Cara was departing from her first date with Patrick feeling reasonably sure that he wasn't the one. She hadn't ruled out seeing him again. But she was also in communication with someone else on CatholicMatch and was a little taken aback by Patrick's forthright approach.
Patrick had counted down the hours to their first date, and knowing that Cara was going to her sister's graduation party that weekend, had even gotten her sister a card. "At first, that was a bit overwhelming to me," Cara later admitted. It took some conversations with co-workers and a fresh perspective on things for her to be convinced that Patrick was being sweet.
Patrick and Cara are young, at 26 and 24 respectively, but the road to meeting each other hadn't been easy. "I wasn't sure that I'd find a guy whose Catholic faith was important to him, let alone had a personality that intrigued me," Cara said. She tried CatholicMatch after seeing the ads on her church bulletin. While online dating didn't seem to be ideal, she figured it gave her better chances than she was having elsewhere.
It took a few different tries on CatholicMatch, and several months into her subscription, before Patrick sent her a message. He was local--they both live in the Twin Cities--and he immediately asked her to video chat, and soon after that they went out for their first date.
As Patrick and Cara continued to date, the same things that scared her on the first date are now endearing. "I've learned to love the countdowns to our next date," she said. "And to love all the other little ways he's shown me I'm someone special in his life." It's the same kind of dedication that Patrick shows to his family and to his faith in Christ.
One of their early dates was to a pond, where they played a YouTube video of a loon mating call, trying to get the attention of a nearby loon. That date underscored attributes that Cara has come to enjoy about Patrick--his love of nature, his knowledge and willingness to share random facts (anything from nature to history to music to movies to health) and the ability to appreciate the goofy things in life.
Thus, nearly a year later, they returned to that same pond and stopped by a rock bench. Patrick had brought a picnic basket with wine, and he asked Cara to uncork the bottle. "He was attempting to distract me," Cara said. "Then he got down on one knee and asked if I would his wife. He listed all the reasons why it should be me."
Prior to meeting Patrick, Cara had been asked by others if maybe her standards were a little high--those standards being someone who had faith in Christ, was pro-life, pro-family and reasonably attractive to her. She found all those traits in Patrick--but it took giving him a second chance to make it to happen.
And now a new countdown has begun, as Patrick and Cara count down the days until their wedding this November.