A loved-up couple is putting their love to the test by getting engaged despite living 8,697 miles apart and on different continents.
Luke Bond, 22, proposed to Sarah Dorough, 21, last month after just one year of dating.
The smitten pair met online in December 2021 and would FaceTime every day before finally meeting in July 2022 when Luke, from New Zealand, travelled for 32 hours to Sarah’s home in Suffolk, Virginia.
Sarah then decided to return the favor and flew to see Luke’s family for Christmas, where he popped the question.
The couple, who are both fitness instructors, are now set to wed next year and have plans of moving in together one day.
Luke Bond, 22, and Sarah Dorough, 21, got engaged last month after just one year of dating despite living 8,697 miles apart
The couple, who are both fitness instructors, are now set to wed next year and have plans of moving in together one day
Sarah said: ‘Our relationship is exciting and adventurous. It is just all-round fun, loving and caring.
‘I love that he is funny and kind, we have such strong communication and interest in each other.
‘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 pair met on Instagram in December 2021 after bonding over their mutual interest in fitness.
Sarah said: ‘He was asking me some questions about fitness as he is also doing personal training.
‘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.’
After going long-distance dating for a few months, the pair finally met in July when Luke flew over to the States to see Sarah and officially ask 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.
Luke got down on one knee after taking Sarah to a ‘special spot’ while on a kayak ride in Lake Taupō
Sarah said her family expected the pair to get into a relationship and get engaged – adding that they were not shocked
‘An experience I haven’t ever felt before, that first hug was something we had waited so long for, so you can only imagine how exciting that moment was when we ran up to each other and gave each other a hug.
‘To this day that moment still blows my mind.’
They both considered the 8,697 miles between them but couldn’t ignore how they felt about each other.
Later that year, Sarah flew out to Wellington, New Zealand, to spend Christmas with Luke and his family when the group went on a camping trip in Lake Taupo.
It was there that he got down on one knee after taking Sarah to a ‘special spot’ while on a kayak ride.
Sarah said: ‘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.
‘I knew it was coming but I wasn’t exactly sure the day, it was really amazing – such a special moment.’
Sarah said her family expected the pair to get into a relationship and get engaged – adding that they were not shocked.
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.’
The next time the pair will meet is in April when Luke is planning a trip to the US to see Sarah and her family once again
Sarah said her and Luke’s (pictured together) relationship works so well as they have trust in each other and communicate but it can be hard from time to time
Marking the occasion on her Instagram account, where she has more than 100,000 followers, Sarah wrote: ‘Found my forever best friend.
‘I always prayed for a relationship like this. One that is healthy, joyful, and strong. Forever thankful that I waited for the right guy because life is so much better with him in it.
‘The distance brings challenges, but we have grown so close through everything. We dated with a purpose both knowing what our intentions were, to spend a future together.
‘This engagement is a commitment to each other. No matter what gets thrown our way through the time apart, we are tied together. It’s gonna be a journey, but a journey worth the fight.’
Luke too shared his own post which read: ‘Saying goodbye to you never gets any easier. Even though I’m in my “sad boy” feels right now it doesn’t change the fact that I’m so thankful.
‘Thankful to God, You, and for our time together – yes our time has been short in the long scale of things yet it’s all I needed to realize that you’re the love of my life.
‘Can’t wait for the day when the distance, different time zones, and the bad reception FaceTimes will be no more.
‘See you soon fiance. (P.s I feel so cool calling you my fiancé).’
The next time the pair will meet is in April when Luke is planning a trip to the US to see Sarah and her family once again.
Sarah said her and Luke’s relationship works so well as they have trust in each other and communicate but it can be hard from time to time.
She said: ‘We really struggle but we also have a few things that we do to make the long-distance better, like having proper communication, prioritizing 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.’