A married couple - with 30 years between them - have slammed rude strangers for assuming they're father and daughter, or even worse, grandfather and granddaughter.
Chelsea Mannard was just 20 when she met her now-husband Bruce in what she describes as a Viking coffee shop.
Bruce may have been thirty years her senior at 50 years old, but the pair say they hit it off immediately.
“I couldn't understand the menu so Bruce came over to help me with what coffee I should order, I then sat with him and we connected straight away,” Chelsea said.
Two years later, the pair are married, but that doesn’t mean they have avoided the scrutiny that comes with pursuing a relationship with a large age gap.
Chelsea says she is often mistaken for her husband’s daughter or granddaughter when they dine out, and the youthful looking 22-year-old has even been handed a kids menu on occasion.
“Waitresses have thought I'm Bruce’s daughter and I feel as though I've been purposely given me a child’s menu,” Chelsea says.
"I have always been told it is 'super sweet' that I still take my grandpa out to eat.”
The awkward predicament they face in public is helped by the open-mindedness Chelsea says she experiences within her own family.
“My family are very open-minded and they haven’t got a problem with us, but it is people in the street or our town who stare and make comments."
Tying the knot anyway
The couple tied the knot eight months after Chelsea’s 21st birthday and are hoping to show others why age gap relationships do work.
“I find boys my age so immature and with Bruce, it was easy, we are both car enthusiasts and have a love for travelling and animals,” Chelsea says.
“People always stare in the street but I know deep down they are thinking ‘what a lucky guy’ and they are right, I am,” said Bruce, adding his wife has ‘an old soul’.
It’s not the first time a couple has defied the norm with an enormous age gap.
A 27 year age gap between one couple who met at a karaoke bar gave some pause for thought, while even the rich and famous like Heidi Klum have dabbled in relationships featuring years of difference.
With additional reporting from Caters news agency
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