When people go through tough times—and divorce and annulment certainly qualifies, it can be tempting to turn in on oneself, focus on what one has lost and perhaps start to isolate. That’s exactly the opposite of the path Mark and Olga chose. This couple from the Houston area embraced life, all the opportunities it offered, and sought to take all the blessings they had been given and pay them forward.
Mark was working as the Operations Manager for a ship-assist company, and already had the chance to travel the world as a navigation officer. He enjoyed a close relationship with his two adult children and worked as a volunteer for Catholic Charities. The 52-year-old gave his time to help teenagers whose own parents might be going through a divorce.
Olga, a 51-year-old residential real estate agent brought the same sense of adventure and self-giving. She enjoys concerts and dancing salsa, she stays close to her own two adult children, serving as a volunteer Spanish interpreter and helping the homeless. She also cares for her 94-year-old father, keeping him at home with her.
The sense of adventure Mark had didn’t automatically translate itself into confidence in online dating. “I was skeptical,” he admitted. “I actually thought finding someone online was scary and weird.” But over Christmas, his brother talked him into trying out CatholicMatch.
It was two weeks after creating his profile that he found Olga online. It took a modest amount of persistence—“I sent her a few short emails before she responded back to me for the first time,” he said. After some online chats back and forth, he made the 90-minute drive to meet her for a Sunday lunch in Houston.
Mark and Olga’s personalities just clicked right away on that first date. He returned a week later and took her to the Houston Museum of Fine Arts and a nice Italian lunch. Since then, they’ve talked on the phone each night and he drives into Houston each weekend and goes to Mass at her church.
“It has been a very powerful thing for us to keep God nearby in all we do,” Mark told CatholicMatch. Olga’s obvious pride in her Catholic faith and identity struck Mark on their very first meeting and he admired the energy she brought to both living her faith and learning more about it. “We both read at least six to eight Catholic or Christian books a year,” he said. They have found a common ground for not just living in the present, but growing for the future.
“Olga is kind, compassionate, a wonderful cook…with beautiful brown eyes and an amazing smile,” Mark said enthusiastically. “I am experiencing a happiness that I haven’t felt in many years.”
Whether Mark and Olga’s young and vibrant relationship leads to marriage is still something to determined. Right now, they are enjoying a experience that Mark described being “like two kids falling in love for the first time.”