First-love couples survived rows, surprise pregnancies and sceptical families to stay together

Mail Online | 2/14/2020 | Sadie Nicholas for the Daily Mail
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We still have our teen love letters

Started dating 33 years ago.

Caroline - Alliston - Upholsterer - Crawley - West

Caroline Alliston, 47, an upholsterer, lives in Crawley, West Sussex, with husband Steve, 48, a church leader. They have three children: Noah, 23, Daisy, 21, and Jude, 18.

Caroline says: Tucked away in our loft are reams of love letters Steve and I wrote to each other after meeting in April 1987, aged 14 and 15, on a church group holiday camp in Minehead.

Looks - Bass - Band

I noticed his good looks, and he played bass in a band, which was pretty cool.

As we left to return to our respective homes 30 miles apart, we swapped addresses and shared an awkward hug.

Envelopes - Kiss - Squirt - Perfume - Letters

We began writing to each other immediately. I'd seal my envelopes with a lipstick kiss or a squirt of perfume, and would re-read his letters to me hundreds of times.

We started dating properly that July, spending as many weekends together as possible. However, as we are both from church-going families, we didn't have sex till we married in 1993, aged 20 and 21.

Children - Wedding - Photographs - People

We look like children in our wedding photographs. While people were outwardly supportive, I'm sure many must have worried.

Even now, 33 years after our first meeting, we try to keep the romance alive. Steve always writes a poem in my birthday card and we leave little notes for one another.

Steve - Years - Caroline - Dates - Couples

Steve says: In our early years, Caroline and I would go on dates and observe middle-aged couples with nothing to say to each other.

We vowed never to be like that, but the reality is married life is often hard. Finances have always been tight, and Caroline had postnatal depression with our first two children, barely leaving the house for a year after the second was born.

Manchester - Work - Miles - Family - Friends

We had moved to Manchester with my work. Miles from family and friends, Caroline felt...
(Excerpt) Read more at: Mail Online
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