Julie harbored a considerable skepticism about the whole idea of online dating. “I wasn’t sure,” she openly admitted. “…heard some pretty scary stories.” But a measurement of practicality isn’t judging an idea by whether you think it will work, but by assessing what you have to lose. Julie had nothing to lose by trying, so she made herself available to the CatholicMatch community, albeit without a profile photo.
One morning Neil, a 50-year old man from Montana, whose first marriage had been annulled, appeared in her match list. Julie was only four years younger, and while her Nebraska home wasn’t close, at least it wasn’t halfway across the country. She found his profile interesting and again deciding there was little to lose by sending him a “smile” emotigram.
Neil generally didn’t’ respond to contact from anyone who didn’t have a profile photo. But the “nothing to lose” spirit seemed to be sweeping through him too, and he decided to open communication with the woman from the Cornhusker State.
It took just a few messages back and forth to make a real connection, and after exchanging phone calls, they decided to take their relationship to Skype. It was a good lesson for both sides about photos—if you’re patient eventually you will see what the person looks like, and if you don’t post a photo there’s no getting around eventually being seen by the person you’re interested in.
Julie and Neil saw a lot more of each other and not just through Skype. They’ve made several trips back and forth to see each other, and gotten to know each other’s family and friends. For Julie, who’d lost her first husband, it was also a second opportunity for marriage and along with Neil she gladly took the gift of lasting love.
The couple will be married in October. From her initial skepticism, Julie has become a strong advocate for the process of online dating, for its ability to bring people of a common faith together. Working on a long-distance relationship gave her and Neil a headstart on learning to communicate with each other. “Phone calls, writing letters, e-mails…have all been very successful,” she told CatholicMatch. “But I can’t wait until we are finally together forever.”
Neil and Julie had nothing to lose and everything to gain. Because they acted in that spirit toward online dating in general and contact with each other in particular, they gained a lifetime with each other.