• Herb and John Diamond-Ring are married, and have a 43-year age difference.
  • The couple, who met on a dating site, often face misconceptions due to their age gap.
  • They have a similar sense of humor and bonded over shared interests like tennis and comedy.

Given their 43-year age gap, Herb and John Diamond-Ring face up to misconceptions about the nature of their relationship with good humor.

"He's the original dirty old man," John, 52, said, laughing about his older husband.

John came out as gay relatively late, when he was 32, and has always felt attracted to "older men with silver hair" — his boyfriend before Herb was 30 years older than he was (John was 32, and his partner was 62 when they met). Sometimes, John battles a perception that the younger guy in the relationship is only after the older one for his money.

"Herb will tell you I'm fiercely independent; I work for the hotel industry — nobody pays for me," he said.

According to John, the difference with Herb is that "he acts at least 20 years younger than his age." The couple recently went on an "all-gay" cruise with Vacaya. "Everybody was talking about this 94-year-old man who was buzzing around the ship saying hello to everyone," John said.

Herb and John Diamond-Ring both enjoy sports. Foto: Courtesy Herb and John Diamond-Ring

They met on a dating site

The pair met on the dating site SilverDaddies.com in 2011 when Herb was living in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, and John was living in Ireland. Herb had been healing from a long-standing heartache. Before John, he had a lover for 43 years.

"We were together when it wasn't legal for gay couples to get married. We did have children together, though, two boys," Herb said. "They'd been born to single women who were encouraged to give up their children. Those boys are now men in their 50s. My partner was 'Dad,' and I was called 'Uncle Herb.'"

When his partner died of cancer back in 2000, Herb was distraught with grief. Eventually, he tried internet dating, despite his friends warning him not to try it due to "scammers."

But when Herb saw a picture of John in swimmers, he knew he had to send a message.

"He said he was only looking for friends, having just finished a relationship with an older guy. He only likes older men. I lied and said, 'Friends sounds nice!' But I didn't want to be his friend. I wanted to get in his pants!" Herb said. "I still always want to get in his pants. I'm a very physical person."

The pair chatted on the phone for hours daily, really getting to know one another. John was reluctant to come to America. Herb told him, "I have a nice two-bedroom condo in Fort Lauderdale. If we don't work out, you can stay in the spare one and have a nice vacation."

Herb first met John in person at Florida's Fort Lauderdale airport with flowers. John said, "I don't do flowers." Herb slapped them across his chest and said, "You do now!"

They married two years later, in 2013.

People sometimes have misconceptions about their relationship

Due to his love of older men, sometimes people ask John if he had a bad relationship with his father. "I have the world's loveliest dad who's always been there for me my whole life. He's my best friend. He'd come to all my soccer and basketball games as a kid. As adults, we go to watch Manchester United games together. So it's not a 'daddy' thing," John said.

Herb and John Diamond-Ring enjoy traveling together. Foto: Courtesy Herb and John Diamond-Ring

While the couple sometimes has to clear up the misconceptions that come with having such a large age gap, they've never really had a bad reaction.

Once on the beach, a woman asked Herb, "Is that your grandson?" while pointing to John. Herb said, "No, that's my lover!" She responded, "Oh! He's very young and attractive. How did you get him?"

"We don't mind such comments," John said. "They're funny really. Most people, once they discover Herb is actually my husband, say, 'Wow! That's wonderful.'"

John said what he loves most about Herb is his sense of humor. "We're like a comedy show together," he said, adding that they also share a love of British and Irish comedies. "I love his friendliness and how caring he is. We both put others before ourselves. We bonded over a love of tennis. And I love how age means nothing to him."

Meanwhile, Herb said one of his favorite times is sitting on the sofa together. "I throw my legs over his," he said. "We have a phenomenal relationship."

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