I originally wrote this as our Catholic Match "success story" in June 2010, shortly before our July wedding. I need to write update our success story since I now have our wedding and the birth of our child to add, but for the time being I thought it was perfect for a St. Valentine's Day post and perhaps a nudge for single Catholics out there that are contemplating online dating.
Catholic Match on a whim, partly to help me heal after ending an unhealthy long-term relationship. In reality, I joined only to read the profiles and remind myself that there indeed are good men out there. Many of the problems of my previous relationship were due to fundamental differences in our core values. Since all of my personal values could be traced to my Catholic faith (which my ex-boyfriend did not share and in fact often belittled me about), I decided that in the future I would only date fellow Catholics. However, at that point I believed that it would be months, if not years, before I was ready to date again and I was content with only looking at profiles. Imagine my surprise when I discovered that God had other plans for me!
Shortly after joining Catholic Match, I started exchanging messages and instant messaging with a few men on the site. While several seemed to have the qualities I looked for in a husband, I was instantly drawn to a particular young man named David. We began exchanging messages in early March 2008, shortly before my twenty-first birthday. We talked on the phone a few weeks later (including one night in which we spoke for 8 hours straight!) and met for the first time on March 29. I was very nervous waiting for him to arrive at my house, but the date went surprisingly well. He was exactly the same in person that he presented himself as on the website and over the phone.
Within a few months, I knew that this was a man that I could marry and raise a family with. Although I found him to be good-looking and intelligent, I was most attracted to his strong faith. When he graduated from college a few months after we started dating and decided to go to graduate school out of state, I was devastated. While I knew that long distance relationships work for some, I thought that they would never work for me. I began to ask God why he would have put this wonderful man in my life only to have him move away. It was with this mindset that we agreed to try a long distance relationship.
Once again, God had surprises in store for me. Not only did our long distance relationship work, it flourished. Without being able to see one another on a regular basis, we were forced to talk often and learned more about each other in the first six months of dating than most couples learn in a few years. The long distance also forced us to make a commitment to each other early on, and David gave me a promise ring in September of 2008 when I flew out to visit him. The distance has not been without its difficulties and I especially struggle with having “two separate lives”. I am very close to my family and a small group of friends, and they have not had the opportunity to get to know David and spend time with him as much as I would like, although they have all given me their approval and blessing.
David proposed to me on July 16, 2009 while on a camping trip with my family. He asked my father for his approval beforehand and I said “yes” without a doubt in my mind that he is the man that God led me to. I graduated from college this May and we will be getting married on July 17, 2010. I will be moving to live with him until he graduates with his Ph.D. and am very excited to not only be his wife but to finally be able to see him every day.