that's life (Australia)
My fiance’s younger than my kids!
Sharon Hawkins, 50, has learnt not to care what people think of her relationship
Curled up on the sofa, I picked up a pile of homework and began to mark my students’ essays. As I scanned the pages, I noticed my phone screen light up.
It was a noti cation from my online dating app.
A sexy, young guy had matched with me.
His hair and eyes were like chocolate. And his arms were muscular.
Wow! I thought.
Scanning his pro le, I found out his name was
Perry and he was 22.
He’s younger than my three kids, I giggled.
And I was 50!
Moments later, he sent me a message.
You’re beautiful, it said. You don’t mind my age? I replied.
Within seconds, Perry responded, It’s ne.
That night, we messaged for hours and I told Perry I had three kids – Brandon, 29, Spencer, 28, and Cassidy, 23.
Plus I had two grandkids, Brookelyn, ve, and little Colby, three.
Perry told me he was in the navy – just when I thought he couldn’t get any more attractive! My marriage had ended ve years earlier, and I was ready to meet someone suited to my spontaneous fun-loving personality.
So, when I’d joined
Tinder, I set the age range to start from 23. Then over time, I lowered it to 19.
‘Why not?!’ I’d said.
After a week of chatting with Perry, I invited him over. When I opened the door, my body tingled.
‘Nice to nally meet you,’ he beamed, hugging me.
That night, we watched a lm on the couch. When it ended, Perry turned to me.
‘We have a 28-year age gap,’ he said. ‘I’ve never been with an older woman.’
‘I haven’t dated anyone so young myself,’ I laughed.
The spark was undeniable, but Perry was the perfect gentleman and gave me a peck on the cheek when he left.
Afterwards, I came clean to Cassidy, who still lived at home with me.
‘He’s 22,’ I admitted.
‘He’s one year younger than me,’ she frowned.
‘But I really like him!’ I explained.
‘It’s your life,’ she said. ‘As long as you’re happy.’
I was relieved.
Who cares about a stupid number anyway!
The next week, Perry came over again. This time, Cassidy chatted to him. ‘Hey, kid,’ she smirked. ‘Good one!’ Perry said, as we burst out laughing.
At least she can make light of the situation,
After that, being with Perry was incredible.
‘Who cares about our age difference,’ Perry said, kissing me one night.
‘So, we’re doing this?’ I smiled.
From that day on, we became a couple.
Then, when we had to go into lockdown due to coronavirus, we got a place together.
Life was fun and exciting
with Perry. He was romantic, too. Some days he’d surprise me with a massage or ll the house with rose petals.
Soon after, I told one of my best friends about Perry’s age.
‘Are you sure this isn’t just a hook-up?’ she asked, concerned.
‘No,’ I insisted. ‘We love each other.’
Thankfully, in time, she came around. And my oldest friends, who were in their 60s, were impressed.
‘You’re a cougar, Sharon!’ they’d tease. I found it hilarious. And Perry’s friends reacted the same.
‘Everyone keeps saying I’m with a cougar,’ he laughed.
‘I’m never going to stop hearing that now,’ I replied.
Soon after, I introduced Perry to my sons, Spencer and Brandon.
Hitting it off, they soon became friends.
In time, Perry texted his mum to tell her about us.
As she was the same age as me, I felt anxious.
I’m dating someone older, he wrote.
Not someone in their 40s, right? she replied.
Perry and I looked at each other.
‘Don’t tell her I’m 50!’ I panicked. ‘She’ll have a heart attack.’
So Perry told her that I was in my 40s.
But she didn’t reply.
‘What if they disown me?’ he fretted.
The following month, his mum and stepdad, 48, called and I chatted to them on the phone.
They were lovely.
‘I can’t wait to meet you,’ I said, feeling relieved.
After that, we became friends on Facebook.
Then, when Perry and I had been together for seven months, we were at home, cuddling one day.
‘Let’s get married,’ Perry blurted out.
‘I’d love to!’ I smiled.
Even though he was decades younger than me, I knew he was my soulmate.
We’re planning to get married this year.
When we’re out, some strangers give us dirty looks.
And people constantly confuse Perry for my son!
One day, we were shopping when I gave
Perry my bank card while I rummaged through my handbag for a lip balm.
‘You can’t let your son use your card,’ the cashier said.
Perry and I tried not to laugh. He’s got such a sweet baby-face, it wasn’t her fault.
My grandkids love Perry and I always tease him about being a grandfather.
I don’t care about a silly number. It’s the person who Perry is that I fell so deeply in love with. ●
‘Everyone’s saying I’m with a cougar,’