Evelyn had just come through a difficult time after a relationship break-up.
Well, not entirely a relationship. One could call it an atypically close friendship with a member of the opposite sex, “the type that seems so close, but never quite crosses the line,” as she put it to CatholicMatch.
In many ways this is just as difficult, because the break-up comes after a period of being on an emotional yo-yo.
But the Richmond girl got onto CatholicMatch and started browsing profiles. It was a man in Chicago who caught her attention. There was one caveat: He had a stated preference for relationships within driving distance.
While Evelyn did know that one could drive the 800 miles between their two cities, it probably wasn’t what he had in mind. She still ignored his criteria and sent him an emotigram because their interests were so similar.
She didn’t expect a reply, but got a short message in reply. They became pen pals and shared their mutual interests in books, architecture, travel and history. It only took three weeks of this for a mutual interest in going further than friendship to develop. Tim came to visit and they had enough fun that he decided to visit again.
And, as Evelyn told CatholicMatch, cellphones with free long-distance don’t hurt either.
After five months of discernment, Evelyn and Tim are engaged.
There are important lessons to be drawn from their experience. Evelyn wasn’t scared off by a stated limitation in Tim’s profile. He was willing to step beyond it, showing an understanding of the difference between a preference and a non-negotiable condition. They started on the basis of friendship first and let things develop from there. And they took negatives, such as the distance between them, and turned them into positives. Had they not done the latter, it might have become another “almost, but not quite” relationship.
As it is, they are preparing for a lifetime together.