IF YOU were ever cynical about online dating sites, the story of Tamworth couple Katie and Ryan Moore should make you reconsider.
They met through one of the sites a few years ago and have been happily married for about 18 months.
Proof Cupid does indeed have an internet account and that more of us are seeking partners with the help of a keyboard rather than the low lighting of a nightclub.
A new report has shown almost 20 per cent of Australians who have used online dating have married or entered a defacto relationship as a result.
For Katie, 28, the decision to go online three years ago was a practical one.
She was a single mum in Tamworth who didn’t have a lot of time, or desire, to go on a lot of dates with men she didn’t know anything about.
In regional areas, too, she said, the opportunities to meet new people were more limited than in the city.
“So, I thought I’d give online dating a go,” she said.
“It was becoming more popular at that time, so I jumped on board.
“(My son) was getting older and I thought it was time I started thinking about me.”
She signed up to a dating site, which considered her profile and matched it to ones from eligible males.
The profiles came in in the next few months, but none interested Katie enough to email them back, until Ryan Moore’s popped onto her screen.
They emailed back and forth and then swapped numbers, meeting a week later.
Within a few weeks Ryan, 38, from Warialda, was spending more time in Tamworth and, within three months, he proposed.
“We shocked everyone,” Katie laughed.
Ryan also had three children from a previous relationship, but neither had ever been married.
“I’d told everyone I was never getting married and never having any more children, so everyone was pretty surprised,” Katie said.
Katie failed spectacularly – but very happily – on both those counts, walking down the aisle with Ryan within 12 months of their first meeting, and welcoming baby Poppy soon after.
They are now preparing for the birth of their second child in October, another sibling for Katie’s son, Cruz, now six.
Katie said online dating made sense for singles who were time-poor, tired of being set up by their friends and with no interest in the club and pub scene.
“It worked out perfectly for us – it was just all meant to happen,” she said.