Young love stands test of time

22:57, May 11 2014
Dave Emerins and Ashlee Tiweka
HAPPY TOGETHER: Dave Emerins and Ashlee Tiweka are engaged after a decade together.

High school romances are often short-lived, packed with drama and, sooner or later, nothing more than a memory.

However, childhood sweethearts Ashlee Tiweka and Dave Emerins are proof young love can endure beyond the superficial.

Ashlee and Dave met through mutual friends aged 14.

In the last 10 years, they say they've "grown up together". At Christmas, Dave proposed to Ashlee and she, of course, said yes.

Now 24 years old, the pair plan to marry next year.

"I think he definitely knew I would say yes," Ashlee says. "After all, I had been hinting at it for a while."

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The pair have been together a decade - a feat many adults struggle with. It's not all been smooth sailing but Ashlee says the secret to a good relationship is communication.

"I don't want to sounds cheesy but for us, being together is just the way it's supposed to be," she says. A lot has changed since high school. Dave is now a primary school teacher at Cotswold School and Ashlee is training to be an equine vet nurse.

They are living with Ashlee's parents in North Canterbury but had been living together for a while.

These days it takes some serious saving to get ahead financially.

Dave's proposal has also meant saving for an overseas wedding with just close family and friends.

"I was terrified he was going to do it somewhere public," Ashlee says.

"But in the end, it was the perfect way for me.

"He said he had a Christmas present for me, and as soon as be brought out the box, I knew."

The Press