Antonia had a nagging feeling in her heart and it wouldn't let go. The 31-year-old from British Columbia was sure the feeling was from God, and it was about trying online dating.
"Many of my friends had moved on with their lives while mine remained stagnant," she recalled. Antonia remained doubtful of the merits of online dating, but had a simple realization. "If God does not want me to meet anyone online, then he can not let me meet anyone that is interested in me or me them. But I must try and get rid of this nagging feeling in my heart and let God sort out the rest."
Antonia's submission to the will of God didn't mean there wasn't some trepidation. A faithful Catholic who read the Bible cover-to-cover as part of a study group, she wanted faith to be the foundation of any relationship and joined CatholicMatch as a result.
It only took a couple days after joining the site to notice 35-year-old Michael in her match list, but it would be a mistake to think this was love at first sight. Antonia found his profile to be well-written, but she was less than impressed with his pictures. And even though he lived in Washington state, right on the border with British Columbia, she didn't like that they were in different countries. "I put him on my maybe pile," she said.
Michael took the initiative though, after seeing Antonia in his "viewed me" list. Antonia messaged him back, though she admitted it was just to get a feel for how the whole online dating interaction thing worked, so that she'd be ready when someone on her "definitely yes" pile touched base.
Even though Antonia still saw the relationship as platonic, her friendship with Michael grew. They messaged back and forth daily and soon started chatting on Skype. They met a month later, but Antonia still struggled. "He did not look like the prince charming I had envisioned all my life...I kept thinking of ways to break it off with him."
Fortunately, Antonia never got a chance to have that conversation, and by the date's end, they both had overcome their awkwardness and they did set a second date. Antonia honestly told Michael that she wasn't sure if she wanted more than friendship with him, but he kept pursuing and he told her why.
"He told me that in 10-plus years with CatholicMatch and other online dating sites, he never had met anyone that had so much interest in him," Antonia recalled. Michael is a talented musician, who plays the saxophone and clarinet and is learning classical guitar, and it was easy for Antonia to find him interesting, at least as a friend. It turns out that her thoughtful messages were laying the groundwork for something much bigger than she ever realized.
Six months after making initial contact online, Michael and Antonia are engaged, and will be married in May of this year. Antonia now understands what that nagging feeling was--"God telling me to be open-minded, and give this avenue a try, because Michael had been waiting for me here for years."