High School Sweethearts Honor Marriage Pact, Tie The Knot After 37 Years Of Friendship

"That's the kind of friendship we have. 'If you need something, I’m there for you.' It’s always been that way for us. We've always clicked."

It's not unusual for good friends to jokingly promise to marry one another if they're both single by a certain age. (Rachel and Phoebe made similar pacts with Ross and Joey, respectively, on an episode of Friends, in fact.) But for Kimberley Dean and Ron Palmer, longtime friends and former high school sweethearts, this possibility became reality when the two sealed the deal at their wedding last week.

"I've always loved her," Palmer, 54, told TODAY when talking about his new bride, 51. But, while the two met in high school and dated when Dean was a freshman and Palmer was a senior, the pair inevitably broke up to explore other opportunities.

"After high school, I wanted to go sow my oats. I thought at that young age, girls were a dime a dozen and I could get along with anybody — so we broke up," Palmer explain. "But we broke up on good terms. We remained friends."

The friends remained so close that, whenever one experienced a breakup, they'd call the other to commiserate -- that's when they came up with the idea. Dean had two children by then, but had recently divorced, while Palmer was divorced without kids.

"It was a complete joke," Dean told TODAY. "We were both single at the time and we were just both fed up with dating and all the craziness that goes with that."

"It was something along the lines, since she's 2-and-a-half years younger, 'Once you hit 50, if we're both single, maybe we should try this again,'" Palmer added.


Yet, while Dean and Palmer quickly forgot about the pact, they remained part of each other's lives, as usual. Palmer's been known to take Dean's children camping, and he was also on-hand when Dean needed someone to remove her son's deceased hamster from his cage.

"That's the kind of friendship we have. 'If you need something, I'm there for you.' It's always been that way for us," she said. "We've always clicked."

Dean and Palmer then decided to pursue a romantic relationship once more in 2016 — and this time it stuck. On June 1, Dean's son Konner walked her down the aisle during their garden ceremony as she married her best friend. Her daughter Kayla served as her maid of honor.

"The day was beautiful; the weather was gorgeous. We were surrounded by friends and family. It was overwhelmingly breathtaking and so full of happiness," Dean said. "We're like yin and yang. We kind of complete each other. We've always been there for each other. He's consoled me; I've consoled him. He's watched my kiddos grow up."

"We started out as friends, we fell in love and we parted as friends, but we still cared for each other," Palmer added. "I've always loved her because she's such an awesome friend."

It might've taken 37 years to reach the altar, but forevermore, Dean and Palmer now get to continue their friendship as husband and wife.

Cover image via  Lars Christensen I Shutterstock



Subscribe to our newsletter and get the latest news and exclusive updates.