Two expats from the UK found each other via Expatica Date and have wed October 2008.
It started with an email
On 22 January 2007, Vicky Hampson sent Craig an email that automatically landed in his spam box. Just as he was about to hit delete he saw Vicky’s name and thought: ‘Who’s’ that?’ and clicked on it.
The 38-year-old Amsterdam-based, advertising creative director from London had previously spent three hours crafting, writing and re-writing his dating profile. It certainly paid off.
“I was looking for a profile that was interesting and I found Craig’s” said Vicky. “It wasn’t the usual blend of hi, I am interested in music etc. It was fun, light-hearted and it made me laugh. That’s what made me contact him.”
The correspondence started off innocently enough, with Vicky and Craig expressing some interest in one another via smiley icons. This developed into a chatty email exchange. Then Craig threw out a casual invitation to his birthday celebration, which he was co-DJing.
“I wasn’t quite sure if I would be going. I was out with a friend and had a few glasses of wine. By 12.30am, I thought: Why not?” recalled Vicky.
The first encounter between the two Brits was somewhat short of romantic. Vicky, drink in hand, boldly went over to the deck to introduce herself.
“I thought it might be nice to just walk over and introduce myself to him,” said Vicky, throwing a mock accusing look at Craig.
“I was concentrating really hard at the moment when Vicky approached me, so I just said something like: Oh yah, thanks.” admitted Craig sheepishly.
He quickly realised how rude he had been and got a fellow DJ to cover for him while he walked over to Vicky to apologise and chatted to her for a while.
That did the trick. The next day, Vicky gave Craig a call, asking if he wanted to join her for lunch.
“I was thinking: he has already taken the first step to invite me to his birthday party, so I should also take the initiative to ask him out too.”
The lunch date sealed it for them. They went their separate ways to join their friends, but remained in each other’s thoughts as they sent text messages throughout the evening.
“I had seen enough, heard enough. I am quite perceptive and Craig seemed like a very honest, genuine and open guy. My instinct told me I should just go for it,” said Vicky.
The weeks turned in to months and the two of them spent more and more time with one another. On 6 Jan 2008, slightly less than a year after they met, Craig popped the question – not before he’d paid a flying visit to Vicky’s hometown of Liverpool to ask her dad for her hand in marriage.
Online dating – not her usual cup of tea
Vicky is not someone you would expect to have an online dating profile.
The learning and development manager admits she was always a little doubtful about using the Internet as a way of getting to know people – until she moved to Amsterdam two and a half years ago.
New to the country, the 38-year-old was eager to make more friends and expand her social circle.
A frequent visitor to Expatica’s site for general and housing information, Vicky found using the Expatica dating service to be the next logical step.
“Having used Expatica, I know that it’s reliable,” said Vicky.
She also trusted Expatica because “it has a clear target audience of international people who are mobile and have a broader mindset.”
But Vicky confessed that she hadn’t had the courage to put her picture online. “I am a private person, and I just wasn’t comfortable with putting up a photo up with my profile.”
In fact, Craig and Vicky emailed each other for a few weeks before he finally asked for a photo of her.
Why Expatica’s Dating site?
Unlike Vicky, Craig has no problems with posting information about himself online – especially on Expatica.
“Expatica offers confidentiality and that is really important.” said Craig.
“I don’t want my business associates to do ‘Google’ me and be able to see what I have posted on my dating profile,” he said.
“With online dating, you can pinpoint who you are looking for: a party girl, someone who is religious… It’s great especially if you already know what you want in a partner,” says Craig.
Vicky has come to terms with telling people that was how they met.
“I used to say that we met through friends,” she laughed.
The couple are planning their wedding, to take place in October at a venue outside of Amsterdam.