see …

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