Online love case study: When you find each other on the net you know you're both looking for someone

Wayne Lee and Shelley McHenry, both 44 and from Southampton

Shelley "I turned to online dating because I had recently split from my husband, and found that all my friends had partners, and I couldn't afford to go to the pub every night. So when a friend encouraged me to set up a profile on wave 105 I agreed. I did have a few odd experiences and it got to the point where I was thinking, is this worth it? But as I wasn't even sure if I wanted to meet anyone, this seemed like a good way to do it, I could chat to people before wasting time and money going to meet them. I spoke to some really nice people, but also some not so nice people.

On one date, after the first twenty minutes I wanted to escape. He was so arrogant and he wasn't interested in what anyone else had to say, which was annoying because he didn't seem like that on his profile. Another guy I met was very nice, but not my type, his picture was good but he was about 5 stone heavier than what he had told me. I'm quite small and I don't really like big men so it wouldn't have worked.

I think I went on wave because of boredom more than anything else, I'm quite a chatty person and I like chatting, but I'm so glad I met Wayne. He is just so different to those I met offline, completely the opposite of my last husband, I think that's what drew me to his profile. He was so honest about what he did and didn't want. That's how he is; the only thing you'll get from Wayne is honesty. I probably wasn't quite so direct because I was still testing the water. There are disadvantages; yeah people might not be who they say they are, but there's a good safety net because you have the power to cut off communication straight away."

Wayne "My daughter actually set my profile up. She was 14 at the time and had my age as ten years younger than I was so I had to change it a bit. But I was able to use the profile that she had created as a sort of excuse to get going.

In a year, I had about 20 dates, but found that internet dating was plagued with untruths, silly little things like weight, the size of people, and whether they smoked. Everyone said they were a non-smoker. So as a smoker I would sit politely, and then when I went for one, they would ask to join me. I just thought; we could have a far better time if you were honest!

I thought about giving up, but my brother suggested wave 105. I decided to put on there what I had learned that I wanted; slim, brunette, with kids, not a cleaner or a chef, but a woman, someone with a car and a job. The direct approach attracted about 200 replies. Shelley had winked, sent me a quick message and 'favourite-d' me, so she caught my eye. I sent a message saying call me and here's my number. We met up and gelled from the start, it was amazing. I feel like she was put on this earth for me to find her, I've been looking for her 40 years.

When you find each other on the net you know you're both looking for someone. You're both in the same boat, so it makes the first conversation easier, there's something to relate to, but if you meet someone at work then you don't know anything about them. The biggest thing is you could end up meeting the person of your dreams, they could be in a different town or country, just going down the pub isn't going to lead you to that person."

Suggested Topics
News
One father who couldn't get One Direction tickets for his daughters phoned in a fake bomb threat and served eight months in a federal prison
people... (and one very unlucky giraffe)
Arts and Entertainment
Joel Edgerton, John Turturro and Christian Bale in Exodus: Gods and Kings
film
Arts and Entertainment
Brendan O'Carroll as Agnes Brown in the 2014 Mrs Brown's Boys Christmas special
tvCould Mrs Brown's Boys have taken lead for second year?
News
Members and supporters of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender (LGBT) community walk with a rainbow flag during a rally in July
news
PROMOTED VIDEO
Life and Style
ebookNow available in paperback
ebooks
ebookPart of The Independent’s new eBook series The Great Composers
News
i100
Sport
Alexis Sanchez missed a penalty before scoring the opening goal with a header at the back post
footballLive! Sanchez makes up for penalty miss to put Arsenal ahead
Arts and Entertainment
Amy Adams and Christoph Waltz in Tim Burton's Big Eyes
film reviewThis is Tim Burton’s most intimate and subtle film for a decade
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Jack O'Connell stars as Louis Zamperini in Angelina Jolie's Unbroken
film review... even if Jack O'Connell is excellent
Arts and Entertainment
Madonna is not in Twitter's good books after describing her album leak as 'artistic rape and terrorism'
music14 more 'Rebel Heart' tracks leaked including Pharrell Williams collaboration
Sport
football
Arts and Entertainment
Wolf (Nathan McMullen), Ian (Dan Starky), The Doctor (Peter Capaldi), Clara (Jenna Coleman), Santa Claus (Nick Frost) in the Doctor Who Christmas Special (BBC/Photographer: David Venni)
tvOur review of the Doctor Who Christmas Special
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs General

    Ashdown Group: Senior Marketing Executive- City of London, Old Street

    £40000 - £43000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: Senior Marketing Executiv...

    Ashdown Group: Marketing Manager

    £40000 - £43000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: An international organisa...

    Ashdown Group: Internal Recruiter -Rugby, Warwickshire

    £25000 - £30000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Internal Recruiter -Rugby, Warwicksh...

    Ashdown Group: Marketing Manager/Marketing Controller (Financial Services)

    £70000 - £75000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: Marketing Manager/Marketi...

    Day In a Page

    A Christmas without hope: Fears grow in Gaza that the conflict with Israel will soon reignite

    Christmas without hope

    Gaza fears grow that conflict with Israel will soon reignite
    After 150 years, you can finally visit the grisliest museum in the country

    The 'Black Museum'

    After 150 years, you can finally visit Britain's grisliest museum
    No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

    No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

    Doctor Who Christmas Special TV review
    Chilly Christmas: Swimmers take festive dip for charity

    Chilly Christmas

    Swimmers dive into freezing British waters for charity
    Veterans' hostel 'overwhelmed by kindness' for festive dinner

    Homeless Veterans appeal

    In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
    Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

    'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

    Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
    Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

    Ed Balls interview

    'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
    He's behind you, dude!

    US stars in UK panto

    From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
    Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

    Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

    What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
    Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

    Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

    Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect
    Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

    Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

    Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
    Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

    Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

    Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
    Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

    Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

    Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
    Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

    Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

    Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
    Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

    Autism-friendly theatre

    Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all