Luke: I had never tried online dating before, but after moving to Rochester, MN, from Minneapolis and failing to meet any Catholic girls that were dedicated to their faith, I decided to try Catholic Match. I went on a couple dates with various women I met on the site, but nothing beyond friendships came of those encounters, and I let my subscription expire. However, I’d still look at profiles occasionally and that is when I came across Linda’s profile. Linda intrigued me because we seemed to share interests and have similar goals in life and I thought she was really beautiful. Since I was not officially subscribing at the time, I simply sent her a smiley emotigram.
Linda: After getting Luke’s emotigram and reading his profile, I was definitely interested in getting to know him better. I had been on and off Catholic dating sites for nearly five years, and I was skeptical that I would actually find “the one". But I didn’t have a better way to encounter faithful Catholic men, so I continued to search online. Since Luke didn’t say anything in his emotigram, I simply said “Hey!” in my return emotigram.
Luke: Receiving Linda’s brief response to my emotigram seemed to confirm that she was at least interested in me, so I renewed my membership and proceeded to write her a lengthy message. I told Linda about myself, my family and my interests. I also tried to ask a lot of questions about her life. She responded and we exchanged emails for about three weeks. I could tell from her emails that we had a similar sense of humor and I was definitely looking forward to setting up a first date. Linda’s dedication to the Catholic faith also was evident and that provided further reason to be excited about meeting her.
Linda: After not having any message in his emotigram, I was surprised that Luke’s first email was so lengthy, but it was definitely a good surprise. He seemed so warm, friendly and funny in his emails. I was little surprised that he was interested in me because he is three years younger than me. After we exchanged a few emails I tested my goofy sense of humor on him and he handled it well. After a few weeks of looking forward to his thoughtful and funny emails I was excited when he casually asked for my number so we could chat. I was nervous to talk to him because, for me, this had been a big test of the online relationships I had in the past. In several instances my correspondences with gentlemen that had seemed to be very promising online became awkward and strained in phone conversations or in person. I did NOT want this to happen with Luke. I was so relieved that we seemed to be just as much at ease with each other on the phone as we had been online.
Luke: I decided to ask Linda for her phone number after three weeks of written correspondence. I didn’t want to drag things out via email, and I felt we were both ready and excited to get the ball rolling a bit. I had told Linda that I was running the Twin Cities Marathon, and she joked that she’d only give me her number if I won. However, she gave me her number before the marathon and I recall debating whether I should call her that Sunday night right after I had finished the marathon. I was physically and somewhat mentally drained after running 26.2 miles, and I was worried I’d sound like an idiot as a result. But I was looking forward to talking to Linda and decided to give her a call. We talked for about 45 minutes, and as we ended the conversation, I felt even more confident that we’d hit it off together.
We talked several more times on the phone while continuing to exchange messages before I asked her out on a date. We arranged to meet for lunch on a day when I was going to be in her area. Unfortunately, the day before we had planned to meet, my ’94 Camry wouldn’t start. I called Linda to break the news. I was worried she would think I’d fabricated the car problems and had changed my mind about her. She took the news well, but we both were disappointed. I hinted that Linda could drive down to visit me, but I told her that’d be asking a lot and I didn’t expect that. I was secretly hoping she’d come visit me, but the conversation ended without any hint that she’d come see me. I instead made plans with a friend on Saturday night and hoped to see Linda the following week.
Linda: I’d definitely picked up on Luke’s not-so-subtle hint, but I was a little uneasy meeting him in Rochester. It’s always nice to arrange the first meeting in a more neutral place. You do have to be careful! But as I was sitting home by myself Saturday afternoon, I was lonely and bored and I thought…why not?? So I emailed him that if he was still free I would still like to see him. I didn’t know until months later that he had to cancel his plans with his friend John so he could see me. Our first date that night was awesome. Luke was kind, funny, and we constantly seemed to find more things we have in common. We ate a lovely dinner at Macaroni Grill and drew silly pictures on their placemats, took a long and beautiful walk, and watched a movie at his apartment. I was most impressed when he told me he was in a prayer group studying Love and Responsibility, because I have a great interest in Theology of the Body. It was then that I also knew for certain that his faith was really important to him. After that night I knew we would have a relationship, I just didn’t realize yet how wonderful it would all be.
Luke: As Linda described, the first date went really well. Afterwards, there was no doubt in my mind that there would be a second date. Now that my car had been repaired, we made plans for me to drive up and see her the following weekend. Linda lived about an hour and 15 minutes north of me, so weekends presented the most ideal opportunities for us to get together. On our second date, we grew more comfortable with each other and had a lot of fun. I met Linda at her house, she made me lunch, we threw a softball around in a park, went for a long walk around the lake, and then out to dinner at a Mexican restaurant. We spent the rest of the evening talking at her place. I hadn’t expected that the date would last ten hours, but we both were having such a great time that we didn’t want it to end.
Linda: We continued to see each other almost every weekend, and the more we saw of each other, the more it became apparent that we were in a serious relationship. We began talking about marriage on my birthday, not quite three months after we began dating. It was so exciting to find someone that shared my values, sense of humor and most importantly, my Catholic faith. Over the course of the next several months we met each other’s families, and continued to talk about our future together. Luke and I had started dating in October of 2007, and by the time summer rolled around, I was eagerly anticipating a proposal.
Luke: In early July, we visited Linda’s parents and I asked her dad for permission to marry her. Linda had recently moved closer to the school she teaches at and was now 45 minutes away from me. She had mentioned that she wanted to go kayaking on the river near her new place. I suggested that we go kayaking on a Wednesday afternoon and stop at a sandbar during our little voyage for a picnic. I left work a little early, packed sandwiches and fruit for our picnic, and met up with her. While we were kayaking, I managed to hit a fallen tree, tip my kayak, and bail out of it as it filled up with water. To make a long story short, Linda did a nice job rescuing my kayak and I was fine other than being pretty wet and slightly embarrassed. Eventually, we kayaked to a sandbar and prepared for our picnic. I suggested that we pray from Magnificat before we ate. After we prayed, I got on one knee and asked Linda an important question.
Linda: I had a sneaking suspicion that Luke might propose at our picnic, but that didn’t change the way my heart melted as I saw him get down on one knee, and heard his beautiful proposal asking me to marry him. I instantly said, “Of course!” and we ate a gloriously soggy lunch, reveling in our happiness. We will be married June 27th, 2009, and I can’t wait to spend the rest of my life with Luke. We credit Catholic Match as the instrument God used to bring us together, and we will be forever grateful!