HIGHFILL, Ark. (KNWA) — High school sweethearts, apart for 30 years, meet again.
The pair embraced when they saw each other for the first time in 35 years at XNA.
They said after trial and error over the years, they’ve realized they are and always have been — the perfect pair.
Rosa Sandoval and Bobby Painter met at a birthday party in their teens.
Robert was my first Valentine 35 years ago.ROSA SANDOVAL, REUNITED WITH HIGH SCHOOL SWEETHEART
But after a couple of years, the high school sweethearts broke up.
I still kept hanging around and hoping and praying she’d change her mind.BOBBY PAINTER, REUNITED WITH HIGH SCHOOL SWEETHEART
Bobby joined the army straight out of high school.
“He was stationed in Germany,” Rosa said. “He came home on leave one week and we went out to dinner.”
“That was the last time I held her, touched her, and kissed her,” Bobby said.
In 1988, they had their last date.
“He kept trying to get ahold of me but I never got any messages,” Rosa said.
As time went on, Rosa ran into Bobby’s mom at a firework show and asked how Bobby was doing.
“She said he is doing really good, he just got married and they are waiting on their first baby so that was it, I never looked for him again,” Rosa said.
But their love story didn’t end there…
32 years later I get a friend request on Facebook from a Bobby Painter and I said that can’t be him, that guy looked really young.ROSA SANDOVAL, REUNITED WITH HIGH SCHOOL SWEETHEART
Bobby’s son, who is also named Bobby, added Rosa on Facebook.
“Of course I started snooping around and it turned out there was a picture of him and his dad,” Rosa said. “It was Robert.”
Once she put two and two together, she sent her old love a Facebook message.
“As soon as I got it, I kid to you not, within minutes I was responding,” Bobby said. “We’ve been talking ever since.”
A lot has happened in these last 30 years — they’ve both had kids, been married and divorced, but the feelings they had in their teens never really went away.
“It felt like home,” Rosa said. “I had to go through a lot of trial and error these last 30 years to appreciate who he was.”
It was almost like we just picked up where we left off.BOBBY PAINTER, REUNITED WITH HIGH SCHOOL SWEETHEART
Both Bobby and Rosa are from El Monte, California.
Rosa still lives there, but Bobby lives in Springdale.
They said they have big plans for Valentine’s Day weekend.