Whether you believe that love is a chemical chain reaction in your slightly-frazzled mind, or whether you believe it’s two souls colliding to form one adorable sandwich, there’s no doubt about the fact that you can’t choose who you love. Sure, you can decide which qualities you’d like in a partner, but you can’t force a connection if it isn’t there. We’d all be dating George Clooney if that was the case. Instead, you have to follow what your heart wants, and sometimes that involves dating someone whose age is slightly different to yours. Within this story, we’re not talking about a few months here and there. The age difference between these two lovebirds is a whopping 46 years, but that hasn’t stopped them from taking the plunge. In fact, we’re currently awaiting our wedding invitation…
Just a number
There’s a high chance that you’ve heard the phrase that “age is just a number.” While that’s definitely true, considering your age is quite literally made from numbers, there are many people out there who have some strong opinions on age gaps in relationships.
There are those who are wholeheartedly against anything over a decade between two lovebirds, but there are others who don’t see any issue with an age gap of any shape and size. However, it’s so easy to judge a relationship with an age gap when you’re peering in from the outside. What is it like when you’re in this kind of love affair? Is it strange? Or is it perfectly natural?
Love is love
At the end of the day, love is love. You have no choice in the matter, and you simply have to follow what your heart wants and what it desires. Of course, it’s always important to keep things legal when you follow your heart, but some people find solace in the arms of people who are much older than them.
This has been the case for one college professor and his former student, but there’s no doubt about the fact that their love has ruffled a few feathers. While they are completely besotted with each other and excited about building their life together, there are many critics out there who are calling out their 46-year age gap and calling it pretty strange.
Letting them know
Yet, these two lovebirds haven’t just jumped into a relationship without considering the backlash. They have both been stewing on their love for many years, and have questioned their feelings more times than they can count. After all, they know it’s an odd situation, and neither of them had any idea that they would end up where they are today. Because of this, Cameron Platt decided to write a post on Facebook to explain herself.
She wanted to tell her friends and family that she was completely and utterly in love with Lee Clark Mitchell and that plans were already in place for their wedding. She wanted her loved ones to be happy for her, even though she understood that her news would come as a shock to many.
The man in question
To truly understand this love story, we need to know a little more about the man that Cameron has agreed to marry. Lee Clark Mitchell is a 71-year-old University professor who is currently on leave from Princeton University. With an esteemed reputation within the world of academia, there’s no doubt about the fact that he has been successful in life.
He has worked at the college as a Holmes Professor of Belles-Lettres for many years, and it was during this career that he met Cameron Platt. In the beginning, she was just another student of his. While she was sat in his lecture hall, he probably had no idea that she would later become his wife.
An impressive career
Lee Clark Mitchell was born in 1947 and is now regarded as a successful author and professor of American studies and literature. As a child, there was no doubt about the fact that he was interested in literature and the English language as a whole.
He grew up questioning society and the role of linguistics, books, and movies on our world, and he quickly became fascinated with everything around him. So, his family wasn’t surprised when he made his way to college and later earned his Ph.D. at the University of Washington. After all, it’s what he was destined to do.
Since obtaining his Ph.D., Mitchell has moved on and ventured down various different avenues in terms of his career. He has written books and essays on topics such as classical Hollywood cinema, aesthetics, and ethics in reading, Native American oral traditions, and so much more.
While writing is something he has focused much of his life on, he has also been inspired by the students that he has taught. Because of this, he has worked for decades as a professor in numerous universities across the globe.
Life at Princeton
At 71 years old, Lee Clark Mitchell is still the Holmes Professor of Belles-Lettres at Princeton University, but he is currently on leave. There’s no doubt about the fact that his teaching experience has left a lasting impression on him, but it’s also safe to say that one particular student has changed his life dramatically.
However, this isn’t the first time that Mitchell has been in love. Over the course of his successes and struggles early on in life, Lee actually had a wife and children by his side.
His first wife
Yes, Cameron’s husband-to-be has been married before, but things didn’t quite work out with his first wife. The professor was once married to Carolyn Abbate for many years. As a scholar and academic herself, Abbate is a professional musicologist and was previously called one of the most “accomplished and admired music historians” in the world by The Harvard Gazette.
Carolyn is still the Paul and Catherine Buttenwieser University Professor at the Ivy League establishment, and they share two sons together, aged 21 and 26 – a similar age to Cameron.
Splitting their time
Although not much is known about how long Mitchell and Abbate were married or when they parted ways, they were together in 2005. During an interview with The Harvard Gazette during this year, Carolyn was asked about her marriage to her husband.
She noted that she and her family had to split their time across their various different homes throughout the year, to cope with their busy work schedules. They would travel from Boston and New Jersey, and then they’d relax in Maine during the summer months.
Focusing on his work
Because of this, we can assume that when Cameron first met her professor within the walls of Princeton University, he was a single man. After his marriage to Abbate came to an end, his work and his teaching became his main goal in life.
