High school sweethearts who made a pact to marry if they were both still single at 50 tie the knot – nearly four decades after originally dating

These high school sweethearts followed through on a pact to marry each other if they were both still single at 50, nearly four decades after they first dated.

After their high school courtship came to an end nearly 37 years ago, Ron Palmer and Kimberley Dean, of St. Paul, Minnesota, USA, kept in constant contact, insisting they wanted to stay friends.

Sharing intermittent messages to update one another on family, careers and everything in between, after both of their marriages collapsed 20 years ago, the pair agreed to meet to discuss their mutual heartache.

They even jokingly suggested they should marry if they were both single at 50 during the reunion – but unbeknown to the singletons then, Kim’s passing comment would become a vow of companionship as two decades later the pair tied the knot on June 1.

Admitting that they had ‘always loved each other,’ Ron, now 54, and Kimberley, 52, decided to give their relationship another try in September 2016 by going on their second first date – and by New Year‘s Eve 2017 the former lovebirds were engaged.

Kimberley, a youth enrichment worker, said: “It’s almost surreal that after all these years we’re finally together – we’re so happy.

“I think our friends and family were both surprised, but also not surprised when the news leaked that we were seeing each other again.

“We kept in contact of what was going in each other’s lives from family, to relationships, job changes and about my kids.

“During one of those talks about twenty years ago, we were speaking about retirement when Ron joked he’d have nobody to leave his things to – I jokingly said he could leave them to me.

“At the time we were both pretty tired of dating.

“I jokingly suggested we should get married if we were both single at 50, but this was just a joke – we never considered it seriously.

“I think I speak for Ron as well when I say we always knew there was something between us – we knew we were supposed to be together from the first-time we met.”

Breaking up in the autumn of 1981, after Ron graduated from high school, the pair both went on to marry and then divorce, with Kim having two children along the way – Kayla, 30, and Konner, 23, who now see Ron as a father figure.

Rarely going more than a few months without touching base with one another, Kim received a call from Ron in January 2016, telling her his long-term relationship had ended and just six- months later, Kim, too, was single once more.

Deciding to try dating again in the September at a local food festival, it wasn’t for several months after that the couple recounted their flippant declaration to wed at fifty.

But proposing in a snow-clad state park in northern Minnesota, Ron and Kim’s pact inadvertently came true on June 1, and the couple wish they’d realised their love sooner.

Kim said: “It was sometime last year that I remembered the pact for some reason – we weren’t even engaged at the time.

“We wanted to take things very slow, as we had both been through so much in our past relationships, we didn’t want to lose each other too.

“I think we will always be frustrated that we didn’t get together sooner, but we both believe this is the way it was supposed to be.

“We got married in a park we both grew up near and live by still.

“We kept everything about our wedding very close to us and where we started.

“Right now we are still learning things about one another and looking forward to what the future may hold.

“We’ve thought about what would happen if we did get married when we were younger.

“We don’t have the answer but I think we both agree we’d go through all of it again to get to where we are now – together.”