John, a 32-year-old who originally came from Iowa, had traveled the world and lived both an interesting life, as well as that of a genuine hero. He joined the Navy in 1996 and as part of his two deployments, was part of the first attack on Afghanistan after 9/11. He stayed nearby the Virginia Beach base to get an accounting and finance degree at Old Dominion.
But the man who feels a deep sense of loyalty to his own was ready to come home.
CatholicMatch, as well as other dating sites, had been part of John’s dating life already, as was the case with Liz, 29, a teacher with a passion for Irish dance living in the Chicago suburb of Elgin.
One day while doing his search, John decided to widen the parameters, and Liz came up.
An emotigram exchange led to two weeks of chatting, when as John put it, “I struck the nerve to ask to give my number. Instead, she gave me hers.”
Two more weeks of phone conversation followed in the fall of 2009 and they went on their first date in October, enjoying each other’s company enough to become an official “couple.”
They were living 2 ½ hours away for the first six months of the relationship, the distance between Elgin and John’s Davenport, Iowa, home. They came to realize the importance of unlimited minutes on a cellphone plan to making a long-distance relationship work and also set important physical boundaries. With their dates being weekends spent together, they made a commitment not to sleep in the same bed and to develop a restraint that would serve them well in marriage.
In April 2010, it was Liz’s turn to make the weekend drive. She was thrilled to walk outside her building and see John there in his car. “She was overjoyed to see me but couldn’t understand why I came out to see her…That’s when I knelt down with the ring and proposed. And thanks to be to God, she said ‘yes!’”
As afternoon work breaks go, Liz’s was about as memorable as it could get.
The engagement lasted 15 months before their marriage nearly three weeks ago at Liz’s home parish. Both John and Liz found this to be a good period of time, allowing them to continue growing with each other and with God.
Liz’s brother was ordained a transitional deacon and they had the chance to see him ordained in Rome and they attended NFP classes together. Her brother, who is now a priest in the Diocese of Rockford. was able to concelebrate the nuptial Mass.
“It’s truly to a joy to marry someone who not only has good ‘human characteristics’( good looking, smart, funny), but values and lives out the faith I also value and practice,” John told CatholicMatch. “CatholicMatch is the only site I’ve been on that put an importance on my faith when choosing a partner…CatholicMatch works.”
Indeed it does—but John’s decision to widen those search parameters made it work.