The young man I was writing about, as a matter of fact, got involved with and older (though by no means middle-aged) man when was only 19.
If anyone ever needed an object lesson for why that’s a terrible idea, my teenage friend’s story would serve.
He simply did not have the experience and emotional maturity to cope with what became a very exploitative situation. Aside from emotional manipulation and the suffering that caused, my young friend missed out on almost a whole year of dating and exploring relationships with people more suited to him.
He’ll never get that year back.
As you can probably imagine, I was seething the whole time, but couldn’t do much more than offer support and a shoulder to cry on.
Only once did I reach out to the older man and give him an earful, not that it did any good.
My young friend finally found the maturity and good sense to cut the guy out of his life cold. And he’s be so much happier ever since.