It’s an unconventional love story but one that’s becoming increasingly common in the digital age.
Late last year, entrepreneur and business owner Robert Croak from Ohio, USA, was on Instagram when he came across the profile of 27-year-old Sophia Spallino.
Robert, 54, had thought she was his friend’s niece, but when he sent a screenshot of Sophia’s profile to his friend, he was told he was mistaken - but Robert continued to follow her anyway.
He sent Sophia a message admiring her efforts as a budding influencer, and while Sophia was initially taken aback by him approaching her due to the differences in their age, they connected instantly.
Before they knew it, they were Face-timing each other for hours every day, and when they both then felt ready to meet up, Sophia travelled from her home in Louisiana to meet him for their first date.
It wasn’t long before they became inseparable, and they’re now planning on getting engaged, married and becoming parents within the next two years.
“Our mutual passion for entrepreneurship was the foundation of a beautiful friendship that quickly blossomed into a romance,” Sophia said.
“I remember this intense moment of pure connection as we shared that first kiss, both looking deeply at each other and feeling so close.”
However geographical distance hasn’t been the only hurdle the couple have had to overcome.
“At first, I kept our relationship a secret from my friends and online followers; Robert was a mystery man and I would blur out his face until we were ready, confident we were pursuing a life-long partnership, and ready to address the age gap publicly,” Sophia explained.
“Everyone was just so excited we are happy; that kind of happy makes other people happy. We talk about the future all the time. Within the next two years, we plan on engagement, marriage, and a baby. Just one. We both want just one.”
While Sophia and Robert have both faced some judgemental looks from strangers over their age gap, they insist that they were brought together for a reason.
Sophia says that she has always had an old soul and was always the more mature of her age group, whereas Robert has always acted younger than his age, which made their connection more real.
“My family was a bit hesitant to believe that this could work long-term. But about six months into the relationship, they met Robert,” she said.
“After meeting Robert, you realise he is a thirty-four-year-old in a fifty-four-year-old’s body but with much more respect and honour for women. Everyone loves him; now everyone is waiting for a ring, wedding bells, and a baby.
“Life is too short to say, ‘No, we can’t be together based on numbers’, I found him when I needed him the most and he found me.”
Reporting by Media Drum World
Got a story tip or just want to get in touch? Email us at email@example.com
Or sign up to our daily newsletter here.