Great Britain

As more couples start to have kids after meeting online, three lots of parents reveal all about their ‘e-baby’

HOW did your parents meet? At work? In a bar? Online?

By 2035, more people will meet their partners via the internet than in the real world, according to one prediction.

And experts reckon 2037 will be the year “e-babies” – kids born to people who met via a website or app – will outnumber those born to parents who met the old-fashioned way.

Here, three couples with their own e-babies tell Alley Einstein and Claire Dunwell how they met – and how they made their relationship last.

'It's all thanks to Facebook he found me again'

FERN MANN, 27, met husband James, 31, a branch manager for an electrical company, on Facebook after he commented on one of her profile pictures. Their son Lincoln was born in June.

The couple, who live in Rustington, West Sussex, began chatting in September 2015 and married in September this year.

Fern, a hair and beauty therapist, says: "I got a Facebook friend request from James one day, out of the blue.

"I recognised his name because three years earlier we had chatted on the ­dating app Plenty Of Fish. Back then I was too nervous to take it any further, so we lost touch.

"A few days after I accepted his request, I changed my profile photo. James commented and we got chatting about day-to-day stuff. Soon we were talking every day. My feelings for him slowly grew.

"We messaged for three months before he finally asked me out on a date.

"We went for ­dinner, followed by bowling and we just hit it off. At the end of the night, I couldn’t wait to see him again.

"But later that day I broke my phone and lost James’s number.

"The next day, I hit a tree while driving my car. I broke my femur, toes and elbow and had to go through nine hours of surgery.

"It was a week after the accident when I felt well enough to log into my Facebook account on my mum’s phone and message James to explain what had happened. He was shocked and when he asked if he could visit me, I said yes.


"Even though I spent months in a wheelchair and then on crutches, James didn’t lose interest. Most men would have run a mile. I knew he was The One.

"He proposed in June last year and we moved in together two months later. A month on, I discovered I was pregnant. We were both shocked but once the news had sunk in, neither of us could wait to be parents.

"I knew James would make a great dad. Having Lincoln at our wedding in September made the day extra-special.

"I love being a mum and it’s all thanks to Facebook that James found me again. I’m so glad he did."

James says: “I always wondered what happened to Fern after we stopped chatting on Plenty Of Fish. I thought about her over the years so I decided to find her again.

"I thought it would be tricky but thanks to Facebook, it was easy.

It was scary finding out she was ­pregnant with Lincoln, but it’s the best thing that could have happened to us.”

'He had been playing Tinder Roulette'

FORMER airline hostess Talisa Barber, 30, had given up on dating apps as they never led to anything serious. Then she met Raymond, 34, a car parts salesman, on Tinder.

The pair now live in Crawley, West Sussex, with their son Thomas, two.

Talisa says: "Both Raymond and I never expected to find love on ­Tinder, let alone marriage and kids.

"At the start of 2015 I had installed the dating app to give it a try, but just ended up with lots of unsolicited pictures and dates that ended badly. I deleted the app and focused on my job as an air hostess.

"Then a friend convinced me to give it one last shot so I reinstalled Tinder and started looking again. I saw Raymond’s profile, liked it and realised we’d matched so we started messaging.

"Before we met, we both created a Spotify playlist and swapped them – we figured if we liked each other’s music, then we should meet.

"I remember swapping music tapes in school with boyfriends and this was our online version.

"The day we met I was sick and had posted a picture of myself getting ready wearing pink. Raymond showed up with a huge bunch of pink flowers to prove he was attentive and had seen my picture.

"He also told me he’d lost a bet with his mates. He had been playing what he called Tinder Roulette, messaging every girl and no one was messaging back.

"He was trying to prove to his mates no one was interested in him and then I came along.


"On New Year’s Eve 2016, we ­officially became a couple. And nine months later I discovered I was pregnant.

"We got married in August this year and Thomas was the star attraction.

"Finding love on Tinder shocked me, but I could not be happier.

"We’re proof dating apps can work even if you think that they don’t."

Raymond says: “I lost my Tinder bet when I met Talisa but I won a beautiful wife and son.

“The day I met her I knew she was The One.”

'Without our gaming obsession we'd never have met'

SUPPORT worker Susi Simms, 40, and her husband Mathew, 45 a data analyst, are the proud parents of three-month-old Aurelia.

The couple, from Frome in Somerset, met in 2007 on an online forum dedicated to the game RuneScape.

Susi says: "I’ve always been a keen computer gamer and in 2007 RuneScape was popular. It’s a multiplayer game set in a ­fantasy world called Gielinor. You create an identity and live in different villages while ancient gods battle to rule.

"I was single and had recently broken up with a boyfriend. As a dedicated fan, I spent hours on a RuneScape forum talking to players all over the world about the game, general news and life.

"One night, in February 2007, I joined a chat about music. I was living in Wales and Matthew, who was 160 miles away in Frome, was also in the chat. We started messaging each other and playing the game together.

"We were soon chatting online every day and learning more about each other.


"That October, we decided to meet at a horror festival, just as friends. We both like horror movies and cosplay, where you dress up as your favourite characters. When we met, sparks flew. We started long-distance dating and two years later, I moved to Frome to live with ­Matthew.

"We had a big white wedding in Bath with 100 guests. In November 2018, I discovered I was pregnant and in June this year our daughter was born.

"We were brought together online through a common love of gaming and told each other everything via instant messaging for months before we met.

"I would never have met Matthew normally, as he lived so far away. Without our shared obsession we wouldn’t have our wonderful family and beautiful baby."

Matthew says: “Meeting Susi is one of the best things that ever happened to me.

“I never thought I’d find someone who shared my love of geeky games and cosplay.

“When Aurelia was born, I was over the moon. Our baby is proof you can find love online without using a dating site or app.”

YouTuber Nadia Bokody asks 100 men for ‘no strings attached sex’ on Tinder and Bumble with surprising results

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