By Rebecca Drew
THIS WOMAN who is in a relationship with a man who is NINETEEN-YEARS her junior is fed up of being mistaken for his MOTHER when they are out together after they met as next-door neighbours and he pursued her.
Cree Ingles (49) first met her life partner, Aaron Johnson (31) just over seven-years-ago when she was visiting a neighbour who lived in the same building as her and happened to bump into Aaron in the corridor.
When Aaron came back inside, the pair instantly hit it off and talked for hours before exchanging numbers and Facebooks. That same evening the pair exchanged a string of flirty messages and have been together ever since.
For Cree and Aaron who are both from Eugene, Oregon, USA, it was lust at first sight that soon turned into love and they secured their relationship in a handfasting ceremony in September last year followed by a commitment ceremony just last month on their seventh anniversary together.
When they are out together in public, the couple, who for two weeks each year have a 19-year age gap before Aaron’s birthday, get mistaken for mother and son, something Cree admits gets boring.
“We met because we are neighbours. Aaron lived upstairs, three doors down from me. I had been in a depression & not leaving my home for months. One day I couldn’t take it anymore and ventured outside to visit a neighbour who lived under Aaron,” explained Cree.
“Aaron came downstairs with his girlfriend at the time to walk her to the bus. When he came back we started talking and ended up talking for hours. We exchanged numbers and Facebooks and went back home.
“Later that night I started texting Aaron being flirtatious. He asked if I wanted him to come over. I said yes. I swear not a minute passed before he knocked on my door. Yes, we went there the first night we met, and have been a part of each other’s lives for over seven years now.
“When the unit beside me became available he moved in next door. We live side by side, which is unusual but perfect because we both have our own space but can be together whenever we want.
“About three times a month I get called his mum or he gets called my son when we are out in public together. Although I’m used to it, it does get old that people just assume our relationship when we are together.
“Sometimes I will reference old sayings, I asked him if he enjoyed his time without his “ball and chain” when I went out for the day without him and he had to Google to see what I meant.
“Songs, movies, or music – he doesn’t know what I’m talking about. For instance, he didn’t know who “The Fonz” was. He thought it was a band.
“We have a hard time making friendships because either the men or women we try to befriend hit on him or hit on me. They don’t take our relationship seriously.
“A common misconception is our relationship is completely about sex. You don’t stay together with someone for over seven years and it just be about sex.”
Both Cree and Aaron’s families are accepting of their relationship, but Cree has been dubbed a ‘cougar’ by outsiders – something she says is not strictly true as Aaron pursued her.
She spoke out against anyone who might criticise their relationship.
“I don’t claim the title of cougar because he came after me, with a vengeance. I thought I was just messing around with the neighbour kid when he went there and made it obvious he was interested in me,” said Cree.
“I have been in previous relationships where my partners have been 10 years younger (one male, one female) but I have also been in relationships with people older than me as well.
“At first it felt weird because I felt like everybody was judging me, but now we just go about our day and don’t worry about it.
“Some people do assume that I’m his mum but we both quickly let them know that we are together. We have been in funny situations because the people are so embarrassed, or they are just flat out rude and stop speaking to us after we say we’re together. That’s really their issue and not ours
“Love is love. Love is hard enough to find without putting restrictions on it.
“It’s nobody’s business what you do behind closed doors, and if they want to make it their business they need to look inside their own lives and fix their issues before judging others.”
For more information see www.instagram.com/creeingles