A woman waited 24 years for her first kiss with her childhood best friend.

A love story containing the classic romantic cliché of friends to lovers has a dreamy effect on almost all the rom-com lovers. So when it happens in real life, it feels nothing less than a dream come true.

Kate MacNeil and Paul Damon were inseparable since the moment they met each other as young teens in Williamsburg, Virginia in 1997.

Despite having a huge crush on her best friend, the 13 year old Kate never had the courage to confess her feelings to Paul. She was happy with their friendship as it was not any different from being in a relationship. They would talk for hours on the phone and even fall asleep together while on the call.

“We were practically in a relationship but we’d never kissed,” Kate said.

Taking a Chance in Love

When they were 18, Kate took the plunge and tried to kiss Paul but he turned his head away. She felt “embarrassed and broken” at the time and ran away.

Slowly, there were hardly any conversations between them but she never stopped thinking about him. They lost touch completely when Paul joined the navy and Kate moved away to attend college in Alabama.

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As years passed, Kate, now a teacher and Paul, a master woodworker, continued with their lives and married different partners. They kept an eye on each other’s lives for years online.

Everything Falling Into Place at the Right Time

In December 2020, after the fall of her marriage, Kate, a 38 year old mother of two, found the courage to reach out to Paul and confess her feelings for him that she kept as a secret all these years.

“I got to a point in my life where I knew I had to reach out and see if he felt the same way.” Kate said

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Paul replied back two weeks later with a “Hey Stranger” and the two chatted for hours like old times. At the end of the conversation, they agreed to meet at Kate’s home in Port Charlotte, Florida in January 2021.

“He texted me saying ‘Hey stranger,’ and we talked for hours from there,” she said.

Paul, now 38, said the fact that Kate reached out to him after all these years felt “indescribable”. He couldn’t remember a time he did not think of Kate and that “no one measured up to her”. Reconnecting after so many years felt like a blessing and made him realize that “nothing had changed” between them.  He recalled the time Kate tried to kiss him and felt like an “idiot” for freaking out on her that day.

A New Beginning to a Wonderful Love Story

Paul flew to Florida as decided and met Kate at the airport. Finally after waiting for 24 years, they confessed their feelings for each other and had their first kiss.

“We had our first kiss when he came to Florida and it was magical,” said Kate. “I feel like my life is now complete.”

They spent a week loving and cherishing each other before Paul flew back to Williamsburg. After six weeks, he moved to Florida to live with Kate and her children.

 “We’re still best friends. We’re perfect for each other.” Paul said.

Sometimes you have to wait for the best things to happen at the right time. It is not easy for everyone, and so most of us give up in the middle. But it can be achievable with a little bit of courage and persistence.

Kate and Paul’s love story is a classic example of the famous saying, ‘if it is meant to be yours, it will come back to you.’ No matter what challenges lie your way, you will never lose what was always yours to begin with.  Paul and Kate are now engaged and are planning to be married in July 2023. They still feel like it is all a dream come true and do not wish to change anything in their journey.

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