"First, I want to tell everyone--don't give up!" That's the message of hope that 42-year-old Rebecca, who lives in Madison, WI working for the university press, wants her fellow CatholicMatch members to here.
The fact that Rebecca was even willing to join CatholicMatch was because of her willingness to keep putting herself out in the dating world in spite of frustrations, and that persistence was a quality she still needed in reserve after joining this online community.
Rebecca's path started, as all truly good ones do, with prayer and a true openness to wherever God might be leading. "Some girlfriends I got a group together to pray the Rosary to find husbands," she recalled. "I wasn't looking hard at the time, but Praying the rosary with a group seemed like a really good idea."
The world of online dating had produced some bad luck for Rebecca prior to this and she had mostly closed the door to this avenue. But a friend of hers had met their spouse on CatholicMatch, so while Rebecca didn't have sky-high hopes, she felt--around the same time she was starting with the Rosary group--that this venue was worth a try.
Rebecca seemed to have some chemistry going with someone she began chatting with, but things were broken off abruptly. It was then that Tony showed up.
"I got an email (from CatholicMatch) about men who matched my search and Tony was included," she recalled. Tony is 48-years-old, and lives about an hour's drive from Rebecca, where he works in hospitality. "I read his profile and really liked what he said about having gone through some tough times, but coming out stronger," Rebecca said. "I asked him to create his interview questions."
Tony responded by taking Rebecca's personal interview and then crafting one of his own for her to reply to. That led to daily messages and a month later they were on a first date that lasted five hours.
There was chemistry and interest right from the start, but that shouldn't be confused with love at first sight. What made Tony continually stand out more and more to Rebecca was his honesty and thoughtfulness. "I had never dated such a thoughtful, romantic man before!" she said. Rebecca added that, having grown up with a father who was very distant, Tony's warm-hearted attentiveness was a revelation.
Tony and Rebecca shared not only faith, but common interests as well, including a love for animals. They each have two pets, and they also both enjoy traveling.
About a year after they first met, Tony and Rebecca were on a walk in the Arboretum, a beautiful wooded location on the campus of UW-Madison. It was there that he proposed and she said yes.
Tony and Rebecca will be married in May and are busy with wedding preparations. Their marriage will be the result of not giving up in the face of disappointment and being open to prayer. Recall Rebecca's words "praying the rosary with a group seemed like a really good idea." It seems even better now.