Meagan wasn’t a natural for online dating. Shy by nature, a site like Catholic Match wasn’t something she would have reached out to on her own accord. But ironically, it was her grandmother who nudged her to use the Internet to reach out and find the someone she was meant to spend a lifetime with. Ryan was on the other end of the social spectrum. Naturally gregarious, he was originally from Illinois. When he decided to leave there to get a fresh start on life, his going away party was attended by 500 people. It would take time for him to reach Meagan, but patience is exactly what he showed.
“I sent her a message, but didn’t get a response back”, he recalled. Later he would learn that Meagan was not a full member and therefore unable to respond. She wasn’t just ignoring him, as he first thought. Finally they connected. They spent 2-3 weeks just using e-mail correspondence and eventually, Ryan was able to talk her into a phone conversation. From there things began to move.
“We talked on the phone every night for two months”, he said. “And it was about a month and a half before they met face-to-face. But the weekend where they were finally able to come together was special and remains one of Ryan’s fun memories of the courtship.
Meagan is in Ohio where she’s getting her masters degree. Ryan lives in the northern part of Mississippi, in a town that’s close to Memphis. It was a ten-hour drive for him to get to her, but it was worth the drive. “It was kind of cute, he said, referring to a visit to her friend’s house where there was a little party. She introduced me to her friends and added ‘he’s mine.’ That weekend we made everything official. I have never had anyone put so much hard work, time, and thought into the week I was going to be there. I couldn’t have asked for more.”
Today they are planning their wedding and when I spoke to Ryan he was in the process of getting his home fixed up for her arrival, as she prepares to relocate. Like many people, Ryan found his soulmate when he really didn’t feel the need for one. “I was content to be single the rest of my life”, he said. It was seeing those around him who had families that made him continue to be open the prospect of marriage and children. And if that was to be his chosen path, he had no desire to wait around. “I don’t want to be in a wheelchair watching my kids grow up” he said jokingly, though it underscored a serious intent. And living in the Bible Belt, with its heavy Baptist population made going online a virtual necessity.
For someone who left his original home to make a fresh start, Meagan is more than Ryan could have ever hoped for. “She is a blessing from God and an Angel sent to me.”