A grandmother-of-three has revealed that she found her 22-year-old fiancé after lowering her age range on Tinder.
Sharon Hawkins, 50, met her partner Perry Hopstein on the dating app after she put her minimum age down to 19, giving them a 28-year age gap.
People now mistake her for his mother, but despite controversy around their age gap, the pair are planning to marry this year.
Sharon, a secondary school teacher from North Carolina, says that she ignores her critics.
She said: "I may be old enough to be Perry's mother, but I won't let that stop me from chasing happiness.
"Perry and I know we're meant to be together and we don't care what other people think."
In 2015, Sharon's 16-year marriage ended after she grew apart from her husband.
She explained: "My ex-husband, who was a similar age to me, was great at first.
"In the last year of our relationship, I found myself stealing glances at men in their 20s whenever we went out.
"I vowed to find someone more suited to my spontaneous personality."
Years later, in January 2020, Sharon matched with Royal Marine, Perry, on dating app, Tinder.
Sharon said: "I'd lowered the age range down to 19. I scanned Perry's profile and realised he was 22, which made him 28 years younger than me.
"He was also younger than my three kids. Perry had piercing blue eyes, brown hair and muscular arms. He looked like a model.
"I told him how I was a grandmother but he didn't care."
During the next few days, Sharon and Perry flirted back-and-forth over messages, before she ended up inviting him over to her house.
She said: "He was even sexier in real life. Even though we had such a large age gap, Perry was an old soul. We had a deep connection.
"Thankfully, my 23-year-old daughter who lives with me was fine with it."
The following week, Perry returned to Sharon's house to cook dinner for her and her daughter, but a week later, Sharon and Perry had doubts about their age gap and stopped seeing each other.
Despite this, the pair stayed in touch every day and after a few months, they realised they missed each other and carried on dating.
In June 2020, they officially became a couple.
Sharon says: "Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, Perry moved in with me straight away. It was fast, but I was the happiest I'd ever been and it just felt right.
"My friends all called me a cougar, it was hilarious. Admittedly, sexually, mine and Perry's age gap was a kink.
"But it wasn't just about that. He was romantic too, surprising me with hot oil massages and filling the house with red rose petals constantly.
"He made me feel so special."
Soon after, the couple grew concerned over how Perry's family would react.
Sharon says: "We had to come clean to Perry's mother, who was the same age as me. I was so nervous.
"Perry lied and told her I was in my 40s, not wanting to give her too much of a shock. Then, eventually, I met her and much to my relief, she welcomed me with open arms.
"She said she could tell how happy I made Perry. I was so relieved she'd accepted me into the family.
"Not long after, Perry met my sons, who are in their late 20s and my grandkids too. They all hit it off."
Now, the couple are engaged and are planning to get married this year.
Sharon says: "I don't care about a silly number.
"It's the person who Perry is that I fell so deeply in love with."
Featured Image Credit: Hotspot Media
Topics: US News
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