When it comes to matters of the heart, it's often said that age is just a number – but can the same be said about your bank balance?
Semie Atadja, a 24-year-old with a love for rich men has been dating partner Claudio, a 60-year-old businessman who enjoys being with younger women, for six years.
And she says she doesn't mind being called a gold digger one bit.
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The pair met on a dating website catered to hypergamy (marrying or forming a sexual relationship with a person of a superior sociological or educational background).
And they haven't looked back since!
At the time, Semie was 18 years old and working in a small restaurant as a waitress.
Newly single after ending a toxic relationship and looking for new love, she decided to sign up to Seeking.com (formerly known as SeekingArrangement).
The site serves as a platform where young individuals can connect with sugar daddies and mammas, who offer both financial assistance and valuable guidance.
In exchange, sugar babies provide companionship and foster either long-term relationships or no-strings-attached hookups and casual flings.
Claudio, meanwhile, was also single, having divorced his wife of 18 years with whom he shares two grown daughters.
While successful in his business endeavours and the owner of a booming company in New Jersey, US, he was yet to find the one that was right for him.
The couple's relationship was sparked with a simple message from Claudio on a Monday, asking if Semie had a taste for sushi.
By Wednesday, they had met face-to-face, and the sparks continued to fly.
Talking about the initial spark, Semie recalled: "Despite our age gap, we had so much in common. We hit it off right away, and our connection grew stronger with each passing day.
"Soon enough, I found myself at Claudio's place, practising yoga together and discovering a deeper connection. From that point on, we couldn't get enough of each other.
"We started meeting up regularly, enjoying each other's company and creating memories. But it was during a festival that something clicked, and we both knew we had fallen head over heels in love."
Surprising everyone, including herself, Semie made the bold move of moving in with Claudio just three months into their relationship.
She admitted: "I was nervous at first.
"I haven't had the best luck with men. I've dated men my age who've been drug dealers, drug addicts, good boys and bad boys, but there was something about the connection Claudio and I had.
"He is not only incredibly understanding, but he also supports me in ways I never imagined.
"Nothing I say ever shocks him, and he always has my back. He's never upset with me, and he goes out of his way to make my life better. It's not the kind of love you find in ordinary relationships, and that's what makes it extraordinary."
At first, Semie's friends were a bit sceptical about Claudio. They had their doubts and kept questioning whether he could be trusted.
But as they got to know him, their wariness turned into genuine affection.
His family, on the other hand, took a little longer to come around, but now they're fully on board, including Claudio's ex-wife and daughters, now aged 33 and 34. Semie is also a grandma to Claudio's five granddaughters.
"Of course, not everyone understands our unique dynamic," added Semie.
"Some people can't help but be envious, and they're the ones who have negative things to say. But hey, who wouldn't want to live a life filled with adventure and the finer things?
"I'm grateful to have a man who cares about my financial stability, and I have no problem calling myself a sugar baby. It's all about enjoying the experiences and opportunities that come with dating someone who has a comfortable lifestyle."
Semie continued: "Some guys who can't measure up to Claudio's generosity resort to name-calling, trying to bring me down.
"They throw around terms like 'bed wench' or 'prostitute' to make themselves feel better.
"But I won't let their negativity affect me. I usually brush it off and don't waste my energy on them.
"However, if they cross a line and start spreading baseless rumours, like calling Claudio a paedophile, I won't hesitate to set the record straight. Claudio always reminds me not to let their words get to me and to focus on what truly matters."
Semie admitted people often misunderstand what being a sugar baby is all about. They associate it with being a gold-digger, sex worker or escort, but she insisted that's far from the truth.
"She explained: "That's not the case at all. For me, it's about dating someone who can offer me experiences and a lifestyle that I wouldn't have access to otherwise.
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"And let me tell you, Claudio doesn't just hand me money. Instead, he takes care of my financial responsibilities, like paying my bills and providing me with credit cards. We never had a formal discussion about how much I should receive; we simply go with the flow, and it works for us."
Her response when naysayers say she's a gold digger?
"Let's face it, we're all gold diggers in some way," she said.
"Who's out there digging for pebbles? I see it as a positive thing that I have a partner who prioritises my financial stability. Everyone has a type, and my type is rich!"
Claudio, standing firmly by her side, affirmed: "Their opinions don't bother me one bit. I know Semie, I understand our relationship, and I'm well aware of our dynamic.
"I believe the key is to foster a mutually beneficial relationship, regardless of its nature."
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