Bill and Donna were both using CatholicMatch to ease their way back into the dating scene after going through divorce and annulment and then raising three kids each on their own. Donna’s initiative made the romance a reality instead of just a pipe dream.
It began back in June 2009 when Donna, a 52-year-old from Georgia, took a summer break from studying towards her masters degree in education and wanted to rekindle the social life that had fallen dormant in the three years since her first marriage ended. An ad in her parish bulletin for CatholicMatch led her to come to this venue in looking for answers.
She enjoyed it right away, calling the search process like “catalog shopping”. But she didn’t want to be too forward with anyone, so she waited for someone to contact her. Donna received contact, but it never got past the emotigram stage. Finally, after she and Bill went back and forth viewing each other’s profiles, she decided enough was enough.
“I was going to have to take a leap of faith or else my $50 was going to be wasted on nothing but emotigrams!” she said. Donna reached out and wrote a short note to Bill about how their profiles had a lot in common and asked what his experience had been in meeting people.
His response was quick and considerate, but seemed to close the door on a possible relationship. “He really wasn’t interested in anyone who had children still at home,” Donna recalled. Two of her three kids were still in their teen.
“He was ready to be foot-loose and fancy-free, and he well deserved it after raising three lovely daughters since his divorce,” Donna graciously said.
They exchanged messages, and Bill offered some advice to his new pen pal about how to meet new people. Advice, according to Donna, is something Bill is “very good at doing.” And ironically that kept the correspondence moving along. Every time Donna would say thanks and wish him luck, he’d respond with some more advice.
“I began to think of him as a big-brother type,” she said of the 61-year-old marathon runner, “which sort of hurt his feelings.”
The banter continued over several weeks, while he ran marathons and they uncovered their common interests, goals and values and their strong Catholic faith. Finally they exchanged e-mail addresses and phone numbers. Bill was ready to meet her and was no longer interested in giving her advice on how to find another Catholic man.
Popping the question
They met for dinner in August 2009 and it’s safe to say it was right from the beginning. “Love at first sight,” according to Bill. Donna held out for “love at first kiss.”
By December it was time to make the arrangement more permanent. They went to the banks of Georgia’s Chattahoochee River, a place where they walk and run together. This time Bill took out a bag from the car, which had Donna’s favorite chocolate candy, their favorite bottle of wine and their favorite song on the iPod.
He dropped to one knee and proposed, in a voice of full emotion. She replied with emotion of her own, choking out a whispered “yes.”
They’ve now been married for five months and have successfully melded their families into one.