Many of you have asked us this question, so we thought it was probably easiest to pen it down properly for you. We've tried to make it a bit of a story to spice it up a touch, but all the details are 100% true.
Visiting London Pride for the first time in 2013 as a fairly depressed straight man, after a 1.5+ hour chat with a wonderful LGBTQ+ Switchboard volunteer, Owen left realising he was gay. Excited by this revelation, true to his mildly impulsive self he jumped into a relationship the very next day. Though it was with a lovely man near his age, the fit wasn't there for something long term, and they parted ways a few months later
Whilst having been married to a woman in his youth, and having had a few long term relationships with men, Jeremy had been happily single for the last 7 years. With a busy job and an active social life, he was absolutely not looking for a relationship and was very much 'enjoying' his bachelorhood.
The first interaction - A near miss
A the last minute, Jeremy changed his mind. As ex Chair he felt duty bound to support the LGBTQ+ club and so rocked up to squash on Saturday, expecting to see the usual friendly faces for a hit and then drinks at the pub.
Having no gay friends Owen decided that if he was going to be a gay man, it was worth perhaps knowing some others. As such he opted to give an LGBTQ+ sports club a go instead of the table tennis club he was going to join.
Terrified of the gaggle of gays that confronted him as he turned round the corner of the courts, Owen started to get nervous. He had always made friends through sport, but this was different. These were gay men (!!) He looked on as a group were doing a training routine as he fumbled with his laces and prepared to join.
Jeremy spotted Owen from the start. As the routine rotated round with each playing points with others whilst the rest watched, he said hello to the newcomer and got a fairly curt response. That's a no then. No major surprise, he must be less than half his age.
Stressed, Owen wasn't playing well. He was better than most of these people, and wanted to show he could belong. Across the court from him an older gentleman got ready to receive his serve. The rally started, and after some back and forth Owen eventually missed an easy kill.
The young man was furious at missing his shot - to be fair he should have made it. He shouted and flung his racket in the air in exasperation. It was arching straight towards Jeremy. Shocked and wide eyed, Owen dashed across the court and just caught the racket before it hit him. The new guy had a temper, but apologised and joined the back of the queue, being more reserved for the rest of the training session.
Later at the bar, after a few drinks Owen and Jeremy found themselves in the same circle. After laughing about their near miss earlier, conversation continued as most introductions do. What do you do? How long have you been in London?
As the evening wore on, others left the conversation as Owen and Jeremy continued talking. Owen told Jeremy off about not wearing a cycle helmet in London, and Jeremy gave advice to Owen as he was going to come out to his father the next weekend. They were some of the last ones left at the bar that day. Nothing happened, but both were looking forward to seeing each other again in a few weeks time.
The flirtations / Missed signals
Over the next few months, Owen and Jeremy played at Outplay and went for drinks afterwards, becoming good squash friends. Unbeknownst to the other, both started to get feelings towards each other. Here are a few of the missed signs and mishaps that happened along the way.
Owen won Band A of the London International squash tournament, and gave Jeremy his winner's champagne before embarrassedly retreating. Jeremy just thought he was grateful for the lift to the tournament, and shared it with those at his table.
After a drinks evening where both were hanging around to spend time with the other, they were joined by third. Whilst a nice time was had, Owen desperately wanted to spend some time with just Jeremy but didn't know how to say so. Jeremy thought Owen was hanging around to hook up with N, so eventually made his excuses and left the two alone together.
After being dropped off after squash by Jeremy, Owen squeezed his thigh and smiled as he said thank you and left. He offered Jeremy a drink but Jeremy had to get back home.
After saying they should have a hit together, Owen put his number in Jeremy's phone incorrectly. Jeremy thought it was a sign he didn't want to hang out, Owen thought Jeremy not receiving the expected message that he didn't want to see him either.
Fortunately after this mobile mishap being rectified, they eventually went and had that game of squash just the two of them. After a shower they headed to a bar sadly now since passed in London's Soho called The Edge, where a quick drink turned into 5 pints. Owen eventually got up the courage to put his hand on Jeremy's leg and fortunately this time Jeremy got the hint.
After an official first date 2 days later at Camden's famous Black Cap (unfortunately also since passed), the relationship quickly bloomed and 7 years later we're happily engaged. Looking back at how we got together now we can see all the things that worked in our favour, and all the small things that could have led us down completely different paths. Our advice? If a situation presents itself, go for it!! You never know the happiness it may bring you
x Love The Age Gap Guys x