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True love stories: Childhood friends keep promise to wed

We dare you not to get goosebumps.

By Kristin Wong Jan 18, 2013 4:08PM

The Heart Beat is excited to introduce our new weekly feature, "True love stories." Each week, a couple with a truly amazing love story will be profiled. If you know a couple with a story worth sharing, please email us at msnlivingmail@micros​​​​oft.com for a chance to be featured.

True love stories: Nadine and Alan Smeltzer kept their childhood promise to marry each other.

In third grade, Nadine and Alan vowed to marry each other, sealing the promise with a kiss.

"Our young romance consisted of a kiss under the slide and a proclamation that when we grew up we would marry," Nadine wrote in an email to MSN's The Heart Beat. Her childhood sweetheart gave her a handmade Valentine that she kept for many years. "I gave him homemade heart cookies that year, which impressed him more than the kiss. This was 1967."

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The two were childhood friends, with Nadine calling Alan her "kindergarten buddy." But like a lot of grade school friends, the two soon went their separate ways. They lived their own lives, married, divorced, and had children.

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But fate refused to keep them separated. In a serendipitous coincidence worthy of a rom-com, Nadine and Alan were reunited online—only they had no idea.

After her divorce, Nadine's children convinced her look for romance online.

"I posted a profile, and a few weeks later received an email and a photo from a man who lived only a few miles away from where I was living," Nadine told us. "The man looked very familiar, and we spoke on the phone several times and chatted online."

Both Nadine and her online suitor used aliases, so, at first, they were strangers. It wasn't until he sent her a photo that Nadine realized she knew him from somewhere.

"I began by looking through all of my old school class photos, and finally realized who the man was."
Indeed, it was her third-grade kiss, Alan Smeltzer. "I was pretty excited," Nadine said.

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Forty-three years after the kiss and the box of cookies, the two tied the knot, keeping their childhood promise. She jokes that the secret to their happy marriage is that she's still feeding him. Nadine, a retired schoolteacher and disabled Army Veteran, can't help but dote on the love of her life:

"My husband is a very easygoing guy. He's a laidback type fellow. He looks and acts like the proverbial hippie. Has long hair and he grows his own vegetables."

Nadine has two daughters "who think the world of their step dad." She also has three grandchildren. "They say we look like Mr. and Mrs. Claus," she laughs.

Nadine and Alan's key to a happy marriage is wise in its simplicity:

"We always communicate with each other."

Here's wishing Nadine and Alan the best. Thank you for sharing your fateful love story with The Heart Beat!

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More from The Heart Beat:
True love stories: Couple remarries 30 years after divorce
7 lost wedding ring stories with happy endings

Study: Confidence before marriage leads to a happy union

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