Fortunately, both families are in favour of the May-December relationship. While Ron has three grown-up children and two grandkids, Ness, a former premier-grade soccer player turned career-focused businesswoman, never wanted children of her own. In fact, friends were astonished to discover she was getting married at all!
“I’ve been waiting for the right man to come along, and here he is,” smiles Ness, proudly showing off her engagement ring. “Ron’s very smart and we make each other laugh.”
Ron proposed in bed on Christmas morning while he was recovering from partial knee-replacement surgery. First he sent her a text, then popped the question out loud.
Once Ness said “Yes, of course,” Ron reached into a bedside drawer to reveal a beautiful unset diamond.
“I wasn’t stupid enough to buy her an actual ring, because I thought I’d get the wrong style,” he laughingly explains. “I thought it was better to let Ness design that for herself. My survival instincts are very strong.”
Today, the lovebirds are hunting for a house together. At present, Ron’s daughter, Ashley, lives nearby, while he shares the old family home in Sydney’s Hills District with sons James and Christopher.
“Now I’m the one moving out and leaving, not the kids!”
Ron confesses that once he discovered Ness’ age on their first date at a local wine bar, he immediately thought he was out of luck. But something clicked.
“It’s been very easy,” he admits. “We haven’t faced any major obstacles and don’t seem to have had any baggage to overcome.
“I was concerned my children could have reservations, having lost their mother five years ago, but they have accepted the whole thing extremely well.”
Striking gold twice
Ron’s first wife, Helen, sadly passed away in 2017 from cancer. Having already found the “perfect partner” in Helen, Ron says he feels a “little greedy” to have fallen in love again. And a little guilty too, perhaps, when he first embraced the mature-age dating scene.
“I hadn’t been out with anyone for 40 years and it’s bizarre how different it is from dating as a teenager,” Ron confides. “I felt I had a responsibility to live life as hard as I could once Helen died. But we never discussed what would happen when she was gone, because we were too busy trying to keep her here.
“People say it’s good that I’ve moved on, but it’s not like that. It’s not like Helen and I got a divorce; she was taken from me. Ness has become an addition to my life, not a replacement. You can dig a hole and climb into it, or you can get on with life.
“I’d encourage others to really embrace that idea because you can make a whole new life for yourself. It’s never too late. A lot of people aren’t game to do that, and I think that’s such a waste.
“Life has so much to offer. I’m not going let it run out without giving it everything I’ve got.”
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