The past year may have brought unwanted attention to their relationship and age gap, but that is not stopping Zach Braff from beginning 2021 with a sweet message to his girlfriend, actress Florence Pugh.

People reports that the 45-year-old actor greeted the actress on her 25th birthday with a message extolling her personality. Braff describes Pugh as the “most fun person” he has been with and said it is a blessing to be in a relationship with the actress.

Braff put out his message on his own Instagram account, accompanied by several photos of Pugh and himself. The post, which Braff ended by calling Pugh “a gift to the world,” currently has 96,254 likes on the social networking site.

Pugh, of course, saw the message and reposted it on the Stories feature of her own Instagram account. The actress kept her message short and simple by adding a red heart emoji to her post.

This public declaration of affections comes after the couple had faced some pushback on their relationship last year. A lot of people had commented on the 20-year age gap between the couple, which prompted Pugh to defend Braff.

In a video posted on her Instagram account back in April, the then 24-year-old actress emphasized that she is already an adult and did not need people to tell her who to love. The actress said that she would never tell other people who to love and that nobody is in a position to do it to her either.

According to the actress, the video was prompted by the comments that inundated her Instagram post showing Braff napping as they spent the quarantine together.

E! Online notes that the couple has been very private about their relationship until the April Instagram post from Pugh. Since then, however, Pugh has been more vocal about how people’s opinions on her relationship have affected her.

The outlet quotes an interview Pugh conducted with a podcast, where the actress found the whole situation “funny.” Pugh brought up how people were treating her like a child when it came to her relationship with Braff while treating her like an adult when it came to her work as well as her taxes.

Pugh also called the online outrage unreasonable and another way of making young women “feel like s--t.” She said that she had gone out with people her age and that none of those relationships worked.

Pugh and Braff first met on the set of the short film In the Time It Takes to Get There. While people were already speculating the two were in a relationship, they only made it Instagram official in April of last year.