MILESTONE: Ben and Olamide recently celebrated their tenth wedding anniversary
BEN AND Olamide Agbaimoni recently celebrated their 10th wedding anniversary after getting married on August 18, 2001. However they have been together for 19 years, meeting after they both placed personal ads in The Voice’s Heart 2 Heart section.
“I decided it was the easiest way to find a suitable partner because the normal methods of sitting in a bar weren’t working,” Olamide, a managing director and entrepreneur recalls.
A single mother at the time, Olamide placed an ad that read: ‘Wanted - a new partner for an all-female partnership (referring to herself and daughter). Must be reliable.’
“It was almost like a job advert,” she said.
The advert was made ‘Ad of the week.’
Shortly after, Ben, an early years educator, responded.
He was “initially looking for companionship” after experiencing heartbreak in a previous relationship.
“I thought, I’ll just go for it and the rest as they say is history,” Ben recalled.
The two agreed to meet four days after making contact but a potential hiccup cropped up – Olamide had to attend a christening.
She called to reschedule the date but to her surprise Ben invited himself to the christening.
The couple, who now have three children, had their first meeting outside the church.
“I thought do or die” said Olamide, who fondly recalled the moment they met. “Fortunately he was gorgeous.
Everyone kept asking ‘Who’s that couple? They’re a really nice couple’ so we must have been a match made in heaven.”
The couple, from Lewisham, south London, said while it was not love at first sight, they formed a strong bond.
Ben admitted that their blossoming romance was far from typical.
WEDDING BELLS: Ben and Olamide Agbaimoni on their wedding day
“It’s the exact opposite of what you read about as a kid. There was no knight in shining armour. There was no illuminated thunderbolt that hits you, none of that. It was just very, very slow. It’s a bit like you’ve planted something and it’s just growing very slowly,” he explained.
The couple overcame their share of obstacles including Ben’s initial worry that the blossoming relationship could be ruined by his fear of commitment.
He overcame that fear after the couple experienced “the holiday from hell” to the Lake District where they were involved in a car crash.
They were unhurt but following the incident Ben proposed. He told Olamide: “I haven’t got anything to really offer you but I want to ask you to be my wife.”
Olamide joked that she was tempted to decline “just to get my own back” after he turned down an earlier marriage proposal of hers but decided not to.
They have not regretted their decision to tie the knot. Olamide explained that the key to their successful relationship is compromise.
“What we do is work it out until we both have what we need. We complement each other.”
The couple, who now have three children, urge others to try using Heart 2 Heart and other non-traditional dating sites.
Ben said: “You don’t know until you try it. It’s another means to an end. You may meet people who you ordinarily would never meet.”
Olamide added: “You have to kind of believe that actually the right person is out there and you will eventually find them. Even if you met 80 people who are all wrong, the 81st might be the right person.”