US couple Gary and Almeda with 53-year age gap say they 'fall more in love every day'

Gary and Almeda met when he was 18 and she was 71.
Gary and Almeda met when he was 18 and she was 71. Photo credit: TikTok / @_garyandalmeda_ / Instagram / Gary and Almeda

A US couple with a 53-year age gap say they're still madly in love despite their unconventional relationship.

Back in 2015, 18-year-old Gary Hardwick was at a funeral with his aunt when he first saw his future wife, Almeda - who was 71 at the time and mourning the loss of her son, Robert.

Despite their age gap, the pair fell in love and tied the knot nearly three weeks later on October 26.

The couple, who lives in Tennessee, is still going strong six years on and have gained over 72,000 followers on their shared TikTok account.

Earlier this week, they shared heartwarming photos from the beginning of their relationship in a viral video that has amassed more than 2.2 million views.

"I met the love of my life when I was 18 and she was 71," Gary says. "It's been nearly six years and I fall more in love every day."

After posting the video, the pair were inundated with questions about their age gap and relationship, which prompted Gary to film more videos addressing people's assumptions.

"I do think it depends on each person when it comes to an age gap," he says.

"And it comes down to chemistry - it's really not about how big the age gap is.

"A lot of people are in relationships and they're the same exact age but are just not that compatible because of their different interests and hobbies."

Gary was also asked what he will do when Almeda dies - a question he says they get quite often.

"It's a little bit of an odd question and... just because someone is older than you and you're with that person, doesn't mean that they're going to pass away first.

"I could go before Almeda. But no one here is promised today or tomorrow so that's not something I dwell upon. It's not something that crosses our mind or we think about."

In a previous interview with Fabulous Digital, Almeda said she "wasn't looking for a young man", but Gary just came along.

"I just knew straight away that he was the one."

Since their wedding, Gary has had their names tattooed across his chest.

"Almeda is so young at heart that age never bothers us, we never really think about it. I just know that God answered my prayers that day she walked into my life," he said.