Erik and Allison were both looking for a spouse who shared their Catholic faith. Each was running into obstacles along the way, but they were of a different variety.
“I started online dating about the same time I came back to the Catholic Church,” said Erik, who is a “re-vert” to the faith. “The selection of Catholic prospects was slim. I was looking for a needle in a haystack.” He had come familiar with CatholicMatch through advertising on other sites and decided to become a member.
Allison had been through the pain of divorce and annulment, and had gone through a healing process. “Work was my coping mechanism of choice to deal with the pain,” she recalled.” All of the energy that I had longed to put into a marriage and a family had been poured into a fast paced, demanding professional career.”
It was after Allison began to regain her work/life balance that she looked at dating again, but even here there was no rush to get back in the game, so to speak. “I was pretty comfortable in my post-annulment single lifestyle,” she said. “Also, the online dating process was hard because I felt exposed and vulnerable having my personal profile on a website for all male members to see.”
What eventually spurred Allison to take the chance and try online dating was her belief that she was indeed called to the vocation of marriage, and she had to stay true to that call.
Allison would appear as one of the matches that CatholicMatch emailed to Erik, and he looked at her profile. It didn’t take long for him to be impressed.
“I found stunning pictures with an intriguing profile,” he said. “She was a high-octane Catholic woman and seemed very down to earth.” Erik decided he would follow up the next day, but Allison was even quicker. When she saw he had viewed her profile, she return clicked, was no less impressed, and sent him a message.
Erik and Allison connected immediately and wasted no time in taking things offline. “My online search had been going on for about five years,” he told CatholicMatch. “I had learned the value of talking on the phone as soon as possible.”
When they met in person, the connection they felt only grew and the conversation flowed freely. They would both look back and note how comfortable they were in each other’s presence.
“I never felt as if we were two people just talking to hear ourselves talk,” Erik said. “I never felt like we were circling each other like two weary fighters, waiting for an opening…I can’t tell you how many first dates I’ve had that seemed like they were contests. Things were different with her from the get-go.”
For her part, Allison was struck by Erik’s lack of pretense. “When I was alone after speaking with Erik, I never went through the silly parsing exercises that I used to experience in other relationships—wondering what he really meant or was thinking. I always knew.”
The sense of being accepted and at ease when they were together permeated both of them and built on the already-firm foundation of faith their new relationship had. “I love that Erik is a revert to the faith after a long discernment journey,” Allison told CatholicMatch. “He’s here to stay.” She added that she further enjoys Erik’s diverse conversational skill, able to flow freely from a serious topic to a goofy joke, giving them a healthy balance.
The complete comfort they felt in each other’s presence led to the conviction that they were meant for each other. Erik told a co-worker shortly after their first date that “I’ve just met the woman I’m going to marry.”
Allison’s understanding of Erik was a missing piece in his puzzle. “My biggest struggle before finding Allison was finding someone who ‘got’ me,” he said. “Allison always seemed to radiate acceptance. I could be ridiculous or vulnerable, but I never felt small in front of her.”
Their relationship moved to the next level quickly. “To my surprise, the love I found in my heart for Erik was something I had never experienced before,” Allison told CatholicMatch. “His presence also confronted me in a deep way…to recognize my own blind spots and to see my backward priorities.” Allison would eventually decide to choose a different career path, one she felt would be more in accord with the priorities she wanted to live her life by.
Erik and Allison were talking about their future together one day in her kitchen. They live an hour’s drive from each other, and the conversation shifted to what his commute to work would be like when he was married to her.”
“I remarked to Allison that I had not even officially proposed and here I was making plans about what to do once we were married,” Erik recalled. “She looked at me as if to say: ‘Well’?”
“Erik, overcome with the realization, dropped to his knee, train schedule in hand, and asked if I would make him the happiest man alive by living the rest of my life with him,” Allison said. He didn’t have a ring, but he wasn’t letting this special woman get away.
Erik and Allison were married last September 29, on the Feast of the Archangels. Allison recalled writing her original CatholicMatch profile, where she had become content with her life, but now wanted to add a husband. The right man smoothly fit into her life at just the right time.
“I could make a list of qualities (about Allison), but you could find them in different measures in a number of people,” Erik said. “This was different…I never wanted it to end, and yet I never felt as if it was slipping through my fingers. I knew she would be there always.”