When I developed a crush on my much older boss, I never thought love would blossom…
By Eve Glover, 20, from Shrewsbury
Stacking up a pile of empty breakfast plates, I glanced across the restaurant as the customers filed out.
My eyes met Terry’s, and we shared a flirty smile.
“Watch those dishes,” he said, giving me a jokey little shove.
“It will be your fault if they fall,” I replied with a grin.
Since starting work at the hotel as an 18-year-old waitress a couple of months before, I’d had my eye on Terry.
He was cheeky, blonde and just my type.
There was one problem though… and it wasn’t just that Terry was the assistant manager.
At 53, he’s 33 years older than me!
Ever since the first day we were introduced, I found myself looking forward to my next shift so I could see him again.
We’d chat about anything from 80s bands to what had been on telly the night before.
During quiet moments in the restaurants I dared to daydream what life would be like if Terry was my boyfriend.
I didn’t want a boy my own age, I wanted a man.
“We’d have so much fun together,” I thought.
And, as the months went on, our behaviour became more and more flirty.
I never thought we’d take things any further though. After all, a nagging voice at the back of my mind couldn’t let me forget he was old enough to be my dad.
Then, late one evening in July 2013, I popped into the hotel to meet a friend who was due to be finishing work.
Stepping in from the chilly night air I bumped into Terry, loitering grumpily near the doors.
“You’re here late,” I said.
“The night porter is off, so muggins here is standing in,” he said.
It turned out my friend had already left. But as I was there, I thought I may as well stick around to flirt for a while.
That’s when Terry gave a quick glance around the lobby to make sure we were alone, then stepped closer to me.
“There’s something I’ve been meaning to tell you, Eve,” he said. “I really fancy you.”
I was gobsmacked. I’d felt an electric connection between us building for months, but it was the first time we’d openly acknowledged it.
My impulses took over, and I leant in for our first kiss right there and then.
“I’d better go, you’re working,” I said, before dashing off.
I needed some time to get my head together as thoughts swam around my head: “Is Terry too old for me? What will my mates think? How will I tell my parents that I’m with a bloke their age?”
For the next few months our secret kiss went unspoken.
Then, Terry plucked up the courage to ask me out on a proper first date, for dinner at a local pub.
I had butterflies in my stomach as I slicked on an extra coat of mascara.
Just because Terry had wrinkles and the odd grey hair didn’t mean I could let my standards slip.
My nerves were unfounded though. Over pub grub that night, the 33 years between us melted away.
“You look gorgeous,” he said, opening the pub door for me.
That’s the kind of chivalry I’d never get from a boy my own age.
We might have looked like an odd pair but Terry’s devoted attention made me feel like the most beautiful woman in the room.
When I was a little girl I never imagined my Prince Charming would be so close to OAP status.
But from that night on, Terry became my boyfriend.
For the next few months we kept our love affair a secret.
I was worried about how colleagues at work would react. I didn’t think my parents would take it well either.
To be honest, I wasn’t even sure about our relationship myself.
I loved spending time with Terry, but I didn’t see how it could be a long-term option for either of us.
Terry had been married before, divorcing from his five year marriage a decade ago. He made it quite clear he was ready to make that commitment again.
But I was only 18, I didn’t want to be a teen bride.
Terry had never been blessed with children either, and time was running out for him to be a dad.
Starting a family couldn’t have been further from my thoughts though. I had so much I wanted to achieve before settling down.
I talked to Terry about my fears.
“I’m not sure I’m what you want,” I said.
But Terry wasn’t put off.
“I can’t pretend I don’t want to marry you, but I’ll wait as long as you want.” he said.
Soon word got out about our relationship, and we were pleasantly surprised by the reaction.
Rather than being freaked out by our age gap, friends were really supportive.
I knew I’d have to tell my parents too.
One evening I sat them down to confess.
“Terry might be quite a bit older, but he makes me really happy,” I said.
My parents couldn’t, or wouldn’t, understand though.
“You can’t be with him, it’s just not right,” my mum said.
I tried to explain that I was sure our relationship was more than just a fling.
“It’s us or him,” they said.
I knew I couldn’t give Terry up. So, that night I packed up my belongings and fled to his house.
I thought that in time my mum and dad would come round to the idea.
However, it has caused nothing but arguments. Now I have no contact with my parents at all.
Instead, I threw myself into a life of domestic bliss with Terry.
We moved into our own home, and I loved putting a woman’s touch on Terry’s typical bachelor style.
In time we adopted our pet pooch Rudy too. He’s a Staffordshire Bull Terrier from an RSPCA shelter.
Despite the three decades between me and Terry, we’re just like any other couple.
I’ve always been more into cosy evenings in than late nights out at nightclubs, which suits Terry just fine.
We both love long countryside walks too.
And as for action in the bedroom, I’ll just say that I’ll go for age and experience over a boy my own age any day!
Of course we do have little niggles. Sometimes Terry will be waxing lyrical about an old TV show, and he’ll say “oh but of course that’s before your time.”
Actually most of the time I’m able to tell him that I know exactly what he’s on about.
When we’re out and about it’s harder to forget the age gap though, thanks to the gawping stares of strangers.
I think most people assume we’re father and daughter until I grab Terry’s hand, or lean in for a smooch.
No-one has ever said anything rude but it does make me feel self-conscious, until Terry reminds me it’s only our opinion that matters.
Then last August we cemented our future together, with a beautiful diamond ring.
We’d been at a friend’s wedding, and I’d been touched by how happy the bride and groom were together.
That’s when I realised that I wanted that with Terry too. I stopped caring about how young I was, and started thinking about our future together.
Back home, I admitted to Terry that my feelings about marriage had changed.
“Do you mean that?” Terry asked.
Then he dashed upstairs, and came back brandishing his late mother’s engagement ring.
“So, will you marry me?” he asked, a hopeful grin spreading across his face.
My heart leapt as I said yes.
Now, we’re hoping to tie the knot next year.
And as for starting a family, we’re in no rush and if it’s too late to conceive naturally we’ve already discussed adoption.
Love comes in all shapes and sizes and I can’t wait to spend the rest of my life with Terry, however long that might be.
Terry, 53, said: “I’m a believer in love at first sight, and I was completely bowled over by Eve from the moment I saw her.
“She’s my perfect woman – beautiful, slim, petite and so easy to talk to, but way out of my league.
“She’s young enough to be my daughter, so I never thought she’d be interested in an old-timer like me.
“When she said she felt the same, it was like I’d won the jackpot.
“Now I can’t imagine my life without Eve in it. As the months have gone on, we’ve only grown closer.”