Pam Shasteen, 60, had just about given up on love when she received a message from someone unexpected…
Strolling down the street after work, I gazed longingly at countless men clutching beautiful bouquets of red roses.
Valentine’s Day, I realised, sighing heavily.
I was 58 and had been single for five years.
I’d had so many failed attempts at finding love online, but I decided
I would give it one last go.
Back home, I logged into the dating app, Badoo, bracing myself for more disappointment.
But just then, a message popped up from a man called Jonathan.
You’re a Cancer, it said. I am too!
My face lit up. I adored astrology!
Clicking onto his profile picture, my eyes widened.
He had beautiful olive skin and brown curly locks – but his bio said he was 21.
Then another message appeared.
I’m actually 19, it said.
My jaw dropped open.
I was a grandmother!
I had two daughters, Rachel, then 32, and Sarah, 30, plus a granddaughter named Ezra, who was four.
I’m too old for him surely? I fretted.
But he wouldn’t have messaged if he wasn’t interested… I reasoned.
So, biting my lip, I decided to go for it.
Our signs are compatible, I typed.
I’ve always wanted to be with an older woman, he replied.
My body tingled with excitement. The only problem was, Jonathan lived 1500km away.
Still, over the next few days, we messaged about astrology and our love of the outdoors.
Despite our 39-year age gap, we got on like a house on fire.
Later that week, we switched to video chat.
As we’d already seen each other’s photos, there was no surprise there.
Jonathan was drop dead gorgeous. And he showered me with compliments.
‘You’re stunning,’ he smiled on screen.
‘Thank you,’ I blushed.
‘I’m dying to meet you,’ Jonathan grinned.
‘Come visit?’ I asked, feeling brave.
‘I’ll book a flight now,’ he beamed.
Meeting him near the airport, I discovered he was even more dishy in real life.
Running towards each other, we embraced like they do in the films.
Then he kissed me passionately.
After that, we went sightseeing, holding hands everywhere we went.
‘Those people are giving us dirty looks,’ I whispered, seeing strangers staring.
It was hurtful, but soon we began to laugh it off.
After three days, we slept together for the first time and it was perfect.
The following week, Jonathan had to catch his flight home.
After he finished packing, I started to cry.
‘I think I love you,’ I blurted. ‘Don’t go.’
‘I love you too,’ he grinned. ‘I’ll stay!’
Because he’d been living with a friend, he didn’t need to make any arrangements back home. But he still needed to tell his parents, and I needed to tell my girls.
The next day, I invited Rachel, Sarah and Ezra over to meet Jonathan.
Before they arrived, I sent them a text.
He’s 19 and he’s moved in with me, I wrote.
My daughters didn’t reply, and when they met him, they looked shocked.
‘I hope we can all be good friends,’ Jonathan said, opening his arms.
The girls hugged him back, while looking at me over his shoulder with startled expressions.
But later, as Jonathan ran around playing with Ezra,
I could see Rachel and Sarah warming to him.
‘He’s lovely,’ Rachel whispered to me, and Sarah agreed.
Soon after, Jonathan texted his mum, Dawn, then 55, and dad, Chris, 58.
We aren’t shocked. You’ve always had a thing for older women, his mum messaged back.
Jonathan and I were happier than ever. He got a job, and at night we cuddled in front of the TV.
Two weeks later, I introduced him to my best friends, hoping they’d be happy for me. But they sat in silence.
‘What have you been up to?’ Jonathan tried asking.
‘Working,’ one of my friends mumbled.
I fought back my tears and didn’t say anything.
But days later, I met up with them again – this time without Jonathan.
‘He’s just using you,’ one of them said.
‘Why would you say that?’ I asked.
‘He’s young enough to be your grandson,’ she sneered. ‘You need therapy.’
I couldn’t believe it.
‘You’re supposed to support me,’ I said.
Back at home, I broke down to Jonathan.
‘They made me feel ashamed for loving you,’ I cried.
‘Ignore them,’ he said.
So I made a choice and I cut them out.
Just three months after we met, Jonathan surprised me by getting down on one knee.
‘Will you marry me?’ he asked, holding out a diamond ring.
‘Yes!’ I cried.
I knew it was fast, but
I didn’t care.
I’d been waiting my whole life to meet my soulmate.
After Jonathan told his family the news, we flew over to celebrate with them.
As I was three years older than his mum, my stomach was in knots, but I was relieved when she welcomed me with open arms.
‘Jonathan has fancied older women since he was a teenager!’ she laughed during dinner.
‘So no-one was shocked?’ I asked.
‘Not at all!’ his sister said.
‘We’re so happy for you both,’ his dad smiled.
After that, Jonathan’s family came to visit us every few months. His parents and I have become great friends, and they’ve grown close to my daughters and granddaughter.
Jonathan and I have been together for over a year now. We haven’t started planning our wedding yet, but I can’t wait for when we do.
I’ve recently turned 60 and Jonathan is 21. Ezra, now six, calls him Grandpa Jon, which is hilarious but Jonathan loves it.
I don’t care about our age gap.
Love is all that matters.