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A couple with a 26-year age gap are creating a dating app to help young singletons find older people to match up with.
Sheldon Owen, 49, and Shanice Rivers, 26, from California, United States, met at a restaurant in 2016 and it was love at first sight.
Though their families were sceptical about it at the start, three years on from their chance encounter the loved-up couple are engaged and plan to start a family together.
And they are now gearing up to launch the 'I Age Gap' app next year.
Speaking about the venture, CEO Sheldon said: "We are building a new dating app dedicated to the age gap community called I Age Gap; we want to create something authentic for the age gap community that connects real people looking for real love globally.
"We first launched a social community on Instagram called @iagegap to show our support for age gap couples, and we quickly discovered that this community was broadly underserved.
Sheldon and Shanice came up with the idea earlier this year, and set about researching whether there was a market for it - which there was.
"We surveyed over one thousand people and seventy-six per cent of our survey results agreed that age gap is five years or greater", Sheldon explained.
"When you take this survey into consideration, one can argue that age gap relationships have existed broadly in the world for years, but for some reason, society has made it taboo. Our goal is to change that negative stigma.
"Within weeks of launching our social media channel, we amassed over 1,100 followers and have received over a thousand messages asking us when our new dating app will be live."
And while some people might not understand, they hope their app will remove the 'stigma' surrounding age gap relationships like theirs.
He went on: "Our journey as an age gap interracial couple has been interesting, to say the least. Most of the negative feedback we received has come from complete strangers.
"Both of our families support our relationship and think we make a great couple. However, society, on the other hand, seems to have a different opinion.
"We get two types of ignorant judgments one is based on our age gap and number two is based on our interracial relationship. Neither bother us, because we are in love and we hope to have a family together soon. "
And though the app won't be available for another year or so, the couple are confident it will be a hit.
Sheldon added: "If a couple like us can randomly meet and become extremely happy; then why not build a better dating experience dedicated to helping other people find their soulmates?
"Our thesis is simple; create a positive and authentic platform for the age gap community and positive change will follow."
Featured Image Credit: Media Drum World
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