He wanted to inspire the next generation of professors and scholars, and he wanted to help them reach their goals. In fact, that’s exactly where his love story began with Cameron. He was the teacher, she was the student, and before too long they fell in love.
The woman in question
So, who is Cameron Platt? Over the course of her life, the 25-year-old Californian native has impressed everyone she has come into contact with. It was clear to see that she was a smart cookie from an early age, and she learned everything she needed to know about determination and success from her businessman father.
As the owner of billion-dollar companies, her father pushed her to chase her dreams and obtain her goals. Although she could have followed in his footsteps, she decided to choose to follow her own passion.
A family age gap
As well as learning about business and hard work from her father, Cameron also learned a lot about relationships that involve large age gaps. Her biological mother and father had a 19-year age gap between them, and this seemed perfectly normal to her.
Although her dad has since remarried a younger woman in her late 50s, Cameron was able to see that age really was just a number. Her mom and dad made it work with an age difference, so why did people think it was such an issue?
Over the moon
When the time came for Cameron to make a decision in terms of her future, she decided that college was the way forward for her. She wanted to expand on her love of English and theater, and she set her sights high.
She had always dreamed of an Ivy League education, and when she discovered that she had been accepted at Princeton University, she couldn’t quite believe it. She was over the moon, and couldn’t wait to sink her teeth into the curriculum and embrace college life as a whole.
In 2013, Cameron entered her sophomore year, and that’s when she first met Professor Mitchell. The young woman wanted to learn everything she could during her time at Princeton, so she signed up to take Lee’s lecture course that covered the work of Henry James and William Faulkner.
As soon as her professor started talking, she knew that he was one of the most intelligent men she had ever met. She was impressed by his knowledge, and she was inspired to take as much from the lecture hall as possible.
The relationship between college professors and students is very different to the relationships between high school teachers and students. There is more leniency, and there is the opportunity to build friendships with those who teach you while at university.
That’s exactly what happened between Lee and Cameron. Like many other students, Cameron asked to meet her professor for lunch or coffee to discuss the previous lecture, or to debate a topic on her mind. She knew that they had an intellectual connection, but it was just friendship at this point.
Excelling as a student
It didn’t take long for Cameron to fit into college life. She quickly became one of the most intelligent and competent students on roll, and she was also the kind of student who got on with everyone.
She excelled in all of her classes and even wrote her thesis on how we can understand female selfhood within the realm of English literature. As if that wasn’t enough, her success within the school allowed her the chance to take on the role of valedictorian.
Becoming her mentor
Within the Facebook post that announced their engagement, Cameron noted that Professor Mitchell had become her mentor over the course of her Princeton journey. She had much to thank him for, and he had not only become a confidante, but also an educational inspiration.
As her time at the college came to an end, she was astounded to hear that her academic journey wasn’t over. She couldn’t quite believe it when she was awarded the Rhodes Scholarship, which enabled her to attend Oxford University to obtain her master’s degree.
Had to take it
It was Cameron’s dream to excel in a career within the world of academia, and she knew that moving to England and attending Oxford University would be the best decision she could ever make. She wasn’t sure whether she wanted to be a full-time writer or become a professor, but she knew that Oxford would give her the skills and experience to decide.
Because of this, she knew that she had to take it. At the time, she had nothing holding her back in the US and wanted to see what doors would be opened abroad.
Thinking about him
In the end, Cameron spent two whole years studying in the United Kingdom, where she perfected her craft and learned everything she wanted to know about English and United States History. Although she loved to expand her mind and learn new things, her mind kept coming back to one thing.
In fact, her mind kept coming back to one person. She would often find her mind wandering to thoughts about Lee Clark Mitchell. However, she was so far away, and she knew it would be strange to contact him.
Telling her friends
Yet, the thoughts didn’t stop. As she spent more and more time away from Mitchell and away from Princeton, she began to realize that her feelings for her former professor were not quite as innocent as she first thought.
She decided to tell her friends at Oxford about this, and they told her to go for it. They inspired her to seize the moment, and they persuaded her to “shoot her shot” and make the first move. When her time at Oxford came to an end, she knew it was her moment.
Back to New York
In September 2018, Cameron made her way back to New York. She had completed her studies at Oxford, and her aim was to go back to the US to obtain her Ph.D. While she was there, she decided to take the plunge and ask her former professor out for lunch.
Cameron knew it was a long shot, and she had no idea what he would think of her after two years apart. However, she was thrilled when he said yes, and couldn’t wait to go on their date.
Although Lee was also thrilled to see Cameron after their time away from each other, he was also conscious of being careful around her. He didn’t quite know what to make of their first meeting. While he assumed that they were going on a date, he didn’t want to cross any lines.
After all, there was still the element of the teacher-and-the-student, and he couldn’t quite believe that a beautiful young woman would want to be on a date with him. Because of this, he knew that he had to be wary.
The first date
For their first date, Lee and Cameron wandered around The Metropolitan Museum in the Big Apple. They examined the exhibits, and they spoke about the artwork, but both of them knew that they were being shy and tentative.
