The age difference may throw some off, but for one Tennessee couple, their love was an “instant connection.”
Gary Hardwick, 18, and Almeda Hardwick, 71, of Sevierville, Tennessee, were married in 2015 and said there has been chemistry since they first met at the funeral of Almeda’s son in June of that year, the Knoxville News-Sentinel reported.
“I had prayed about my soul mate for like, two years, so, you know, I was lonely. I had no one, so God sent him to me,” Almeda said.
“When I looked into her eyes I knew it. Her eyes were a dead giveaway,” Gary added.
The couple dated for three weeks before getting married in October 2015. Gary told the News-Sentinel that everyone has been supportive of the relationship so far even if the marriage threw them off a little.
“Everybody was happy for us really,” he said. “Like the day after the wedding, I posted the wedding pictures on Facebook, and obviously (they were) shocked that we got married because nobody even knew we were dating or anything until I posted the wedding photos. They were like, ‘Whoa.’ But, I mean, they were happy for us.”
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Gary added that he has always been attracted to older women, and had been in a “troubled relationship” with a 77-year-old woman when he met Almeda. “I’ve never dated anyone my age. Even in school, I was never interested … I don’t know why. It’s just my attraction, my preference I guess,” he told the News-Sentinel.
The couple said they share similar interest including traveling, watching movies, cooking and singing with Gary showing Almeda rap music and her returning the favor with hits from the 1950s. They now live together with two of Almeda’s grandchildren — ages 17 and 22 — and share their life on a YouTube channel titled “Gary and Almeda Hardwick.”
“He’s good looking, handsome and he takes pride in himself too,” she told the News-Sentinel. “I couldn’t ask for a better husband. He’s the best.”