After breaking up with her boyfriend, a teenager found love online with a man older than her own dad.
Avalon Garvey from Bradford, West Yorkshire, met IT worker Doug Traser on an internet forum when she was just 17. He was a 44-years-old divorced dad of three at the time, living in San Francisco.
Doug was upfront about his age, location and family situation from the beginning. Although they were initially only looking for friendship, things took a romantic turn.
It may seem like an unlikely match to outsiders, but the unexpected pair found plenty in common; bonding over their shared passion for music.
After chatting online for a few months, the long distance lovebirds finally met face to face when Doug flew over to Leeds.
Avalon – who was still a sixth former at the time – reportedly knew she was in love with Doug as soon as she saw him, and their first meeting led to their first sexual encounter together.
Avalon told The Sun:
I knew I loved him as soon as I saw him,
I was 17. 16 was the age you could legally have sex, so it was completely legal.
When we are together it is extravagant, it is good.
He knows what he is doing, I am happy.
Check out the story of another age gap couple below:
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Two years later, the couple are apparently still going strong and are not letting any judgemental attitudes tarnish their happiness.
Now 19, Avalon is studying Fine Art at York St. John University. Doug has hung out with her uni mates, who reportedly like him.
Doug has also received the all important seal of approval from Avalon’s mum, while Avalon has met Doug’s three kids, aged 24, 22, and 12.
According to The Sun, Avalon spoke about how she deals with the awkward moments when Doug is mistaken for her dad:
There was one time, we were in California, and I was giving a waitress a tip. She said ‘is that your dad?’
But I don’t care what people think. It’s my relationship, it is not a random person’s relationship.
I get stares and I will rub it in their face and give him a cuddle. I am happy so why does it matter what anyone else thinks?
Avalon and Doug make things work by meeting up every other month, taking it in turns to fly over across the pond. And it seems life could soon bring them much closer together.
As part of her degree, Avalon will next year spend time studying at Portland Northwest College of Art in Portland, Oregon.
This move will drastically shorten the 8,500 mile distance between them, meaning they will be able to fly to each other in just over an hour.
Avalaon told The Sun:
It’s an amazing opportunity, but it seems like fate too.
Sometimes we find love in unexpected places. If Avalon and Doug are both happy and respectful to each other, then no judgement here.
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Jules studied English Literature with Creative Writing at Lancaster University before earning her masters in International Relations at Leiden University in The Netherlands (Hoi!). She then trained as a journalist through News Associates in Manchester. Jules has previously worked as a mental health blogger, copywriter and freelancer for various publications. When not Lad-ing about, she enjoys cooking, reading and trying not to fall over in Yoga.