17-year-old savagely dumps boyfriend for man that's older than her dad
While age is but a number, sometimes it's best to stay in your own lane when it comes to romance. Although there's nothing wrong with dating older people, per se, it's easy to fall into certain stereotypes. Certainly, barring potential criminal ramifications, there are plenty of unsavoury terms bandied about to describe those who have a penchant for partners who are either much older or younger than themselves.
One such unlikely pairing is Avalon Garvey and Doug Traser. Avalon, who hails from Bradford in West Yorkshire, UK, met IT worker Doug on an internet forum when she was just 17. At the time, Doug was a 44-year-old divorced dad-of-three, residing in San Francisco.
While this may seem like an unlikely match to outside parties, the couple found plenty in common - bonding over their shared tastes in music.
Doug was purportedly upfront about their differences - revealing his age, location and family history from the start. And although they were only looking for friendship, romance quickly blossomed between the duo.
Avalon - who is currently in her first year studying fine art at York - confessed that she was dating someone her own age when she first met Doug. "For three years I had seen this person, but I wasn’t really into it and so I eventually ended things with this boyfriend," she explained.
"It was going down a rocky path. It was very difficult to tell them I wasn’t seeing them anymore," she continued. "When I first messaged him, he confronted me with his age and straight away and told me he had kids,” she explained. So, I did know about his age straight away, but it was never intended to be anything but a friendship. We were just looking for some kind of escape."
After speaking online for several months, the lovebirds finally met face-to-face when Doug flew over to Leeds. And Avalon, who was a sixth former at the time, allegedly knew that she was in love as soon as she saw Doug.
"I knew I loved him as soon as I saw him," she stated. "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."
And two years down the line, it seems as if the couple are still going strong. Doug has socialised with Avalon's university friends, and has also bagged the approval of his girlfriend's mother. Avalon has had the all-important meeting with Doug's three children, who are aged 24, 22, and 12 respectively, and that reportedly went well too.
However, their unconventional relationship doesn't come without its problems. Avalon has said that they often face judgement and receive unsolicited comments about their age gap. "There was one time, we were in California, and I was giving a waitress a tip. She said 'is that your dad?'," Avalon told The Sun.
"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?"
The pair has been making long distance work by taking it in turns to fly over every other month, but luckily, there is an end in sight. As part of her undergraduate course, Avalon will spend next year studying at Portland Northwest College of Art in Portland, Oregon. This will drastically decrease the 8,500 miles between them, allowing them to travel to each other in just over an hour.
"It’s an amazing opportunity, but it seems like fate too," Avalon concluded.