A WOMAN has married her childhood sweetheart – 12 years after they met in a hotel lobby aged just 14 while on holiday with their families.

Monica and Tom Millington met when they were on a family holiday in Mexico in 2005 when they were both in their teens.

The pair, both now aged 33, bumped into each other in the lobby of their Playa Del Carmen hotel, where Monica ‘thought he was cute’ and went over to him in the pool later on.

American Monica said she fancied Tom, originally from Stockton Heath, as soon as she heard his British accent and they hit it off – with romance blossoming during their week-long holiday.

On the last day of the trip, they swapped numbers and stayed in contact.

Life moved on for the pair and they started dating other people. In June 2014, Monica got married, before getting divorced two years later.

On her 26th birthday in 2016 – 11 years after they last saw each other – Tom who was going through a separation reached out to Monica.

They FaceTimed each other for four hours and Tom, a trader by trade, told her he had ‘always loved her’.

Monica was living in Dallas, Texas, and Tom in Singapore, but the pair met in London on New Year's Eve in 2016 and spent seven hours in a pub planning their life together.

In April 2017, Monica flew out to Singapore to spend a week with Tom and ended up staying for a month. On the last night before Monica had to travel back to Texas, Tom proposed.

Now the pair are happily married and welcomed their one-year-old son, Cruz, in January 2023.

Monica, a clothing designer now living in Singapore, said: "I can't believe that the 14-year-old boy I met on holiday in Mexico is now my husband.

"It still blows me away. I have so much gratitude. I am so lucky that this gets to be my story.

Monica and Tom Millington are now married after meeting in Mexico as teens on separate holidays. Picture: SWNS

Monica and Tom Millington are now married after meeting in Mexico as teens on separate holidays. Picture: SWNS

"I picked really well when I was 14, and I think because I picked such an amazing man nobody else measured up.

"I did have love for my ex-husband, but now meeting my current husband I know what love is supposed to feel like, and I felt that at 14."

Tom explained: "I was immediately hooked from 14 years old when she swans over to introduce herself with that Texan drawl.

"At the time, little did she know I had been trying to catch her eye since the moment I saw her on day one, however no way was I going to have that confidence.

"Although we lived on separate continents and life took its natural course, the power of the connection once made never faded. Frankly, over the years it instinctively grew.

"There was always a dream we would find each other again. She has and always will be the love of my life and my best friend."

Recalling the moment she swam over to Tom and tapped him on the shoulder, Monica continued: "I was young and looking for a boyfriend for the summer holidays and there was this really cute guy in the hotel lobby.

"I saw him at the pool, swam up to him and said it was nice to meet him. He came out with a British accent, and I had never heard a British accent before.

"It was a pure holiday romance where we would kiss and hold hands."

On her 26th birthday, Monica received a message from Tom wishing her a happy birthday – after 11 years without speaking properly.

She said: "We were 15 minutes into our FaceTime conversation and he said he was in love with me and he never fell out of love with me and I said I felt the same.

"As soon as I saw his face it felt familiar. The conversation felt like I was speaking to my best friend – it wasn't weird at all.

"We FaceTimed for four hours. It was really wild. It feels like I had been connected to him my whole life, even though I hadn't seen him in 11 years."

Monica and Tom Millington are now married after meeting in Mexico as teens on separate holidays. Picture: SWNS

Monica and Tom Millington are now married after meeting in Mexico as teens on separate holidays. Picture: SWNS

Monica was in London with her sister for New Year's Eve in 2016 when, by chance, Tom was also in the city, and the pair agreed to meet for a drink.

Monica explained: "We said we would see each other for lunch to see if we had a real connection and it wasn't just this exciting thing over FaceTime.

"I went off for lunch with Tom at noon and the lunch lasted seven hours. We had so many important topics to cover, like what do we want to do with our life.

"As we were leaving, he got up and kissed me and that was my moment – that sealed the deal."

Four months later, Monica went on a three-week solo trip around Asia, meeting Tom while he worked in Hong Kong.

The day before Monica had to fly back to the USA, they were having dinner in a bar when Tom said he wasn't worried about her leaving as he would marry her one day.

Monica continued: "He asked when we were getting married and I said I didn't know and he said he wanted to do it as soon as possible.

"I asked him if that meant we were engaged and he said 'yes, we're engaged'.

"We called his parents and told them, and although they hadn't seen me since Mexico 2005, they were absolutely thrilled.

"I told my parents and they asked if this was a rebound or a real thing. They were cautiously optimistic. As soon as I met him again, they fell in love with him."

Monica and Tom wed in Singapore on October 28, 2017, and in May 2022, Monica fell pregnant with her first child and gave birth to Cruz Millington, aged one, in January 2023.

Monica added: "I am very fortunate that this is our story – we are so lucky."