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Mum, 22, says family tried to end her relationship with tennis coach over 32-year age gap

Mum, 22, says family tried to end her relationship with tennis coach over 32-year age gap

Vanessa Szabo-Menyhart, 22, and 54-year-old Geza Szabo first met at a table tennis competition in March 2018, when she was 19, but her family told her that she was being taken advantage of

Vanessa and Geza got engaged in August 2019 and were married a year later before Henrik arrived

Vanessa and Geza got engaged in August 2019 and were married a year later before Henrik arrived

A mum says her family tried to end her relationship with a tennis coach over a 32-year age gap.

Vanessa Szabo-Menyhart, 22, and 54-year-old Geza Szabo first met at a table tennis competition in March 2018, when Vanessa was 19.

The pair became good friends and eventually went on their first date at the end of August that year.

Vanessa, from Maidstone, Kent, said: “I was a school-leaver when we met at the table tennis competition.

“It wasn’t love at first sight, because I thought he was a bit full of himself.

« When I looked at him I only saw that he thought he could beat everyone and that he was the only winner.







The couple got married shortly after Vanessa gave birth to Henrik
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“We didn’t think about each other as people who we would want a relationship with.

“Later when we started to get to know each other and chat a lot online, we didn’t realise we had feelings for each other – it just felt like friends who were important to one another.

“Eventually I was attracted to him because he showed his real self. He was a gentleman with a really good sense of humor so he could make me laugh all the time.

“We have a 32-year age gap. I was never attracted to men his age before, and he never dated women my age.







Vanessa says that her family disapproved of the couple’s age gap at first
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Vanessa was worried that she and Geza would have different ideas about how to raise Henrik
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“I was scared at first because questions like ‘can this work with an age gap?’ and ‘what will my family think?’ were in my head.”

Vanessa’s worries were not unfounded and her family told her that she was being taken advantage of, and even tried to split the couple up.

She said: “My family weren’t happy when I told them what I felt about Geza.

“They said I’m naive because if he started dating me, he had surely dated other women my age and was just looking for a new trophy.







Vanessa and Geza on a day trip to London
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“They tried to manipulate me, saying that I should be going out with friends and dating other people, living the life of others my age.

“They wanted us to break up. They said that I would regret it in ten years when I see other people’s relationships that are better than mine.

“They accepted my choice later, but the way was not easy to reach this conclusion. Only my twin sister supported us at first.”

Despite the challenges, the couple have not let other people’s opinions affect their relationship, even starting a family together.







The couple first met at a table tennis competition in 2018
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“We had our first child, Henrik, on 27th August in 2020, after being together for two years,” said Vanessa.

“We got married two days later, having gotten engaged on 29th August 2019 at the Eiffel Tower in Paris.

“By that time, all people had to say about us was ‘congratulations’.

“I was worried at first that maybe because of the age gap we would have some different opinions about raising our son. But it turns out that I was worried for no reason.

“As for Geza’s age – he is optimistic he will be around to see Henrik grow up.







The pair got married in August 2020
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mediadrumimages/@theotherhalf_20)

« If he follows in the footsteps of his family tree, his grandmother was 95, his grandmother’s mother was 107 and his father 99.”

Vanessa sees a lot of judgement in people’s faces when they see the pair together – and some people even mistake Geza for her dad.

She added: “Before you judge someone because of a huge age gap, try to get to know them better,”

“Not every young woman is with an older man because of his money. And not every mature man who has a young girlfriend or wife, wants only a new trophy.

“Fortunately we have friends and colleagues who have accepted us from the beginning as they realise our relationship beats our age gap.”

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