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."

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