With a 31-year age gap, Evie’s husband Pete is almost double her age but she says she wouldn’t have it any other way.
Having fallen in love with a man who’s just three years younger than her dad, Evie Smith is used to people doing double takes or saying the wrong things while they’re out and about. But for Evie, 32, and her husband Pete, 63, the comments they get from strangers about their relationship don’t bother them.
“If we go to the shops people might say ‘isn’t it nice that you take your dad out’,” says Evie.
“We gently correct people because we are of the opinion that if it bothered us we wouldn’t be together. If anything it works in our favour because people are so sorry and can’t do enough to make it up to us.”
The Gold Coast couple met at church seven years ago where they were part of a group of friends who’d regularly socialise together. Although Evie could feel they had a connection, she didn’t think anything romantic would happen between them because of their age gap – she was 25 and he was 56.
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Evie and Pete were friends before anything happened. Image: Supplied.
“We started as friends and it blossomed from there. One night other members of our friendship group were away and Pete and I had talked about watching a movie. We had a takeaway and watched a film and later discovered that we’d had our first date,” says Evie.
Although they knew they really liked each other, it wasn’t as simple as starting to date. Because of their age difference they knew they needed to work things out before going public. Pete had been married before but didn’t have any children while Evie wanted a family.
“We had to have those big conversations quite early on about what we wanted and how we would work through that,” says Evie.
When she brought up having kids, Pete’s initial reaction was “gosh, no way at my age” but then he said that if he found the right person to have them with then they could make it work. And Evie was that right person.
Evie says she and Pete complement each other perfectly. Image: Supplied.
Once they’d nutted out what they wanted from their relationship, then came the daunting task of telling their friends and family. At just three years older than Pete, Evie’s dad has reservations about whether it would work.
‘Why would you want to do that?’
“The first time Dad met Pete he said he wasn’t happy and that the age gap was ‘too much, but if you make her happy then I’ll live with it’. Now of course they are the best of friends,” says Evie.
“My friends were a bit shocked and surprised but most people were supportive. There was some judgement around it along the lines of ‘why would you want to do that?’”
The couple got married six years ago and had their little boy Thomas, five.
Pete is sometimes mistaken for Thomas’ grandad but, again, they don’t let what other people assume or say bother them too much.
For Evie, the benefit of being with an older man far outweighs any downsides or judgement that come along with being part of an age gap relationship.
“I have a chronic health issue with my spine and have to go into hospital a lot…with my health we can’t be as intimate as we’d like and Pete is fine with that,” says Evie.
‘The best years of my life’
The only concern Evie does have is being left behind if anything happens to Pete but she says he’s in good health and you never know what the future holds anyway, even if you’re young.
“I do worry about the future but I’m in two minds about it. I’ve always said to Pete that no matter how many years we have, they will be the best of my life. Pete doesn’t act his age and I certainly don’t act mine so we meet somewhere in the middle,” she says.
Pete gets to be a more hands of dad than many younger parents. Image: Supplied.
Also, with Pete looking into retirement, it means he’ll be able to play a larger part in their son’s life than if he worked full-time.
“A lot of young dads don’t get to be stay-at-home dads so Thomas will get the benefit of creating lots of memories with his dad,” says Evie.
Even in the relatively short time they’ve been together, Evie has seen a shift in people’s attitudes towards them with the ‘love is love’ message getting through.
“There’s been a shift in society and it’s becoming more common to see couples of different ages. If people are confronted with something they don’t know about they can be unsure or concerned but now people are more accepting,” says Evie.
“We are just like any other couple – we go to work, take Thomas to school, come home and make dinner – the only difference is the age gap.”