After five long years of being on CatholicMatch, John finally met the love of his life, Angela. The two were married on January 12, 2013. Here is their story:
Before you joined CatholicMatch, what did you think of online dating?
John: I thought like everybody else. I thought I would never in a million years do something like that. I had a couple friends who (went on an online dating site) and I thought, gosh that’s kind of strange. I’m never going to do that. It might seem sort of desperate in some ways. Clearly with (Angela and my) example, and other friends since then, I know that it’s a very valid method of meeting someone else with similar values and all . . .
Angela: My preconceived notions about online dating were pretty similar to John. At first, online dating might seem weird or it might seem desperate, but I was willing to put that aside because it really is the best way to meet a lot of different people. For me I don’t really have a large social circle and I’m a relatively quiet person so it was more difficult to meet people.
What motivated you to sign up?
John: A friend let me know of CatholicMatch, that friend in 2009 subsequently married another CatholicMatch member.
What was different about CatholicMatch?
John: I was used to online dating, but with the CatholicMatch website a lot of things really stood out to me. I liked the way it was formatted. It seemed to have more participating members. I found the community very helpful, since it wasn’t normal in the course of meeting new people to meet Catholic singles. Both places where I lived had a low Catholic population. I was on CatholicMatch for five years. I appreciated the different things CatholicMatch had to offer, like the seven questions. They were key and critical to me; in finding someone with similar values. The new member tab was how I met Angela.
Did you ever feel discouraged with online dating?
John: I was discouraged many times, although I did go out on several dates. The source of my discouragement was several things; you often go week after week and you’d try and filter and search and maybe there’d be no new people on there. Also, and maybe this is from a male perspective, you would initiate a lot of emotigrams or messages and never hear back from anybody or if you do hear back from them and you think something’s getting started, they go off the map or just something weird happens and you never hear from them again. So yeah there were a few discouragements over those five years, but I knew the validity of the site was something that I valued and so I never gave up, even though sometimes I felt like giving up.
Angela, as a convert to the faith, did you find CatholicMatch helpful to find people with a similar faith base?
Angela: Yes, that was really, really important to me to find a Catholic man. My faith is really important to me. So I figured that going on CatholicMatch would be the most obvious choice. Everybody on there is Catholic and the seven questions were really good because you could see where people stood on certain beliefs,. When John sent me a message I was able to view his profile and see where he stood on the seven questions and I could make that decision whether to reach out or not. Obviously I did and it worked out.
What was your first date like?
Angela: It was interesting (laughs). He did not smile the whole date. Even when he introduced himself, he didn’t smile and I thought “Oh no, this guy doesn’t like me.” The whole date he didn’t smile except the very, very end when he said “Can I call you again sometime?” I smiled and said “Yes, I’d really, really like that.” He finally broke a smile. Everyone should give someone more than just one date because people are usually pretty nervous on their first date so they may not be showing who they really are and it might take them awhile to open up.
John: Angela (a psych major) gave me a personality test on the second or third date. That was kind of fun. A real big thing that was obviously central was the Mass. So on our second date we went to Mass and so that was the start of many such dates of going to Mass together.
Angela: It was the time of the new Mass responses so in addition to John and I getting to know each other better, we were also learning the new responses.
Were there any struggles during your courtship?
John: I know everyone has skeletons in their closets that they prefer not to disclose on the second or third date, but knowing these things or struggles about this person doesn’t make you love them less. It makes you love them more. You have to be aware that there are going to be disagreements and there are going to be tough days. You’re in a good mood, they’re in a bad mood. They’re in a great mood you’re in a horrible mood. It doesn’t take away from the relationship. It validates it.
Angela: Working on communication and being open with one another takes time. It takes time to learn how each person in a relationship deals with conflict and how to work together.
How did you propose to Angela?
John: We went to a church that we never went to before. I got a bulletin early and cut out a sort of proposal and taped it into the church bulletin. After Mass I pretended to read the bulletin and said: “How’d they know about this? We’ve never been here before?” (Angela said she thought it was weird that John got a church bulletin and thought he was just being goofy.) Angela opened up the bulletin and it read: Banns of Marriage for John Keane and Angela Dobbs. By the time Angela looked up I was already on one knee asking her to marry me. She was completely surprised and of course said yes!
What advice would you give to someone who has been on an online dating site as long as you?
John: I think CatholicMatch is the best way to meet fellow Catholics. Don’t be discouraged; look at my case (meeting Angela after five years). If it’s the Lord’s will, either through CatholicMatch or some other means, that other person will present themselves to you. If you discern that marriage is your vocation, something will eventually come about for you. I was discouraged for all those years. I actually had some good dates and meet some nice Catholic women, but it was important to persevere. I often spoke to my friend that did get married through CatholicMatch. It helped having a friend who has been where you are and he provided advice and wisdom and he encouraged me to stay in the game. Having someone to share the journey with helped out a lot.