The relationship between Martin and Justyna grew slowly. The 32-year IT business analyst from New York was, by nature, someone who took a little while to really open up with people. And his online relationship with Justyna followed a path of gradual development.
“We exchanged emotigrams first (in 2008).” Martin told CatholicMatch. “Then we would email each other once every three months. We’d email each other just to be polite.” It might not sound like a budding romance was in the works, but they were both patient and there challenges to be dealt with.
For one, Justyna was in the United Kingdom, where she worked as nurse. Martin described himself as an optimist when it came to the challenges that a transatlantic relationship presented, although being across the ocean prevented any sense of urgency from developing.
What’s more, Martin was working to get himself established professionally. He’d come to the United states from the Middle East back in 2003 and attended American University, and getting himself on his feet was a bigger priority than a relationship.
In December 2009, Martin and Justyna spoke by phone, when he called to wish her a Merry Christmas. It set the stage for the first part of 2010 where they upgraded their emailing to keep in touch once a month. Finally in June of that year, they clicked. They talked on Skype for the first time, and from there made the video connection every week until May 2011.
Three years after their original online connection, Martin and Justyna were set to meet in person. She was flying in to New York City, and the same connection that they found through technology was there in the real world. “She was very down to earth, full of life and had a good relationship with God,” Martin told CatholicMatch.
Now it was Martin’s turn to get on the plane, and in December he took a visit to the United Kingdom and stayed there for two weeks. Martin was liking what he saw in the UK enough that he decided to make it permanent—both the country and the woman he was visiting. He relocated to the UK in August and today they are married.
There’s a lesson in Martin and Justyna’s marriage and it’s that there’s no set timetable for how a relationship has to unfold. They were comfortable with the lengthy intervals between messages when it all first began, and when the time was right it went to the next level.
Martin said that now that they are at the highest level of commitment, “we learn to love each other, forgive each other and continue to build our relationship.”