Several years ago ESPN had an advertising campaign that showed a couple, one wearing an Ohio State shirt, the other in a Michigan shirt. They were getting all lovey-dovey on the couch and then came the punch-line: “Without sports, this wouldn’t be disgusting.”
CatholicMatch produced its own version of that couple in Kristen from Ohio and Matt from Michigan. Kristen was just about to remove her profile from CM when she came across Matt.
She sent him an emotigram, and he returned the favor. But having noticed her profile, including a photo in an Ohio State jersey, he wrote “Go Blue!”
“Who would have thought it would have lasted after that?” she joked. “An instant rivalry!”
The budding friendship started with online chats, texting and phone calls, but they were temporarily delayed from their first meeting when Kristen’s summer job took her to Alaska in June.
Fortunately, they didn’t interpret the delay as a sign not to proceed but instead just patiently waited for things to happen in due time. She returned in July and they met for an evening of dinner and mini-golf. Matt was less than graceful. “At dinner he hardly ate because he was so nervous,” Kristen recalled. “Then he hit me in the chest with a golf ball during a shanked putt!”
It was comic relief for both of them, and one week later Matt’s putting skills didn’t prevent him from being Kristen’s date to a friend’s wedding, where he passed muster with her family and friends.
Today Kristen and Matt are continuing to grow in their relationship together and still letting things patiently develop. She had to make another trip to Alaska, returning in late August. Since her return they’ve taken the time to navigate the three-and-half hour distance between them and see each other every weekend.
They’ve become intertwined with each other’s families and friends, the kind of social bonds that strengthen a marriage. Shared faith and common morals makes the difference for them, as they know God is writing their story.
And that football rivalry that started it all?
The photo with this story shows them both in Central Florida T-shirts. They’re already well on their way to learning to compromise.