Couple met by chance after a mistaken Whatsapp message
WHEN Lina Dahlbeck received a WhatsApp message from an unknown number, she rightly thought it was just an innocent mistake.
Little did she imagine the text could change her life and bring her a husband.
The make-up artist replied, telling the sender, Michael, he must have meant the message for someone else.
After his apologetic reply, the strangers struck up a conversation and, after only a few hours of exchanging messages, they decided to meet.
The encounter was a success and after a series of further dates, 37-year-old Lina and car salesman Michael Evangelou, 44, became a couple.
Today, seven months later, they still marvel at how fate brought them together.
Lina, from Colindale, North West London, says: "I still can't believe I met the love of my life by a mistaken text. At first, I just assumed whoever it was had sent the message by accident.
"When I replied saying, 'I'm guessing this was intended for another Lina,' I thought that would be the end of it, but he replied again and soon we were chatting.
"There was something about his messages that intrigued me. He seemed really nice and funny and, when I sneaked a look at his picture, I thought he was good looking.
"The rest is history. I'm glad that technology brought us together, even if it was by mistake."
Michael thought he was texting his own number back in September, sending the words "Girls Trip" in a message to remind himself to see the film at the cinema.
He says: "I was shocked when someone texted back, saying, 'Hi! Girls trip? Who's this please? I guess this was intended for another Lina?'
"I was so confused and, at first, assumed we'd met before. How else would I have her number?
"I wrote back, '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 pair had never met, but after exchanging a number of texts as they tried to figure out what had happened, they began chatting about themselves. As the day went on, their messages became more flirty until Michael eventually suggested they meet for a drink that night.
They met at a restaurant in Waterloo five hours after Michael first sent his message.
Lina says: "We kissed at the end of the date and the next day met up for brunch. We haven't been apart since."
After six years of single life, Lina had given up hope of finding a lasting relationship
She says: "My last one ended in 2011 and Michael had been single for years, too. We were sure fate had brought us together."
Two weeks after their first date, Michael proposed to Lina.
She says: "We were talking about our dreams and I said I'd always wanted to live in Dubai. Michael said, 'Let's do it, let's move there.' I pointed out it's a Muslim country so we'd have to be married to live together. He just said, 'Let's do it then. Let's get married.'
"I asked him if he was serious and he said, 'I want to spend the rest of my life with you, Lina.' I knew I wanted to marry him, too."
But friends and family had mixed reactions.
Lina says: "Most of our friends thought we were nuts but our parents were delighted.
"I'd met his mum but my parents live in Sweden so they didn't meet Michael until the day before the wedding. It was a whirlwind."
The couple married on December 7 in front of 30 guests at Morden Park House, South West London.
Now Michael enjoys telling people how he met his wife. He says: "They are astonished. It's certainly a crazy way to meet someone.
"She's the woman I want to spend the rest of my life with and I'm convinced it was fate."
Lina still wonders what might have happened if Michael had never sent the message.
She says: "I'd given up on love when Michael's message popped up on my phone.
"My story gives hope to everyone - you should never give up."
This story originally appeared on The Sun and has been republished with permission.