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A woman who is in a relationship involving a 36-year age gap has hit out at critics, telling them it was 'love at first sight' and the 'best relationship' she's ever had.
Twenty-four-year old Samantha Crosby from Spokane, Washington, met her 60-year-old fella Maxie Mills when he was playing with his band at a local bar.
Samantha says she knew as soon as she set eyes on the guitarist that he was the one for her, so she decided to approach him for a chat.
She said: "When I saw him playing the guitar, I knew I wanted to approach him at the end. It was love at first sight.
"He was very good looking and I loved hearing him play the guitar.
"Once we started talking, I realised that he liked all the same outdoorsy things that I do - he even makes his own kayaks out of wood."
Even when she learned of their pretty huge age gap, she wasn't put off, but not everyone has been so accepting.
"His age freaked me out a little bit in the beginning," she said. "Especially when I found out that his kids are 35 and 40.
"My friends used to laugh at me and tell me that I was dating a grandpa. My mom was really uncomfortable with it at first, but now everyone is used to him.
"It hurt my feelings a lot. In my opinion, he's the best out of everyone I've dated, but I couldn't show anyone that because they were all focusing on his age.
"He is stable both financially and emotionally and he treats me well."
Maxie, a school teacher who has been married and divorced three times, says he was attracted to how 'nice' Samantha is.
"She was so nice to me," Maxie said. "I didn't even think of her in a romantic sense at first. I just saw her as someone who was really kind.
"The age difference scared the hell out of me, but I couldn't just throw away an opportunity to be with someone this great."
But unlike Samantha's pals, Maxie's mates are still a little unsure of the coupling, with the teacher saying his partner hasn't 'meshed' with all of his friends just yet. Although, they're both hopeful this will get easier with time.
The pair are realistic about their future, though, with Samantha admitting that while she's had a great six months, a difficulty has arisen over her plans to one day get married and have kids.
Given that he's already had more than his fair share of marriages and has two grown-up children, Maxie doesn't share those plans.
Samantha said: "I worry about it sometimes. Part of me is okay with it, but part of me is not."
Well, as they say, 'the course of true love never did run smooth'.
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