They stayed best friends for nearly five decades until they realized they were ready to take the step into love– and marriage.

Friendship is a precious thing. A great friendship can be just as valuable as romantic. They say, though, that friendship is unlikely to segue into romance once you are settled too much into the “friend zone” of platonic love. But it turns out that’s not always the case.

This couple fell in love 50 years after they first met in high school. It all started in 1966 when Barbara Bosley asked Stan Jones to the Sadie Hawkins Dance at Dighton High School.

Sounds like a recipe for romance, right? But they didn’t actually share their first kiss until 49 years later.

Their long road from friendship to love

The future couple actually met way back in 1957. Stan was the new kid in Barbara’s second-grade class, and they were instant friends. They would stay friends forever, even when they went to different colleges hours apart.

Barbara never dated much. Instead, she concentrated on her education and her career. Through many moves and career changes, she and Stan kept in touch even if they couldn’t see each other often.

In 2015, their paths crossed at a high school reunion

Barbara was single, and Stan was divorced.

“He looked at the marks on my legs, which were from a medication I take, and we realized we took the same medication,” she said. Barbara has a form of lupus, and Stan has rheumatoid arthritis; they take the same kind of pill every day. It gave them something in common and they took it from there.

Stan was feeling shy.

“They were playing a slow song, and I thought ‘I should ask Barbara to dance,'” Stan recalled. “I took a couple of steps and then I thought ‘Nah.’ And I start to go back.”

It was like the devil and the angel talking to me. And then I thought ‘Go ask her to dance.’ Something made me go over.

They hadn’t danced together since that Sadie Hawkins dance 50 years earlier!

The band was playing “Stand by Me.” As they danced, Barbara felt the connection to how they had stood by each other as friends all those years. But there were worries too.

“My biggest worry was that I would step on his feet,” she said.

“She did step on my feet,” he said.

Walking off the dance floor, Stan turned and kissed her.

“That’s not like me either,” he said. ” I don’t know what drove me to do that. I usually ask permission.”

“It wasn’t just a peck on the cheek; it was right on the lips,” she said.

Their first kiss, at 65, changed everything– but not instantly

“It was just a dance and a kiss,” Stan said. “Looking back it seems like a big thing. But at the time I wasn’t thinking much about it.”

However, Stan texted Barbara a week later and thanked her for dancing with him.

She replied that the next time he was in Denver she would like to give him a tour.

And that is when everything changed.

The tour took them to a cabin in the mountains and by Christmas 2017 he gave her an engagement ring.

“I wasn’t expecting it,” she said. But she didn’t hesitate to say yes.

Then, on July 29, 2018, they finally married. “It’s nice to have somebody to share things with,” she said.

There have been adjustments to make.

“We have had to accept we have habits that won’t change,” Barbara said.

But despite their differences, Stan and Barbara’s bond has lasted for five decades.

It just goes to show that the people in your life you may overlook or underestimate can have the biggest impact in the long run.

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