‘My boyfriend’s nearly half my age — he reminds people of my youngest son’

A self-declared cougar who's dating someone nearly half her age has revealed they constantly get mistaken for mother and son but claims she's not bothered about their age gap because they have a "natural" connection.

Rachel, a 48-year-old high school Spanish teacher from Austin, Texas, and her boyfriend Alex, 25, believe they are "kindred spirits" who were "meant to be". The mum, who has two sons aged 19 and 23, was newly divorced when she met Alex on a dating app in December 2020 and admitted she was initially concerned about their 23-year age gap.

"I was very hesitant because he looked young. I was like 'Oh no he is way too young'. But we started talking and it was just natural and easy," Rachel told the YouTube series Love Don't Judge.

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Meanwhile, Alex was purely "excited" to be with an older woman. Opening up about their unconventional romance, he said: "There really is no difference between this relationship from a 'normal' one besides the fact that she happens to be older than me.

"There's plenty of men who date much younger women and no one bats an eye to it but got forbid an older woman be with a younger man." The couple now share details about their controversial age-gap relationship on TikTok, including videos about the "pros of dating an older woman" and "tips for dating a cougar".

But Rachel landed herself in hot water after her students found out about her cougar dating life when some of the videos went "crazy" and got millions of views, leading to a meeting with the principal of her school. "Their biggest concern was that the parents and everybody thought he was one of my students," Rachel explained.

Alex hasn't just been mistaken for one of Rachel's students though, the couple revealed people also often think he's her son. "People on TikTok say we look alike. We have had sometimes people mistake us for mother and son or brother and sister.

"We belong to this gym and the guy who worked at the front desk was like 'Mother and son, I can already tell, I can see it you look just alike,'" the couple recalled. They claimed it doesn't bother them as they simply "laugh it off" and Rachel admitted Alex does actually remind her "a lot" of her youngest son, who she says is okay with their relationship.

But when it comes to her older son, Ben, Rachel revealed he "was not as accepting" as his brother. Ben said he was initially "really confused" as he recalled how he found out about their romance.

He said: "The way that I found out about Alex was through one of my friends from high school actually sent me a text and it had a TikTok in it and they were like 'I'm so sorry'. He added: "I was really upset at her for not only doing this with Alex but making it public so that everyone can see."

But he's now come around to the idea of them being together. "I kind of understand a bit more that you shouldn't care as much about what people think," he said.

Despite receiving hate from trolls online about their relationship, Rachel and Alex are looking forward to their future together. "I don't know what it holds but I'm happy and excited to continue this life," Rachel said.

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