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In 1977 they went out on a date, but he didn’t ever call her again. In 2010 she found out why and look where they are in 2017

At 17, Rick Hayward and Karen Lynch went out on a date. They ate ice cream, went bowling, and had a genuinely lovely time together. She was convinced that it had gone well, so it surprised her that she never heard from him again. “Rick didn’t call me back for a second date,” remembers Karen.

At least not for a few decades.

Check out the sweet pair in an interview about how their relationship finally happened:

Rick was very shy in high school, so every time he went to pick up the phone, he would put it down again without actually making the call. After days passed, and then weeks, he was convinced that she’d be offended and he gave up entirely.

So there was no second date. They were both disappointed. But the years passed: they went to college, were in relationships, got married to other people, and had children.

And after several decades, both got divorced as well.

Then in 2010, through Facebook, they found each other again. Both of them looked at the screen, remembering the missed opportunity and wondering what would happen this time around. This time, Rick was determined at least to find out, so he asked Karen out for their second date — 33 years after the first one!

From the start, it was clear that they were a perfect fit for each other.

“Rick is an incredible person, best of all he’s my best friend and he has all the things I was looking for, and some others things I didn’t even know I was looking for,” Karen said with a laugh.

Rick explained, “With Karen I feel whole again. I don’t think I really knew what ‘your other half’ meant until now.” When Rick gave Karen a ring and asked her to marry him, she was thrilled, though not exactly surprised. But when he took her to New York City to go dress-shopping — and talk show hostess Rachael Ray showed up to help! — Karen was truly blown away.

They had to wait 33 extra years but it was clearly worth it! You really never know what the future holds in store…