HUNDREDS of Irish couples are marrying after falling in love on the internet.
The country’s biggest online dating site, Anotherfriend.com, has reported more than 200 couples tying the knot after meeting at the click of a button.
It is now estimated that more than 500,000 Irish singletons have swapped the traditional methods of looking for love for online dating to find their perfect partner.
Irish mum Michelle Maslin wed her Australian husband Paul Maslin in April after meeting him online.
She said: “We met online five-and-a-half years ago. He turned up for the first date looking just like his photo on the website — a tall, dark, handsome Australian.
“Internet dating can really work for some people. We were lucky. Paul and I met on Anotherfriend.com in 2005.
“We had both been married before and both of us have children from our previous marriages.
“We are totally in love and we had a wonderful wedding day with our four beautiful children and our friends and family in April.”
The site, which has half a million members, said it has been the internet matchmaker behind over 200 marriages in the past 10 years.
There has been an explosion in the numbers of Irish people logging onto their computer to find the perfect date as the age-old dating hotspots such as the pub and the cinema are shunned in favour of 21st-century communication.
The 42-year-old mother-of-two said there was instant chemistry between her and her new husband when they met outside Trinity College in 2005 although she initially resisted his advances on the web.
“We both fancied each other from beginning so that first meeting in the flesh does really does tell you whether there is chemistry between you or not.
“Paul contacted me on Anotherfriend.com having seen my profile. He had gone on a few dates with other women from the site already but hadn’t found ‘the one’.
“He is Australian and had been living in Ireland for seven years at the time to be near his children, who live here too.
“I was a bit wary that he would one day want to return to Australia and I would lose him again.”
She said online dating has become commonplace in Irish life with all the taboos around the computer connections evaporating in recent years.
“For a while I didn’t tell anyone where we met. I suppose I was a bit embarrassed but there is no stigma now,” she added.
“People meet on Facebook and meet on dating sites all the time. Most of the people on the website seemed to be very genuine.
“We would never have met if we didn’t go online. We are very happy and enjoying married life.”
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