Within her Facebook post, Cameron noted that they were like “shy teens” who were on their first date. However, as they spent more and more time with each other, they become more comfortable. As if by magic, something clicked within them. They knew they weren’t friends anymore. It was so much more.
A few concerns
Although both Cameron and Lee knew that they had a connection much deeper than friendship, they both had their concerns. They had a 54-year age gap between them, and they were at completely different stages of their lives.
Her professor had already been married, achieved so many goals in terms of his career, and even had children that were around the same age as Cameron. Yet, the young woman had barely started out in the professional world and had minimal experience in long-term relationships. So, how would it work?
Impossible to deny
Because of their concerns, neither Cameron or Lee wanted to jump into something serious. It would have been an unconventional relationship, and they didn’t want to push any boundaries if they were wrong about their feelings.
Yet, before too long, their connection became impossible to deny. They loved each other, and they believed that they were meant to be together. So, they decided to give things a go and try to make their unusual relationship work. They were determined to explore their feelings, and their risk paid off.
Popping the question
Just over five months after their first date, they decided to make their love official. While it’s not known who asked who to marry them, the engagement ring on Cameron’s finger suggests that Lee got down on one knee and popped the question.
The couple are now planning their wedding and looking forward to spending their lives with each other. It’s been a whirlwind adventure that neither of them could have predicted, but they couldn’t be happier with each other if they tried. Unfortunately, not everyone is happy for them.
Falling into place
However, everything seems to have fallen into place with this couple. They are now engaged, they have the love they share, and they have both reached pivotal moments in their careers. Professor Mitchell is currently on leave from Princeton University and spending time on his own projects, while Cameron is working for Bespoke Education.
This tutoring company has offices in both New York and Paris, and Cameron tutors all sections of the ACT and SAT exams. She is happy to be using her knowledge to help others, just like Lee helped her.
Dealing with criticism
Of course, as with any large age gap within romantic relationships, Cameron Platt and Lee Clark Mitchell have been met with criticism. Because their age gap is so large, many people believe that there must be some ulterior motive behind their love affair.
Critics suggest that there could be more to their relationship than meets the eye, and there have even been talks about money. However, both Platt and Mitchell have large amounts of money to their names, which would suggest that this is out of the equation.
Since their engagement has come to light, many former Princeton students have had their say on their relationship. One source spoke to the Daily Mail about their love, and noted that it’s “a pretty big deal.”
They also confirmed that other students were “really shocked” to learn that their professor was engaged to a former student who was much younger than him. Nobody knew that they were together until the Facebook post confirmed it, and they even noted that teacher-student relationships aren’t common. Because of this, it took the whole college and former students by surprise.
Although their love is perfectly normal to them now, both Lee and Cameron understood that it was fairly strange, to begin with. They wanted to take things slow, and this is why they get that people may be shocked.
Countless news articles and stories have since been written about the pair, but it seems as though Cameron said everything she needed to say on the matter in her Facebook post. The couple have refused to comment on their situation when asked, but that doesn’t mean that everyone has kept quiet.
Thrilled with the news
Wythe Platt, Cameron’s stepmother, has exclusively spoken to the Daily Mail about her step daughter’s engagement. During this interview, she noted that she was not concerned or shocked to see the two of them together – even though Lee is around the same age as Cameron’s father.
Instead, she is “thrilled” about the engagement, and is over the moon to see her stepdaughter so happy with her perfect man. Wythe noted that Cameron and Lee share much of the same interests and that their love seems so natural and authentic.
Sending a letter
Despite the fact that her family seem to be on board with her engagement, it seems as though Cameron was worried about what they might think of her husband-to-be. According to Wythe, she Oxford and Princeton graduate wrote a lengthy letter to her family.
Within this letter, she explained exactly what was going on, and she explained just how in love with Lee Clark Mitchell she was. We can only assume that this letter did the trick, as Wythe suggests they are now incredibly happy and supportive of her.
Children on the horizon?
Within her interview with the Daily Mail, Wythe noted that she had no idea if children were on the horizon for Cameron and Lee. She didn’t know whether that was on the cards for them, or even if Cameron wanted children in her life.
However, her stepmother did note that Cameron would be a great mother if she did want to start a family with her fiancé. She confessed that her stepdaughter is a loving woman who would be a great mother if that decision was ever made.
Don’t care anymore
Although Cameron and Lee know that there are going to be people out there who don’t agree with their marriage, they don’t care anymore. In her Facebook post, the young woman noted that they are “more enthralled than ever” now that they have found each other and embraced their love.
As if that wasn’t enough, she also signed off with a photograph of her engagement ring and a loving testament. She noted that they want “no life other than one we make together.”
Does it matter?
It’s clear to see that Cameron and Lee truly love each other, and have weighed up all of the options in terms of their feelings for each other. While they were more than willing to push them to the back of their mind and move on from their urges because of their age gap, they decided that they couldn’t ignore the love they had for each other.
Now, the 25-year-old and the 71-year-old are gearing up for their wedding, where they will become husband and wife. So, does age really matter?