When Nichola met AndrewBy GREER MCDONALD
Nichola was on FindSomeone for about six weeks when she first started messaging Andrew.
Now the Wellington couple are planning their March nuptials.
"Our first date was the only one I had, apart from one when I first signed up about five years ago," says Nichola. "I wasn't that serious about it then - I didn't have a photo or anything and only went on one date with a guy who turned up in a polar fleece."
First tip? "Don't wear a polar fleece on a date!" she jokes.
Nichola and Andrew dated for one year and one month before he popped the question last year.
When she re-signed up to FindSomeone, Nichola figured she needed to be clearer about what she was after and only go out with those who matched.
I've had some really rubbish boyfriends and some really nice ones and I figured I'd rather be single than with someone for the sake of it, because I knew what kind of guy I was after and didn't want to compromise," she says.
"I messaged quite a few guys but none of them seemed any good - they all had really cheesy stuff on their profiles and just seemed to say what they thought you wanted to hear, rather than be honest about themselves."
"Andrew and I messaged for a couple of weeks before we met. The thing I liked about Andrew was he seemed really nice and normal and genuine - messaging him just seemed like emailing someone you'd known for ages - there was no weirdness or saying things just for the sake of it. I had a friend who signed up at the same time so it was actually kind of fun seeing who had messaged us each day and seeing who was new on the site. I did find it a bit disheartening that there didn't seem to be many guys in what I'd set for my search criteria, but I figured there was more chance than meeting someone in a bar."
Nichola says she gets really scared going on dates so was petrified before her first date with Andrew.
The taxi driver on the way was really nice and told me about how she's just gotten married to a guy she met on a blind date so that gave me some hope!
The first date went great though - they went to a bar for a drink and then had dinner.
"I got there first but he was actually waiting outside and I'd walked past him. When he came in I thought he looked slightly different from his photos (not in a bad way though) so that sort of threw me a bit because you build up an image of what they are going to be like. I think because we had messaged for ages, the conversation flowed really well and it didn't feel like we were trying to fill the silence or anything."
The couple are now engaged, planning their March 2012 nuptials and have just bought a house together.
Nichola says her biggest piece of advice for online daters is to be honest.
"If you like something weird then say it. I put down about how I was really into aviation, which one of my friends said not to because it might make me sound geeky but Andrew grew up around planes too so it actually worked out really well," she says.
"Don't put down you like something just because you think people will like you for it. Lots of guys on there seemed to say things just because it sounded good - literally weird stuff like they like walks on the beach, how often do you actually do that!?.
"Don't give your life story - I had one guy from Auckland message me literally every single thing that had happened to him, and it was all really depressing stuff."
Nichola also says not to get too disheartened if you don't find someone right away or if they don't turn out to be what you expected. "I think there's two ways to find someone - either be very specific about what you are after or make your search wider because your perfect partner might not be what you had in mind."
Success Stories > When Nichola met Andrew