Special Report: Cloquet Couple Advocates Online Dating

40 Million Americans Date Online

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If you date online, you’re hardly alone.

Forty million Americans are logging on to more than 2,500 dating websites in search of that special someone.

That’s about 40 percent of the entire pool of single people out there.

Johnny and Kelly Eng’s online connection started with a picture.

“It caught my attention. I was like, ‘That’s kind of cute, funny,’” laughed Johnny.

A few months of messaging back and forth lead up to the day they met at Bearaboo Coffee Escape in Cloquet.

“Well, when she walked in the door, I was like, ‘Jackpot!’” said Johnny.

“We hit it off right off the bat. I mean, it was just easy to talk to him,” smiled Kelly.

They were engaged nine months later.

“We should have met probably 15 times over the years since we were, you know, I was 16 and he was 19,” said Kelly.

They missed each other at bible camp, the county fair, and even Johnny’s aunt’s wedding.

“We were told at our wedding that we actually danced together that night, but I don’t remember,” said Kelly.

But it was ultimately Match.com that brought them together.


Nancy Waters has been planning weddings and banquets at Spirit Mountain for the past 12 years.

“It’s now the last maybe three years or so, that I could tell that the online dating is really taking off,” she said.

Waters was the brains behind the Eng’s wedding reception, and in the last few years she’s seen a jump in weddings of couples who met online.

“It’s surprising the number now that meet online. It used to be in the bar, at a church group, at high school,” said Waters.

For the Eng’s, meeting through cyberspace was foolproof.

“I felt like I could just say, ‘This is the relationship that I’m looking for and here are my deal breakers, and if it didn’t match up, no harm no foul,” said Kelly.

“It was one of those things where people told me, ‘When you find the one, you’ll know. you’ll just know.’ I get it now,” said Johnny.

Two months into married life and things are so far so good.

“One of the big things that made us know that we’re right for each other is we both recognize is that love isn’t just going to last on its own,” said Kelly.

They came out from behind the screen and took a chance on love, proving a first impression online can mean just as much as in person.

“I hadn’t found the one, and when I found her I found the one,” said Johnny.

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