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Love at First Sight, Despite an Age Gap

Love at First Sight, Despite an Age Gap

Queer Rooftop Photoshoot - South Africa

They fell in love at first sight, but with an 11-year age gap, they kept things secret until they couldn’t anymore. After working on the super yachts together, they shared two proposals – convinced they are one another’s person. 


We crossed paths in 2014 when I came home to a very small town in South Africa on university break. Reluctant at first, I found myself attending a gathering with my mom’s vibrant group of friends; Little did I know that this gathering would introduce me to Inge – where the definition of “love at first sight” has never been more appropriate for the both of us. 

We had an instant connection, but because there is an 11-year age gap, we kept it under wraps for about a year until we just couldn’t hide our love for one another anymore. 

Luckily, we were embraced with love and support for our relationship. Life led us to Stellenbosch, the heart of South Africa’s wine production, where I pursued my studies, and Inge carved her path in pursuing work and studies in the Winelands. 

Our love grew deeper and our relationship stronger, forming special friendships and creating many memories in this picturesque little town. 

After being in Stellenbosch for four years, we traveled to Europe, where we worked aboard chartered super yachts together. Inge was my chief stew, and I was her second stew, and together, we set up and ran the interior of a brand new build, fresh out of the shipyard. After living together, working together, travelling together, and navigating life’s ups and downs, there was no doubt that we were each other’s “person”. We knew that we were going to get married and spend the rest of our lives together.


For years I had always said that I would like to be proposed to first. 

Granted, a lot had happened during our time in Europe, where we endured the tumultuous times of the COVID era; Inge was just taking too damn long! 

So without even thinking twice, I designed a ring with a local South African jewelry designer and carried it around with me in Europe until the time was right. 

Being based in Mallorca with the yacht over the winter period, we had the weekend off, where we escaped to the village of Soller. On the wintry Saturday afternoon, we sat on the balcony of our hotel room as we shared a bottle of red wine whilst enjoying the mountainous view and background rain, cozied up in jerseys and blankets. I gave her a present which she had to unwrap – a drawing I had made of us with the words above saying, “Will you marry me?” as she read the words, I pulled the ring box out of my jacket and opened it in front of her. And the rest is history. 

The rest of the afternoon we spent celebrating in the very quiet

town, due to Covid restrictions, where we enjoyed tapas and cava and shared celebratory phone calls with our families and friends back home. 

Later in the year, and after a very busy summer charter season, Inge proposed to me once we were back in South Africa, where we shared a special evening, and she, too, could put a ring on it.

Photography by Casper Wilemse 

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