24-year-old YouTuber and her 61-year-old girlfriend say age gap is not a problem
Every relationship dynamic is different. It doesn't matter whether you're a straight, gay, married, cohabiting, have kids, never want kids, love each other to a sickening degree, or barely tolerate one another - these things alone do not entirely determine the connection you have with another person. And, because of that, it's good to remind ourselves that we shouldn't judge someone else's relationship.
When a story like this comes around, though, some of us can't help but get a little judgy.
Julia Zelg, who is 24, has recently spoken out about her relationship with her partner Eileen De Freest, who is 37 years her senior.
The pair have received a lot of questions about their relationship, which began when they met on Tinder last year, and they totally understand why people are curious - but they want to put some things to rest. First of all, they don't find their relationship weird, and they certainly don't want to mislead anyone about their ages. Really, there's only one thing they find unsettling about their age gap.
"The major difference between ours and most other relationships is the fact that we must accept the strong likelihood that I will outlive Eileen," Julia, a YouTuber, told The Metro. "We must be prepared for a 'built-in' ending to our relationship that wouldn’t necessarily be there for a non-age gap couple. We know and accept that reality."
With that in mind, the couple have decided to make the most of the time they have, and have plans to get married in the coming year.
"We came together over love and not an obsession with or fetishisation of age. The difference in our ages has almost no impact on our relationship," the 24-year-old explained.
"Although we make no judgment about anyone else, we don’t focus on our age difference but rather our exquisite similarities. We have the good fortune to have an extraordinary bond and attraction, the likes of which I’ve never experienced before. Although neither of us is religious, we both feel blessed to have found one another.
"We’re an ordinary couple in love. We face the same struggles as everyone else. We’re two women in a relationship with a very large age difference, we face struggles unique to our uncommon dynamic."
The comments left on Julia's video were a mixed bag, with some people offering their full support to the fiancés, and others warning the younger woman that the relationship was a bad idea.
"If you are both of legal age, it's consensual, and not abusive no one should care," said one commenter.
"Julia will regret this relationship when in 10 years Eileen is 71 and all kinds of old age health issues start arising, she could get dementia or anything and Julia is left to be her caretaker and do absolutely everything for her until she dies," countered another.
Some, however, tried their best to offer balance, with one person writing: "GUYS PLEASE. Would I stay with an older person? No. Does this mean that they're doing something wrong? Absolutely no! Just because you wouldn't put yourself in such a relationship doesn't mean anyone shouldn't do that. They're adults, okay?"
Regardless of what others might think, Julia and Eileen are assured that their relationship is right for them, and that they are happy together. Of course, they have no idea what the future holds for them - but neither do any other couple. Let's just hope this works out well for both of them.