By Liana Jacob


IT WAS LOVE AT FIRST SWIPE for this TWENTY-THREE-YEAR age gap couple who met on BUMBLE – and got ENGAGED after dating for just ONE MONTH.

In March 2019, luxury real estate agent, Sarai Serface (27) Boulder, Colorado, USA, had just moved to Denver when she decided to try out the Bumble dating app to meet someone.

After struggling to find someone within her age range, she decided to expand her age preference and she soon matched with Joel (50) who was living just 30 minutes away.

Sarai and Joel kissing. MDWfeatures / Blissful Haze Photography

They both felt an instant connection as soon as they swiped right for each other, but after just a couple of days of messaging each other and talking on the phone, the sparks they felt turned into love. The first date went from an instant connection to never a moment apart.

Within just a month in April 2019, they both knew they were committed to each other and decided to commemorate this with matching infinity tattoos and shortly thereafter, Joel asked Sarai to marry him at a restaurant where they were on a date. On November 11, 2019, they decided to permanently mark their engagement by getting matching ‘222’ tattoos on their ring fingers.

Then just three months later they got married in Ocho Rios, Jamaica, on February 22, 2020. Whilst Sarai’s parents, both 53 years old, were initially sceptical, they have since warmed to him as a friend.

Joel and Sarai on one of their dates. MDWfeatures / Garfield Davis

“It was love at first sight for sure; an attraction arose within me that I didn’t even know existed before Joel. It’s hard to explain, but I was mesmerised,” Sarai said.

“Initially from Joel’s profile, I was attracted to the fact that he was passionate about the environment and people.

“When we first spoke by phone I was amazed by his articulation and poise. What initially attracted me to him was his maturity, resilience, thirst for adventure, and empathy.

Joel and Sarai in a park together. MDWfeatures / Garfield Davis

“Physically, I found myself extremely attracted to all of his characteristics and I couldn’t take my eyes or hands off him all night.

“As early as April 2019, we both knew we were committed and not going to separate. We actually got matching infinity tattoos then to celebrate our commitment, even though it was extremely early in the relationship.

“We didn’t exactly have a traditional proposal; Joel asked me to marry him at one of our favourite restaurants and then on November 11, 2019, we commemorated the engagement by getting matching ‘222’ tattoos on our ring finger. We were married in Ocho Rios, Jamaica on February 22, 2020.

Joel and Sarai’s matching ‘222’ tattoos on their ring fingers to commemorate their engagement. MDWfeatures / Blissful Haze Photography

“My parents, being near the same age as Joel, had a difficult time understanding why I was choosing this relationship. However, they welcomed Joel as a friend and have been working on warming up to the relationship.”

Sarai admits that people assume he pays her for sex, with one stranger who asked Joel where he ‘bought’ her from.

Despite the negative reaction from some strangers, they insist their love is strong and will last.

Sarai and Joel got engaged just a month into dating. MDWfeatures / Sarai Serface

“It really shocked me when someone in the street asked Joel how much he paid for me. Someone else has asked where Joel bought me from,” Sarai said.

“Sometimes when we go out, people ask if he kidnapped me. We have also had someone come up to us both and say, ‘please tell me you are father and daughter and not a couple’.

“One time when we went to the pharmacy to pick up medication, the pharmacist thought I was his child and gave me instructions for the medication.

Sarai and Joel found love with each other. MDWfeatures / Blissful Haze Photography

“I have got messages on Instagram calling our relationship ‘predatory’. I have had a lot of comments calling me a sugar baby. I have had friends tell me I don’t need to worry about money because I have a ‘sugar daddy’. The list goes on.

“Open your mind and expand your horizons. People always need to be growing and challenging their thinking.

“You might miss out on the love of your life because of your own reservations and judgements. I’m glad I didn’t.”

Sarai and Joel posing loved-up together. MDWfeatures / Blissful Haze Photography

Joel admits that he didn’t expect their relationship to last due to their age gap, but has been pleasantly surprised by Sarai’s maturity and openness and says that older women tend to be more ‘rigid’ or ‘guarded’, whilst Sarai is a ‘breath of fresh air’.

“I knew I loved her before I even met her, but man, my heart went crazy in that moment we met,” Joel said.

“I, of course, knew she was beautiful from her profile but it wasn’t until we had our first conversation that I realised she was also emotionally intelligent beyond her years, energetic, adventurous, integrous, compassionate, funny, charming, youthful, fun, and sweet.

Sarai and Joel on a beach together. MDWfeatures / Blissful Haze Photography

“Neither one of us wanted the first date to end. Sarai capped the evening off by saying that she wanted ‘one-hundred more of these dates’.

“At first, I was worried that Sarai might be immature based on her age or that she would lack life and relationship experience.

“I feared that this would just be a passing phase for her (being into older men) and that she might not have the durability to last in relationship long term.

Sarai and Joel out together. MDWfeatures / Blissful Haze Photography

“However, I quickly realised that was not the case and that she was constantly growing and eager to better herself.

“I saw our age gap as being more beneficial when I realised that because of Sarai’s younger age, she was completely open to personal growth and seeing and sharing the world through a completely new lens.

“This was a breath of fresh air, as opposed to older women who tended to be very rigid or guarded, in my experience, and it gave me an amazing appreciation for Sarai.

Joel and Sarai kissing whilst holding pineapples. MDWfeatures / Garfield Davis

“The most difficult thing for me has been the perception that my conventional business environment has about my relationship; they don’t necessarily accept younger or diverse significant others.

“My family comes from a conservative background and have their own expectations about what’s right and wrong. With that being said, they did not immediately welcome Sarai warmly into the family.

“We are currently being patient and hoping that they see over time that our relationship, though alternative, is the healthiest and most passionate relationship I’ve ever experienced or could imagine.

Sarai and Joel fell in love at first swipe on Bumble. MDWfeatures / Blissful Haze Photography

“We hope to invite them into this beautiful love journey. We hope to prove to everyone just how deep love truly can transcend.”

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