Every couple that meets on CatholicMatch moves at their own pace. For some, it's important to move from online connection to a face-to-face date as soon as realistically possible. For others, it's important to let things grow gradually. Matt and Katie fell into the latter category.
From the beginning, I've always said one of the best things Katie and I did for ourselves was not rushing to meet, 32-year-old Matt said. Even though they both live in the Raleigh area of North Carolina, they moved slowly from messages on CatholicMatch, to the phone and texts and to Skype and allowed that to percolate for a month before they got together.
In talking with Katie, I knew there was something special about her, Matt said. In the past, I've found myself as the one rushing to meet. I figured after a day or two then someone should be ready to meet. This time, Matt felt like the better thing to do was wait, and continue to get to know Katie better, from her interests and to her background.
Matt liked what he learned about Katie and that feeling was mutual. Katie is the youngest of six kids and has a close relationship with her family that Matt finds attractive. She is also a self-described science nerd and is currently in a postgraduate program at North Carolina State University for animal viral genomics, with ambitions of one day working for either the Centers for Disease Control or the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Nor is her love for animals restricted to textbooks with the heart of the animal-loving St. Francis of Assisi, she owns three cats and a dog.
Their shared intellectual pursuits provide a common bond for Matt and Katie, as he is also in a postgraduate program. He's studying for his MBA in Computer & Information Security, while continuing to work for Verizon as a surveillance tech.
The amount of time Matt and Katie put into their schooling, rather than being a stumbling block in their relationship, has instead been a source of strength and unity. We both understand how much time schooling can take, Matt said. We learned to support each other in our education pursuits.
Matt and Katie's mutual support of each other is just one way their relationship has helped them grow, both individually and as a couple. Relationships take work, Matt said. We both love each other and at times there might be something said or done that upsets the other person, but it shouldn't be a cause for worry that the other person will up and leave.
Matt admitted that early in he worried a great deal about saying or doing the wrong thing that would cause Katie to leave. Instead, he found that she was someone always willing to work through a problem. Relationships are a constant learning process, he said. If something happens and the other person is upset, we need to talk it out and make it become water under the bridge.
The common bonds from shared family values to shared intellectual pursuits to a shared willingness to work through problems, ultimately weave back to the biggest and most important bond and that is faith. Like so many CatholicMatch members, it's what drew Matt to the site to begin with. I know my faith plays a very important role in my life and meeting someone Catholic was the number one trait I looked for. I've looked at other sites and it's frustrating having to filter through all the options to bring up members who are Catholic. CatholicMatch solved this. I knew women would be on this site who were serious about their faith. If I wanted to meet a Catholic woman, I knew CatholicMatch was the site for it.
Katie's faith convictions were precisely what Matt was looking for. Early on, even in their pre-dating phase of phone/text/Skype communication she expressed an interest in attending Mass with Matt if things worked out. Now going to Mass together is a special time for both of them. And their shared Catholic faith has given them a rich understanding of God's mercy and His offer of new beginnings.
I realized we both have a past and that no one is judging the other on what happened before meeting each other, Matt said. We have learned to love and accept the other person for who they are now and what they want to become, and have that growth together.
God puts people in our lives for a reason, Matt added. God helped me come across Katie for a reason. The way we were connecting and getting closer emotionally was an amazing feeling.
Together, Matt and Katie are walking a wonderful path. They are still in the discernment process of what Gods ultimate plan is for their lives. But it's safe to say that when two people combine common bonds and a shared desire to see the best for each other, that the final destination is going to be good.
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