Online dating or written in the stars?
There might be millions of people online dating, but – whether it’s through a chance click or passing like – sometimes it’s just meant to be
‘My likes turned to love on Instagram’
Andrew, 34, and Nicole, 36
I was looking for ideas on Instagram for a fancy-dress party themed around Halo, a video game, when I came across a screengrab of the game that Nicole had posted, which I liked. She then liked one of my pictures and we started chatting via each other’s posts – this was before Instagram had direct messaging. I ended up giving her my email address. At the time she was engaged to someone else, but we really hit it off. Both of us were recovering from operations and ended up talking for an entire week.
Andrew, 34, and Nicole, 36. ‘I didn’t have a ring – when I saw her, I just knew I wanted to spend the rest of my life with her’
After six months (and following the end of Nicole’s relationship), I flew to the US, where she lived. We met in Washington DC and had a two-week holiday. When I got back to my home in London, we decided we wanted to give a long-distance relationship a try. Six months later, I booked another trip to the US to help Nicole move to New York. As soon as I got there I asked her to marry me. I didn’t have a ring – when I saw her, I just knew I wanted to spend the rest of my life with her. We got married the day we arrived in New York with our Airbnb host and a photographer I found on Instagram as our witnesses.
‘It all began with an Ed Sheeran TikTok’
Dan, 27, and Sarah, 28
I was scrolling through TikTok when the app suggested I click on Sarah’s account. I thought her videos were really funny, especially one where she lip-synched to Ed Sheeran’s ‘Shape of You’. On TikTok, you can duet with people’s videos, which I decided to do. It meant both our videos appeared side by side on screen and as the initial poster, she would have been notified that I had done a duet with her.
Dan, 27, and Sarah, 28. ‘I tried not to flirt because I wanted to make her feel comfortable, but as the day went on, it became clear we weren’t just friends so I made a move’
I liked her straight away – her posts showed her lively personality – so when Sarah followed me back, I messaged her asking where she was from and she replied that she lived in Boston in the US. That didn’t put me off but she was just getting out of a relationship, so we started talking as friends.
After a couple of weeks, Sarah booked a flight to see me in the UK. I thought she was visiting as a friend, so when I picked her up from the airport, I gave her a friendly hug and we went sightseeing around Windsor Castle. I tried not to flirt because I wanted to make her feel comfortable, but as the day went on, it became clear we weren’t just friends so I made a move.
I proposed to Sarah on Castle Island in Boston after six months of dating and we married in Las Vegas two months later. Our first dance was, of course, to an Ed Sheeran song.
‘Bumble matched us just as he was getting on a plane’
Leah, 30, and Mark, 30
I live in Canada and was in London for a work event when a friend joked I should try the dating app Bumble. Mark was one of my first matches. He lived in Bedfordshire and was on his way to Heathrow when he passed my hotel – that’s how we matched. He was off to France and I was in London for less than a week so there wasn’t time to meet and I ended up giving him my number. I didn’t think I’d hear from him once I was back in Canada, but he messaged me and we started talking – we really clicked.
Leah, 30, and Mark, 30. ‘After nine months of dating, I decided to move to the UK. We had only met in person five times. My parents thought it was wild’
Our first face-to-face meeting was when my company sent me back to London and I landed in the UK exactly 100 days after we matched. I used to teach English in South Korea and 100 days is really meaningful there so it felt very serendipitous. We went for a pizza and it was as if we had known each other our whole lives. When you have a connection that isn’t physical but online, you can be true to yourself and really get to know each other.
After nine months of dating, I decided to move to the UK. We had only met in person five times. My parents thought it was wild but they also said: ‘If you want to see where this relationship is going, then do it.’ So I moved to England three years ago. He proposed in Budapest that December and we’ll be celebrating our second wedding anniversary this year.
‘He was the best catch on Plenty of Fish’
Christine, 67, and Frank, 61
It’s difficult to find places to meet people as you get older, especially if you don’t go out much in the evening. That’s why my daughters suggested I should try the dating website Plenty of Fish.
Christine, 67, and Frank, 61. ‘I thought he was attractive, so I messaged him and, after a week or two, we met up and took his dog for a walk. We soon realised we had lots in common’
I went on a few dates without any luck before I came across Frank’s profile. I thought he was attractive, so I messaged him and, after a week or two, we met up and took his dog for a walk. We soon realised we had lots in common. He was interested in computers and I had worked in IT for years, we are both big coffee drinkers, love to play Scrabble and share a huge appreciation of music – Frank plays the guitar, bass, keyboards and drums.
A few weeks later, I was at his house and he was messing around with the music equipment in his studio when I had a go at singing – I’ve always liked to sing, but mainly in the shower or car – and that’s when we started making our own music. The first song we released was called ‘Online’ and tells the story of how we met. Our friends said we sounded good so we continued to write more songs. Since then, we’ve released nine songs on Spotify under our artist name DognDust. My daughters even threw us a launch party to celebrate.
‘We met at school – but fell in love on Facebook’
Joanne and Jon, both 40
Jon and I knew each other from school in Clacton-on-Sea, Essex – we first met 25 years ago. Then, in 2010, when he was working in Canada, he looked me up on Facebook and we reconnected. I’d just ended a relationship, so I wasn’t looking for love, but then we started messaging more frequently and we developed romantic feelings. I wouldn’t usually fall for someone that quickly, but our relationship felt right from the start. Maybe it’s because we had got to know each other so well initially, but Jon has always been an open book – he says what’s on his mind and I felt I could trust him.
After about seven weeks of talking, Jon had to decide whether he wanted to stay in Canada or transfer back to England. He chose the UK, and we went on a date soon after he’d returned. My dogs are a big part of my life, so we went out for a dog walk then for a meal at Burger King. One of my dogs, Kayla, wasn’t usually interested in other people, but she went straight up to Jon, curled up on his lap and went to sleep. It was a great sign.
We got engaged after four months together. I’d love to say that it was the most romantic gesture in the world, but it wasn’t. We were on the promenade in Clacton, talking about where the relationship was going, when Jon just said: ‘I want to spend my life with you. Shall we get engaged?’ We opted for a quiet wedding in Fiji and had a beautiful sunset ceremony on the beach, then arranged a more traditional reception with friends and family in the UK – we even managed to include our dogs.