Real Life

How Facebook reignited this 57-year-old's love life

I'd sworn myself off blokes for life, but couldn't resist this blast from the past.

By As told to Take 5

Louise Tennant, 57, shares her story;

I sat on the couch with my iPad and scrolled through my Facebook feed.
Since my kids, Ben, 33, and Becky, 27, had left home, I enjoyed looking at their photos on social media.
It helped me stay connected to them.
Not that I was lonely.
When their dad had left 23 years before I was heartbroken and swore myself off men completely.
From that moment onwards, I focused on my kids and my career.
Relationships just weren't a priority for me.
Suddenly, a message popped up on my feed.
Hi, it's Dave Evans. Do you remember me? it read.
My jaw dropped. Talk about a blast from the past!
It had been 35 years since I'd last heard from Dave.
He was my first love.
Of course I remember you, I typed back quickly.
We'd met while on holiday in Gibraltar in 1981.
I was 20, and on my first holiday with friends.
We were in a bar one night when a tall, handsome stranger approached me.
"Fancy a dance?" he'd asked.
"Go on then," I giggled.
I was attracted to him immediately.
Dave, then 25, told me he was in the army and was stationed there for three months.
When Dave and I first met. Photos exclusive property of Take 5
We talked for hours.
For the rest of the holiday, Dave and I were inseparable, but all too soon it was time for me to go home to the UK.
Eight weeks later, I flew back to Gibraltar, this time without my friends.
Dave and I had such a romantic time, drinking wine and sharing kisses in the sun.
In time, Dave returned to England and was stationed over two hours away.
We embarked on a long-distance relationship, and Dave would come and stay with me when he had time off.
He met my whole family and we went on holidays together.
But then when he was sent abroad again with the army, our relationship fizzled out.
I loved him, but I knew I didn't want to be an army wife.
We lost touch.
It was sad, but I was so young and still working out what I wanted to do with my life.
A few months later, I met the father of my children.
We never married but were together for 10 years before it all went wrong.
I'd been single ever since, focusing on my kids, volunteering as a foster carer and working as a teaching assistant for children with special needs.
Dave's message was a bolt out of the blue.
I checked out his Facebook profile picture.
He looked a little greyer, with a few wrinkles, but he still had the same cheeky glint in his eye, a warm smile and dashing good looks.
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He's just as handsome as I remember. Photos exclusive property of Take 5
We chatted online for ages and eventually swapped numbers.
Then we spoke on the phone for hours.
He had the same sense of humour.
We wound up speaking regularly over the ensuing weeks and I found myself looking forward to his calls.
Then one day, he announced he was visiting family near me.
"I could pop round and visit you," he said.
I panicked. Is he after a nostalgic fling?
"Just a coffee," he reassured me, and eventually I relented.
When the doorbell rang, butterflies swirled in my stomach but as I opened the front door, I was greeted by Dave's beaming smile.
I worried it might be awkward and that we'd have nothing to talk about, but the conversation flowed naturally.
We spent hours catching up.
I didn't have any of the letters we wrote to each other all those years ago, but I still had some photographs which we looked through together and laughed.
"What made you contact me?" I asked.
"I had a dream about you," he admitted. "It made me wonder how you were."
I felt my cheeks blush bright red.
Then I looked at my watch.
"It's past 11!" I cried. "You can't go to a hotel. You can stay in the spare room."
That night, I went to sleep with a weird feeling inside me – half thrilled, half terrified.
There was no doubt I still fancied Dave and I wondered if he felt the same way.
But I was so out of practice at all this!
Dave and I are having so much fun. Photos exclusive property of Take 5
The next morning, Becky came around to drop the grandkids over.
"I look after them on Fridays," I warned him, but he told me he was a grandfather too.
"What shall we do with them?" he said.
We took them to a museum and he was so sweet with Miles, four, and Connor, 18 months.
That night, we went to the pub and reminisced about the old days.
"You were always the one that got away," he said, looking at me pointedly, his green eyes twinkling.
"I still fancy you," he said softly.
I felt my insides turn to liquid.
"Me too," I said.
We continued to flirt, and let's just say that he didn't stay in the spare room that night!
It's been nearly two years now and Dave and I are madly in love.
He's met all my family and I've met his – even one of his ex-wives.
My kids are so happy for me that I've finally met someone.
"You deserve that sort of happiness," Ben said.
We take lovely holidays together. Photos exclusive property of Take 5
Dave lives interstate so we have a long-distance relationship but it suits us this time.
We have mobile phones and the internet to keep in touch and we spend two or three weeks together, then a month apart.
It keeps things exciting.
We also go on lots of exotic holidays together.
I'm so glad Dave had that dream and that he followed up on it.
I never thought I would love again and I was quite happily resigned to it.
But reconnecting with my first love has changed my life completely.
This time, it isn't just a holiday romance, it's for keeps and I couldn't be happier.

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