They say age is just a number, and for one couple with a thirty-six year age gap that couldn't be more true as they plan to have children.
Samantha Crosby, 24 and Maxie Mills, 60, from Washington, US, have said that they want to have a baby so that Maxie can live on after he 'dies of old age'.
Despite often being confused as Samantha's grandfather and having a child nearly twice her age, Maxie is prepared to be the father of her child.
The couple got together after meeting at a concert where Maxie was performing. Samantha wasn't put off by Maxie's age and tracked him down on Facebook. Initially, Maxie wasn't interested in Samantha, but bowled over by his musical talent, Samantha wouldn't let him go after she felt it was 'love at first sight'.
Samantha, who is a cosmetology student, has said she wants her own baby with Maxie for 'sentimental reasons', saying: "I would like to one day have children, I have known for a long time that I want children, but now being with someone much older than me it is sort of more of a sentimental reason, I would like to have children with Maxie because after he passes away I would still have a piece of him."
When out and about together, people often mistake Samantha for Maxie's daughter and when the couple explain they are romantically linked, they receive odd looks but say that their connection goes beyond age.
Maxie has two children, a 40-year-old daughter and 35-year-old son from his previous marriages who don't yet know about their relationship.
Samantha said: "I started spending a lot of time with my mother. She enjoys going to wineries around town and listening to live music. One night I went with her to watch a friend of hers who plays in a group at a local winery, from there I quickly made friends with all the gentlemen in the band they are all in their fifties and sixties. One of the band members had shoulder surgery, so he couldn't play guitar. Maxie filled in for him one night at a bar."
"My friend Kevin had told me that I would like Maxie, that he was a good guy and like him but with a southern accent. After I heard Maxie play my favourite Fleetwood Mac song, I instantly knew I wanted to get to know him. I tried making small talk with him at the bar after he finished playing, but he wasn't that interested. Later I added him on Facebook, initiated contact, and he was taken aback by it. We slowly started going out on dates."
"For me yes it was love at first sight, there was something more about him other than his Texan accent that I liked and wanted to get to know. For him I know it was different, he had a hard time coming to terms with my age and our relationship, he has stated to me before that it was my kindness to him that made him choose to give me a chance.''
"I was attracted to him initially from his confidence and looks, once I got to know him, he was a better person than anyone else I had ever met. He was and has continuously been charming, kind, romantic and caring."
"Our age gap is 36 years. It hasn't really caused much of a problem for us right now. I just moved in with Maxie a few weeks ago. I know that in the beginning his friends were hesitant about our relationship, suggesting that I was a gold digger. But since he is a school teacher, not the highest paid occupation, it became apparent that money was not what I was after."
"Other than that we both have a hard time dealing with outside people. By that I mean when we go out in public and we refer to each other as boyfriend and girlfriend and they give us odd looks, or for example we were out at a restaurant for dinner and the chef asked if I was his daughter, and Maxie simply replied back that no his daughter was much older than me."
"I have hard time with the fact that in my eyes he is my boyfriend, my partner and lover, and that everyone else sees our relationship as weird or odd. I have always dated people older than myself so it has never been out of character for me."
Samantha's family are very supportive of her relationship with Maxie, despite her mum being initially unsure, but after seeing how happy he makes her daughter is fully accepting of the couple.
"I have had several people say that me dating him is gross. At the beginning my mother said that she thought me dating someone 36 years older than me was weird and I told her that that was fine she didn't have to think it was normal.
"Beyond that the usual is people assuming that I am his daughter. As I said he is a musician and he plays all over town so I get a lot of people that make comments when I go to see him. Some people apologise and other simply say 'oh'. I will say among his friends there are people who have taken to me easier than others."
Finally, Samantha spoke out to people who might criticise her relationship with Maxie.
"To anyone who might criticise us I would say to think about your relationships with people you have had whether your own age, older or younger," she said. "We are all human, and at the end of the day that's all I am doing is having a relationship which someone who treats me better than I have ever been treated in the past. He allows me to act my age and vice versa.I feel like younger people put older people into a different category. Just because someone is older than me doesn't mean I don't have the same things in common with them."
"If it wasn't for my love of live music and wine I would have never met my boyfriend. He considers me the love of his life."
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