Over 30 years ago, Karen Lynch and Rick Hayward were high school students. The pair went on a first date together, and to Karen it seemed that the date went really well. So she was really surprised when Rick didn’t call her afterwards. Both Karen and Rick moved on with their lives and graduated from high school.
It was the 1970s when the twosome from Pennsylvania decided to go on a date. They decided to hang out at the local bowling alley in Willow Grove. Karen felt an instant connection to Rick. While many people never learn the fates of their ex-boyfriends or love interests, 33 years later Karen finally discovered the surprising truth why Rick never asked her out for a second date.
A Great First Date
You know how it is when you fall for someone. You can’t wait to see them or hear from them. You eagerly wait for them to get in touch. Well, Karen waited and waited for Rick to reach out to her after they had so much fun bowling. But he never called. Karen was confused and a little disappointed that Rick seemed to disappear from her life. Whatever potential relationship they could have had evaporated. Days, weeks and months passed, and she didn’t hear from him. Eventually, the years went by and Karen and Rick went their separate ways. It was decades before they would finally reconnect.
Married With Kids
After graduating from high school, both Karen and Rick met and fell in love with different people. They each got married and had children. But their relationships were flawed, and they both ended up getting divorced. In 2010, something happened that would change both of their lives. As it happens, the pair got to know each other once again through social media. Karen and Rick found each other on Facebook seven years ago. When they finally reconnected, Karen was finally able to find out why the young man she went out with on one date in the 1970s didn’t ask her out again.
Reconnecting On Facebook
It’s not uncommon for old friends, long-lost relatives, and former lovers to reconnect on social media. Facebook has helped a lot of people make their dreams come true when it comes to love and romance. After Karen and Rick became friends on Facebook, they both started to wonder what would have happened if they went beyond their first date in high school. While 33 years may seem like a long time, Rick decided he wanted to find out if Karen was still interested in him. So he gave her a call and finally asked her out on a second date.
The Courage For A Second Date
In February 2017, Rick and Karen both appeared on The Rachael Ray Show. Rick admitted that the minute he reconnected with his high school crush all those years later, he wanted to find out if they still had a romantic connection. He revealed, “When I saw Karen on Facebook again I started thinking of maybe what could have been. I finally got up the courage to ask her out on a second date 33 years later.” Once they started dating again, Karen would finally learn the truth about the aftermath of their first date and why he didn’t call her.
“I Chickened Out”
Rick was a very shy young man. Every time he tried to summon up the courage to call Karen after their first date, he lost his nerve. So even though he tried to call her on numerous occasions, he couldn’t go through with it. Rick explained, “I wanted to go out with her again, but I was very shy in high school. Every time I went to pick the phone up I chickened out. Weeks went by…” The weeks turned into months, and Rick figured that since so much time had passed he had missed his opportunity to make Karen his girlfriend.
The Second Date, 33 Years Later
Rick told Rachael Ray: “I finally said, ‘I can’t call her now. It’s been far too long since that date, and she’s gonna be mad at me for not calling her.’ So, I gave up.” While the pair seemed like a good match at the time, it didn’t seem that a relationship was meant to be. And how many young women would want to date a guy who was too shy to ask her out again? However, a lot of things can change in 33 years. So the twosome finally went out on a second date. And something miraculous happened.
Love & Marriage
After being out of Karen’s life for 33 years, Rick wasn’t going to waste any more time. So he decided to take the plunge. “I knew I wanted to marry Karen,” he revealed on The Rachael Ray Show in 2017. Sometimes when you know it’s right, it’s right! Rick was determined to make the proposal something very unique. “I took Karen to the jewelry store to do some ‘ring shopping,’” he explained. He distracted Karen by letting her try on some jewelry. Meanwhile, the shop assistant handed Rick a ring. And what he did next came as a pretty big surprise to Karen.
A Unique Proposal
“She says, ‘Here, why don’t you take a look at this one,’ and hands it to me. And I stuck it on Karen’s finger and said, ‘Will you marry me?’” Rick recalled. So what did Karen do? After 33 years was she ready to spend the rest of her life with a man who didn’t have the courage to ask her out on a second date in high school? Was she willing to take the chance? You bet! The minute Rick put the ring on her finger, Karen knew exactly what she wanted — and it was Rick. She said “yes” right on the spot.
The Perfect Match
“I knew I really wanted to marry Karen,” Rick said. Karen added, “It was such a cool proposal. He couldn’t have done it better, really…When I saw the ring, I knew. I knew it was real.” Karen showed off her engagement ring on The Rachel Ray Show, a beautiful band with diamonds and a yellow stone. She had tears of joy in her eyes as she discussed their romance and how Rick made the moment so special. She also revealed what made her fall in love with the man that she met as a 17-year-old girl in high school.
