I met my partner when he was 49 years old and I had just turned 25. There is a 24-year age gap between us. When we met, we both knew that it was the start of something good, it was what every fairytale and sappy romantic movie promised. We met at a bar on the Gold Coast and were instantly drawn to each other.
I was attracted to his smile at first and his deep blue eyes like mirrors of the ocean. He had these tiny wrinkles around his eyes from a lifetime of laughter and a big goofy grin. He had a laugh that was intoxicating and had the power to make other people laugh, too. As we began talking, I realised he was an intelligent and wildly charming man who had lived a full life of travel, marriage and kids. He had my curiosity.
WATCH: First dates with ex-Bachelor Sam Wood. Post continues below.
Our relationship turned serious quickly after that initial meeting and within six months we were living together. I was reluctant to tell people his real age, especially my parents because I knew that it would be a shock. In fact, I was reluctant to even share the relationship with anyone at all because of what they might think. I thought that I was doing something wrong, because dating someone who is 24 years older than you is not normal and is often not accepted in society.
But like everything in life, eventually, people found out about him and were shocked, comments like, “wow he could be your father” and “whoa he looks good for his age” and my personal favourite “that’s hard when he’s already been married and had kids.”
That comment was the hardest to take because there was an element of truth behind it. He had been married for 21 years and had two daughters who were both in their 20s.
He had experienced an entire life, been married and had children when I was all but an infant.
His daughters were distant from me and critical of our relationship. When we first met, I could feel the judgement and heard the quiet whispers with him in the next room. His kids were around my age so we had mutual interests that he could not relate to.
In our relationship, there is an element of misunderstanding because of the generational gap. Memes, gifs, Instagram, Snapchat and Tik Tok are all meaningless jargon to him but my friends and I all use it and joke about what we have seen.
My closest friends were concerned because they were thinking long term, “by the time he’s in his 60s and retired you’ll only be in your 30s.”
“You’re going to have to take care of him one day.”
“Don’t you want to get married and have kids?”