While looking for love on Tinder she met her apparent match, a young man aged 23 years younger than her, after forgetting to set up her desired age limit in her account settings.
The two, Rachel Caudele, 48, and Alex Michael, 25 met on the popular dating app back in 2020.
After arrangements Rachel flew to New York to meet Alex and pursue their love journey.
The two later met in New York for the first time and clicked in an instant.
Despite the huge gap in their age, the couple have since been living together and maintained that age is just a number and their relationship is intact.
While the two are currently living as a couple, it has not been a smooth journey for them, Rachel found out that Alex, a web developer was making dishonest practices with other women and their relationship was almost torn apart.
The couple has narrated disapproval from both friends and relatives but they have since moved on.
Rachel, a sign language director at an international school, who has two sons aged 23 and 19, said: “We had an instant connection, but there was something more than that. It’s like an energy. I can tell when he has a thought, and he can do the same with me, it’s really strange.”
“I definitely knew that it was different and unique with Rachel because she’s so much like me, she’s awesome. It’s been the best decision I’ve ever made,” commented Alex.
After going through a fresh divorce in September 2020, Rachel thought of starting anew and try something different when she signed up for the dating app. “I was in a new place and wanted to try something different,” stated Rachel.
“I was enjoying my freedom, and my friend convinced me to go on Tinder. I was very skeptical, and taken aback by the messages I received.
”I was getting unsolicited pictures, and I didn’t like it. Alex messaged me, and I just kept coming back to his picture.
“It sounds really cliché, but I thought he had kind eyes. We started chatting and the age question came up.
”When he told me he was 23 I was like ‘woah, that’s way too young, nothing is going to come of this’. He liked to talk on the phone, and his voice was very sexy and appealing to me.
”We had great conversations and lots in common. He’s literally like the male form of me.” Explained the thrilled Rachel.
Alex stated, “I happened to change my age range on Tinder, and matched with her. I thought, oh my god, she looks great for her age, she doesn’t look like she’s in her forties at all. She was super cool and genuine, she’s more than just a pretty face.”
The 48-year-old woman flew to New York after a break from her teaching job and met Alex. Alex narrated that he had to borrow his parent’s car to treat Rachel for a dinner.
“I had to go home afterwards because I wasn’t allowed to have the car overnight,” Alex said. “We hit it off really well, but I remember saying to her ‘have a nice life’ because she was located in Texas and I was in New York, so I didn’t think anything would come of it.”
“In January 2021, I went to Houston where Rachel was living,” Alex said. “I had a remote job and she asked if I wanted to live with her.
“I got a suitcase and never went back. We lived together for that whole year.”
After a couple of months Rachel learnt that Alex was cheating on her with other women.
“He has issues with anxiety, and female attention made him feel better. I wanted to leave the relationship, but I’m not a person who gives up easily.”
“It was very wrong of me, what I did. I grew up with a lot of insecurities, and I didn’t get a lot of attention when I was younger. I wanted to experience that. I never had the intention of hooking up, I just wanted the attention,” Alex stated.
After the incident Alex went on to delete his social media handles in order to salvage his relationship.
“It helped me to come full circle and realise what the right thing to do is in relationships,” said Alex.
Being in a relationship is good as long as you are pleased and happy, being in this kind of fling is another thing, society has raised many critics, the two have faced lots of disapproval from relatives and the society after posting about their status online.
“We based it around our age gap to start with, which was a niche we had that got us the following, but now we’ve progressed to more dating-style content.”
After releasing their first video for, ‘tips for dating a cougar’, it went viral, “I was in the gym and students from the school I taught at were coming up to me, so I told Alex to take the video down straight away,” stated Rachel.
Rachel’s eldest son came to find out about the relationship after a friend sent him the video.
“It was hard at first,” stated Rachel.
“But he respects it now, he just wants me to be happy. Oddly we have a lot of age gap relationships in my family, and they’re respectful of Alex and I.”
The family of Alex however did not like the idea of Alex dating an older woman.
”It’s very hard for him, they think it’s strange and that I’m grooming him, or some sort of a sexual predator.
“We’re literally a normal couple with a large age gap.”
The couple has stated that pursuing their love life has never been that simple but they urge people to follow what they love.
“I don’t judge people, I just want people to know that’s not our thing. I would ask, ‘is it worth it to you?’
“It’s not going to be the easiest thing, things outside the relationship will impact you like people thinking it’s weird or strange. Age should not be the main factor, if you are both consenting adults with a connection – do it.
“If you find something so real like what we have, you should do it,” Rachel stated.
“You shouldn’t let other people affect the decisions in your life. You only get one life after all,” said Alex.