A teenager whose boyfriend is 29 years her senior revealed how the pair met while she was on the same tennis team as his daughter.
Natalie Noble, 19, of Kentucky, US, met Bobby Lindsey, 48, in 2015 after joining his tennis team and while their relationship was initially platonic, it took a romantic turn last year during Natalie’s second term at university.
The couple say that despite being put through ‘hell’ by family members, they ‘love being in an age gap relationship’ because Natalie is ‘super mature’ for her age, while Bobby has ‘a younger heart’.
Marketing and sales student Natalie said: ‘Bobby and I first met in 2015 when he became my tennis coach. It was my first year playing tennis, his daughter was also on the team and he was the coach.
Natalie Noble, 19, of Kentucky, US, met Bobby Lindsey, 48, in 2015 after joining his tennis team and while the relationship was initially platonic, it took a romantic turn last year
The couple say that despite being put through ‘hell’ by family members, they ‘love being in an age gap relationship’
‘Obviously at the start there wasn’t any form of romantic relationship, we were purely a coach and a tennis student.
‘After finishing school, I moved on to university and for some time we didn’t have much contact except an occasional text message to see how the other was doing.
‘We had each other’s phone numbers for tennis purposes, and after a while, Bobby and I started to talk more and more until eventually, we were speaking every day.
‘At first it was a friendship, it was like we were best friends.
Natalie is pictured at 17 while Bobby was her tennis coach at 46. The pair’s romantic relationship did not begin until Natalie’s second term at university years later
‘We were both in denial about our feelings towards each other and we just kept saying that we were just friends because we were so terrified of the idea of admitting our feelings.’
Bobby even tried to push Natalie to date other people, because he felt he had a responsibility to try and end what was going on between them.
Bobby, who also has daughters close to Natalie’s age from a previous marriage, moved into an apartment that wasn’t far from where Natalie was staying for her studies.
Natalie said: ‘After Bobby had moved into his apartment we just started hanging out even more and things developed further, so in spring time last year we decided to start a relationship.
‘We were both terrified. We had tried to pull away from each other but we just couldn’t.
‘We kept it a secret for a while because of being so scared of how we would be judged.
After quarantining together during the pandemic, the pair say they grew as a couple and didn’t want to lose each other
‘I think I have always kind of had an attraction to older men. I am super mature for my age so I can’t really connect with guys my age.
‘Strangely enough, my mum had always joked that I had eyes for Bobby.’
After quarantining together during the pandemic, the pair say they grew as a couple and didn’t want to lose each other, deciding to bite the bullet and go public with their relationship.
‘As the pandemic started to ease up last summer, my friends started moving back to our house and I knew the point was coming where I was going to have to start telling people what was going on’, said Natalie.
‘I got away with it for about a month, until my best friend asked me one night where I was going.
‘So that was the night I decided to tell her. She was slightly concerned at first, but we talked it through and once she got to know our relationship she became fine with it.
‘I dreaded telling my parents the most.
‘After I told my mum she was completely devastated. She did not accept the relationship at all.
‘She wanted to talk to Bobby and it went terribly. She thought he was taking me from my youth and worried about my future with him.
‘She also told Bobby that he had one week to tell my dad, otherwise she would.’
Natalie says their relationship works as she’s ‘adventurous and love to travel’, and isn’t in the ‘partying and drinking phase like most people my age’
Bobby’s daughters and Natalie’s parents weren’t pleased when they revealed their relationship, but the pair hope they can grow to accept it
Natalie says her dad was furious after breaking the news, and didn’t understand why a man of Bobby’s age would be interested in his daughter.
She added: ‘My parents wanted me to go to therapy as they thought it would fix things, but it made me not care as much about what people think and it has taught me self-love.
‘I hope and pray that one day they will be fine with the relationship, but we still aren’t there.
‘They still don’t like our relationship, but they are tolerating it as they know it makes me happy.’
Bobby’s daughters also weren’t pleased when he revealed he was in a relationship with Natalie.
She added: ‘After we started telling people we felt so much better. It was like a weight being lifted off of our shoulders.
‘My parents tried to put us through hell to break us up, but it just made us closer as we only had each other.
While the couple isn’t looking to promote age gap relationships, they have created a YouTube channel to help empower those in these relationships and shed light
‘I love being in our age gap relationship because I have an older heart and Bobby has a younger heart.
‘I am adventurous and love to travel and so does Bobby, I am not in the partying and drinking phase like most people my age.
While the couple isn’t looking to promote age gap relationships, they have created a YouTube channel to help empower those in these relationships and shed light.
Natalie said: ‘We are looking to help people in a similar situation to us, and help them navigate through the difficult parts like telling family members.
‘We know it is not the most conventional relationship, but we are happy and in love and that’s the main thing.
‘And we still enjoy playing tennis together in our free time between my studies and Bobby’s work.’