Both of us do not believe in casual dating. We were both looking for a relationship to lead to marriage. Our values are very strong that we do not believe in sex outside of marriage. Our dating relationship was more like traditional courting. That discipline of courting (without the expectation of sex) gave us more freedom to discern whether we were right for each other.
We had both tried online dating before. We chose online dating because both of us are professionals who are in management positions so there were limited people that we would meet at work that we could date; and we weren't about to go out to bars since both of us worked in addiction services. Online dating provided a larger opportunity for a variety of people and you can screen them based on your criteria. We liked Catholic Match because it had the faith questions which were helpful to screen potential dates.
Louis joined CM end of September 2007; Karen joined late spring or early summer 2007. We met online in October 2007 starting with an emotigram that Karen sent Louis. We then exchanged a couple of emails. Louis told Karen about a position open at his agency for a manager of addiction services. She came to interview for the position and found out that Louis was the hiring manager!
She was hired and we remained in a professional relationship for the next 15 months. Both of us were wondering what God was doing to bring us together (there was chemistry from the beginning) but that we weren't able to date…Then, Louis left his position in March 2009 and we began to date (three days after he left his position).
We lived 35 miles apart and both worked full-time. We saw each other once or twice a week, but talked on the phone every night from the beginning. We went out to dinner and to theater from time to time, but our typical date was Confession, Adoration, Mass and then dinner at Louis' house. Our mutual spiritual devotion showed us that we were compatible and built a spiritual connection that was more important than any physical connection.
The manner in which we courted gave us the opportunity to know each others' values, beliefs, life stories, communication styles and each other's children and families before making a decision about whether we were right for each other.
Karen's 1st marriage had already been annulled in February 2007; Louis began his annulment process shortly after joining Catholic Match. His marriage was annulled at the end of July 2009. A couple of weeks later, he took Karen out for dinner and proposed marriage (using his godmother's engagement ring that had been just shipped to him from Texas). Karen (who is usually not at a loss for words) was literally rendered speechless for an hour before she was able to respond to his question. Having asthma didn't help as she needed to use her inhaler to catch her breath.