Earlier this year, Kate Ritchie appeared to have finally found a new start – and a new love – after her tumultuous separation from husband Stuart Webb.
Walking hand in hand with her new younger beau, John Bell, in Byron Bay, Kate looked to be enjoying a new lease of life.
However, just weeks after the duo were spotted cosying up to one another during the romantic getaway, Kate, 42, and John, 25, appear ready to call it quits.
An insider close to the pair reveals to Woman's Day that their large age gap has gradually been causing strain in their relationship as Kate – already busy balancing a high-pressure job with raising her six-year-old daughter Mae – struggles to keep up with his fast-paced lifestyle.
"The relationship is beginning to be extremely hard to juggle for Kate," says the source. "John has a fairly active social life and she is struggling to keep up. While he isn't a party boy, he is certainly into the expensive holidays and dinners."
"On the flipside, she's a working mum who is going through a divorce while dating a new, younger man... and it's a lot all at once."
While the source reveals that Kate and John are doing everything they can to make things work, it's clear what direction the unlikely couple is headed in.
"It's not over yet but battlelines are being drawn over their conflicting lifestyles," the source explains.
"I think this is the part of the relationship where the honeymoon period is well and truly over. If they're going to make it work, they both need to compromise, which is interesting because they're both quite stubborn."
It comes just days after Kate was spotted looking worried and stressed while out on a shopping trip in Sydney.
The former Home And Away actress was seen aimlessly wandering the aisles in a state of disarray at an inner-city shopping centre, with the radio presenter at one point seen breaking down in tears as she read what appeared to be a text message on her phone.
In another telling indication of trouble for the pair, John, a cybersecurity businessman, has since unfollowed the star on Instagram. Kate, however, is still following him.
Despite seemingly enjoying her fun lifestyle with John – with the pair spotted stocking up on alcohol for what looked like a party during their stay in Byron Bay – it seems his past could also have thrown a spanner in the works for Kate.
It was revealed that John had a brush with the law when he was charged with careless driving in March 2015.
While he wasn't convicted, it could be playing on Kate's mind, given Stuart's past legal dramas.
In 2020, the former footballer, 40, made headlines over his five-time drink driving history, shortly after he was given an interim AVO by NSW police on behalf of Kate after a bust-up at their Sydney home.