Young woman and older man in romantic relationship. Age gap relationship concept
Leah Berenson
Leah Berenson
April 4, 2024 ·  4 min read

Woman Says 30 Year Age Gap With Husband Makes Him a Better Father

There always seems to be some controversy around younger women dating older men. From concerns of being left vulnerable, to being widowed early on, there are plenty of reasons why women are advised against dating older men. However, one New York woman shared that although she once had similar beliefs, her decision to date a man, despite their large age gap, had a positive and impactful effect on her life.

Couple with an Age Gap

36-year-old Gretchen Dillon had just moved to Syracuse, New York, from Pennsylvania. Previously, she’d dated women, but that changed when she met 63-year-old Michael Dillon in 2014. The two met at a grocery store and, despite their notable age gap, began a friendship. Michael offered Gretchen a room and job. The pair quickly realized their connection was more than just platonic, and they began a romantic relationship in May of 2015.

Michael proposed twice to Gretchen before the pair finally tied the knot. “I told him I didn’t want a big show and I didn’t want a ring- he presented me with a literal diamond rock, not on a ring.” She shared. “I was so upset that he thought he could propose to me on a technicality, I said no on principle in front of his family.” Despite the couple’s age gap, she did ultimately say yes. “He proposed to me the second time in December on a sunrise kayaking trip in Florida, so I accepted.” She said.

Read More: ‘I’m 27 Years Old And My Daughter Is 20 – We Are Best Friends And I Wouldn’t Trade It For The World’

Apprehensive of the Age Gap

My friend tried to stop me marrying him. She kept saying I was going to be a ​widow because he’s nearly 30 years older than me, but I loved him and didn’t care.” Gretchen explained of her unconventional circumstances. “I was upset when Michael and I first slept together because in my head I didn’t think I wanted to be with an older man. I took some time and came to terms with it. Now I’m happier than ever.”

Parents and their baby.
Photo Credit: Gretchen Dillon | SWNS

A Life of Bliss

Three years after their wedding the pair welcomed a son named Shannon. They’re happily living together and raising their son. Gretchen shared that she believes her husband’s age is a major contributor to their happy family. “Michael couldn’t wait to be a father again – he already has one child and another stepchild from a previous relationship – and I think his age makes him a better father,” explained Gretchen. “He can’t be as physically active, but he still loves monkeying around with little Shannon. But he’s more like a grandad because he has so much more patience.”

Michael disclosed that because of the pair’s age gap, people often think he’s Gretchen’s father or Shannon’s grandfather. “People think I’m Shannon’s grandad all the time but I just laugh it off.” He said. “The hardest thing about being an older dad is Shannon has just started playgroup and he brings home a lot of colds and bugs. The immune system of a 36-year-old is a whole lot better than the immune system of a 63-year-old. I constantly have these colds, it’s exhausting.” However, he notes that his son “is a joy”.

Living in the Moment

Gretchen shares some advice for women in her position or women who are apprehensive about dating someone with a huge age gap. “I would tell any woman in my position that life is too short to be unhappy. If something feels right in your gut – go for it.” She advised. “Nobody knows when it’s their time to go.

Despite a huge age gap, Gretchen isn’t the only woman to date or marry a man. According to Psychology Today, it’s relatively common, and there’s a reason for it. Despite the misguided beliefs around people dating who share an age gap, there’s been some evidence that those stereotypes are rarely the case. In fact, most women feel a sense of peace and tranquility with an older man that may not be apparent in a relationship with someone who might be closer in age. Older men are often more mature, more worldly, and in many cases more understanding.

Gretchen is just one of many women proving that dating someone, despite an age gap, can often be advantageous and just as fulfilling.

Read More: Age gap fiancée, 23, showcases lavish lifestyle shared with partner 33 years older


  1. Why Many Young Women Prefer to Date Older Men.Psychology Today. Wendy L. Patrick
  2. Woman, 36, who fell for a 63-year-old man after dating women admits she was ‘upset’ after they first slept together because she’d never seen herself with an older guy.Daily Mail. Claire Toureille. April 25, 2022.