It was November of 2012 and Angela had been on CatholicMatch for so long that she quite literally couldn't remember how she had heard of the site to begin with. It had been nine years to be exact, and she still hadn't found "The One."
But she kept coming back. "I knew I wanted a practicing Catholic who also wanted a family," Angela said. In spite of the results, she retained an optimism about online dating--the combination of a natural shyness and the desire for a practicing Catholic persuaded her to keep coming back...and back...and back.
"Sometimes I would be very active, checking in every day," the then-28-year-old recalled. "Other times I would let it sit for months. I did meet a few nice guys on here, but we just didn't click. But I never gave up hope that I would meet 'The One' someday."
Then Daniel came onto CatholicMatch. And in three short weeks after joining the site, he brought an end to Angela's nine-year wait, finding her profile and sending a message.
Daniel was a year older than Angela and was only a 20-minute drive from her in the Los Angeles area. "I was drawn by his profile," she said. "He was as cute police officer who happened to be local." After a few email exchanges in November 2012, they got together in December.
Angela used the phrase "cautiously hopeful" to describe her attitude toward their casual coffee date. She had learned how exhausting it could be to forever speculate on whether each new man she came into contact with would be "The One." For his part, Daniel was up front in his profile in saying he wanted a relationship to develop gradually and allow a firm foundation to take shape.
The first date went well enough that coffee stretched into dinner. More important was that Angela recalled just having a different sense with Daniel than she ever had on previous dates--in no small part, because she noticed that he was not embarrassed to say grace in public prior to their meal. After three dates, Daniel and Angela decided to make their dating relationship exclusive.
Daniel and Angela dated for a year and did a wide range of activities together. They built their spiritual foundation by attending Mass together and praying together. They did the more mundane activities of housework together.
"Daniel was very considerate and thoughtful of my feelings," Angela said. "He noticed things. He is a hard worker and has a strong sense of responsibility and he made me laugh. He told me many times how special and beautiful I was."
The calendar turned again to November and the couple crossed the one-year threshold together. They had talked about marriage and knew they were both on the same page. Angela, the oldest of nine kids and a neonatal intensive care nurse, had a special love for children, and she saw Daniel's good qualities as one that would make him an excellent husband and father.
"I knew it (the proposal) was coming, but I thought he might wait until December," Angela recalled. Daniel was able to catch her off guard by proposing early--quite early in fact, the wee hours of the morning.
Angela was working the nightshift at the hospital and Daniel's own tour of duty ran until 2:30 AM. He asked if he could stop by and see her. "He had done this before, so I didn't suspect anything," she said. "I was simply expecting to share my coffee break with him."
When Angela went outside, she saw Daniel was in his police cruiser, still in full uniform. "I thought maybe he was still on duty. Then he got down on one knee right by the car, gave me the ring and asked me to marry him." She gave him an enthusiastic yes, and they went inside to share the news with Angela's co-workers. Nothing could lift up a hospital ward in the darkness of early morning like a surprise marriage proposal.
Daniel and Angela were married this past June and all those unanswered questions that Angela had about her vocation in life have been answered. "I didn't see (nursing) as my vocation, just my job," she said. "The religious vocation did cross my mind once or twice. I know plenty of people who always wanted to get married but never did. What if that was my story too? I just prayed and put my trust in God."
For Angela, in her single years she was able to get a degree in nursing, but she had to leave it up to God to show her if marriage was her true vocation. And after nine years, the answer finally came.