CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- In classical mythology, Cupid is the god of attraction and affection. Anyone who is shot by Cupid's arrow falls instantly and helplessly in love.
That's exactly what Frank Gonzales III and his bride, Julia Higginbotham Gonzales, say happened to them when they met online through the dating website Cupid.com.
"We met online. We chatted on Facebook. A few weeks later we spoke on the phone. On Sept. 29, 2011, we talked all day and night, and she asked me to come visit her in Charleston, and we both kind of knew this was true love," Frank said.
When they met for the first time at Yeager Airport, "I got really nervous because she was really pretty, super gorgeous. I was blown away," he added, a comment that made his wife blush.
As luck would have it, the feeling was mutual.
"When we met, it was instant," Julia said.
Theirs is a story an increasing number of people can relate to.
Five percent of Americans currently married or in a long-term partnership met their significant other online, according to Pew Internet, a division of the nonprofit Washington, D.C.-based Pew Research Center, which compiles information on trends that are shaping America and the world.
The same research found the figures are even higher for couples who've been together for 10 years of less: 11 percent met online.
Once they met, things began to move quickly.
Gonzales was living in Tucson, Ariz., where he was active in his family's three-generation restaurant business, Pancho's, named for his grandfather, Frank "Pancho" Gonzales Sr., who happened to be married to the love of his life, Juliet.
"I came for a week and then stayed for three weeks. We became inseparable friends during that time. We got to know each other. I flew back to Tucson, Ariz., put my house on the market, packed up and moved to Charleston, W.Va., within two weeks," Frank said.
"We got engaged in October 2012 on WQBE over the radio with host Jason Murphy. She said 'Yes,'" Frank said with a broad smile. They were fans of the radio station's "Afternoon Drive" host, and their eyes met and twinkled as they reached for each other's hand during the interview.
Two months later, shortly before Christmas -- even before they tied the knot -- they opened their Mexican restaurant, Mi Cocina de Amore, at 711 Bigley Ave.