A match made in heaven
Laurie and Joe Sellner find love at 50 through online dating.
Laurie and Joe Sellner
Laurie Lund was a vivacious, friendly mother of two working in advertising sales for a local radio station and living in Vinita. At 46, she had recently ended a long-distance relationship and was nervous about re-entering the dating scene. She thought online dating might be a good way to find a compatible match, so, in May 2010, she created a Match.com profile under the handle “Radio Girl.”
“I thought it would be awful because my self-esteem had gotten so bad,” she says. “I thought, nobody’s even going to be interested.”
Just the opposite happened.
Laurie’s profile, which advised potential suitors that she was seeking a man “who can enjoy a coney as much as a fine-dining restaurant,” she says, resulted in 1,100 hits.
One of those hits came from Joe Sellner, a regional cost accounting database manager working in Muskogee. At 52, he had been divorced for several years and, living in Fort Gibson, did not have access to many dates. He decided to try online dating and created a Match.com account in June 2010.
Impressed with Laurie’s direct and funny profile, he sent her an e-mail telling her about himself and why he wanted to go on a date with her. It was “extremely personal,” Laurie says, and she was immediately interested.
Between other “Match dates”; her son, Logan’s, baseball games; and her job, Laurie was not able to meet Joe for a month. Even so, they were already getting to know each other through daily phone and e-mail chats. Soon Joe earned a nickname among Laurie’s friends and co-workers, “Coffee Bean Guy,” a nod to his interest in roasting his own coffee beans.
When the two finally set their first date, they arranged to meet at the River’s Edge restaurant for dinner and a concert. However, Joe didn’t know the restaurant was outside, and that night, it poured. Once Laurie arrived, they decided to meet for dinner at Lola’s at the Bowery instead.
For six weeks, Laurie continued to see other people, but each Wednesday, she had a standing date with Joe.
Little did she know, he was smitten.
“I loved her voice over the phone,” he says. “I loved her spirit. ... After being divorced for some time, it was like this bright light just shining in my life again.”
Soon Laurie realized that even after dates with other men, she was calling Joe, and when she wasn’t calling him, she was thinking about him. She knew.
“This is my guy,” she says.
After that, they saw each other constantly. And eventually, they decided to move in together. They bought a home in Florence Park that Laurie calls her dream house.
“I promised her I’d make her dreams come true,” Joe says.
“And he did,” she adds.
By October 2010, they were ready to take the next step. Joe bought a ring and waited for the perfect moment.
While eating dinner one night with Laurie; her parents; and her daughter, Morgan, Joe let the waitress know his intentions. She brought out a tray of wine for the table, and just as everyone was preparing to toast, Joe got down on one knee and proposed.
Joe and Laurie married Nov. 5, 2011, in Eureka Springs, a quaint ceremony that Laurie says was exactly what they wanted. They held a reception in Tulsa two weeks later.
Today, the Sellners love life as newlyweds. A planner, Joe has helped Laurie learn to better manage her finances. A social butterfly, Laurie has introduced Joe to her friends and helped him find his fashion sense.
“I really thought I would go through the rest of my life by myself, but now I’m happier than I’ve ever been … and I know it’s because she’s in my life,” Joe says.
Laurie says she never expected to find such happiness from an online dating profile. In fact, the couple’s story is so inspiring, Match.com has expressed interest in featuring them in a 2012 ad campaign.
“It’s really like I’m living the dream,” Laurie says. “I found a great guy online. Who would have ever thought it at almost 50 years old? He’s just everything.”