Ada (left) and Robert (right) first got to know one another back in March 2018. MDWfeatures / Ada Owen

By Tanita Matthews

 

 

MEET THE COUPLE whose TWENTY-SEVEN-YEAR age gap leads strangers to mistake him for her GRANDFATHER.

New Product Development Engineer and law school student, Robert Owen Sr (54), and model, Ada Olszewska (27) both from Illinois, USA, first connected with one another in March 2018, thanks to a Facebook post by Ada.

At the time Robert had recently divorced his first wife and was living in Indiana. Outside of his nine-to-five job, he had developed his talents as an artist and was working on a new project combining his nature photography with acrylic painting.

Ada (left) was looking for artists to interview as part of a project for an online magazine she was working for when she met artist Robert (right). MDWfeatures / Ada Owen

Ada, a single mother, originally from Bialystok Poland, was living in the couple’s now hometown and was looking for upcoming artists to feature as part of her job at an online magazine.

Robert responded to her Facebook post and travelled to Chicago to be interviewed. After weeks of talking online, they finally met face-to-face and fell in love.

“I knew I needed to differentiate my art for it to stand out against the crowd,” said Robert.

Robert (left) and Ada (right) spending time together. MDWfeatures / Ada Owen

“I started to paint on my nature photographs, thus adding a unique level of abstract feel, the warmth of acrylic paint mixed with a high definition photograph.

“The latest expansion of my artistic creations incorporated live models, that I would body paint and have them pose in a set that I had previously created and painted, then photograph the ensemble, print on a special medium, then add additional acrylic paint to that image. This is what I call ‘BodyPaintArt’.

“At the time, Ada was working for an online magazine and had started doing Facebook Live interviews of artists, models and photographers.

Robert (left) is often mistaken for his partner’s (Ada- right) grandfather. MDWfeatures / Ada Owen

“She had made a post on Facebook about her interviews and I thought that might be a good way to better promote the BodyPaintArt.  So, I reached out to her and we started talking on a regular basis about the art, her modelling and our lives in general.

“We set up a time and date for me to come to Chicago to do the interview and we decided to create some BodyPaintArt together after the interview and how the saying goes, ‘the rest is history’.

“We had an unusually comfortable chemistry with each other right of the bat, it was as if we had known each other forever.”

Robert (middle) pictured with his son Kodi (right) and his step-daughter (left). MDWfeatures / Ada Owen

Robert, who already had a child from his first marriage, uprooted his life and moved approximately 200 miles away to Illinois to live with Ada a month after they first met.

In 2019 he and Ada welcomed their son Kodi into the world.

Standing at only 4ft 9in, Ada says that her youthful look often leads people to think she is much younger than she actually is, and often results in people believing Robert is her grandfather.

Ada (left) and Robert (right) moved in together after a month of meeting for the first time and have been together for two years. MDWfeatures / Ada Owen

Ada talks about how her family and strangers reacted to her relationship.

“People who do not know us, like to judge us. I am four-foot-nine tall and I am twenty-seven years old. I look fifteen. So from people’s point of view I am underage and I am dating a grandpa or father,” says Ada.

“At first my mother did not like the fact of me being with Robert. She got used to it, and she is very happy for us now. Especially now, that I gave birth to her second grandchild Kodi.

Ada (right) and Robert (left) with their son Kodi (middle). MDWfeatures / Ada Owen

“It’s the most perfect relationship I’ve ever been in. Sure, we have our little fights, just like everybody, but it doesn’t stop me from loving Robert.

“Age is just a number, it has never been a problem for me.  It’s not the age that counts, it’s the heart and the mind of your significant other that should play a major role.”

The couple plan to stay in Chicago while Robert finishes studying at law school where he and Ada will continue to raise their children until Robert retires, when he will take over the role of house-husband.

Ada (left) says that despite the almost three decade age gap between her and her partner Robert, (right) theirs is the most perfect relationship she has ever been in. MDWfeatures / Ada Owen

Both of them keenly encourage others not to ‘judge a book by its cover’ and say that age is just a number.

“I realise that people have a tendency to mock what they don’t understand, but the greatest advice would be that if the people look happy, why is it necessary to question why they are happy,” Robert said.

“To anyone who has been hesitant to enter into an age gap relationship, I would caution that it truly has to be the right person, just like any age normal relationship.

“Age is just a number, the mind, body and soul connect with those they are meant to connect.”