Saturday, September 21, 2013

Catholic Singles

Catholic? Single? Looking to Mingle ;) Check out 

Ha ha. Okay so what used to be a taboo subject (meeting people online) has recently(?) become the norm, at least it seems that way with young people today! Here is my story of "virtual dating" ( oh gosh that definitely makes me sound wayyy more tech savy than I actually am!).

After discerning with a few religious orders for quite sometime, and realizing that my vocation is marriage I was on the hunt. You would think going to a "Christian" school would be metropolis of Christ-like gentlemen, or our wonderful Newman center with 2 males would be a overdose of testosterone, but alas it was not.
 Our Newman Center was very close, as we had 10 (or so) solid members, and dating would just have been...weird... almost incestuous... Keep in mind my school is small, about 600 students, and as a post FOCUS conference, young Catholic women I was "on fire" to keep my priorities straight in regard to courtship.  There actually weren't a lot of practicing young Catholic on campus, probably because about a 100 years or so Catholics weren't even allowed to live in that town.... that's a story for another time. So, one day as I read the Church newsletter I noticed an advertisement on the back "Catholic Singles". Having dabbled with online dating websites before, mostly for the entertainment of my girlfriends, I decided THIS was the answer.

I remember sitting down that Sunday night not being able to focus on homework, after all of my homework was done ;), and starting to set up my profile. I was actually very pleasantly surprised on how organized this site was as well as that Catholicism was really the main focus. Not only were there questions such as " How often do you attend Mass" etc. but tougher questions such as " On a scale from 1-10 how much do you agree with the Church on this topic", " What is your current stance in the Church", " Are you able to get married in the Church". Some of these questions were pretty personal, but important, and you did have the option to say "ask me later".

Anyway, after completing my profile, uploading a picture, I decided to roam around the sight. There were forums that you could participate in. Every week their was a Homily from a priest. There was a relationship advice column and of course the option to search for other members. I thought this was fun and I definitely remember looking at some guys and thinking if they're my future husband *embarrassing face palm*.

 Because I was a "free" subscriber I could not send or reply to written email messages. I could however send "icons" such as " have a blessed day" , roses, smiley faces and many others. I received an array of messages from anything to " you are wonderful, come to my island and marry me, I am a rich man".... to " can you take a look at my profile and see if you would like to continue a conversation". Thankfully I never got inappropriate messages, but I heard that the company is pretty good on deleting those types of subscribers.

After a few months of being on the website I talked to a few people here and there but nothing ever really "sparked" or "cliqued". But then. Boom. Two, God fearing, attractive, devout Catholic men came a knocking.. their names... both MATT. Ha ha! That is when I caved and paid for a 1 month subscription so that we could actually talk and get to know one another more. Matt 1 lived actually about 7 miles away from me and Matt 2 lived a few states away. Both very different from one another, Matt 1 loved to ride motorcycles, hike, go to concerts,travel everything of that nature. Matt 2 , a little more shy, a farmer, loved animals, rode horses, and very sweet.

As I started to get to know both of them a little bit more via email, I felt a stronger connection  to Matt 2. Matt 1 was great, and actually a week after talking to me he met his wife! Now 2 years later they are happily married! Matt 2 however was a little bit of a different story... 

After talking to Matt 2 via email, we deiced to exchange phone numbers and text and eventually start talking on the phone. My heart was on a constant "high(?)". We would pray together over the phone. We had similar family situations. We had similar dreams, goals, and aspirations etc. Everything seemed perfect, and I was walking on a cloud everyday! I remember after a few months of talking he said " Joanna, if I wasn't so far away right now, I would ask to take you on a date. I pray everyday that we are able to one day meet". Well slap me silly, he took my breath away. We weren't dating,  but we were talking.

Weeks rolled by and things were changing. We still talked, although it felt more out of habit. This may seem crazy to some but I didn't feel like we were challenging ourselves. We stayed in our comfortable bubble and didn't approach subjects that would force us to think and pray. Everything was just ok. I guess what I mean is we weren't growing as Catholics. We weren't encouraging each other to read this or that, or sign up for a class etc. It almost seemed that as friends, we were great. However, as a potential couple not so much.

Matt decided it was time for us to meet. That in two weeks, if I was okay with it, he would drive down, get a hotel room for himself for a few nights and us get to know each other in person. Although I felt in my heart that this wasn't going to head in the direction of a romantic relationship, I felt as we owed it to one another to at least try  to see each other and remain friends!

As the days came and went, I was anticipating his arrival with a lump in my throat. A few days before he was going to come down, Matt 2 decided that it may not be such a good idea anymore, and backed out on the plan. I was a mixture of sad, relieved, upset, confused. I agreed with him, and figured at least we were on the same page. (Matt however, is now happily engaged :)!)

A few days went by, and the day of "arrival" came. Originally I took the day off of work but told my boss that it wasn't necessary anymore. I started work at 4pm, and I remember estimating his arranged arrival to be at around 4:45. Guess who came in at 4:45, to my work that very day.
So needless to say. Catholic Singles? Eh why not give it  a try. No matter what, God has already established  our plan for us. For Matt 1 it was a week after him and I talked. Matt 2 a few months after him and I decided not to meet up. For me? Well, lets just say, I am blessed and highly favored.

God Bless.

Oh. by the way :) Sebastian and I celebrated our "last year  of engagement"  yesterday as it was September 20th, 2013, and our wedding will be September ,20th, 2014 :)
I am a lucky lucky woman!

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