After 44 years apart, two high school sweethearts have rediscovered each other and fallen in love all over again. Their wholesome story is proof that some connections are meant to stand the test of time.
Two high school sweethearts rediscovered their love 44 years later and are now happily married.
Terry Farley hadn’t seen her high school beau Steve Downey in three decades until he popped up on LinkedIn one day.
The pair first met back in 1971 at a Catholic youth organization conference in Washington D.C. At the time, Farley was 14 and Downey was 16.
Farley recalls seeing Downey for the first time.
“I just thought he was the cutest thing I ever saw,” Farley said on TODAY.
“We were very innocent. When we held hands, it felt very dicey.”
Downey and Farley dated throughout high school before going off to separate colleges and losing touch in 1980.
They both married other people, but in 2009, Downey lost his wife to cancer right around the time Farley was going through a divorce.
Neither of them had any interest in jumping back into the dating pool anytime soon.
“After my wife, Kathy, passed away, I didn’t really have any interest in dating,” Downey said. “I thought that part of my life was over. And after a while, I became OK with that.”
“I had one blind date, and it was a disaster,” Farley said.
Farley was excited to come across Downey’s LinkedIn profile in 2012 but was hesitant to contact him.
“I did not message him because … I didn’t want to pop into his life,” Farley said. “So I just sort of looked at the picture and reminisced a little.”
A month or so later, however, Downey was on LinkedIn and noticed Farley had looked at his profile. He decided to reach out to his high school love.
“I just felt motivated to send her a message,” he said. “I just said, ‘Hey, Terry, this is the Steve Downey you used to know.'”
Needless to say, Farley was ecstatic to receive his message.
“I get Steve’s message, and I was like, ‘Oh, my goodness,”’ she said.
It wasn’t long before the pair’s connection began to reignite. Phone calls and emails turned into Downey visiting Farley at her home in Tallahassee, Florida.
“When I saw Steve at the airport, I didn’t see the gray hair,” Farley said. “I didn’t see anything except my first love, my first crush. In my eyes, he was exactly the same person. It felt like we were picking up where we left off.”
The couple began dating long distance until Downey decided to move to Tallahassee. Eventually, they were remarried in 2015—44 years after they first met.
“I am just so grateful to have had this opportunity to be with this person again,” Downey said.
“He has made my life so rich,” Farley said. “I can’t imagine it without him.”