Childhood sweethearts who dated as teenagers in the 1980s rekindle their romance 34 years later after bumping into each other at a bar in Benidorm
- Gaynor Williams, 50, met Dean Ryan, 53, back in 1986 in Chester, Cheshire
- They dated for 18 months before splitting up when Dean moved to Somerset
- But 34 years later in August 2019, they spotted each other in a bar in Benidorm
- They recognised each other immediately and quickly rekindled their romance
Childhood sweethearts who dated as teenagers in the 1980s have rekindled their romance after bumping into each other in a bar in Benidorm.
Gaynor Williams, now 50, was just 16 when she met 19-year-old Dean Ryan, now 53, at Memories bar in Chester, Cheshire, in 1986.
The pair dated for 18 months before parting ways when Dean left to become a performer at Pontins, in Burnham-on-Sea, Somerset, and long-distance took its toll on the couple.
But in August 2019 – some 30 years after they had split – Dean and Gaynor met in a chance encounter at the Rock and Roll House Bar in Benidorm where Dean was working as a singer.
The couple, who had only bumped into each other once in the intervening years, decided to give their relationship another try and are now celebrating a year together.
Childhood sweethearts who dated as teenagers in the 1980s have rekindled their romance after bumping into each other in a bar in Benidorm. Pictured, the couple today
Gaynor Williams, now 50, was just 16 when she met 19-year-old Dean Ryan, now 53, at Memories bar in Chester, Cheshire, in 1986. Pictured, the couple in the late 1980s
Gaynor, a singer from Helsby, Chester, told how she was on a week-long holiday after splitting from her partner of 15 years when she saw Dean performing.
She explained: ‘I was having a bit of a midlife crisis so went to Benidorm to have a holiday on my own. When I walked into the bar I instantly recognised Dean.
‘He had the same singing voice, warm smile and charm but was just a little greyer with a few more wrinkles. I knew it was him instantly so I went to his dressing room after the show to say hello.
‘I asked him “are you Dean?”, he said “I am” and we spent ages chatting and catching up – it was like we had never been apart.
‘He asked me what I was doing there and I said I was single now and on holiday and he told me he’d been living and performing in Benidorm for years.’
The couple met up again the next day and chatted for hours to catch up ‘on the last 34 years’ before deciding to give their relationship a second chance.
Gaynor continued: ‘We decided to give our relationship another whirl. We only broke up when we were teens because Dean wanted to join Pontins and then I met someone else and moved to Derby.
Gaynor, a singer from Helsby, Chester, told how she was on a week-long holiday after splitting from her partner of 15 years when she saw Dean performing. Pictured, the couple in the 1980s
Gaynor said they met up again the next day and chatted for hours to catch up ‘on the last 34 years’ before deciding to give their relationship a second chance
Gaynor revealed that Dean had kept all of the letters they sent each other from back in 1987 (pictured) and they looked back at them together and ‘cried’ while reminiscing
‘We never fell out, there was never anything that went wrong we always got on well and had a laugh, it was all just timing in our teens. It is insane, but I feel incredibly lucky. Dean and I pinch ourselves every day.’
Gaynor, who is a mother to her daughter Yana Bing, 21, returned to visit Dean in February 2020, which was when their relationship became romantic.
But when Spain went into national lockdown due to Covid-19, Gaynor decided to stay until she could return home safely – but instead permanently moved in with her childhood sweetheart and started a new life in Benidorm.
She explained: ‘I just thought it would be an extra couple of weeks and ride it out. But 12 weeks later, we had done a really strict lockdown but we had so much fun.
‘We had little date nights and sat on the balcony and just had the best time ever and it was like it was all those years ago.
‘I said: “I don’t want to go back” – I had nothing to go back for so I decided to stay in Spain and get my residency. It gave me the chance to re-evaluate my life, I felt like I fit in and somewhere that I wanted to be.
They had previously seen each other in Chester a few years after splitting up, but Gaynor had another boyfriend and was about to move to Derby to become a singer (both pictured)
The lovebirds have now been together for a year and say they ‘couldn’t be happier’, with Dean insisting that he never expected to meet anyone at this time of his life (pictured back in 80s)
‘I just picked up some stuff from the UK in November and then that was it.’
Gaynor revealed that Dean had kept all of the letters they sent each other from back in 1987 and they looked back at them together and ‘cried’ while reminiscing.
She continued: ‘We went through all our letters from 1987 when all we could do is write letters to each other and he kept them all.
‘I spent all night just crying reading these letters, it reminded me all about my life at the time, it was amazing. When you look back at them you realise it was really quite serious.’
Dean admitted that he always thought that one day they would ‘ride off into the sunset’ together and had tried to track Gaynor down on Facebook 10 years ago.
The lovebirds have now been together for a year and say they ‘couldn’t be happier’, with Dean insisting that he never expected to meet anyone at this time of his life.
Dean, from Broughton, Chester, said: ‘It really is amazing, she was the last person I was expecting to see and I was never expecting to meet anyone at my time of life.
Dean revealed he had been living and performing in Benidorm for years (pictured on stage)
‘I was fine on my own enjoying the sunshine. But even my mum has noticed a change in me since getting back with Gaynor, I frown less and I’m more relaxed. I couldn’t be happier.’
Gaynor added: ‘We sit out on the balcony and have the sea and the sun and it’s just so lovely.
‘There’s always going to be that cementing of it because of the old times and because we knew each other as young adults. We both fit into our little roles easily and it works really easy as a team.
‘We have both got the same brain, we’re both performers, we have a little sing and have a little dance and we have the spontaneity to keep the excitement going. It was amazing for us, it was really easy and really good.
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