I feel like I've won the lottery because guys my age can't keep up with me - 54-year-old woman says after she married a man who's 21 years younger (PHOTOs)

Monday, March 04, 2024
 – An older woman has said she feels like she has 'won the lottery' after bagging a man 21 years younger because older men 'couldn't keep up'.

Michelle Rinella, 54, from Texas, gave love another chance world after her divorce and found herself 'bored' by men her age, who she claimed would be more concerned about 'where they could park'.

The 54-year-old ignored the many younger men in their 20s who she claimed 'kept messaging' her until her now-husband Brandon Graham, 33, got in touch.

The psychologist said that while there was an instant 'fiery' sexual attraction between them, he shocked her most with his 'emotional vulnerability' unlike older men who were more 'rigid and didn't need anything from a relationship'.

Michelle had previously been married to someone who was 11 years her senior but now believes the younger age gap 'creates passion' due to truck driver Brandon being 'fun, fit, and vital' and her being 'wise'.

The mother-of-four admitted that while she originally felt 'upset' by people's stares, now those who judge them only make their connection stronger because they are 'passionate about fighting for the relationship'.

While Michelle began the relationship feeling 'unhopeful', they have now been married for two years and say their love feels like 'winning the lottery'.

Michelle said: 'I think the thing about the age gap that made this relationship work is that the age gap creates passion.

'For me, he is young, fit, beautiful, vital, and fun. I definitely wasn't finding that with the 50-year-old men. To him, I am wise and established while still being attractive.

'It was definitely an instant attraction. On our first date, my first thought was 'he's even more handsome than in the pictures'. I mean there's obviously the sexual attraction right, that's like fire.

'But then there was this emotional attraction. He came with a level of vulnerability that I wasn't used to. Older men were just more rigid and they didn't need anything from a relationship.

'For both of us, it just feels like winning the lottery, everything we had been looking for, so that creates an amazing level of passion.'

Michelle had been on a break from dating and had only just gotten back into it in September 2019 when she first met the certified PT online.

Michelle said: 'At first, I don't think I was very hopeful about it given the age gap. He messaged me. I opened it and thought to myself, "Another 20-something. Why do they keep messaging me?"'

'Then I looked at his picture and thought, "Maybe a quick hello wouldn't hurt!" I sent him a message that said "How old are you?" and he replied "Old enough to make you happy". He was right.

'There had only been one other man, right before Brandon. He was older than me. He was just the opposite of Brandon.

'He was just terribly rigid and it was such a boring dating experience that I couldn't keep doing it. Dating Brandon was a breath of fresh air. There was definitely more excitement.

'The older guy would be like: "I don't want to go to that place because it's too hard to park". It felt like he wasn't living his life. They couldn't keep up with me. They were just boring.'

On strangers judging them, Michelle said: 'The other part of the passion is knowing that people might be judging us. It makes us passionate about fighting for our relationship. It's nice to be out just because he's so handsome.

'We walk in the room and it's like the screeching of a record sound. The whole room goes quiet. People are looking. It used to really bother me.

'He made me understand that people are going to look. There's no benefit in trying to make the worst out of it.

'Maybe people are looking at us because we're a good-looking couple. If not, maybe they just don't know what it's like to really feel like this.

Michelle said: 'Right now we're 20 years apart but we're in the same part of our lives. The big thing is that in 20 years, I'll be 75 and he'll be 55.

'For a while I was pretty resistant to this as a long-term relationship because of that. He wasn't.

'It wasn't that I couldn't trust him to be faithful to me right now, it was can I trust you to take care of elderly me later? The thought of that is hard as we'll be at different parts of our lives.

'I'll be elderly and he'll still be young enough to be healthy but I just can't get stuck worrying about that.'

'Even though others might be judging us, it just adds to the feelings of attraction now.'

The couple got married in 2021 and had an outdoor wedding. 

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