Sophia Spallino, 27, and Robert Croak, 54, first crossed paths on Instagram.
The influencer and entrepreneur bonded over their love of business and want to prove love is not about appearances.
The duo, who met by chance after Robert followed Sophia on social media thinking she was someone else, are now urging age gap couples to “love out loud.”
Sophia said: “This isn't arranged. Robert's not a sugar daddy. Falling in love was a total accident and for the longest time, we thought we would just be friends, because how could two people 25 years apart create a life together? Well, we found a way to make it.”
Former bar owner and concert promoter, Robert, who sold custom t-shirts and silicone bracelets before hitting on his multi-million dollar Sillybandz idea says he met Sophia by chance and thought she looked familiar.
When Robert hit follow, Sophia, who is a harpist and host of Enlightened the Podcast, was intrigued.
Sophia, who has 22,000 Instagram followers, said: “I was curious why a man Robert's age would follow me because my target audience is young women who like posts about fashion and spirituality.
“Robert complimented my efforts as a budding influencer and our mutual passion for entrepreneurship was the foundation of a beautiful friendship that quickly blossomed into a romance.
“Within a week we were conversing for hours a day via Facetime, getting to know one another. One month later I met Robert in his hometown in Toledo and since then we haven't spent much time apart.”
The couple have had to deal with some adverse reactions to their age difference but say they are “so loving and interact like best friends and lovers” that nobody really gives them a hard time.
Sophia said: “Robert is everything I've ever prayed for, I just didn't realise he would be over 25 years older.
“But he is so intentional, kind, and a brilliant entrepreneur that not only respects but understands my creative work.”
Robert, whose ex-wife was also more than 20 years younger than him, said he has a “young spirit” and has never got on with women his own age.
He said of their relationship: “At the end of the day, we are just two kids in love who want to love each other forever.
“I've never met another woman like Sophia. I am in love with her brain and her voice. She's so talented.
“People don't give her enough credit and she doesn't give herself enough credit, but I am helping her see her true self — a brilliant woman.”
Sophia, who has also been married before, said: “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.”
Now she thinks of Robert as a 34-year-old in a 54-year-old body and said: “Our relationship has taught me not to set limitations on love and to live in the moment. We know we have an age gap, and every moment we spend together we think about enjoying that time in the now.”
She recently had a cancer scare and the couple said they do sometimes have fears about the age difference but they face them together.
Robert said: “The bottom line is, we can't live life fully or love fully with fear. Who knows who will live longer, I pray it's Sophia, but we will be happy together until the end just like any other happily devoted couple.”
Sophia said being with Robert makes her feel safer: “I feel cared for and in a way, protected. He has been through so much more life than I have, over 25 years more, so I love learning from hearing about his experiences, both in relationships and business.
“He never acts annoyingly ‘older and wiser’ than me, and he treats me like an equal. But I will always openly admit, I think he is wiser. He is more present, loyal, and adoring than a man my age too. That's different. And now that I see that difference I can't ever go back to dating a boy. I love my real man.”
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