Officially, the story of Tom and Molly’s relationship began at the end of May in 2010. In reality, several years earlier each had come to feel a deep desire to find their spouse. It was desire that would animate their actions, even as they both lived life to the fullest and embraced the adventures that are available to those who are single.
Tom had grown up in New York, but the 28-year-old had the itch to go west. He worked in Yellowstone Park in Wyoming for a while, and then made the decision to come back east. “I chose Boston as a more manageable and youthful New York City,” he said, explaining his next move. “I’m not going to lie—the months following my departure (from Yellowstone) were pretty rough, as my purpose, work, and life lost clarity.”
Molly had grown up in Vermont and the 25-year-old took her thirst for adventure across the Atlantic Ocean. She worked as a student coordinator in Italy. Like Tom, she found herself with a desire to return closer to home, and also struggling to find a purpose once she did come back to her parents’ house.
The search for stability and meaning reached into their desire for a relationship. Tom found out about CatholicMatch through the parish bulletin, and Molly got a favorable recommendation from a friend. Even when it came to online dating, the idea of expanding one’s limits was present for both of them. Molly wasn’t in Tom’s original search criteria, but he decided to expand his parameters just a little bit, and when he did the girl from Vermont showed up.
Even though Tom located Molly on CatholicMatch, it was she who made first contact, with an emotigram and a compliment regarding his pictures. “She said my pictures spelled an interesting story,” Tom recalled. Wise words for all CatholicMatch members to consider when putting their photo albums together.
When they first spoke over the phone, Tom found Molly to be “attractive and appealing in conversation,” and he was quick to suggest a face-to-face date. He came to Vermont to meet her, and they had a pleasant walk on the trails of Montpelier, as they enjoyed a beautiful spring day and 10 solid hours of getting to know each other.
That first date led to another, and Tom met her family—an experience he candidly admitted was a little intimidating on the second date—and a day enjoying the waterfront of Burlington, VT. The next date was a meeting in New Hampshire.
This is normally the part of a member story where the relationship takes off and leads inexorably to engagement and then to the altar. That’s not the case here. “I felt things were moving quickly,” Tom told CatholicMatch. “And a part of me felt I shouldn’t stretch away from making Boston work.” He made the tough call to end the relationship.
“It was one of the hardest decisions I had to make,” he admitted, “ultimately I felt it would be easier if I focused on work/life in Boston and Molly focus on deciding her next move after returning from Italy.”
The fact the two separated ways didn’t mean they hadn’t made a strong impact on each other, and by the following February, Tom had given up on Boston and returned home to New York and what he felt was a necessary soul search. His birthday was in February and he wasn’t surprised when Molly reached out with a happy-birthday email.
Tom responded with a phone call and as they got caught up, he found her next move had been to get a job in nearby Queens as a teaching assistant. Their separated paths were coming together in New York, and they met for a dinner date in Little Italy.
Now the story is surely coming to a conventional close, as they enjoy being close to each other and the path moves inexorably to the wedding day, right? Not so fast. Tom had also reached a decision to move out to the Grand Canyon in Arizona. They still spent as much time as they could together before he got on a train to begin another leg of life’s adventure.
Tom was gone for precisely two days when Molly told him she wanted to come out and join him during her summer break. “Never had I been so motivated to make logistical arrangements,” Tom recalled. He was able to arrange for her to find work for two months, and she made plans to fly out around the Fourth of July.
A seminal moment in the life of the adventurous twenty-somethings came prior to Molly’s arrival. Tom was hiking down a challenging trail in the Grand Canyon. He loved the solitude he found near the Colorado River, and it was there that he had a revelation.
“I should get my priorities together and secure a companion for life.” When he returned back home, he had a few errands to take care of. In addition to things like groceries, his list included one more item—buying an engagement ring.
It was April that he bought the engagement ring, and Molly’s arrival would be in July. Her plane came into Las Vegas, and Tom, wracked with tension and excitement only managed a few hours sleep before making the five-hour drive to pick her up. They didn’t make it back to Arizona before Tom proposed and Molly accepted.
This past June, Tom and Molly were married and they live near her parents in Vermont. She is currently expecting their first child and he has a good job working for a bicycling touring company, one that can support their family both now and as it grows.
After Tom and Molly’s excellent adventures led them from Italy to the Grand Canyon to an engagement in Las Vegas, they are, at long last, at home.