A teenager who is engaged to his best friend’s mother has said he ‘can’t wait to marry her’ despite being more than two decades her junior.
Chase Gabbard, 18, met mother-of-three Jaimee Brown, 39, when he was 11 and became best friends’s with her son Jaice, now 16.
The pair, from Corbin, Kentucky, spent years getting to know one another and became closer in 2013, after they began jogging together to help her lose weight.
Within a year Jaimee had shed more than 100lbs (7st2lbs), but it wasn’t until Chase turned 18 that he realized he was attracted to his best friend’s mother and kissed her.
Shocked by their attraction to one another with their 21-year age gap, the pair began dating and found they had more in common than not – and they even claim that Jaice is happy for them.
Jaimee, a claims agent, said:
‘I had no idea about Chase or my feelings before he kissed me. It was a total shock, but since then we have been inseparable.
‘I have three kids, so the first thing was that I had to be sure they were OK with it, as they are my number one priority.
‘But none of them had a problem, we all loved each other anyway. And when we told Jaice, he was fine with it too – they are still best friends.
‘The first proposal happened during a scavenger hunt was a surprise, I had no idea, I went all over town to end in my bathroom closet.
‘I don’t think you can put a time limit on love, if you know you know.
‘I have to wait for my divorce to come through, but we have already planned our beautiful wedding and written our own vows.’
Chase cannot pinpoint when his feelings for Jaimee turned from friendly to romantic, but took a ‘gamble’ weeks after turning 18 when he kissed her.
Chase proposed after two-months and claims he’s since asked Jaimee to marry him up to 300 more times – nearly once a day.
His proposals have ranged from popping the question in a relaxed way to having ‘Marry Me’ written on a hot sauce packet.
Chase, a handyman, said:
‘I love Jaimee’s personality, I knew I wanted to marry her straight away.
‘There are so many things I like about her. She has a great sense of humour, she stops me from being lazy, and there are so many other things.’
Despite their mothers initially struggling with the relationship – as Jaimee went to school with Chase’s mother – they have now given their blessing.
The couple admit they have been confused for mother and son, but believe this is part of being in an age gap relationship, but apart from that they’ve had a positive experience.
Now the whole family hang out together, with the couple even going on double-dates with oldest son Jaice, who is one of their biggest supporters.
‘We hold hands and kiss one another on the forehead, nothing inappropriate. We’re just a regular couple.
‘Nobody has openly said anything. We may get a funny look sometimes or “Can you ask your mom something?”.
‘It’s to be expected, I understand. I’m nearly the same age as his mother, but as far as people saying anything negative it hasn’t happened.’
‘He is my son’s best friend and I went to school with his mother.
‘There was friction, but now she doesn’t seem to care and is a lot more supportive now.
‘I can see that being a concern of any parent, but I guess any relationship is a gamble – whether it’s same age, same sex, different ages or anything.
Part of joining the family has required Chase to embrace the role of stepfather to Jaimee’s three children – where he walks the line between friend and disciplinarian.
But Jaice said he and chase are still ‘best friends’ – despite Chase now technically being his stepdad.
‘We are still best friends, because we still hang out, have fun and play video games together. Just like we did before.
‘They were happy so that’s all that mattered. They are a cute couple.’
Chase added: ‘Thankfully it hasn’t affected Jaime and I as best friends really. I don’t think we could stop being friends, we are just so close.
‘I have embraced being a stepdad. Nothing has really changed though, as they are great and good-minded kids, so I don’t have to get onto them too much.
‘I’m at the point where I don’t care what anyone else says or thinks, as long as we are happy that’s all that matters.’