By Rebecca Drew
THIS COUPLE are planning a wedding despite a TWENTY-THREE-YEAR age gap and the fact that his three daughters no longer want to be in his life because of his choice of partner.
Manufacturing operator and nursing student, Marissa Almanza (24) and supervisor, Bruce Nelson (47) from Wisconsin, USA, first met at work almost five-years-ago. Neither were looking for a relationship at the time and say that it wasn’t ‘love at first sight’ but they soon became each other’s favourite co-worker, making plans outside of work to take their dogs for walks, going fishing and boating and going on food dates.
Marissa was first attracted to Bruce’s smile and laugh, whilst he was first attracted to her passion for life and honesty. Since falling in love, the pair haven’t let their 23-year age gap come between them and they are planning to tie the knot next year.
Marissa’s mum and dad were unsure about their daughter’s choice of partner at first but after seeing how well Bruce looked after her, they warmed to their relationship. The majority of Bruce’s family have welcomed Marissa with open arms but his three daughters, aged 15, 19 and 21, from his previous marriage have chosen not to be in his life since the couple started dating four-and-a-half-years-ago.
For Marissa and Bruce, their relationship is the same as any other relationship without an age gap, with neither of them prepared to turn off their feelings based on someone else’s opinion.
“We met at work, he was my co-worker and I loved that he was always so kind, understanding, and had such a positive attitude,” said Marissa.
“He quickly became my favourite co-worker and we started making plans to spend time outside of work; taking the dogs for a walk, fishing, boating, and food dates here and there.
“Upon first meeting, we did not have the ‘love at first sight’ thing because we were at work and we both weren’t looking for a relationship at the time.
“I love his smile and his laugh, it’s still my favourite thing today and his beautiful blue eyes.
“Bruce says that he was first amazed by my beautiful smile and he loved my passion for life and animals. What got him was my ability to be honest in any situation and it truly blew him away even when I was in the wrong.
“At first my mum and dad were judgemental about it, for like a week, but they saw how happy he truly made me and how he treated me and how playful and lovey we are so they quickly changed their minds.
“My whole family has never been rude or judgemental to him or us, which I am so thankful for.
“Bruce’s mum, step dad, dad, and step mum and his cousin have all been wonderful to me and open armed.
“The relationship was a bit rocky with his brother, but we’ve noticed they are finally coming around slowly but surely. Sadly, Bruce’s three daughters from his previous marriage choose not to be in his life at all since they found out he was dating me.”
Busy planning their wedding, the couple aren’t sure about children just yet as Marissa wants to finish her nursing training but is aware that Bruce isn’t getting any younger.
Finally, Marissa hit back at people who don’t understand her relationship and laughs off strangers who mistake them for father and daughter.
“We actually just picked our wedding day and plan to get hitched next year. Kids I’m still on the fence about, I feel I’m not ready for kids now, I want my degree and have a nice savings built, but Bruce isn’t going to get any younger. So, I’m not sure what’s going to happen with kiddos,” she said.
“To those who don’t understand the relationship, this answer changes with what they have an issue with. If someone is weirded out by the age gap I just tell them I’m an old soul and Bruce is a young soul. I don’t feel an age gap, I only see it.
“I’m not a gold digger by any means, I don’t have ‘daddy issues’, and the relationship is not strictly intimate or anything of that sort.
“It’s a normal relationship that anyone else has just we have an age gap difference. I’m not going to stop loving someone because of how someone else ‘feels’ about my relationship.
“I don’t recall too many times when someone had pointed out our age difference, but most people have only had nice things to say. No one’s ever been mean per-say, but we have been asked if he is my dad before.
“No biggy, we just laugh it off.”
For more information see www.instagram.com/rissa_kissa_