“He’s My Best Friend”
Rick filled a void in Karen’s life. She gushed about him on The Rachael Ray Show, explaining how wonderful he is. Not only are they lovers, they’re also best friends. And who wouldn’t want to marry their best friend? Karen explained of their relationship, “Rick is an incredible person. He’s a gentleman. Best of all, he’s my best friend. He just is everything that I was looking for and some of the things I didn’t even know I was looking for.” Sometimes love finds you when you least expect it. And that’s exactly what happened to Karen and Rick.
Another Huge Surprise
Rick feels the same way about Karen as she does for him. She filled a part of his life that was missing something. She completes him and makes him feel very special. He told Rachael Ray, “Karen brought love back into my life and made me feel whole again. I don’t think I really knew what ‘your other half’ meant until now.” But the special proposal wasn’t the only surprise Rick had for Karen. He decided to take her to New York City where she could pick out a wedding dress. Little did she know what would happen next.
A Televised Wedding
Rick treated Karen to a special limo ride and opened up an iPad. He showed it to Karen, who discovered that there was a video message on it from none other than Rachael Ray. The daytime chat host revealed something astonishing to Karen, who was completely unprepared for what was about to happen. Apparently, Rachael heard about the couple’s amazing romance. Not only did she want to feature them on the show, she wanted to do something extra special for the pair. Instead of waiting to tie the knot, Rachael invited them to get married, the very next day, on her show.
Rachael’s Amazing News
Rachael Ray was super excited about Karen and Rick coming on to her show and sharing their story. “Surprise! I know you waited 33 years for your second day with Rick. And we don’t want you to wait one more day for your wedding!” she gushed. “Not only are we helping you pick out your wedding dress for your big day, we ARE your big day! We are throwing you guys a wedding, right here in this studio, tomorrow! Can you even hear me? Because you’re probably screaming and crying a lot.” But there was so much to do!
Whirlwind Wedding Preparations
As you probably know, preparing for a wedding can take months of planning. There are lots of things that need to be checked off: picking the location, choosing the wedding dress, ordering the flowers, inviting the guests, selecting the food, and so on. So how would Karen and Rick pull off a wedding with just 24 hours of advanced notice? They spent the day getting the marriage license, shopping for the perfect gown and making a lot of other wedding plans. Karen’s mother and her future mother-in-law also joined them to help her with her wedding dress fitting at Kleinfeld. But there were more surprises in store for Karen.
A Surprise Guest
No wedding is complete without a maid of honor. So who would do Karen the honor? Well, The Rachel Ray Show made sure that Karen’s best friend, Dorie, would be on hand to witness the special day. She appeared out of nowhere while Karen was trying on dresses at Kleinfeld. Karen was absolutely stunned to see Dorie, and cameras captured tears in her eyes as the two embraced before the special occasion. Many people in Karen’s life were in on the secret, surprise wedding. Somehow, everyone involved was able to keep mum about the wedding and didn’t let anything slip.
A Valentine’s Day Ceremony
Did we forget to tell you that their wedding took place on Valentine’s Day, one of the most romantic days of the year? Well, that’s the day that Rachael Ray and her staff decided the pair deserved to make it official. How appropriate! The couple tied the knot in front of their family and friends in a small ceremony that took place in a television studio. Everyone involved got very emotional, including the wedding guests, the studio audience, and the TV host. Who wouldn’t be touched by such a romantic story? Still, there were more surprises ahead for the beautiful bride.
A Honeymoon In Mexico
The Rachael Ray Show gave the couple a beautiful wedding cake. But they also gave them something even more spectacular: a luxury honeymoon! Following the surprise wedding ceremony, the couple was shocked to discover that they would spend their first days as newlyweds in Mexico. The show provided them with airfare and lodging at a major resort that included a private beach, a golf course, all-day room service and fine dining. So not only did Karen get the wedding of her dreams, she was also treated to a special honeymoon with Rick, a man she first met over 30 years ago.
Love Knows No Bounds
Sometimes things happen in your life that you don’t expect. That’s exactly what happened to Karen Lynch and Rick Hayward. After two failed marriages, it’s likely they were unsure that they’d ever find love again. But romance blossomed in an unexpected place – Facebook! While they were unable to make things work 33 years ago, somehow they reunited and realized that the connection they had made as teenagers was real and had lasted over the years. Karen expressed her gratitude on The Rachael Ray Show, explaining, “We didn’t expect to find this at 50, especially when it was somebody that you knew all your life.
True Love Does Exist
Karen and Rick aren’t the only ones who found love over 30 years after their first date. Writer Robin Rice recalled in an article for The Good Men Project that she and a man named Rob had a similar connection, but after one date it was over. “Advance thirty-plus years. He finds me on Facebook. He later says seeing me there took his breath away. It took mine away, though I could not say why,” she wrote. She was married, and it was not meant to be. While stories like this are rare, true love like this does exist. You just have to keep your eyes open!