It was March of 2010 at a Mexican restaurant in northeast Ohio. Sharon, an aficionado of literature, philosophy and theology was waiting to meet Gene, the man she’d connected with on CatholicMatch for the first time. “When he pulled into the parking lot in his V10 pickup truck and wearing his NRA T-shirt, all I could think was ‘Oh my!’” she told CatholicMatch. This unlikely couple was about to start the journey of a lifetime.
The journey had been anything but easy for both of them.
Sharon, after 17 years as a stay-at-home mom, had gone through a divorce and returned to the workforce.
Gene had dealt with the untimely death of his wife.
Both were rebuilding their lives. Sharon became a supervisor at a growing company as her college-age kids finished school. Gene found contentment with his own family and working on the classic Mopar car he loved. It’s fair to say that while both were actively seeking to date again, neither one needed to.
Both Sharon and Gene had a strong foundation in faith. It was after going on set-up dates through friends that Gene learned that he needed to find a woman who shared his Catholicism. Sharon was unwilling to settle for anything less than a holy man who would love God first and then her with all his heart.
That first date lasted five hours, although it was not love at first sight. Sharon was very cautious, while Gene was open but patient.
After several weeks dating at or near her suburban home, she finally came to his place in the country. It would be the threshold moment that moved the relationship to a new level.
“His openness and obvious love for God and for the wife he had lost and for his son, stepchildren and family touched me deeply,” Sharon recalled. “I was drawn in and falling fast.”
For some couples the different cultural interests shared can be a dividing line. For Sharon and Gene they became a source of growth. He went to a Broadway show. She went to the Mopar Nationals. And together they read Theology of the Body for Beginners to continue growing in faith.
Sharon and Gene’s success is a testament to patient openness. She was insistent upon meeting early on and not spending long periods of time e-mailing. He patiently waited for her to open up and come to his home. And they were both open to the new life God offered them through each other. They were married this past April.