Mandy Ashforth was 17 when she met 19-year-old Barrie Moat in the East coast resort of Bridlington in 1982.
They were amazed to discover they lived just 12 miles apart in South Yorkshire.
After their week-long romance the pair agreed to meet up at a set time and place.
But Barrie was unable to make the date and in the days before mobile phones, and without her home phone number or address, he couldn’t contact Mandy.
What she thought was a snub left her heartbroken and she went on to marry another man and have a family – but never forgot her first love.
Mandy, 48, said: “I had arranged to meet him in Rotherham bus station and waited for two hours but he never came. I was devastated.
“In the year that followed I looked for him in various places in Sheffield. The months turned into years and Barrie was always on my mind.
“I searched for him numerous times but it always led to a dead end. Then in January I made a search on Facebook and there he was. I recognised that cheeky face straight away and sent him a ‘friend’ request and he accepted.”
The mother-of-five added: “I have been married before and Barrie had a partner and a child, but both our relationships broke up. I suppose it was meant to be.
“We started messaging and eventually decided to meet after over 30 years apart. It was the scariest thing I have ever done.
It was the scariest thing I have ever done
“As soon as I saw Barrie, I knew all my hopes and dreams had come true. A couple of weeks later we decided to go back to where it all started, in Bridlington. We had a lovely weekend.”
Keen angler Barrie, 50, added: “I never normally accept friend requests from women unless they’re to do with fishing.
“Things very quickly clicked into place.
“It was just too good to be true. We both knew we had met the right person – I only wish I knew that 30 years ago.”
Barrie popped the question in August and the couple plan to marry next July.
“My children are really happy for both of us,” said Mandy.
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