How we met: ‘We decided to marry and I found the only white dress in town, which was cowboy style’

Irma, 53, was living in the Dominican Republic, and Keith, 60, in Wisconsin, when they met on an internet chatroom in 1997. Two months later they married in his hometown, and now live in Florida

When Irma first used the internet in April 1997, she had no idea it would catch on, or that it could lead to lasting love. “I was living at home in Santo Domingo, in the Dominican Republic, with my mom and siblings,” she says. “My sister bought a computer that came internet-ready.” At the time Irma was working at a hotel, but had only used fax.

After getting online via a dial-up connection, Irma discovered internet chatrooms where you could meet and connect with people around the world. “There were so many people talking at the same time I just couldn’t get it. I tried to join a group for over 30s but, at 28, I was too young and got kicked out.” Although she’d never been married, she joined a group for divorcees, as she thought it would attract people her own age. “They let me in even though I wasn’t divorced and I liked it. The conversation was slower and everyone was talking about a funny short story written by someone called Keith.” She soon connected with Keith via direct messages, to find out more about his writing.

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