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Gemma and Ben

Guildford, Surrey

Ben: “I was persuaded to try eHarmony by a friend who asked me, ‘What’s the worst that can happen?’ I suppose I grudgingly agreed, pretending I wasn't in need of a date. I never felt I’d struggled to find a girlfriend, but I had never found the right person. I had been online for one week when I considered leaving the site - I just felt as though it wasn't for me. I vividly remember sitting at my desk, about to cancel my subscription and leave work when Gemma's profile came through. I remember being immediately drawn to her profile and thinking how attractive she looked.

I sent her a message straight away and in the first day alone we exchanged seven emails each. There was clearly something there. Our first date was in Guildford the night before I was running a half marathon. I thought I would have only a couple of drinks but we were out all night and had our first kiss at the station at midnight before I got the last train back to London. We had our second date in Richmond Park and I met her mum on the third date, albeit by default thanks to naughty Monty the dog who we’d taken for a walk!

I never thought it was possible to have so much in common with someone, and to have someone who regularly comes out with the exact thought I have just had. I have had the most enjoyable and amazing 18 months and am madly in love with my fiancée. We got engaged in Bratislava in August in the evening sunshine, and we get married next May. eHarmony, as we joke a fair bit, was the best £40 we’ve ever spent. Everyone should give it a go!”

Gemma: “Ben and I both joined eHamony due to persuasive friends trying to get us on the dating scene again. Truth be told neither of us liked to admit we were online dating. It still seemed to have a stigma for us, but now we will happily tell everyone our story. I had been single for six months following a very difficult year. As well as splitting from a five-year relationship I had been diagnosed with bowel cancer and consequently had to leave my job and flat. All of this was a horrendous shock as I was a healthy, fit, outdoorsy 27 year old and my life totally turned upside down.

Following surgery and chemotherapy my life began to resume normality and I moved into my own home with a friend, Sophie. She persuaded me to join eHarmony as she was using the site and was having fun meeting new people. So after much persuasion I joined and that's when all my bad luck started to turn around. On my third or fourth day of being a member I was sent an icebreaker by Ben. We instantly hit it off and started emailing. By the following day we had exchanged phone numbers and started to chat on the phone. By the next weekend I had my first eHarmony date! First time lucky or what? Ben and I had a great first date, having supper and drinks in Guildford. I didn't want the night to end. Fortunately it was only a few days to wait before we met again and we have only had one weekend apart since! 

One month into our relationship I suddenly became very ill again, was in hospital for several days and then at home recovering for a couple of months. It was touch and go for a while and alongside my lovely family, Ben was right there. It was pretty intense stuff to deal with for such a new relationship but Ben didn't shy away from the serious situation and was right there by my side. I think that says it all about him. He is such a caring strong man and has shown me such love and support.

As I write this I am sitting on the sofa beside my fiancée. I’m flicking through Brides magazine while he looks at the honeymoon guide I casually left lying on the sofa. The grins on our faces say it all, we are blissfully happy.”

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