Anna, a 28-year-old from Hawaii, had been on CatholicMatch for several months, and while she’d been on some dates, “the one” hadn’t yet revealed himself. She was getting ready to let her subscription lapse.
Joe was also 28-years-old and a Navy submarine office stationed in Hawaii. He was looking for a spouse who shared his values. That was the big picture. There was also a more immediate concern—the Navy Submarine Birthday Ball was coming up and he needed a date.
When the couple connected online there were common interests beyond their shared values. Anna, a photographer and reporter for a local newspaper, loves to be challenged with introductions to new challenges and different interests. Joe, who describes himself as one with “no limits”, was just what the doctor ordered.
Anna’s profile caught his eye and he sent her a message. The exchanged several messages and an online chat—which both of them recall centering around the 1986 Tom Cruise & Kelly McGillis movie Top Gun. Surely there’s nothing like a rendition of “Great Balls of Fire” to set a good tone for a date, and they met in person shortly after that.
The first date didn’t go as smoothly as they would have liked. Anna had a minor car accident on the way and then the music in the café was so loudly they had to virtually shout to have a conversation.
Neither Joe nor Anna were bothered by the less-than-ideal unfolding of their first date, and she accompanied him to the Navy Ball. “Joe’s dress whites certainly helped make a good impression,” she recalled. And over the dinnertime conversation, the connection they felt online came to be in the real world.
They dated steadily for a year, as Joe finished his submarine sea tour. He identified Anna’s Catholic faith and her commitment as the core attraction to him, paying her the high compliment of saying she helped him grow in faith. She loved his sense of humor and his sweetness, and when he joined her local church group, they added another common outlet.
While he was stationed in Hawaii, Joe still had to spend time at sea, and the couple had to return to electronic communication. Anna saved up all their correspondence and gave it to Joe as a Valentine’s gift in 2010. The previous Christmas had been her first away from home, as she chose to go with Joe to visit his family in Wyoming.
As Joe’s tour wound down, change was coming for the couple. He was going to be stationed in Washington D.C., and Anna had decided to move there herself and keep the relationship going.
Joe had an alternate plan in mind. While they were in Hawaii, he suggested they take a morning walk on the beach and get some photos taken at sunrise. After a few shots on the sand, he suddenly said “Let’s try a different pose for this picture.” Anna gasped when he took a knee and showed her a ring. But her shock didn’t stop her from saying yes.
This past July, they were married and have gotten started on a life they hope will imitate what their parents have—a marriage filled with love that lasts a lifetime.