Neither Brandon nor Joy were sure about the online dating world when they first met on CatholicMatch back in 2008. They also weren’t sure about the whole idea of long-distance dating. It didn’t stop the 29-year-old man from Alabama and the 27-year-old woman from Oklahoma from ending up engaged and thrilled about the future.
After making their online connection in ’08, the couple communicated, but dated other people. “We finally realized it was silly for us to keep communicating online and trying to date other people when we really knew we wanted to date one another,” Joy said.
In July 2010 they got on the phone and talked the night away. “Our common interests and our respect for each other’s goals and plans were what kept us communicating,” Joy told CatholicMatch regarding the two-year period where they were strictly online friends. She further added that when they dated other people both felt like there was something missing, the special link you don’t realize until you meet the person who’s truly right for you.
In October of that same year they met in Dallas for a weekend together. Dinner on Friday was followed by a Saturday of watching college football and then going to a Dwight Yoakam concert at night. On Sunday they went out to watch the Dallas Cowboys play, then went to an evening Mass and out to dinner.
“We had an amazing time and I made plans to out to Alabama two weeks later,” Joy recalled. “We decided then that we wanted to exclusively date each other.” Brandon and Joy were both still very aware of the difficulties that awaited in a long-distance relationship, but they now knew they wanted to take the leap.
In addition to trips to each other’s homes, they did weekends together in locales like Houston, New Orleans, Mississippi and back in Dallas where it all began.
Last month Brandon and Joy were together in her hometown of Oklahoma City. “We were very fair in our travels,” Joy said, hitting an important point of compromise that long-distance couples have to develop immediately. “We tried as best we could to take turns flying to one another…thank goodness Southwest has great flight sales.” Brandon’s most recent trip to Joy’s hometown gave him a chance for an important conversation with her father.
After Brandon had his talk with Joy’s father, they went out to dinner with friends and he wasted no time in proposing marriage. “I was very happy to say YES!”, Joy enthusiastically told CatholicMatch.
The couple is now preparing for the future. Joy is finishing up school to be a Physical Therapist Assistant, and is in Alabama for her final clinical rotation. Brandon is in the same field and has been a practicing therapist for seven years. Joy will graduate in May and hopes to find a job in Alabama.
All the doubts about online dating that both Brandon and Joy had were washed away when they met the right person. It didn’t make the process less difficult, but it made it worth it. “It’s hard to describe, but Brandon was someone that I did not want to change…”, Joy recalled. “He is perfect the way he is!”