By Liana Jacob
MEET THE woman who is in a FORTY-EIGHT-YEAR AGE GAP relationship with a guy she met on FACEBOOK and has been married to him for FOUR YEARS – but she still gets called a MAIL ORDER BRIDE by strangers.
Housewife, Lorie fe Dales (23), from Cebu, Philippines, was approached by retired business owner, Thomas Greig (71), from Wallasey, UK, on Facebook in 2014, after he fell for her looks. For him it was love at first sight and although Lorie was initially taken aback by his age, their common personalities warmed her to him.
Their first date was in the Philippines in July that year for her birthday and while she was scared and nervous at first, she fell for him when they met, and they became exclusive. Their whirlwind romance lead Thomas to propose to her during his first stay with her a few months after he arrived in December 2014.
They couldn’t wait too long before they got married and had a civil ceremony with just the two of them in January 2015. A year later, in June 2016, they welcomed their daughter, Mary (2), and despite having to communicate via Skype, they say they are a happy family.
While their families have accepted their relationship, Lorie says they have received some backlash from strangers who accuse her of being a ‘mail order bride’ or that Thomas has ‘bought’ her to have a ‘young wife’.
Thomas now travels to the Philippines every year and stays for five months at a time to be with his wife and daughter. He hopes to move to be with her in the Philippines in the future.
“We met on Facebook – it just happened; it was destiny. The first time I saw him on Facebook, I was like ‘wow he might be old’, but he doesn’t look as old as you might think,” Lorie said.
“We met here in Cebu and I was so scared, shocked and I didn’t know what to say as he is my first boyfriend. But the feelings I had were mutual and we could feel that we are both in love.
“For him it was a love of first sight and to me that time I didn’t really love him yet, but I was attracted to him though. He was attracted to my cuteness and I liked his blue eyes the most.
“For us age is just a number; it is a question of ‘mind over matter’, if you don’t mind it doesn’t matter – that’s our saying.
“At first, my family said that they couldn’t believe I have him as my boyfriend, but now they say if I’m sure about him, they will always support me, and they are happy as long as I am.
“It wasn’t easy at all being far from each other but from time to time we have gotten used to it and regarding the intimacy aspects we just always remind ourselves not to worry, we will be together again.
“We communicate through Skype every day and we always see each other so that makes me feel ok as soon as we are near to each other.
“We got engaged way back in December 2014 – he proposed to me when he got here in Philippines. Right after he proposed by January 21, 2015, we got married. It went smoothly as we chose just a civil wedding.”
They have since become parents to a toddler who is nearly three, who has become accustomed to their long-distance relationship.
Lorie says that while there is trust and loyalty between them, the distance made things difficult in the beginning. But they are now meeting up regularly and feel that it has helped with the intimacy of their relationship.
“The most difficult thing about our relationship that we have encountered is being carried away with our mixed emotions while being in a long-distance relationship,” she said.
“People think that our ages matters, as he is old and I’m young, but what I will say to them is we live our life the way we want and we are happy, thank you.
“People say that I’m a mail order bride, saying my husband has bought himself a young wife.
“Our relationship hasn’t been easy so far, there have been ups and downs but we both reassure each other, and we are always happily married. Our daughter recognises her daddy as we always talk and see each other on Skype video.
“Our plan for the future is to give the best to our daughter. Sometimes I do feel like I need him at my side to look after our baby together, but I just look on the bright side about why we are in this situation.”