couple holding hands
Jade Small
Jade Small
December 7, 2023 ·  4 min read

Grandmother dating man 28 years younger is mistaken for his mother

At one point or another, most of us have used the dating app Tinder. Be it to have a fun fling or to try to find love. As we know, when setting up your profile on the app, you can choose the age group you’re interested in. Not very often, though, do we set it to 28 years younger than our own age.

This 50-year-old woman did just that when she found her now-fiancé on the popular app, and he’s just 22 years old.

Finding Love On Tinder

Sharon Hawkins, a 50-year-old mother, and grandmother from North Carolina, ended her long-term marriage of 16 years back in 2015. One thing she says she always noticed during her final year being married was younger men in their early 20s giving her looks.

Once divorced, Sharon says she vowed to find someone younger and more spontaneous, and better suited to her personality.

Years later, she signed up with Tinder and lowered the age range to just 19 years old.

Around 5 years after her marriage ended, Sharon matched up with a man 28 years younger than her. Perry Hopstein was only 22 years old. He was also a Royal Marine and younger than Sharon’s 3 children.[1]

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.

Sharon Hawkins

Sharon went on to say how Perry appeared to be her dream guy. After a few days of exchanging messages, the pair met up in real life.

28 Years Younger

Sharon invited Perry over to her home, and a week later, Perry visited again, this time to cook a meal for Sharon and her daughter.

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.

Sharon Hawkins

Sharon recalls how they all got along swimmingly, even cracking jokes. Her daughter said to Perry when he handed her a plate of food, “Thanks, kid.” The three of them all laughed. A moment that could have been extremely awkward!

May be an image of 5 people, hair and outerwear
Image via Hotspot Media | Facebook

Despite the awesome first couple dates, the pair decided to split up. The age gap just seemed too big. They stopped seeing each other but still stayed in touch, talking daily. A few months later, they realized they could not be without one another and resumed dating again.[2]

“Perry and I know we’re meant to be together, and we don’t care what other people think.”

Sharon Hawkins

They Made It Work

Perry and Sharon became an official couple in June 2020. And thanks to the Pandemic, Perry moved in with her almost immediately!

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.”

Sharon Hawkins

Sharon and Perry had tried to delay breaking the news of their 28 year age gap to Perry’s family, especially his mother. Sharon recalls how nervous she was as Perry’s mom was the same age she was.

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.”

Sharon Hawkins

Marrying 28 Years Younger

Sharon and Perry soon got engaged to be married and plan to marry at the end of this year. Sharon says she couldn’t care less about the age gap, but once news of their relationship became public, the dirty looks and comments began.

 “It was really weird at first, but we soon began to laugh it off. Then one day, we were out shopping, and I gave Perry my bank card to pay for something while I rummaged through my handbag.

The cashier said, “You can’t let your son use your card.” Perry and I tried not to laugh. Perry had such a sweet baby-face; it wasn’t her fault. Not wanting to embarrass her, we didn’t correct her.

After that, people constantly confused Perry for my son whenever we for dinner or shopping. After a while, we made it a personal joke of ours where Perry would tell me to stop mothering him whenever I told him to do something.”

Sharon Hawkins

Keep Reading: Calls to ban Grease after people deem it ‘misogynistic and sexist’


  1. Gran, 50, to marry Tinder toyboy, 22, she met after lowering her age preference to 19.” Mirror UK. Candice Fernandez, Lorraine King. January 18, 2021.
  2. Grandma Who Lowered Age Preference On Tinder To 19 Planning To Marry New Boyfriend.Lad Bible. Amelia Ward. January 18, 2021.