Cheri had just come out of a two-year relationship and was evaluating where to go in her future dating life. A talk with her mom helped clarify the importance of having a Catholic spouse. And Cheri figured to have no problem finding such a man—after all, she worked in a Catholic university near her home in southwest Minnesota. But after realizing the men she came into contact with were either students—even though Cheri was young herself, in her mid-twenties, that wasn’t an option—married men or consecrated religious, she began to wonder if her ideal spouse existed.
“I’d always thought online dating might be something I’d try,” Cheri said. And her decision to join CatholicMatch had good results even prior to meeting her future spouse. Dates with five different men restored her confidence that good Catholic men were out there and she feels privileged to call all five her friends to this day.
A Catholic spouse was a top priority for Scott as well, and the hand of Divine Providence seems to have been present in the crafting of his profile. For his photo scrapbook, one of the shots he had uploaded turned out to be a mutual friend of Cheri’s. Upon seeing the profile, she contacted this friend prior to reaching out to Scott. After a good report, the relationship was underway.
The divine “coincidences” that were manifest in this beginning are a common feature of many success stories.
But as “Faith, Hope & Love” often points out, this kind of grace only works if you cooperate with it. Cheri had taken the initiative to look through profiles to find the scrapbook picture. She reached out to the friend and then reached out to Scott. And he, who had set aside skepticism of online dating to join the site in the first place, reached back. Human cooperation and work is always necessary to bring any action of God to a successful conclusion. And this particular action was off to a strong beginning.
The beginning consisted of exchanging messages for a few weeks, and then moving to phone conversations. Talking to each other flowed so easily that it was a natural to set up a date even though they lived a couple hours apart. The Twin Cities was a good mutual meeting spot and they spent a fun evening over dinner and browsing a bookstore. Being a Friday during Lent, it was a fish dinner, an appropriate first meal for a couple grounded in Catholicism.
Before Lent was over, they’d attended the Easter Vigil Mass together and by that point, they were each convinced they’d found a “keeper.” They continued to work at the relationship though. They went through the book 101 Questions to Answer Before Getting Engaged.
“It was very helpful to cover the many important topics and discuss how we would handle them in the future,” Cheri told CatholicMatch. “To know that we had no big differences and there were no red flags was definitely a good sign.”
Cheri is also convinced that one big sign for both of them was they shared a commitment not to “settle” in what they considered important in a relationship and they saw clear similarities in not just morals and values, but future goals and even conversational styles. It was the sort of a complete package that signals a relationship is meant for something greater.
Today Cheri and Scott are married and building their lives together in Minnesota. Their families have embraced the union with joy from the start. Indeed, good prospective Catholic spouses are still out there, as they both found out.