There are a lot of little, subtle clues that people will use to evaluate how a first date went. Was the conversation one-sided or did it flow both ways? Was each party genuinely interested in the life and experiences of the other? Were there awkward silences or did everything seem natural? What was the gut instinct of each person?
Whether these are accurate ways to assess a date's long-term potential is up for reasonable debate, but I think everyone would agree on this—when a couple's first date in a restaurant lasts five hours, it's probably a pretty good sign. That was happened to Ray and Diana.
Diana had seen the CatholicMatch ad in her parish bulletin, and was already familiar with online dating. The experience had been a mixed bag, but nothing that would dissuade her from trying a faith-based site. The 54-year-old factory worker spotted Ray and made the first online move.
"I winked at Ray because we had so much in common," she said regarding the conclusion she had reached after reading his profile. "It took a couple of weeks for him to post his picture, but when he did, he had a nice smile and pretty blue eyes."
The correspondence triggered by Diana's initial emotigram lasted for two and a half months, before the five-hour date took place. "The waitress asked if we could pay our bill, because her shift was over and she wanted to go home," Diana said recalling how long she and Ray were at the restaurant.
After that first date, it will come as no surprise to learn that as Ray and Diana's relationship unfolded, they had no problem talking to each other. "He made me so comfortable," she said of the 55-year-old accountant. "And he always makes me laugh."
The couple had dated for six months, and while they had talked about getting married, Diana was not expecting a proposal. Ray had one ready anyway—in one of last week's member stories, it was noted how a nuclear engineer put together his proposal in writing. Ray did the same thing, with a handmade card that asked Diana to marry him.
Today, Ray and Diana are settled into married life. Diana, whose previous marriage was annulled by the Church, has a 21-year-old daughter and there has been an adjustment period, but nothing that could be considered alarming. Through the annulment process, Diana found how she and her ex had never really bonded. After a five-hour first date, it's safe to say that hasn't been a problem this time around.
"Our first dance together as a married couple was 'God Gave Me You,'" Diana said, referring to the song by Blake Shelton. "We really believe it."
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