Patrick was 27-years-old and working as a financial analyst in northwestern Pennsylvania. He was looking for a spouse who shared his Catholic faith, but was a little skeptical about the whole idea of online dating. A co-worker suggested CatholicMatch to him, but Patrick wondered if there would be enough people in the Erie area. Fortunately, “the Erie area” proved to be a flexible term.
Stephanie was four years younger and an auditor at a CPA firm. She shared more than just an aptitude for numbers with Patrick, she also was looking for someone of the same faith. Stephanie’s mom had seen the CatholicMatch ad on the back of the parish bulletin in their hometown near Harrisburg.
“I had tried another site previously,” Stephanie said. “And while I didn’t have success there, I thought that the idea of online dating was a good one and I thought I could have success using it.”
It was Patrick who first noticed Stephanie, when he checked who was currently online on CatholicMatch. Though Harrisburg is on the opposite side of Pennsylvania, and a good five-plus hour drive, he was willing to open up communication.
“He sent me a message asking if I would like to chat sometime,” Stephanie recalled. “We used the CatholicMatch messenger for about a week and then exchanged phone numbers.” Two weeks of phone conversations paved the way for a face-to-face meeting. Patrick was in Washington D.C. and on the drive home, he made time to stop in Harrisburg. Their first date was at a local baseball game, something that would prove ironic later on.
Patrick and Stephanie found the same connection when they met in person, and as they began to date, found more to like about each other. “Patrick was very family-oriented,” Stephanie told CatholicMatch. “And able to put up with the fact that I can be overly emotional. He also had amazing eyes that really drew me in,” she added with a smile.
For his part, Patrick found in Stephanie that similar mix of depth and attraction. Patrick said that Stephanie’s best qualities are “her positive attitude and commitment to her faith,” he said. “It didn’t hurt that she’s cute too.”
Their shared values and attraction to each other eventually led to marriage talk, which in turn led to Stephanie feeling some anxiety about when Patrick would give her a ring. It was in late July of 2010, that she was visiting him and they were having dinner at a restaurant on Lake Erie, against a backdrop of a beautiful sunset and passing sailboats. It was here that Patrick proposed and Stephanie said yes.
And how did the newly engaged couple celebrate? They went to a local baseball game. “I spent the game sharing the good news with friends and family and Patrick watched for foul balls,” she told CatholicMatch. But the young couple were the ones that had hit it out of the park.