My husband, Peter, and I celebrated our second wedding anniversary on July 3.
The happy occasion caused us to reflect not only on our beautiful wedding and the past two years of married adventures, but we’ve also been reminiscing about our initial meeting on CatholicMatch in the fall of 2007, and our long-distance relationship and engagement that ensued. (You can read our CatholicMatch success story here: http://www.catholicmatch.com/blog/2009/08/my-turn/).
When folks find out that Peter and I met on a dating website when we lived over 500 miles apart, the nearly universal question we get is: “How did you guys get to know each other without bankrupting one or both of you? It’s so expensive to date someone that far away!”
Granted, our long distance relationship was expensive. Because we both worked full time, we usually only saw each other on weekends, and that meant gas mileage, a plane ticket, airport parking fees, and a hotel room before we’d spent a single dime on dinners, movies, or any other fun dating activity.
From the first moments of meeting in person, Pete and I both knew that we had found something very special in the other. We understood that long distance relationships get a bad rap for a reason – they’re tough! – but we also felt confident that our budding friendship was worth the sacrifices necessary to see where the Lord would lead us.
While learning how to tighten our belts and budget our time and finances wisely, Pete and I found helpful advice and much-needed support from Dave Ramsey’s book The Total Money Makeover. (We recommend the book-on-CD and Dave’s live seminar over the book).
Dave’s straightforward, no-nonsense approach to managing money was just what we needed to become extra-motivated and extra-practical about making our long distance relationship work financially.
At the time, neither of us realized how much our long distance relationship was preparing us with vital tools for marriage and family life.
Eleven months after our wedding, I resigned from my full-time job and became a stay-at-home mom when our first son, Mark, was born. I had no idea how expensive babies were until we had one.
Have you browsed the diaper aisle of a grocery store lately? Diapers are expensive, and babies use lots of them! And then there’s the fact they outgrow a clothing and shoe size every few months, require more gadgets and paraphernalia than my husband and I put together, and when they become toddlers, your weekly food bill grows exponentially too!
Our second child is due in November, so Pete and I are once again making preparations to tighten our belts for the financial impact of two babies – yes, that’s double the diapers – in our home. The prospect of two babies under 18 months apart makes those plane tickets and airport parking fees from our LDR seem rather trivial in comparison.
It’s surprising how our perspective can change along with various life experiences. Many single folks might be opposed to considering a LDR, especially in a rough economy. And yet, opening your heart to the prospect of a long distance relationship might be just the boot-camp experience the Lord has designed to get you ready for the real financial adventure of a lifetime: a spouse and kids.
If I could go back to those exciting days in the fall of 2007 when Peter Weinert first started emailing me on CatholicMatch and once again consider the high cost and high stakes of making contact with a guy who lived so very far away, without question I would do it all over again. There is no price I would not pay for the love and joy I have found with my soul mate.
And in the same token, I wouldn’t change the fact we’re welcoming two babies into our family in such a short time. Nothing expands a heart’s capacity to love and serve like having a child. Thus, as we continuing celebrating our second anniversary, Pete and I are doubly celebrating being twice blessed.