A sceptical mum has told how she got engaged just weeks after finally meeting her lockdown lover – and thinks not being able to see him helped her find ‘the one’.
Hannah Harvey, 28, matched with Gregg Wright, 40, on dating site Badoo, and they instantly hit it off, but couldn’t actually meet up because of Covid-19 rules.
But they fell head over heels on video calls and texts for a few months – and the smitten pair think it’s because they got to know each other before they finally met.
And just four weeks – and a handful of dates – after they first met, Gregg proposed, and Hannah said yes.
The pair, who bonded over both being single parents, reckon they’d never have hit it off if lockdown hadn’t forced them to take time out and get to know each other.
Hannah, a carer, from Silver End, Essex, said: “The connection we have is what you dream of having. It’s literally a perfect relationship.
“I’m still trying to believe the fact that I’m so lucky and I’ve found my perfect man – during lockdown!
“We had to take everything slowly, messaging and speaking over the phone,” she said. “It forced us to get to know each other really well before we met.
She added: “It’s like we did it the old-fashioned way, where there would be a courtship process. We mixed modern day and traditional dating, and it just worked.”
Hannah, and retail supervisor Gregg, from Chelmsford, matched online in April – but couldn’t see each other in person for months.
It comes despite living just 20 minutes apart – and having mutual friends.
They spoke every day via message and FaceTime calls, becoming close incredibly quickly – and they felt they were right for each other before they even met.
Hannah said: “Within the first few messages, we had this amazing connection I just can’t explain. We learned we are so alike.
“It all happened so quickly, and I’ve never experienced feelings like that before. It felt so special and so unique.”
Hannah said her children, aged 10, seven and 18 months, noticed her mood would lift whenever was speaking to Gregg.
She said: “It got to the point where whenever he would message me, I’d have this huge grin on my face.
“My kids would say, ‘Oh look, Mummy’s smiling, she must have a message from Gregg!’”
Hannah and her now-fiancé Gregg, who has children aged 15, 12 and nine, bonded over their experiences as single parents.
Past relationships had left Hannah, who had been with her previous partner for 10 years, sceptical – but Gregg has helped her to rebuild her faith.
She said: “I couldn’t believe he was real – I kept waiting to learn something about him which would ruin it. But it never happened.
“Now, we know everything about one another, and everything is perfect.”
She added: “It feels like it’s our time to be happy now. We were both in a situation where we wanted to meet someone special, and we found each other at the right time.
“It felt like it was fate.”
She explained how they believe their unique situation of getting to know each other throughout lockdown actually had a positive impact on their relationship.
They waited until lockdown restrictions had been eased before they finally met up for the first time, at the end of June.
Hannah said it lived up to their high expectations.
She said: “It was like I’d known him for years. It didn’t feel like the first time we were meeting. We just felt like we could be ourselves.”
The couple’s first meeting was casual, with Gregg going to Hannah’s to watch a film and have a takeaway.
But it confirmed their suspicions – they were perfect for each other.
“I knew he was the one before we even met,” she said. “And when we finally met, it was perfect.
“We laughed the whole time. The next day my cheeks were aching from laughing so much!
“Finally meeting him just confirmed everything that I already knew. My feelings were right.”
A month after meeting, Gregg proposed while on a romantic trip to Bournemouth.
He had secretly planned the proposal, including laying rose petals on the bed and buying a bottle of champagne ready for Hannah to walk in.
Hannah said: “It was a huge shock when I walked in the room to see that – and then I turned around to find him on one knee!”
She added: “Our relationship has literally been like a fairy-tale.”
Now, the happy couple are looking forward to their future – moving in together after Christmas, planning their wedding, and bringing their six children together.
Hannah said: “We’ve always liked the idea of a big family. We can just tell all the kids will get on well together!”
She feels that some people will find their story crazy, or think they’ve moved too fast – but they know that it’s the right time.
She said: “We are just so in love. It’s unbelievable.
“Unless people have been through the same situation, they’ll never believe it or understand it.
“But it’s true – there is such a thing as finding your soul mate, finding ‘the one’.”