A woman has revealed how she met her now-husband when he was her boss – with the two striking up a secret relationship under their colleagues’ noses.
Cindy Camponovo met her husband, Massimiliano, in 2011 when she was a 26-year-old bar maid and he was her 38-year-old manager.
Despite their rather controversial 12-year age gap, the couple, now 38 and 50 have been happily married for eight years in March, and have gone on to welcome their first child together, daughter Penelope, four.
The pair have gone viral on TikTok sharing insights into what it is like being together with a significant age difference, with their videos racking up 29 million likes.
A recent video of Massimiliano and Penelope together holding hands reached over 51.9 million views and 8.1 million likes.
Cindy captioned the clip: “My husband said he wished he would have met me earlier in life.
”He said being a 50-year-old dad makes him sad sometimes. I said to him, if he met me sooner he would have been arrested.”
This has proved to be their biggest obstacle as a couple – with Massimiliano worried he won’t be around to raise Penelope.
”The inspiration for the clip revolved around us taking our daughter to trick or treat in Kennebunkport Maine,” Cindy an accountant from Boston, US, told NeedToKnow.online.
”As he watched other families with younger dads taking their children trick or treating, he said to me he wished he would have met me sooner because being a 50-year old-dad to his four-year-old daughter makes him sad.
”He fears that we will not be able to do things a younger dad would be able to do, like have the energy to be fully involved or be around long enough to walk her down the aisle when she gets married.
”I reminded him in a loving and joking way that if we met sooner, he would have been arrested because I would have been underage.
“The biggest negative of our age gap is how my husband has felt about being a father to our four-year-old daughter.
“He’s envisioning the future with her and is afraid he does not have much time with her.
“It saddens him to know that when she turns 24, he’s going to be 70.”
But despite his age, Cindy says she is able to help him cling on to his youth.
She added: “My daughter and myself keep him young.
”He continues to take care of himself, work out, and eat well to stay in great health for us.”
And his age proved helpful when they first met – with Cindy seeing a clear difference between him and the men her age at the time, who the then 26-year-old previously dated.
Cindy said: “I find him so sexy and attractive. The age gap helped even more.
”Massimiliano was mature and knew what he wanted in life. He wanted a wife to build a family with – he was secure.
”Men my age during that time only cared about their independence and partying ways. I met him during a time of his life when he knew what he wanted in life.
“He wanted a wife, a family and to settle down. Our visions aligned with one another.”
However, although now happy and in love, the pair's unique story had a controversial start – with Massimiliano being her boss.
Cindy said: “We started secretly seeing one another six months after I started at the bar, but we did not officially become an item until two years later.”
Although their relationship was allowed in the workplace, the pair would sneak around and hid their love from everyone except their closest friends. And when the secret came out, Cindy was initially worried about others' opinions.
However, the pair found their co-workers to be supportive of their relationship.
She said: “I came from a very corporate world, working as an accountant and bartending part-time.
“But in the nightlife industry, it's a different environment.
”I thought there were concerns but when news broke that we are officially together, a lot of people in the industry were very supportive."
It was the first time Cindy had dated an older man, but she knew their bond was unbreakable – and her family and friends could see their connection too.
She added: “My friends, family and parents welcomed him with open arms. They love our relationship.
“We truly love one another and that’s all that matters.”