A fitness instructor says she has to shower her man in public displays with affection so people don’t think he’s her son.
Janine Adamson, 34, was attracted to neighbour Owen Roundell-Prince, 24, as soon as they first met – but their 10 year age gap meant she felt romance was off the cards.
The pair finally started dating in March 2020 – but they turn heads wherever they go as people think Janine is Owen’s mum.
Janine claims people online have accused her of “trapping” her beau into a relationship or holding him “hostage.”
Despite jibes from others, the smitten pair think they’re a good match – and they’re now expecting their first baby.
However, Janine admits she does sometimes nag Owen and moans at him in the same way she does to her 16-year-old son.
She posts videos of their relationship on TikTok in a bid to “normalise” age gap relationships, hoping to reassure other women who are dating younger men.
Janine, of Southampton, Hampshire, said: “If we’re going out and he gets ID’d and I don’t then I go, ‘Oh this is embarrassing’.”
She described a time when the pair were buying alcohol at the supermarket and the cashier asked Owen: “Is this mum?” while gesturing towards Janine.
“It threw me a bit and I am scared that it’s going to happen again and I am scared that people think that when they see us.
“It definitely makes me want to be more affectionate with him to save the embarrassment of being called his mum again.”
Janine, who works part time, said her family and friends are in full support of the relationship, but comments from strangers they don’t know can get her down.
Janine said: “People say that ‘I’m old enough to be his mum’, that it’s ‘wrong’, that he’s ‘trapped’ and I should ‘set him free’.
“[People say] I’m ‘bringing him down, he’s got his whole life ahead of him because I’m keeping him hostage and he’s going to regret his life’. Then I’ve had comments about my son being closer in age to him than I am.
“It is quite hurtful because having my own initial worries and fears, and I do now still worry and think ‘are his mates making fun of him behind my back? Am I too old for him? Am I not good enough for him’?”
Although Janine doesn’t think she looks old enough to be Owen’s mum, she reckons people see Owen’s “baby face” and presume he’s younger than he is.
She added that, although some people are nasty on social media, she’s received plenty of positive comments from other people in age gap relationships.
Janine, who is studying criminal investigation and psychology alongside work, said she was attracted to Owen’s personality when she first met him, but didn’t make her move for a while.
She said: “He was my neighbour for five years and I always knew that I was attracted to him and I could sense that it was reciprocated.
“But obviously because he is ten years younger than me and I got on with his family as well, it was just something that I’d always felt was off the cards.
“And then we got closer at the beginning of lockdown last year [March 2020] and we were sneaking around for a little bit because we were worried what people would say – how his family and my children would respond, so we kept it low key for a while.”
Luckily, she says Owen is “amazing” with her kids, 16-year-old Bradley and 10-year-old Maizie.
Janine said: “The benefits of being in an age gap relationship are that I laugh a lot, I’m happy and can be myself, which works because I do still feel very young at heart.
“Also he likes to do his thing. He’s a semi-professional footballer and likes to play the PlayStation and then if he chooses to go out with his mates, I don’t want to be going out until 3am, so if he wants to do that he can and I look forward to having the bed to myself.”
She admits that sometimes she’ll come home and nag Owen for playing on the PlayStation all day – which is the same thing she nags Bradley for. But she reckons it’s just a “man thing.”
“He takes it so well. He lets me have a moan and then he gets it done,” she said.
Now she’s expecting her first baby with Owen, she’s excited to see him become a dad for the first time.
“This man deserves to be a dad and I can’t wait to watch him with his own children as well, and for us to have that family unit together,” she said.
After initially being hurt by the trolls making jibes about their relationship, Janine has learned to brush off the nasty comments.