Widower finds soul mate on the web

By Jonathan BarnesA WIDOWER found his future wife and “soul mate” on the other side of the world - thanks to a click of a mouse.Ray Davis, from Woodbridge, and Texan Mary Byars first made a connection through their computers on an internet site last August.

By Jonathan Barnes

A WIDOWER found his future wife and “soul mate” on the other side of the world - thanks to a click of a mouse.

Ray Davis, from Woodbridge, and Texan Mary Byars first made a connection through their computers on an internet site last August.

They got on famously when Mrs Byars made the 4,000-mile trip to Suffolk to visit her friend - and now the “cyber couple” will be tying the knot next Friday.


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Mr Davis, 62, a semi-retired psychiatric nurse, made plenty of new pals when he visited the website, called Makefriendsonline.com (MFO).

But there proved to be a special spark with retired nanny Mrs Francis, 65, a divorcee for more than 10 years.

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Mr Davis, of Catherine Road, said: “I initially joined MFO as a way of making new friends - I never thought I'd meet my future wife and soul mate.

“I have been using MFO for 18 months. It's a very good site with over 100,000 members and it's very respectable - they don't stand for any hanky-panky.

“Mary interrupted me on the site one day and asked if we could have a one-to-one chat - and our friendship grew from there.”

Mrs Byars said: “I was divorced in 1991 and had been lonely for so long when I came across MFO.

“It appealed to me as it was not just about dating, but more about meeting people of all ages and from different backgrounds.

“Ray was a regular on one of the online groups and we got chatting. A few months on, another member, Gordon, realised how right we were for each other and played Cupid.

“We realised we were getting serious and thought 'this is too fast', but we gave ourselves time and here we are.”

The virtual romance led to Mrs Byars spending five weeks with Mr Davis in Suffolk at the end of last year, during which she met his 22-year-old son, Andy.

“We spent an awful lot of time together during my stay and it's like we were made for each other,” said Mrs Byars.

Just a week after she returned to the USA, Mr Davis asked Mrs Byars to be his wife and in March she flew over to organise the wedding.

It will take place at the Shire Hall on Market Hill, Woodbridge, next Friday and will be followed by a honeymoon on the narrowboats.

The guests will include some of the many friends the couple have made - but never met -from MFO, including the matchmaking Gordon.

Mrs Byars has fallen in love with Suffolk as well as Mr Davis and will be settling in the county, but they will have a formal wedding in Texas next year and plan to make regular trips to see her seven grown-up children.

“We owe our happiness to MFO. Without it, we would never have found each other, nor made so many special friends. The MFO community is like an extended family to us,” she added.

jonathan.barnes@eadt.co.uk

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