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Picture of 14 year-olds hugging and a husband and wife with their son and dog

Childhood Sweethearts Marry After a Decade Apart

SWNS and Instagram/ @monicamillington
Uplifting News

They Had a Vacation Romance at 14 - ​Get Married After a Decade of No Contact

They met at 14 then went their own ways. Now they have a family of their own.

Life can work in funny ways. Sometimes you connect with someone when you’re young, without realizing how impactful that relationship will be to you years down the road. That was definitely the case for this duo, who went from childhood sweethearts to a married couple after 11 years with no contact.

A Memorable Vacation

Monica and Tom Millington first met when they were 14 years old. They were each on a family trip to Playa Del Carmen, Mexico. The year was 2005, and Monica was quite familiar with the resort since she and her family went there every summer. This year, however, something new caught her eye: Tom.

According to Monica, the pair bumped into each other in the lobby, and she thought he was cute. So when she spotted him at the pool later on, she tapped him on the shoulder.

“I was young and looking for a boyfriend for the summer vacation, and there was this really cute guy in the hotel lobby,” she told The Sun.

Monica was American, and when she heard Tom’s British accent, that sealed the deal. The pair hung out for the rest of the week in a full-out vacation romance — one with kissing and hand-holding. When it was over, they swapped numbers and promised to keep in touch.

Losing Touch

Tom and Monica tried to stay in contact, and the creation of Facebook about a year later helped, but they were halfway across the world from each other. By the time they chose colleges, the gap was significant.

“Life goes on,” Monica recalled. “I married my college boyfriend, and we did the traditional thing — where you go to school, get married, and buy a house.”

Monica thought she had found her soulmate when she wed in 2014, but two years later she divorced.

“The first six months of our marriage were fine, and then after the six months, it got to the point where it felt wrong,” she recalled. “Our marriage lasted two years. He was a very good guy — it just wasn't the right fit.”

Soon after the divorce, on her 26th birthday, Monica heard from Tom, who wanted to wish her a happy birthday.

Reconnecting After 12 Years

Monica and Tom decided to FaceTime, and they caught up with everything they had missed. Fifteen minutes into the conversation, Tom professed his love. He claimed he had never fallen out of love with Monica, and she realized she felt the same way.

“As soon as I saw his face, it felt familiar; the conversation felt like I was speaking to my best friend – it wasn't weird at all,” she explained.

At the time, Monica lived in Dallas and Tom was in Singapore. They made plans to meet in London on New Year’s Eve for lunch to see if their connection held up in person, too. It sure did.

“I went off for lunch with Tom at noon, and the lunch lasted seven hours. It was in the gorgeous little pub — we were talking full speed for seven hours,” she recalled. “It was like a first date on steroids.”

Four months later, Monica took a three-week trip to Asia, capping her adventure off with a visit to Hong Kong, where Tom worked. She had planned to be there for a week but stayed for a month.

Planning the Future

The day before Monica was supposed to go home, Tom admitted he wasn’t worried about her leaving because he knew they were endgame.

“He asked when we were getting married, and I said I didn't know, and he said he wanted to do it as soon as possible,” she said. “I asked him if that meant we were engaged, and he said, 'Yes, we're engaged.’”

The couple proceeded to tell their families, and later that year, in October 2017, they wed in Singapore in an intimate rooftop ceremony. Their moms flew in to be their witnesses, and they danced and drank champagne.

Today, the couple has a one-year-old son, Cruz Millington, and the family lives in Singapore. Tom is a trader, Monica is a clothing designer, and they’ve never been happier.

“Although we lived on separate continents and life took its natural course, the power of the connection once made never faded. Frankly, over the years it instinctively grew,” Tom said. “There was always a dream we would find each other again. She has and always will be the love of my life and my best friend.”

“I can't believe that the 14-year-old boy I met on vacation in Mexico is now my husband,” Monica added. “It still blows me away. I have so much gratitude. I am so lucky that this gets to be my story.”

Keeping the Faith

This sweet story of love seems ripped from a rom-com and for good reason: this couple spent years apart before they were able to realize their romance and fully connect as adults after meeting in their teens.

It’s a sweet reminder for all of us that sometimes life puts you exactly where you need to be in any given moment and that if things are truly meant to be, someday they will be. So keep your faith, but don’t stop living your life. Sometimes, the best plans are the unintentional ones: the ones that force you to grow, move on, and complete yourself before you can properly reconnect with the past.

And when the time does finally come to look back, it can be momentous indeed.

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