Jodie was starting to lose faith that she would ever meet someone online. As regular readers of the CatholicMatch member stories know, this isn't unusual. The 31-year-old from upstate New York had even deeper qualms though. "I was skeptical that I would actually meet someone who was not a creeper online," she said bluntly.
Rene was anything but. The 36-year-old from Vermont had gone from college into the seminary where he spent time discerning whether he was called to the sacred priesthood. Although it was concluded in early 2012 that he did not have a priestly vocation, he credited his time in the seminary with helping him grow in the understanding of spiritual fatherhood, something he knew would be vital if he were called to be a husband and father.
It was a simple "smile" emotigram from Rene to Jodie that opened up lines of communication. After receiving the emotigram, she checked out his profile and took his interview quiz. He followed up with a message and they were off and running.
A week of messages led to three weeks of phone calls. Rene and Jodie decided it was time to meet in person, and they already had a good grasp on what the other was about. "Because of the foundation CatholicMatch provided, it allowed us to outline our non-negotiables with each other," Jodie said. "There were no surprises when we finally met...I felt like we had been friends for years."
The relationship was long-distance, but manageable, with a three-hour drive separating them. Rene and Jodie put the effort in to make it work. They would meet halfway for dinner every Wednesday, and then each weekend.
"The best thing that worked for us was doing little things for each other," Jodie said. "Random texts, cards through the mail, tiny little gifts, poems...that allowed us to feel like we were spending time together without being physically present."
Those little things helped Jodie grow in her conviction that Rene was someone special. "He was so kind and caring," she recalled. "He texted me good morning every day and said good night over the phone each evening. He also called me 'beautiful', something he still does to this day...he respected me and accepted me for who I was...and he admired my career and accomplishments."
Furthermore, Rene and Jodie had a lot in common. Their Catholic faith provided the foundation, and they also enjoy being outdoors. Both maintain active lifestyles and now they had someone they could share it with.
Engagement talk was in the air, and Rene thought that proposing sometime between Christmas and Easter would be good. Jodie was looking to move up the timetable. "I became antsy and starting hinting at the possibility of getting engaged sooner," she said. "But Rene held tight to our original idea of between Christmas and Easter." Or so he told her.
It was this past November 9th when Rene recreated the couple's entire first date, walking the path of where they met in person, where they had lunch and where they walked. "He even took me back to the park where we went and told me to close my eyes," she said. Then he put a miniature Christmas tree and a miniature Easter egg tree on the ground, and told Jodie to open her eyes.
Now the countdown begins to August when Rene and Jodie will marry. "We attribute our success to the great foundation CatholicMatch provided which allowed us to really get to know each other on a much deeper level before we ever met in person," Jodie said. Her kind words appreciated, but the real foundation that enabled their success was the faith foundation that she and Rene both brought to CatholicMatch to begin with.