Chris and Kim both took some time to get comfortable with online dating, but once they got settled in, success wasn't long in forthcoming. This international long-distance relationship covered the distance from Australia to Singapore and the couple was married this past fall.
"I had a tried a Christian dating site many years ago," 50-year-old Chris recalled. The attempt was not successful, and he was apprehensive about trying again.
But apprehensive did not mean unwilling and when a Google search brought up CatholicMatch, Chris was comforted by the fact that Father Frank Pavone of Priests For Life had endorsed the site. Even so, it still took Chris several years before deciding to become a member.
Kim, age 52, had been part of CatholicMatch for three years by then, but the first two had been on the outskirts. "It took a while before I was confident enough to post photos," she said. "I was cautious about meeting people online."
Ironically it would be a photo that would change the trajectory of Chris and Kim's lives. In April of 2012 she was browsing and she located his profile. "One photo in particular caught my attention," she recalled. It was a photo of what I had thought was a magnificent sunset. It turned out to be sunrise! I messaged Chris first to comment on that photo. He responded and that was how it all started."
Their online connection had some aid from above, and both Chris and Kim freely credit prayers to the Blessed Mother. "We truly believe that we met through Our Blessed Mother's intercession as both of us had written petitions just months before we met online," Kim said, hoping that their own experience will give hope to others who trust in the Mother of Christ. "This was the first time either of us had articulated our desires for a life partner in a written petition to Our Lady."
Chris and Kim spent the next few months getting to know each other, including making every Saturday a "Skype date." They decided to meet in October 2012. The plan was for her to fly out of Singapore and come to Sydney, where he works for the Australian government.
The apprehension that characterized their early footsteps on CatholicMatch were still present on this initial face-to-face meeting. "The first trip out here was a nervous trip," Kim admitted. "But it was worth everything."
Once they got together, the apprehension gave way to optimism and both had a strong sense of where their relationship was going. "Kim very quickly exceeded all my expectations with her incredibly loving, patient and gentle nature," Chris said.
For her part, Kim was no less enthusiastic. "He is a kind, sensitive, patient and incredibly loving man. His love for his family and for God were the first qualities that attracted me to him. He is active in his community and practices what he preaches."
Chris made a visit to Singapore in January of this year to meet Kim's family, and with an agenda on his mind. At his request, Kim made reservations at a restaurant of which she'd previously sent him photos of herself with friends. When they were there, Chris pulled out a printed copy of the sunrise picture that first connected them online. The marriage proposal was on the back of the photo.
"I'm a pretty traditional guy so I wanted to keep it simple but make it memorable in a simple way," he said. The fact he'd asked Kim to make the reservation just a couple days prior to a large family function had tipped her off to what he might have in mind, but when the moment came she still couldn't get the words out.
"I was speechless," Kim said. "Chris had to verbalize his proposal three times before he got a response from me. I was deliriously happy."
Chris and Kim have found their happily ever after with each other, but it didn't come without struggle and suffering. " I think every one of us struggles through life," Kim said, citing a painful breakup she had gone through several years ago with an ex-boyfriend. "It took me years to pull myself back together again and to allow myself to love but more importantly to be loved." When she was ready, Chris appeared in her life.
The past year has seen struggle in Chris' extended family. A child passed away suddenly, and his own father died in August after being ill for several years ago. Those moments also allowed Kim's own faith to touch him. "She again showed how incredibly loving she is in how she related to Dad," Chris said recalling her post-engagement visit this past summer.
Kim has now relocated to Sydney, and she and Chris are settling into married life together. "She has the most beautiful vibrant personality and wonderful sense of humor," Chris said. "It's a combination I never thought I'd be blessed with in a million years."
The couple will return to Singapore for a second wedding celebration with Kim's family. "Chris is a gentle soul, traditional in many ways," she said. "I've met a lot of people in my life, but no one like him."