A couple who met because of a mistaken WhatsApp message have got married.
Michael Evangelou, 44, accidentally sent a message to Lina Dahlbeck, 37, last September, but little did they know it would change their lives forever.
The pair were wed three months after the serendipitous message, which may have been sent by Michael to the wrong number but went straight to Miss Right.
The pair soon got messaging after the bizarre intro, then agreed to meet and fell in love, and after getting married a planning a new life together in Dubai.
Lina, who lives in Morden, South London, said: “If someone told me I would meet my future husband when he sent me a text out of the blue, I would never have believed them.
“People are astonished every time I tell them how we met. Some of my friends have even started sending WhatsApp messages to random numbers in the hope of finding romance.”
Car salesman Michael, from Colliers Wood in south London, added: “It’s certainly a crazy way to meet someone. Everything snowballed but in a good way.
“She’s the woman I want to spend the rest of my life with.”
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The message that brought the pair together last September simply said, “Girls trip”.
Michael thought he was texting his own number and wanted to remind himself to see Girls Trip, a film starring Queen Latifah.
Make-up artist Lina replied: “Hi! Girls trip? Who’s this please? I’m guessing this was intended for another Lina” and added a wink-face emoji.
Michael quickly explained his mistake and asked if they knew each other.
He wrote: “Haha sorry I thought I was sending it to my own number… It’s Michael Evangelou, don’t know how your number got stored under mine Lina. Do you know me?”
The couple realised they had never met, but kept messaging.
Lina said: “We started chatting back and forth. I think if I wasn’t single I wouldn’t have continued the chat.”
As their messages took on a flirty tone, Michael suggested they meet up for a drink that same night. Lina was quick to agree.
She wrote: “I think this whole scenario is so weird yet wonderful so yes I think we should meet.”
Lina admitted that it wasn’t exactly a blind date as she sneaked a peek at Michael’s profile picture on the messaging site.
She said: “I had checked the picture on his WhatsApp profile and he was attractive.”
Michael added: “Once our conversation on WhatsApp started flowing, I asked Lina for a picture.
“I looked at her profile picture and she was so good-looking, my first thought was: ‘is this a catfish situation?’
“So I sent her a picture of myself and said: ‘Do you have any recent pictures?’
“She sent me one of herself two weeks before in Sweden. I thought: ‘Ooh, she’s quite nice’.
“I asked her out for a drink and the rest is history.”
They met for a drink at a Latin American restaurant in Waterloo just four hours after Michael sent the WhatsApp message.
Lina said: “He was so attractive. He talked a lot but I realised it was because he was nervous. It was really adorable.
“He was outgoing, bubbly and positive. We were both so puzzled by the whole thing – we were on a date just four hours after that WhatsApp message.
“We were convinced it was fate that had brought us together.”
The couple left the restaurant and went on to Trishas, a bar in Soho.
Lina said: “Michael told everyone at the bar that night how we met and everyone’s jaws dropped.
“We kissed that night and the next day we met up for brunch. We haven’t been apart since. We were immediately a couple. It felt so natural – as though we had always known each other.”
Just two weeks after their first date, Michael popped the question.
Lina said: “We were talking about our dreams and I said I had always wanted to live in Dubai.
“Michael said: ‘Let’s do it, let’s move there together.’
“I explained that it was a Muslim country so we would have to be married to live together.
“It wasn’t a hint at all but he said: ‘Let’s do it then. Let’s get married.’
“I thought: ‘Is that a proposal?’ I asked him if he was serious and he assured me that he was.
“He said: ‘I want to spend the rest of my life with you, Lina.’
“Even though we were just sitting at home with the television on, it felt romantic.
“I knew I wanted to marry him.”
Michael explained: “It seemed crazy but the way we met was crazy – everything fell into place. It was like we had known each other for years.”
Lina said: “Most of our friends thought we were a bit nuts but they agreed that if it’s right you know and there are no guarantees in this life.
The couple tied the knot in a romantic ceremony at Morden Park House in December in front of 30 guests. The couple are moving to Dubai this month.
Lina said: “I had given up on love and then Michael sent that message and literally landed in my life. My story gives hope to everyone: never give up!
“He’s my dream man and it’s destiny. The universe had something to do with this for sure.”