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Childhood sweethearts have married in a real-life version of The Notebook after 22 years apart—he even proposed with the engagement ring he gave her when they were 15.

Helen Marshall and Graeme Richardson are both in their early forties. They met in school and admired each other from across the hallways before they fell head over heels in young love as teens.

Helen as a teen; SWNS

After nine months of romantic walks, school discos, and sneaking off for a wee kiss round the back of the bike sheds, young Graeme got down on one knee and proposed.

But their parents worried they were too young and the engagement never happened. Graham went off to college in 1994, and the pair drifted apart.

Just like the movie with Ryan Gosling and Rachel McAdams, their letters proclaiming their lost love never reached each other, and they got on with their lives separately.

Graeme as a teen; SWNS

Both went on to have long-term relationships and kids, and were even reunited from afar— catching glimpses of each other—when their children attended the same school.

When both split up with their respective partners, Helen reached out to her first boyfriend via Facebook, and they fell in love all over again 20 years later.

She discovered he had pined for her for years after their forced split, and got down on one knee again—proposing with the same ring he used more than two decades earlier, only this time they were vacationing together in Croatia.

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The smitten pair eloped and tied the knot last month. “We just feel so content now,” Helen said from the farm they’re now living on together. “We’re the other half of each other. I just feel like I’m home. Like I’m whole. He’s my soul mate, and I’m his.”

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Graeme said, “Helen’s the other half of me. She’s the opposite to me; the extravert to my introvert. It just feels like the right ending. My friends have never known me as the happy and content man I am now.”

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A love story that was simply meant to be

In high school Graeme was popular with the girls, and the boys all liked Helen, but neither plucked up the courage to ask each other for a date.

One lucky day, a friend of Helen’s promised her a chocolate bar if she dared to ask Graeme out.

Romance blossomed from day one, and grew into true love as they walked in the Lake District and sat by picturesque waters.

They knew they wanted to be married, and Graeme worked hard at weekends for £3 an hour to buy her a diamond engagement ring.

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It’s beautiful that the ring has finally been put to use as was first intended all those years ago. Cheers to Helen and Graeme.

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