A 48-year-old man who is in a relationship with his grandfather’s 103-year-old widow has opened up about how their relationship grew.
Since going public with their romance, some people have accused of Soeson of only being with his other-half to secure a visa to stay in Australia, where Riit lives.
However, the couple, who lived together until Elfriede had to move into a care home, say their 55-year age gap doesn’t matter to them and insist their ‘exclusive committed long-term' relationship is true love.
Speaking to the Daily Mail, he said: “What started out as a wholesome bond I had with my late grandfather's widow slowly but surely turned into a very meaningful and loving relationship.”
He went on: “Yes, I know we have the age gap. And I know it's an issue for some people.
“But generally, age gap is an issue in case of older woman and younger man. It's never an issue in case of older man and young woman but I'm not able to change that attitude.”
Soeson is hoping to gain a permanent residency visa in Australia on the basis of their relationship, but the application request was denied.
The couple have now taken their case to an Administrative Appeals Tribunal in Sydney.
In a declaration that formed part of his appeal, Soeson said it hadn’t been love at first sight for the pair, explaining that they first began a friendship with developed into a deeper connection.
The declaration read: “We had much in common and many reasons to spend time together under the circumstances.”
Soeson said he began to spend time with Riit following the death of his grandfather, but later returned to Estonia.
However, he told the tribunal that he ‘immensely' missed her and returned to Sydney on holiday in 2000 and 2007 and then again each year from 2008 to 2013.
It was during his last visit, that the couple shared their feelings for one another.
Soeson’s statement continued: “Having spent the last five holiday season together the relationship between Elfriede and I had become extremely close.
“Elfriede was completely in love with me and I was feeling the same way about her.
“Elfriede and I also became physically closer, and she constantly hugged me and paid attention to me in ways that she hadn't before.”
Hitting out at those who may suggest their relationship isn’t legit, he told the Daily Mail: “Love doesn't ask the age. We have still strong relationship. We want to stay together as she hasn't decades left.”Featured Image Credit: Daily Mail Australia/Jeremy Piper