Areil Duncan, 28 and her 53 year old husband Steven who got engaged after one week of dating and got married five months later, have come out to silence critics who are calling them out on their age difference.
Areil met Steven on a dating site and thought he was too old for her, but after weeks of chatting, they hit it off.
The two met for the first time in December 2016, made it official on the New Years Eve and a week later, they were engaged. They then got married in May and are now hoping to try getting kids.
The couple say they have been dealing with abuse and judgmental glares from people who think they are not fit for each other. Over they two years they have been together, people ask them if they are “kidding” when they reveal that they are married, with some even mistaking Steve as Areil’s father.
They hope by sharing their stories, it will break the stigma that surrounds couples with a big age gap.
“I initially wasn’t looking for an age gap relationship as, even though Steven looked good for his age, he was too old for me.” Areil, a teacher, said.
“But we eventually hit it off and have been together ever since – we are married and hope to spend the rest of our lives together, alongside hopefully trying for children soon.
Areil continues to say they continually receive comments about their relationship showing how uncomfortable people feel about women dating a man years their senior.
“We get a lot of stares – some are angry, some confused, some curious – and we often get comments about our age difference.
“We’ve had people saying that Steve is old enough to be my father, people asking if we’re ‘kidding’ about our relationship and that they didn’t think we would last.
“But we try to ignore it, we’re both adults so age does not really matter.
Areil says they have great conversations, similar life goals and similar morals and real love. She says when they first met online, Steven asked her what she thought of him which she says she told him he looked young for his age. She then went ahead to tell him that they could be friends even if he was older than what she was looking for.
She says one day she was feeling down and Steven insisted on speaking with her on the phone and they had a long conversations and Areil ended up feeling “a million times better.” They met a few weeks later in person and have been together ever since.
After that face to face meeting, Steven proceeded to propose, and five months later, they married. They say they are now looking to get children as they also try to end the stigma on their relationship even as they grow their family.
“We want people to realise that as long as you are both consenting adults, there is no reason that age should matter,” Areil said.
Areil says she hopes by the time the children come, they will not continue to hear the comments they are dealing with at the moment.
“We have true love and that is all that matters – age is just a number and the stigma behind these sorts of relationships needs to be destroyed.”