Waiting 40 years for one true love

The two reunited in 2017, and felt a spark a right away. (Source: Family photo)
The two reunited in 2017, and felt a spark a right away. (Source: Family photo)
Singleton popped the question to his "one who got away" on Easter Sunday this year. (Source: WOOD-TV)
Singleton popped the question to his "one who got away" on Easter Sunday this year. (Source: WOOD-TV)

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - Could you imagine waiting for your one true love for forty years?

One Grand Rapids, Michigan man did that for his lover who lives in Louisville.

Robert Singleton and Margaret Buntin are 370 miles apart, but their love is strong. It's the kind of love that makes you blush, something that makes you want to clutch your phone tight, in case the other calls.

It's also very traditional in a sense. They send hand written letters and read poems out loud over the phone. Margaret also sprays all her letters to Robert with perfume so he can have her scent.

"Donna Karan Cashmere Mist!" Buntin said with a chuckle. She added the scent never gets discontinued.

Singleton and Buntin met in high school. However, their story is not a high school sweetheart story.

"The distance between us -- he lived in Grand Rapids, Michigan and me in Danville," Buntin said, describing their friendship from 1975. "We were just friends and we went our separate ways and life happened."

Buntin explained Robert was the first cousin of her best friend Janet. He came to visit once in a while, but Buntin, who had a boyfriend at the time, wasn't interested. She said she was friendly but thought nothing of it.

Robert's family was originally from Danville but he grew up in Grand Rapids. As he came to visit Kentucky over the years, he and Buntin grew their friendship. Buntin said she gave him two photos of her. After their lives started to diverge, she got married and had five children. Singleton got married as well.

Time passed, and it wasn't until 40 years after their first meeting in 1975 that a Grand Rapids-Louisville connection was made.

"A high school acquaintance that I met in 1975 named Robert Singleton came back into my life," Buntin said. She explained Singleton had been taking care of his sick mother for a while. In 2017, she passed away and the Singletons encouraged him to take a break and make a trip back home to Danville to relax.

Singleton's cousin, Janet, having heard of Singleton's plans to visit, let Buntin know her cousin would be coming into town. Buntin made the trip to Danville to reunite with her friend who she hadn't seen for 40 years.

Little did she know, she had been the one that got away for Singleton this whole time.

"When I hugged her, I whispered in her ear, 'I'm not going to let her get away this time,'" Singleton said over video conference call on Monday.

By this time, Buntin's husband had passed away and Singleton had long been separated from his ex-wife. They didn't know all this going in, but they both said they felt a spark when they hugged for the first time in 40 years.

From that point on, they kept in touch via phone. They called each other to talk every day. Eventually, Singleton, who was scared he'd lose his Margaret Rose, jumped into action once they got to know each other a bit more.

Turns out, the two photos that Buntin gave him 40 years ago? He still had them.

Singleton proposed to Buntin on Easter Sunday in front of his family in Grand Rapids. She said yes. They will be getting married in November, which seems like a long time to wait in a long-distance relationship.

"When you compare that to 40 years? This right here is nothing," Singleton said.

"I've told him he's not human and that he's an angel," Buntin said. "I know he's on special assignment for me. Because no man's ever made me feel the way Robert does and I can't wait to spend the rest of my life with him."

Both of them are counting down the days until Nov. 10, 2018.

Buntin has her dress picked out and said the color theme for their wedding will be navy and burnt orange. Navy is her favorite color and Singleton made sure her engagement ring had some of that color in it as well.

After their wedding, Singleton plans to move to Louisville so the couple can start their life together.

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