Erica Sheward, 38, is a technical director of a food manufacturing business. She lives in West Sussex with husband Martin, 33, a doctor.
‘I was very career focused throughout my twenties but, by my early thirties, knew I wanted to settle down. One night, I was moaning to my brother that I had neither the time nor opportunity to go out and meet men. He’d heard about Sara Eden Introductions from a friend and signed me up as a birthday present! I had no idea what to expect, but I was delighted when I met the founder, Karen Mooney. I liked that they were very strict about photographs, saying they had to be the truest and most current representation of you, and I respected that she was very honest, pointing out they could only suggest possible types of people and not guarantee good dates.
I had a very clear idea of what I wanted from a husband – someone who would understand the pressures and demands that come with owning your own business. I was also adamant that I wants someone who shared the outlook of being a couple without children, as I’d never wanted them.
When Martin’s profile arrived, I was initially sceptical. The fact I was five years older worried me and he was almost monosyllabic during our phone call. However, as soon as we met I was struck by his incredible manners – he did lovely things, like shielding me from the rain with his umbrella. We immediately discussed the fact children weren’t on the agenda and, as our relationship progressed, I discovered Martin was exactly the sort of selfless person I’d been looking for. We married in November 2006 at Amberley Castle, in West Sussex.
I’m so glad we both took finding a life partner more seriously that the usual nightclub lottery. There’s a lot to be said for enlisting the help of people who know you. My brother knew an agency would be the best way forward for me – and I couldn’t recommend it highly enough’.