Summer is almost over, but you might be hoping it will never end after enjoying the glow of new love from a holiday romance.
Apparently, 40% of us have had one, but not all of the flings end when the suitcases are put away.
For these couples, Summer Lovin’ happened so fast – like Danny and Sandy from the musical Grease – but then also lasted. Here we tell you more, tell you more…
Dave and Wafaa
Posing for wedding photos with her husband Dave, Wafaa Powell grins from ear to ear. But just three weeks earlier they had not even met.
It wasn’t a case of love at first sight. Wafaa first met Dave while visiting her brother Foad in Johannesburg, South Africa, in July 1996.
“Dave was nice looking, I liked him, but I didn’t feel like I was going to faint when I saw him or anything like that,” says Wafaa, 61, laughing.
“However, he came round to visit and we would talk. I thought Dave was kind and gentle.”
Now 63, Dave was best friends with Foad, and he and Wafaa, originally from Lebanon, soon realised they too had a powerful connection. And just two weeks after being introduced, smitten Dave proposed.
The traditional couple had not even kissed or been on a proper date at that point. Yet their snap decision has led to a 26-year marriage.
“I started laughing because I didn’t expect it,” recalls Wafaa, who lives in Trowbridge, Wilts, and runs her own belly dancing and Lebanese cooking company Dancing Flavours.
“I’m one of those people who jumps in first.”
Dave’s friendship with Foad helped – especially when Wafaa told her family about their plans to marry that August 3.
“I trusted my brother’s judgement. I also trusted my own instincts,” she adds. “My family was initially surprised, but supportive of my decision because he was friends with Foad. Our wedding day was quite small but it was stunning, an amazing day.”
In 2000 the couple – who have two children, Forest, 24, and Gareth, 22 – moved to the UK permanently. Last year, the couple celebrated their 25th wedding anniversary
“I never expected I’d go on holiday and meet a husband,” says Wafaa. “I always thought I’d spend my whole life in Lebanon, but life can have other plans for you. I love being married to Dave. We are a strong unit, and our love has grown.”
Jennifer and Brian
As she roller-skated along the beach promenade, Jennifer Post was suddenly stopped in her tracks by a handsome man. He put his hands on her hips, and flirtily said: “I thought you were out of control.”
“I just smiled and said, ‘I’m OK thanks’, then skated off,” recalls Jennifer, 47, of the moment she met her now-husband Brian Green in Stalis, Crete, in September 2005.
“I didn’t think anything of it, but two days later, I was sunbathing on a packed beach when I saw Brian again.
“There was a free lounger next to me and he asked if he could sit there. We then started to talk, and hit it off right away. I felt a real connection.”
They quickly fell for each other and went back to Stalis a year later where Brian, now 59, proposed. They are celebrating their 15th wedding anniversary next month.
Jennifer, a chiropodist, had been on holiday on the Greek island with her parents, while engineer Brian was there with a friend.
For the last few days of their trips Jennifer and Brian were inseparable, meeting up for walks on the beach and drinks in an Irish bar.
The night before Brian flew back to the UK, the pair talked into the early hours and he gave Jennifer his mobile number.
Jennifer says the goodbye was very hard, and she feared she would never see Brian again – especially as she lived near Düsseldorf and he was based in Stockton, Teesside.
Yet she had a gut feeling it was more than a classic holiday romance. “I had been single for about a year, but I hadn’t been looking for love,” says Jennifer. “However, I felt something special with Brian I had never felt with another man. I cried my eyes out when he went home.”
A few days after she was back in Germany, Jennifer called Brian. She says: “We started talking online every day.”
Two months after Crete, Jennifer invited Brian for a long weekend in Germany. Then, in July 2006 she moved to the UK to live with Brian. “My mum warmed to Brian straight away,” she recalls. “My dad, cautious at first, loves him now.
“Brian and I went back to Stalis in September that year. We went for a lovely meal, then Brian proposed at the location of our first meeting, on the year’s anniversary of it.”
In September 2007, they wed on a beach in Jamaica. “I think fate brought Brian and I together,” says Jennifer.
“What are the chances that out of all the loungers on that busy beach, the one next to me would be free? We have a fantastic relationship and are best friends.”
Kayleigh and Sinan
Kayleigh Hisim has the ultimate souvenir from her first holiday in Turkey – her beloved husband.
She was a single drama student when she went to Marmaris in her late teens.
But when handsome local Sinan asked her out on a date, her single days were soon to be over – for good.
“By the end of that evening, we’d fallen in love,” says Kayleigh.
“It was crazy. We lived in different countries, came from different cultures, and I was leaving in a week. But we both felt there was something special between us, more than just a summer romance. Sinan was handsome and charming, but also sincere and kind.”
They spent every moment of the next week together, then promised to stay in touch.
That’s where such stories normally end – but not so, with Kayleigh, now 31, and Sinan, 43. Over the next couple of years, they chatted by webcam every night, and met up in Turkey every couple of months.
“Some friends and family thought I was crazy.
“They told me I should move on and that Sinan was probably seeing other girls and using me to get a visa,” says Kayleigh.
“He got the same from people he knew. Neither of us paid attention though, we knew what we had was real.”
Three years after they first met, Kayleigh moved to Turkey and, the following year, she and Sinan tied the knot in Marmaris, with a ceremony on a boat, attended by family.
“By then everyone had accepted our relationship was forever and were really happy for us,” says Kayleigh. “It was an amazing day.”
After becoming pregnant, the couple moved near to Kayleigh’s family in Southampton where they now run a greetings card business.
They’ve been married 11 years and are doting parents to sons Arif, 10, and Yusuf, five.
“It was a huge move for Sinan, but he did it for me. He had to get used to British weather!” laughs Kayleigh.
She added: “We’ve proved our doubters wrong, our holiday romance turned into forever.”