Amanda had just graduated from the University of North Carolina and had entered the workforce in Charlotte. The next step on her life’s journey was to find someone special to share it with. She wasn’t expecting much from online dating, but faith was important to her, so she took a chance on CatholicMatch.
Three hours to the east was the military outpost of Fort Bragg and it was there that 23-year-old Nelson was serving his country in the U.S. Army, and also serving the Catholic Church as a 3rd-grade catechist. He made a connection with Amanda, and after six weeks of messages and texts, they decided to meet up for a casual date of miniature golfing.
“After golf we didn’t want the date to end,” Amanda recalled. “So then we went to lunch. Three hours later we were still talking.” Amanda planned to go to the Saturday evening vigil Mass, so she invited Nelson. The date went on and so did their relationship.
The couple not only shared faith, they had common interests, ranging from music to movies. They kept in touch daily and saw each other every weekend. A time for decisions was arriving and Amanda was acutely aware of the threshold point in life she faced.
“I was slightly hesitant since I was aware of the hardships in a long-distance relationship and also possibly dealing with Nelson being deployed,” she told CatholicMatch. “But I never thought I would meet someone as amazing as him and by New Year’s we were official.”
Nelson and Amanda met some expected adversity a month later when he was deployed, but the knowledge that it was possible didn’t lessen the emotional blow. “Nelson was worried that I might want to get out now, but it never crossed my mind to end our relationship,” Amanda said.
What the young couple did do was pro-actively work even harder on the relationship, spending more time together. The result was things progressed at a quicker pace, yet without feeling rushed. The time they spent together leading to his departure prepared them for long months when Skype was their only connection.
Distance made the heart grow fonder and despite Nelson’s deployment, they were both firm in the conviction to marry. “It’s hard to pinpoint the exact moment,” Amanda said. “But we figured if we could make it through this, then we can make it through anything.”
Amanda came to CatholicMatch with modest expectations of online dating, but she thought big in terms of what she wanted in a spouse. “All you have to do is prove to me you’re the man of dreams,” she told potential suitors in her profile.
Nelson was “everything I ever hoped of,” she said. Indeed, she found a faithful Catholic who served his country and his Church with honor, and if all goes as planned, he and Amanda will marry in the fall of 2013.