Childhood sweethearts who were boyfriend and girlfriend aged ten fell in love again after seeing each other for the first time – in 33 YEARS.
Darren Arthur, 45, and Keely Chivers, 45, reconnected with one another after a random Facebook friend request two years ago.
They had been in the same class at primary school for two years and became each other’s first boyfriend and girlfriend aged 10.
But in 1986 Darren’s family moved 123 miles away to Doncaster due his dad changing jobs.
The pair lost touch and went on to marry different partners but both found themselves divorced in 2015.
Then in August 2018, single Keely searched for her first boyfriend on Facebook and sent him a friend request.
Within an hour Darren accepted and the pair began messaging one another, reminiscing with one another and catch-up with each other lives.
They agreed to meet up three weeks after talking and say it was “love at first sight” when Keely was stood in Darren’s hallway.
Despite the long-distance, the pair soon became crazy about each other and would commute up to three times a week to spend time together.
Eight months into the relationship Darren moved in with Keely, back where they first met in Milton Keynes and a month later proposed.
The pair plan to get married in September this year, and even have old school friends as their wedding guests.
Darren said: “When I saw the friend request I just thought ‘Who the hell is that?’
“But then her old surname was in brackets and the penny dropped.
“I used to go knocking for her when she was my girlfriend back in the day.
“I remember her mum always used to give me orange juice as I waited for her.
“We were as boyfriend and girlfriend as you can be at that age – we must have been around 10 or 11.
“I just remember always hanging around with her.
“But as soon as I moved away I kind of lost touch with everybody there.
“We spoke non-stop for two weeks and then we decided to meet up.
“I invited her round and when I saw her in the middle of my hallway I was just shaking.
“But that’s when you can tell you like them.
“She still had the same beautiful eyes and hair. She was obviously a bit bigger but that’s what happens.
Keely said: “I don’t know what was going through my head when I searched for him.
“It wasn’t like he had been playing on my mind all these years.
“We didn’t have mobile phones or the internet when we were at school so we just lost touch and never re-appeared in each other’s lives.
“He was the popular cheeky chappy at school so I remember being chuffed to bits that he was my boyfriend.
“But we were pretty young. I think all we used to do was hold hands and go knock for one another so we could play outside. That’s when it was safe for you to do so.
“It might have been because I found myself single and thought I had nothing to lose.
“I looked through a few of his pictures and they all did look like him.
“I just thought ‘Oh my God is that really him’
“So I added him as a friend and as soon as he accepted I messaged him.
“We just got on really well and the conversation was really flowing.
“I’m glad I took the plunge.”
Both Darren and Keely were reunited after she sending him a message on Facebook which read; “Hey Darren can’t believe that’s really you!!! Long long time hope you are well x”.
Darren replied: “Well it’s certainly me crickey how many years is it x”.
The pair continued to message non-stop for three weeks until they agreed to meet up.
They then met up in August 2018 where they say they “fell in love in an instant”.
Over the next eight months the couple would meet a few times a week – taking it in turns to commute from Milton Keynes to Doncaster – before Darren moved in with Keely in April 2019.
Unemployed Keely said: “When I saw him it was definitely love at first sight.
“I remember I had the butterflies in my stomach when I was driving up there.
“Although it’s been the most bizarre start to a relationship I’ve had it’s definitely been the best.
“We just love each other so much.
“And the thing is we just haven’t had an argument.
“It’s just going so well.”
He proposed on the second anniversary of the death of Keely’s dad in May 2018.
Keely said: “It was so thoughtful.
“He took me back to the place where we had our first drinks.
“I thought he was taking me out to cheer me up as it was the anniversary of my dad’s death and I lost my mum just a few months ago.
“I thought he was acting a bit off and I couldn’t put my finger on it.
“We went outside and I asked him what was up and he just told round and said ‘Sod it’ and bent down on one knee.
“He didn’t want me to feel sad on that day.
“I already have the dress I want. I knew it was the one for me when his mum cried.
“I just can’t wait to become his wife and spend the rest of my life with him.”