Jacob and Sammi were each skeptical of online dating and neither one of them wanted a long-distance relationship. Since they were separated by a 34-hour drive, the likelihood of this couple connecting was very slim.
"I heard about CatholicMatch through people in my college Catholic group," Sammi said. "I also had a few friends that were successful with online dating. I eventually resolved to the fact that if I wanted to find someone, it was the best way to meet new guys, especially Catholics."
Jacob decided to give CatholicMatch a try because his sister Jann met her husband Joshua on CatholicMatch. Since Joshua was from London they first communicated through phone and Skype, but they had a fruitful long-distance relationship and were married in May 2014.
Since both Jacob and Sammi had friends with positive experiences of online dating, they decided to give it a chance. They knew that what they were doing now wasn't working, and they wanted to try something new.
It was Jacob who found Sammi's profile first. "I remember thinking she was pretty cool," he recalled. Jacob clicked on the profile, but didn't send a message to Sammi. "I didn't reach out to her because she lived so far away. I was definitely trying to find people within a few hundred miles of where I was living." Jacob was living in Seattle, while Sammi was in Toledo.
Even though Jacob didn't send a message, Sammi received a notification that someone had viewed her profile. "I saw the activity and looked at his profile," Sammi added. "I was adamant about finding a guy in my area, but as soon I saw his profile, I couldn't help but message him. I had made a list of the traits I thought were necessary in a guy a few months before and he seemed to have everything I was looking for." Faith was the most important factor drawing them together, but Sammi was also attracted to the fact that Jacob wanted to find a job where he could be of service to others. For the first time, Sammi felt genuine excitement at a CatholicMatch connection.
Jacob replied to her message, and it didn't take long for the communication to ratchet up several notches. "We would write or text several times a day," Jacob recalled. "And once we moved to video chat we maintained the pace."
"As we continued to talk, I knew Jacob was special because he was passionately Catholic, respectful, driven, hardworking and intelligent," she said. Jacob added that he and Sammi connected on levels beyond faith, from similar intellectual interests, to life goals.
"After three weeks, which seemed like an eternity, I decided to ask Sammi about meeting in person--to make sure we had the same chemistry in person" Jacob said.
It was another three weeks before Jacob could get out to Ohio. He and Sammi had mixed emotions of both excitement and nerves. With the first face-to-face meeting, they wondered whether they would click.
It turned out, the chemistry was not only there, it was better. "The only downside was knowing we would have to part so soon," Sammi said.
Having had a successful first meeting, they continued their long-distance relationship and began to talk of marriage. Five months after the initial meeting, Jacob, who works as a software developer, was able to find a job in Illinois. With Toledo in the western part of Ohio, the drive between them was now manageable. And just two months later, Sammi, an accountant, also found a job in Illinois.
Fast forward several months, to about one year after their first face-to-face meeting, Jacob and Sammi made a visit back to Ohio. Jacob was planning to propose in the upcoming week. He secured the blessing from Sammi's father, but was looking for the right time to propose. On the drive back from Ohio Jacob and Sammie decided to stop at Notre Dame and visit the Basilica of the Sacred Heart.
They walked out near the lake, and Jacob saw his opportunity to pop the question. He went back to car, under the guise of getting a sweatshirt, and when he returned, the ring was in his pocket.
As the sun was setting over the lake outside the Basilica, Jacob asked Sammi to marry him and she said yes.