Hesitation was Danielle’s first reaction when her sister told her about CatholicMatch back in 2006 and suggested she join the site. “I had the ‘I don’t want to pay meet someone’ mentality,” she recalled. But she decided to take her chances and the rewards weren’t long in coming.
Dirk, 34-years-old and from Green Bay sent her an emotigram and she reciprocated. That led to some messages back and forth, but with Danielle living in Florida this wasn’t one of the neat messages-phone-calls-date-happily ever after sequences that other success stories have enjoyed.
“I think we both knew deep down inside, with him living in Green Bay and me in North Florida there was no way it was going to work,” she told CatholicMatch. The dialogue that had been opened between the two in January 2007 quietly died two months later.
Both Danielle and Dirk continued to pursue other options in their dating lives, seeing people locally but neither finding what they were looking for. In October they reconnected when Dirk again reached out and sent a message. “He sparked my interest once again,” Danielle said. “I think God was telling us to at least try and make a 2,000 mile relationship work. So we did.”
The end of the month saw Dirk get on a plane for a weekend in the Sunshine State. Danielle felt overcome by tension, filled with butterflies and in her determination to be the first to spot him, she even hid by an airport information booth. Once all that passed and they met in person for the first time, they enjoyed a nice first date that involved doubling with another couple to go to Universal Studios.
Dirk continued to go the extra mile (or extra 2K miles as the case may be) through the balance of the year, making more visits to Florida. It was January of 2008 that Danielle made the return trip north, braving the cold of the Green Bay area.
“I fell in love with his family right away,” she said freely. He was from a family with six siblings who all welcomed Danielle with open arms. “I real didn’t know what to think of Dirk until this point. But after seeing him with all his 20-odd nieces and nephews, I knew this was the man for me.”
Six months later Dirk came to Florida on a mission, and at Danielle’s parents’ house, overlooking the ocean, he proposed. “It was April Fool’s and I actually thought he was joking,” she recalled. In her emotions she doesn’t even recall if she actually uttered the words “Yes.” Whether she did or not, her reaction was all the “Yes” Dirk needed.
It was All Saints Day 2008 that the couple wed at Chicago’s beautiful St. John Cantius Church, where the Latin is preserved in the liturgy, both in the Tridentine and the Novus Ordo.
The key moments of Danielle and Dirk’s relationship had hit in spans of six months—from the time of the first date to the marriage proposal, from the proposal to the wedding. And the string continued when Danielle found out she was pregnant six months after the wedding.
Today they have two children, they split their time between Wisconsin and Florida and are hopeful for more children to be on the way.