By Amy Walters
MEET THE budding student who fell in love with an online tutor TWENTY-SEVEN-YEARS older than her after discovering his videos on YouTube – and her parents DON’T approve.
Psychology student Jana Leonhardt (21) from Jena, Germany, wasn’t searching for love when she stumbled across philosophy teacher, Peter Heinrich’s (48) YouTube channel, three-and-a-half years ago.
She began watching one of his videos, when she realised that she was attracted to him, so decided to shoot her shot and send him an email. Jana told him a little bit about herself and said that she would love to talk to him about philosophy.
Within hours, Peter responded to Jana’s email, telling her about his personal background and his views on philosophy and they both realised they had a lot in common.
After messaging each other for three months, Peter asked Jana to FaceTime so they could have a more in-depth conversation.
Although Jana was hesitant, due to being shy, her interest in him took over, as she had a strong desire to get to know him even more. They talked for hours and the two decided that it was finally time to meet up in person.
Peter – who lives in Frankfurt, Germany – drove just under 250 miles to Jana’s hometown to meet her for the first time in December 2017, where they both experienced love-at-first sight.
Although Jana knew she wanted to be in a relationship with him there and then, Peter wasn’t so sure, due to the 27-year age difference.
Within two years of them casually dating, Peter decided that he couldn’t hold back his feelings any longer and asked Jana to be his girlfriend. Although their parents and friends didn’t support them in the beginning, they have learnt to accept their loving relationship.
Jana believes that age gap relationships shouldn’t come with so much negativity from others and says that happiness is all that matters. They have since started an Instagram page, @30chronia, together, spreading their message that love doesn’t have an age limit.
“I had never dreamed of being with an older man, especially at eighteen-years-old. I was focused on my education and didn’t have time to think about relationships,” said Jana.
“I was hoping to study either philosophy or psychology at university, as I had a strong interest in both topics. Because of this, I spent most of my free time watching educational videos on YouTube, when I stumbled across one in my suggestions with a really interesting title.
“I began watching the video, when I realised I had started to zone out of what was being said and was focusing on how nice the man in the video came across and how dreamy his voice was.
“I had never felt a feeling like this before – which was when I realised I really liked him. Infatuation took over and I decided to email him, telling him a little bit about myself and my interest within philosophy.
“I received an email from him only a few hours later – I couldn’t believe it. As I read his email with a huge smile on my face, I noticed that we had a lot in common and that we shared the same views on a lot of topics.
“We began emailing back and forth every day for around three months, when Peter asked to speak to me over FaceTime, as he wanted to hear my voice. I was nervous, but I really wanted to speak to him properly too.
“I thought it would have been awkward, but it couldn’t have been easier talking to him. We spoke for hours into the night, where we eventually suggested meeting up in person.
“I knew my parents wouldn’t approve of me meeting up with someone much older, so I asked him to visit me in my hometown, even though I lived nearly two-hundred-and-fifty-miles away from him.
“We met about four weeks after that video call and as soon as he approached me, my heart dropped. I felt love at first sight, and within a few hours of us talking and walking around the city, we kissed.
“Even though we both fell in love with each other there and then, we still checked to make sure both of us were comfortable with the situation and we agreed to meet up a few more times to make sure it was right.
“Although I didn’t care what anybody else thought, Peter wasn’t too sure and the age gap caused him to feel insecure.
“We kept talking and meeting up every now and again, but we kept our love a secret from everyone, which was difficult, as I had to keep lying to my parents about where I was going and who I was talking to, which was hard for me.”
After two years, Peter finally realised that he couldn’t hold back his feelings any longer and asked Jana to be his girlfriend.
“After I moved out last year to go to university, Peter and I began seeing each other a lot more and this was when I told my parents and friends about him. Although my friends were completely supportive, my parents rejected our relationship completely,” said Jana.
“I think my relationship has damaged mine with my parents, and Peter’s parents refuse to see us together – but we’re not going to give up on love just because of what they and others think.
“Although we have our struggles with living so far apart, we have both grown personally within our relationship and we have so much fun together, that he makes me feel on top of the world.
“We have never had an argument, because we know that communication is so important, especially within a long distance relationship and I really feel like I have met my soulmate.
“I would encourage anyone in an age gap relationship to be open with everyone about it – don’t hide it and be honest. Even if some people won’t accept it, it doesn’t matter what they think, as the most important thing is that you are both happy.
“Love doesn’t have an age, nor does happiness and I couldn’t picture life without my soulmate by my side.”