A woman engaged to a dad-of-four twice her age says it was ‘love at first sight’ after she fell for his slick dance moves and snappy dress sense.
Entrepreneur and fitness coach Najlah Muhammad, 24, from Arizona, first met business man and dad-of-four John Malott, 48, from Wisconsin, in August 2016 at a nightclub where he was celebrating his birthday.
One of Najlah’s friends introduced them to each other and they became inseparable, falling in love within weeks of dating.
The couple received a lot of backlash about their relationship, with both families unsure about the union and John’s 25-year-old daughter initially refusing to even speak to Najlah.
Najlah Muhammad, 24, from Arizona, first met business man and dad-of-four John Malott, 48, from Wisconsin, in August 2016 at a nightclub
The couple received a lot of backlash about their relationship at first, with both families unsure about the union and John’s 25-year-old daughter refusing to speak to Najlah
Najlha says it was love at first sight, but she was particularly attracted to John’s snappy dress sense and smooth dance moves
They also lost friends along the way – including people who tried to break them up by claiming John had cheated.
But the pair stuck by each other and just over a year after they met, John popped the question. They’ve now set a date for their wedding and John’s daughters have come to love Najlah – so much so that the girls now regularly go out clubbing together.
John has four daughters; Jessica, 18, Carissa, 25 – who is only two months older than Najlah – and Lauren, 26, who is older than her future mother-in-law.
While Carissa didn’t take their relationship well in the beginning, Najlah said she has grown to like her and the two now delight in going out partying together.
‘I didn’t expect I would fall in love within weeks of dating,’ Najlah said.
‘It was almost love at first sight – within weeks actually. The amount of time we spent together, all day and night, our connection grew very strong.
‘What attracted me to John at first was how well this man could dress. Then when I saw his dance moves and rhythm, I was very impressed.
‘He’s also very charismatic, handsome and has a kind heart.
John proposed to Najlah on the balcony of his Mexican villa after inviting her family there for the weekend
Najlah admitted her and John’s families weren’t happy about their relationship initially, but they began to accept the romance after meeting him and seeing how ‘genuine’ he was
The couple have set a wedding date for June this year and are keen to have children – with John keen for a son
Najlah admitted her and John’s families weren’t happy about their relationship initially, but when her nearest and dearest met John for the first time and discovered how serious the lovebirds were about each other, they began to accept the romance.
The turning point, at least for Najlah’s family, came when they were invited to join the couple at John’s villa in Mexico back in November 2017; Najlah recalls John taking the group out for a meal so that they could all really get to know one another.
When they arrived back at the villa however, he took them all to his balcony where he got down on one knee and proposed to his delighted girlfriend, who wasted no time in accepting.
They are now discussing the having children and even John’s youngest daughter, who is nine, is keen on the idea.
‘We most definitely want to have children; John would like a son to carry on his legacy, but we would be happy with a boy or girl or even both,’ said Najlah.
‘His youngest daughter is very eager to be a big sister and asks me almost every time when we are having a baby.’
Najlah said John was attracted to her ‘beauty’ at first, but then fell in love with ‘how well they connected’.
‘It didn’t seem that he was talking to someone younger than him because the conversations never went dull,’ she explained.
Najlah, pictured with John’s daughters Jessica (middle) and Carissa (right) said despite not initially getting on, she and her future daughter-in-laws now go out clubbing together
Dad-of-four John, pictured with daughter Carissa (left), Naljah and Lauren (right), is keen to have a son
The couple say they’ve experienced a backlash due to their mixed race union as well as the age gap
Entrepreneur and fitness coach Najlah says she’s been branded a ‘gold-digger’ but insists she has her own business and is building another with John
‘I think we get along extremely well because I’m mature for my age – and I guess you can say he can be immature but never in a bad way.
‘When people found out about us, they would find ways to try to destroy our relationship, gossiping and even making up lies about us both so we could stop seeing each other.
‘People would lie that John was seeing other girls and that one time in particular he was out with some random girl, but I knew it wasn’t true because he was with me that day and we were living together.
‘John has four daughters; in the beginning of our relationship it was tough for the daughter who is closest to my age, so she refused to meet me or talk to me.
‘Eventually when we met, she got to know me and now we all feel pretty close and talk frequently. Now they say that they are very happy for their dad and we party when we get together.’
Despite both having affluent jobs, the couple do receive negative comments about their relationship, with some people branding Najlah a ‘gold-digger’.
Najlah added that their mixed race union has also made people uncomfortable.
But now they are so loved up they don’t notice the comments anymore and have already set a wedding date in June 2019.
‘Friendships we had for years ended, but we didn’t let any of it tear us down. Looking back, it actually made us stronger,’ said Najlah.
Najlah says they have lost friends along the way during their relationship – including people who tried to break them up by claiming John had cheated
Najlah says the difficulties they’ve faced with people not accepting their relationship has only made them stronger
Najlah pictured with John’s daughter Jessica. 18, who is set to be her daughter-in-law
Najlah says they don’t let the opinions of other people affect their life and relationship
‘It became an “us against the world” kind of thing. John and I are not the same race – I am black and he is white. John and I are not close in age – he is 48 and I am 24.
‘The combination of those two factors made people feel uncomfortable around us and our relationship.
‘The stares, the uncomfortableness in social settings, the outright hate of our relationship to our faces and especially on social media has been difficult.
‘People sometimes laugh or give dirty looks as if they’re confused. The most common things people say are ‘why are you with that old man?’ and ‘you’re a gold digger’.
‘People see that I’m a younger woman dating an older gentlemen and assume I’m after him for money, but I have my own business and we’re building businesses together.
‘We don’t let the opinions of other people affect our life and our relationship.
‘I would say that judging a book by its cover has never been a good idea. People don’t have to look like brother and sister to have a great relationship. The facade is never as important as the foundation.’