A couple who live on separate continents have gotten engaged despite only having met in person twice.
Luke Bond, 22, from New Zealand, and Sarah Dorough, 21, from Virginia in the US, announced their engagement in December after dating for a year.
The loved-up couple met online a year before and FaceTimed every day before finally meeting in person in July 2022 when Bond travelled for 32 hours from New Zealand to Dorough’s home in Suffolk, Virginia.
Dorough then decided to visit Bond and his family over Christmas, which is when Bond proposed.
Bond and Dorough, who are both fitness instructors, are planning to get married next year and hope to move in together one day.
“Our relationship is exciting and adventurous. It is just all-round fun, loving and caring”, says Dorough.
“The biggest thing is trusting each other, especially when you’re far away from each other, there is always going to be little thought that can pop into each other’s head.
“Luke and I never have any concerns about what the other person is doing as we have that bond and trust.”
The couple met in December 2021 on Instagram after forming a connection over their mutual interest in health and fitness.
“He was asking me some questions about fitness as he is also doing personal training”, says Dorough.
“The next time he reached out I felt like I kind of knew him, which made me a little more comfortable but also he was asking about my faith and Christianity.
“He was more genuine and asking about bible verses and stuff like that.”
The pair finally met in July after doing long-distance dating for a few months. Bond flew to the US to see Dorough and officially asked her to be his girlfriend.
She said: “We would talk around two times every day and talk for a long time and making it work with the time zones is hard.
“We were already invested in each other from the call, so from there that’s when we were like if we are going to move forward and have a relationship we need to meet in person as we don’t want to be online together.
“When I first met Luke in person it almost felt like a dream.
“To this day that moment still blows my mind.’
The couple seriously considered the big distance between them but couldn’t ignore their feelings for each other.
Dorough flew to Wellington last year to spend the Christmas holidays with the Bond family, who decided to take her on a camping trip in Lake Taupō.
It was there that Bond popped the question after taking Dorough to a “special spot” on a kayak ride.
“It was super exciting, this was something we had to work out - whether we do want to spend our lives together - we did figure that out because we don’t want to keep travelling back and forth’, says Dorough.
“I knew it was coming but I wasn’t exactly sure the day, it was really amazing - such a special moment.”
Dorough said her family were not surprised by the engagement, in fact, they had been expecting Bond to get down on one knee.
She said: “I think everyone knew, ever since he was coming all the way from the other side of the world to see me - most people knew it was coming.”
Confirming the engagement on her Instagram account, where she has more than 100,000 followers, Dorough wrote: “Found my forever best friend.”
The next time the couple will meet is in April. Bond is planning a trip to America to visit Dorough and her family.
Dorough said their relationship works because they trust each other and communicate well with each other. However, she admits it can be hard.
“We really struggle but we also have a few things that we do to make the long-distance better, like having proper communication, prioritising our calls and having trust in each other - we really trust each other.
“Communication is important, making sure that you really understand and talk through what you’re going through because you are not there with the person a lot of times so you’re going day to day about what is going on and walking each other through those steps.”