Peter had been in a long, dead end relationship with a woman who hadn’t taken her faith seriously, so for many reasons he broke it off. “It took me a while to feel like I was ready to start looking again because I felt vulnerable putting myself out there,” says the 29-year-old from Ohio.
A friend suggested he look into online dating. At first Peter laughed off her suggestion, but after considering it, he started to warm to idea. He searched “Catholic dating sites” and found CatholicMatch.
In September of 2012, he paid for a membership and started looking at profiles. “I got a few ‘smiles’ or ‘winks’ from girls that I was matched with. Then a few days after joining, I saw the profile of a girl in a red dress that was stunningly gorgeous. Her name was Stephanie. I was instantly attracted to her looks, and after viewing her profile, I became even more interested in who she was. We had a lot of similar tastes and preferences. We both were very big on the importance of family. And she wasn't too far away either! So I made the leap and sent her a message. Just saying ‘hi’, and that I would love to get to know her, etc.”
Several days passed with no response from Stephanie, so a disappointed Peter thought maybe she wasn't active on the site anymore, or that she had found someone.
Stephanie Had Spent Months Not Signing In
Stephanie, from Northern Kentucky, had been on and off CatholicMatch. She had gone on a few dates with guys from the site, but she hadn’t felt motivated to pursue a relationship with any of them. Randomly, she signed in after months of not being on the site. She saw she had a message, so she decided to pay for a membership to be able to read his note. “I was instantly intrigued by Peter. I felt an immediate attraction to him, noticed he lived in the greater Cincinnati area, and felt it was worth taking the chance. He seemed like a wholesome, good person who I wanted to get to know,” says Stephanie, 24.
Peter was surprised and happy when he received an email alert that he had a message from Stephanie.
They started messaging back and forth, discussing everything under the sun including TV shows, movies, books, jobs, and school. They ended up exchanging phone numbers, so they could text and call each other.
After two weeks of talking, they had their first date on September 24, 2012.“I asked her out on a date, in which she and I got gourmet, half-priced mac n' cheese, and then walked across a bridge over the Ohio River to get frozen yogurt. I was very nervous. She was even more beautiful in person than she was in pictures. We had a wonderful time talking and laughing. I remember that even though I was very nervous, she made me feel at ease and comfortable.”
Stephanie adds, “The first thing I remember about seeing Peter on our first date was his smile. He had the nicest, warmest smile, and I was instantly attracted to him.”
They had their second date the following weekend, and continued going on dates very regularly after that. “I knew very early on that I wanted to spend the rest of my life with her, and I wasn't shy about telling her that!”
Stephanie didn’t mind because the thought of marrying Peter was very exciting to her. “I knew early on he was the one as well. We fell in love very quickly.”
Best $12.50 I Ever Spent
On February 17, 2014, Peter proposed to Stephanie. “She was coming over after work, and I had decorated the apartment with hearts, photographs of us, and candles everywhere. When she walked in, I was standing there in a suit with a rose. I brought her into the living room, sat her on the couch, and told her how amazing she was. I asked if she would do me the honor of making me her husband. She said yes!”
They were joined in holy matrimony on June 7, 2014 at St. Columban Parish in Loveland, Ohio. “She was the only girl I sent a message to on the site, and I feel like God brought us together. I am very thankful that I went out of my comfort zone and took the leap to try online dating. Her maid of honor at our wedding recounted the story of how we met on CatholicMatch. She said it was the best $12.50 that Stephanie has ever spent. I am inclined to agree.”
Joys & Challenges of Being Married
For Stephanie and Peter, the best part of being married is companionship and support. “He’s my best friend, my advocate, and a wonderful spouse. He listens when I think he’s not, and he does extra things for me without being asked,” she says.
Peter adds. “No matter what, I know that she will be there for me. She has encouraged me, and consequently I have bettered myself in so many aspects. I am thankful knowing that she will always be there for me, for my entire life.”
Peter says, “It's too easy to assume that your partner will think or act a certain way. You always have to make the conscious effort to communicate and be on the same page.”
They have a toddler and a newborn, so another challenge for them has been learning how to function and be kind when they’re feeling sleep deprived.
I Love Watching Stephanie Be a Mom
Having children has helped Stephanie and Peter to feel even more unified. “Now we not only live for each other, but we are united for our sons as well. We want to show them an example of a good marriage filled with love, trust and communication. Having children all in all has brought us closer together,” she explains.
Peter agrees, “It has definitely brought us closer to God and each other. I absolutely love watching Stephanie be a mom!”