Does Internet Dating Work?

Pauline and Damien from Melbourne fell in love on the web. Here, Pauline shares their story.

“I wasn't going to do internet dating ever again... but something made me buy a one month subscription to eHarmony. The rest, as they say, is history.

We physically met on Feb 06, 2009 after having been connected through eHarmony sometime in January The lead up to this for about two and a half to three weeks prior to us actually meeting, involved the questionnaire process, exchanging emails, chatting via Messenger and, eventually, talking on the phone.

Despite protestations from loving, caring friends on my part and, I suspect, a small posse of protectors lurking in the background, we decided to trust our instincts and threw conventionality and caution aside for our first date and met on our local beach to take a walk. I think I spent most of that day reverting to my inner teen and did the whole "ohmygodohmygod" routine until my four teenage girls eventually told me to "suck it up and just go and enjoy yourself"!!

We both arrived totally breathless with anticipation. Having talked for many hours and "feeling" like there was definitely a connection, we couldn't but hope that this would be "real" and be sustainable now that we were to meet face to face. It was.

To my surprise and utter delight, Damien obviously had far more oxygen to his brain prior to leaving home than I did and had taken the time to pack a small picnic... cheese, crackers, salmon, white wine and chocolate.... complete with picnic blanket, wine cooler and mosquito repellent!!! I couldn't stop smiling... and, actually, still haven't!

This was the beginning of the most amazing journey. Discovering we lived only six minutes away from each other, we saw each other almost daily. Finding so many things to know about each other and a compatibility beyond that of any of our hopes and dreams there was an amazing, deep sense of knowing that this was the person we had been waiting our whole lives to meet and decided to hold hands and take a leap of faith and fly together.

In keeping with this trust in the Universe, I put my house on the market and it sold at my top asking price in 24 hours with a 30-day settlement. My girls and I moved our belongings and packed the children's memories of their childhood home into their hearts and we started our new life together as a

For our six-month anniversary, we took a holiday together just outside of Apollo Bay, Victoria. The morning of our anniversary, my beautiful Damien suggested we go for a walk on the beach to take some photos of rock formations for some artwork we were creating. We were wandering along doing exactly that, when I looked down at a rock pool to see a wax sealed, clear glass bottle with a message inside. Completely naïve, I was so excited thinking I might have a pen-pal from somewhere exotic and so on Damien's encouragement, shakily, I opened it. Still with absolutely no idea, I inscrolled the message to find it addressed to me and was totally heartstoppingly, overwhelmed to find his proposal.

At 41 years of age and despite having been married once before, this was my only proposal of marriage and... I'm sorry girls, but I win!! Nothing could have been more perfect or more meaningful to me and that message- in- a- bottle is now one of my most treasured possessions.

We were married four and a half months later on New Year's Eve, 2009 in blistering heat at Williamstown right next to the beach. Our five beautiful daughters who have taken a leap of faith even bigger than ours and trusted us in our journey together, were our attendants and we were married in a Circle of our dearest friends and family by the most beautiful Celebrant we could ever have wished for. Not only was New Year's Eve, 2009 a full moon, it was also a "Blue Moon". It is said that once in a Blue Moon miracles happen. Ours did.

We recently celebrated our one year anniversary and both have a deep, quiet and still sense that we have come home and our happiness is obvious. It has been a phenomenal year. In my heart, I believe ours is a modern fairytale and while our story may not be an uncommon one in today's world of technology, it is one of our lives greatest surprises and richest blessings.”

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