Just one month after Iona Yeung’s 31st birthday her life was turned upside down when her boyfriend of two-and-a-half years broke up with her.
The Canadian woman, who is now a relationship coach for single women, admits she “panicked” about her future and started a blog called 30 Every After, before moving to Sydney to start a new life.
Iona’s parents were worried that she’d “pass her expiration date” and friends would look at her sympathetically, desperately trying to set her up on dates.
It took Iona a year to recover from her break-up and while she says she tried out Tinder and EHarmony sporadically, she just “wasn’t in the headspace at the time” to start another relationship.
But that all changed when Iona, then 33-years-old, let down her guard, lay it all on the table and met the love of the life on dating app Happn.
Iona and her housemate created a profile and straight away the matches began coming in fast and soon the digital marketing consultant met inner-west man, 36-year-old Christian.
“He was very sincere. Christian wears his heart on his sleeve he’s very passionate,” Iona told Be about the moment she knew he was the one.
Christian’s profile said he was “looking for a buddy to share his adventures with” and while he may have been on an online dating site, he preferred to meet someone in person rather than converse over text.
Iona was taken by Christian’s open-hearted approach and she decided to message him, with the pair meeting up soon after for their first date.
“After our fifth date we decided to stop seeing other people, took our profiles down, dated for 12 months and he proposed last March,” Iona said.
The pair were married last month in an idyllic ceremony in Berry, NSW.
Iona said Christian was an “old-school gentleman” who “laid it all on the table”, unlike many of the other dates she had been on where the men made things very awkward.
“In my profile I say I’m allergic to alcohol and I don’t drink and then some guy will take me to a bar and then try to get me drunk,” Iona said about her disaster dates.
“Then you get award moment paying for a date. The bill comes and it’s just awkward. Do I go for it, do I not? Some guys really make an effort to really avoid picking up the tab and that’s awkward.”
Iona said she understands how hard online dating can be but reveals her top tip for women looking for love on the internet is to give it 100 per cent.
“I feel like if you’re going to do it you have to commit fully,” she said.
“I’ve seen a lot of women say they have no luck with online dating and then you look at their profile and they’ve got one picture which is either blurry or they’re wearing a big hat and sunglasses and you can’t see their face. And then they’ll say it doesn’t work.
“Well of course it doesn’t work. If you’re going to put yourself out there online you have to do it 100 per cent.
“A lot of the older women are always hesitant to use online dating apps because they think that no one in that age bracket goes on there but they do”.