By Liana Jacob
THIS MAN was branded a ‘PAEDOPHILE’ and accused of ‘GROOMING’ his partner who is THIRTY-THREE YEARS younger.
In June 2014, mechanical engineer, Raynaldo Measimer (58) from Illinois, USA, noticed a comment posted by freelance model and fine artist, Ronyea Keyaira (25) from Missouri, USA, about her attraction to older men.
He messaged her and they started chatting and exchanging pictures of each other. Once Ronyea sent him a few of her modelling pictures, he asked her out on a date. On the day they met, they fell in love at first sight and hit it off straight away.
Despite people staring at them with judgmental glances, they continued to date each other. However, after years of dating, Raynaldo’s father passed away. This combined with their fear of being judged over their age gap caused them to withdraw from one another for a couple of years.
However, in 2018 Ronyea texted Raynaldo to see how he was doing, and they reconnected. Their relationship got serious quickly and despite the backlash they received from strangers about their relationship, they have been going strong for the last two years.
When Raynaldo, who has children from the ages of 10 to 19, introduced Ronyea to his mother, she initially thought he was only with her for sex, until she spent more time with them and realised their love was genuine. They have faced many conflicts throughout their relationship; Ronyea has been called a gold-digger and Raynaldo has been labelled a ‘paedophile’ and ‘sugar daddy’ by strangers.
Despite all the criticism they’ve received, they have recently bought a house together and plan to have children in the future.
“Raynaldo saw a positive comment I posted about older men and their attractiveness and a dialogue started and we exchanged pictures,” Ronyea said.
“I sent him several photos from my modelling portfolio then he asked me out on a date. I said yes because I’ve always been attracted to older men and also dated men older than me but at the same time had never dated someone with such a significant age gap.
“We went to dinner at a restaurant called Houlihan’s. I remember we hit it off right away. I thought Raynado was super handsome and very interesting and I wanted to get to know him more.
“I also remember people staring as they tuned in on our conversation and figured out we were on a date.
“But we continued to see each other because we didn’t really care that much and were seeing how things would go.
“We both have never judged or treated people differently based on age, race, religion, political beliefs or sexual orientation despite our surrounding or upbringings.
“Raynaldo experienced the passing of his father and became distant so we stopped seeing each other for a couple years.
“But we had a bond neither of us had experienced before plus physical attraction and the significant emotional support we gave to one another the years to come even if we were not together. Then one day I texted him so see how he was doing and we reconnected.
“Before that time, I had dated people that were closer in age to me to keep my family and friends happy, but I always knew Raynaldo was the one.
“I found myself attracted to Raynado because he has a strong presence intellectually and physically, he isn’t intimidated by people and their opinions, which has positively rubbed off on me and worked very well with this kind of relationship.
“He is also very attractive. He is very attentive to people he cares about and anticipates their needs and desires. He loves me for who I am not just by my physical appearance.
“Despite my past concerns with perceptions of us together Raynaldo has always been steadfast in his love and wanting to be with me. He has been very patient and unwavering with that over the years.”
They admit that it took their families some time before they were accepting of their relationship, but once they saw them together, their opinions changed.
Raynaldo and Ronyea have faced many negative reactions from strangers about their relationship and only within the last year they felt confident enough to show off their relationship to the world.
Raynaldo describes his perception of his relationship with Ronyea.
“Ronyea’s compassion and ability to understand the complexities of my life along with the facts that she is very kind to other people in an inspiring way, empathetic and has an affable personality attracted me to her,” he said.
“She is also a very attentive listener and offers perspective quite often different from mine. She also has an innate calming ability when I’m under stress from work or family related matters.
“Ronyea is also very beautiful and cares about her health, appearance and tends to expect the same from me, inspiring me to be the best version of myself.
“I find it ironic at this point of my life that Ronyea is everything I want in a partner, with the exception of our age gap.
“My mother thought I was only with Ronyea for sex, but after we visited her together and we spent time together her opinion changed quickly.
“My children were more accepting of Ronyea than other women I dated. But they still don’t understand why it is moving towards marriage at this point. The oldest children, who are nineteen-years-old, believe that our relationship is genuine and are supportive.”
Ronyea describes the kind of comments they receive from strangers about their relationship and her message to the world.
“My parents were not particularly happy when they found out and it took a while for them to accept and understand how we could truly love each other. But after conversations and interactions their opinions changed,” she said.
“My friends have always been accepting when I became open about our relationship. But it took a while for me to be open because I’ve heard comments being made about relationships such as ours. But some still have a misconception that we are a sugar baby/sugar daddy arrangement.
“We don’t really have friends in our community that understand or who are in an age gap relationship such as ours, so we don’t really have others to talk to who would understand.
“We are learning not to care about people’s opinion regarding our relationship. People would point, stare, make disapproving remarks and gestures towards us when we are out in public.
“Both of us tried to date other people close to our ages to please society and found ourselves unhappy because society says we shouldn’t and couldn’t be with the one we loved because of our age gap.
“People say I’m a gold digger or that Raynaldo is a sugar daddy, a paedophile or that he is grooming me.
“Some people say I should leave him because he will die soon and I will have to take care of him as he gets older. They say that he’s only with me because of my physical appearance and youth.
“We even get people saying that interracial relationships are a sin and we get mistaken for father and daughter.
“We just purchased a one-hundred-and-twenty-five-year old house together and are remodelling it into our dream home moving in the following month.
“We are like any couple that has been together for a long time we are making and taking steps towards our future together.
“Raynaldo gave me a promise ring last year which is a serious gesture towards just how serious he is about us. We have thought about us having children together and we’ve have had basic discussions regarding the implications.
“There are people in conventional relationships and really unhappy. The world is a better place when people are happy.”
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