Steve and Em were two young adults committed to their faith, and both dedicated to their career goals. Steve was in training to be an insurance agent and Em was in her residency towards becoming a surgeon. These admirable traits left them one problem—there was precious little time to meet that special someone.
“I never had any time for dating,” Em recalled. “I was happy, working hard, but I wanted more. I never felt I was supposed to go through this life’s journey alone.”
Em wasn’t the only one who noticed—her mother called around Valentine’s Day 2012 and offer to pay for her subscription to CatholicMatch. “I was very skeptical,” Em admitted. “But didn’t want to disappoint my mother.”
Steve didn’t have the same skepticism toward online dating. He had put his profile up on several different sites, and even though success hadn’t been forthcoming, he liked being able to find out basic compatibility questions without wasting a lot of time in the process. When he saw a CatholicMatch ad in his parish bulletin, he decided to try it out.
Em might have had her doubts as to whether this online dating thing would work, but she made sure to put every effort into giving it a chance. She crafted her profile with great care, filling out every section and uploading ten photos. She got online a few times a week and had some basic correspondence. Nothing really clicked, but Em was doing the legwork that makes ultimate success possible.
It was Steve who noticed her profile, a local search, as they lived ten miles apart. Ironically, he didn’t have a positive initial reaction. Em stayed in the back of his mind. He went to view her profile again, and again moved on. The thought of her profile still wouldn’t leave his mind. The thoughts were so persistent that he would upgrade from free to full membership just to send her a message.
“It was a simple but heartfelt note,” Em told CatholicMatch. “I was so flattered. We started emailing back and forth and I was excited each night to return from work and see if there was a message from him.”
Even though the interest was mutual, and distance was no real object, their work schedules were. Em was on call, and had only four off-nights per month, so it was a two-week wait to get together in person. “In the end I think that was great,” Steve said upon reflection. “We had dates two and three planned before we even met.”
The pre-date correspondence and chats had included the sharing a special pictures, moments, life stories and even just insights into their daily routine. Steve picked up quickly that Em had a warm heart and found that a major attraction as they continued to get to know each other in person.
“Steve was the first single young man my age (they were both 32) that was on fire for God,” Em said. “I could tell that he was sincere, faith-filled and funny. His sense of humor was obvious.” She further liked the fact that, while they had much in common, his not being in medicine meant they lived different lives. Em saw in that a complementarity that would work well in a relationship.
When they met face-to-face, the connection was immediate, but still moved at a different pace for each. Em was a little bit ahead of Steve in seeing that they were meant to spend their lives together, but he soon came around to the same view.
“We discussed the matter openly, but I would not propose without her father’s permission,” Steve told CatholicMatch. Em’s parents lived three hours away, so she invited them down for a long weekend that enabled these matters to be settled.
After dating for three months, they went on a hike together at Ricketts’ Glen State Park, a place that had an earlier date. They reached a wooden bridge going over a creek. On the earlier date, this was where they had kissed for the first time. Steve suggested they stop and take a picture, and had Em set up the auto-timer.
“As she stood there, I got down one knee and proposed,” he recalled. “She was totally surprised.”
Em suspected that Steve had bought a ring, but she was completely caught off guard. When they were on the bridge, she was finding it a little strange, that Steve had asked an elderly couple behind them to hold up briefly while they took the picture.
“I had turned around to look at the couple.” she said. “I turned back around to find Steve on one knee.” The couple approached, figured out what was going on and then took another picture of the now-engaged Steve and Em.
Steve and Em dove into the Church’s pre-Cana process with the same kind of commitment they brought first to their faith life and then to their career development. “We discussed deep rooted aspects of life that could become major problems for a lot of people,” Steve told CatholicMatch.”
Em found the Engagement Encounter Weekend very eye-opening. “It was a great forum, where topics that we may otherwise not have discussed were brought front and center for us to talk about privately. I was further convinced that Steve was the one for me and it was God’s plan.”
Steve and Em were married this past May, almost one year to the day of when they met in person for the first time.