It’s common for people to feel less than confident about themselves in romantic situations—to feel as though they aren’t quite worthy of the person they are pursuing or meeting. That wasn’t the case with Carla. The 24-year-old from Iowa brimmed with confidence from the moment she first encountered 27-year-old Steven.
“Shortly after we began chatting she took my [interview] quiz and asked me for how well she did because she was ‘a genius,’” Steven recalled. “I vividly remember reading that and thinking ‘Wow, who says that?”” He was intrigued and thus began a flurry of correspondence, from emotigrams to messages to online chats.
Then Carla was gone. It was work-related, but Steven thought she’d lost interest until ten days later she reappeared and the communication began again, this time including the phone and Skype. An online connection that began in May 2011 built to a planned meeting the following month.
Steven was going to college at Oklahoma State, but by June had returned to his native Texas, so it was going to be a thousand-mile drive to Carla’s Iowa home. Along the way he got a speeding ticket and texted Carla. The reply came back oozed more confidence “I’m worth it!”, she informed him.
The couple’s first date had a quaint quality to it, as they met at town square with a giant bandstand in the middle. “I remember thinking her town reminded me of The Music Man,” Steven told CatholicMatch.
If the date had a quaint quality, it also had an electric one within Steven’s heart. “I pretty much knew as soon as I met Carla that she was going to be the woman I wanted to marry…she thought the same about me as well.”
Thus, the 27-year-old from Texas and the 24-year-old from Iowa decided to go “all in,” as they described it, and gear their relationship toward building for marriage. When he left a few days later, the goodbyes were difficult—not only were they in love, but they had to navigate a distance that would still be five hundred miles even when Steven returned to school at Oklahoma State.
“We did manage to see each other at least once every month,” Steven said. The visits including her coming to Texas when Steven’s grandfather turned 90 last July, and it was then he told his family this was the woman he was going to marry. “I know for sure at the time they thought I was crazy…but you know when you know.”
Steven wasn’t the only one who felt like he knew. Carla had bought a wedding dress even before Steven had spoken to her father or proposed marriage. In September he did both, and they became engaged.
The tools of technology kept them connected, even when the distance was great. Not only did they rely on usual methods of messages, texts, chatting and Skype, but they played online games of Monopoly. The simple recreational pleasures helped them grow together. Even more important areas of growth came from ending their talks with prayers, giving them the grace to sustain during arguments and when circumstances kept them from talking.
Steven graduated from Oklahoma State this past spring and moved to Iowa, with the June 30 wedding dating closing in. “It was then that we began to wonder where all the time go,” Steven told CatholicMatch. Before they knew it, they were married—by her uncle, who is a priest no less.
Both Steven and Carla put themselves into dating in general and CatholicMatch in particular, going into the chat rooms and the message forums and they’re both grateful for the support and friendship they found there. “(We) are praying for you all to find success too!,” Steven assures those still in the midst of the search.