Michael was in a slump. The native of Lancaster, in the Philadelphia area of Pennsylvania, had been on CatholicMatch for two years, but was in a drought of meeting people with common interests. It wasn’t that it gave him doubts about online dating or the site itself–he’d had a long-term relationship come about, and even though that didn’t lead to marriage, he remained optimistic about his chances in the future.
In early January, Valarie messaged him. Almost instantly they both realized they were talking to someone different than they’d ever dated before–and, dare they say it so soon?–had found “the one.” They began chatting and having long phone conversations rather than just e-mail each other.
The distance was a challenge, but at two hours drive, certainly not something that couldn’t be overcome. Valerie lives in the metro D.C. area, and the fact the nation’s capital is one of Michael’s favorite cities. After she first drove up his direction for a dinner date, he asked her if he could return the favor the weekend of the March for Life. They enjoyed a dinner at historic Union Station
At the risk of a bad pun, it was an appropriate venue, because Michael and Valarie were at the same station in life. “We had both been involved in various long-term relationships in the past and were accustomed to the costs, time spent in transit as well as the thought put into how to meet and accommodate the other person, Michael said. “We had accepted this early on without much conversation about it because we were both becoming increasingly aware of our God-given vocation and it was a commitment we were able to make without hesitation.”
Michael and Valarie went on to involve those closest to them in their relationship, from family weekends and outings and spending time with friends. They found compatibility, not only in recreation, but also in the most important areas of life. Both are recent converts to the Church–indeed Valarie will make her profession of Faith at Saturday’s Easter Vigil, and working with her through the process helped Michael recall much of what he had learned in RCIA.
After three months of dating, along with some ring shopping, Michael had a plan to propose. At first it appeared the weather might not cooperate. His chosen venue was the tidal basin in Washington D.C., but a downpour and tornado warnings looked like they might carry the day. But as it happened, the clouds parted long enough for them to leave the car, walk by the railing, at which Michael took a knee and asked Valarie to marry him.
Valarie and Michael are thankful CatholicMatch was the venue to bring them together, but even more so to God, who was truly the reason for it all.