In late July of 2018, 19-year-old Christina received a message from 20-year-old Matt, a fellow Michigan resident.
She’d created a profile and purchased a subscription to CatholicMatch three months earlier based on a church bulletin ad her mom saw. At that time, she recalled, “I didn’t know any single Catholic men, so I figured ‘why not?’” But after three months of many interactions that went nowhere, she felt burnt out and unsubscribed. So when Matt sent that first message, she was able to read it but couldn’t respond without reactivating her subscription.
Fortunately for him, her grandma intervened!
After his mom told him he needed to get out of the house and go on a date, Matt took her words to heart and joined CatholicMatch. He purchased a six-month subscription but only needed two weeks to meet the love of his life! As he clicked through Christina’s profile, he noted their similar backgrounds- both came from large families (6 kids in his family, 8 kids in hers) and had been homeschooled. They also both expressed interest in attending the Traditional Latin Mass. Seeing that she happened to be online at the same time he was, he took a gamble and sent her a thoughtful paragraph commenting on the similarities in their backgrounds and asking if she had enjoyed being homeschooled as well.
Christina reported being “intrigued” by Matt’s initial message, so much so that she showed it to her mom and grandma!
Still, she had no plans to re-subscribe, but her grandmother wouldn’t take ‘no’ for an answer!
As Christina described it, finally her grandma “threw me her credit card and demanded I respond back to him. So I did what I was told and subscribed again so I could respond back. The ball went rolling from there!”
Their first date…
Just over a week after that first message, which was followed quickly by Snapchats and video calls, Matt and Christina met in person for their first date.
The two played disc golf, despite a mishap involving poison ivy and a brush with an aggressive tree branch! Matt had shared with Christina that he didn’t own a scapular but wanted to wear one, and as promised she brought one for him on the date.
She was surprised when taped to the underside of the disc golf frisbee, she found a rosary that he had brought for her! He explained that the rosary was a gift because she didn’t own one- but she felt confused because she owned many!
Still, she was touched by his thoughtfulness.
Facebook official after the first date!
During the course of the date, Christina asked Matt how long he thought was reasonable for a couple to date before they called themselves ‘boyfriend’ and ‘girlfriend.’ She was stunned when he told her “one date!” She clarified, “So you’re saying that we should be officially boyfriend/ girlfriend?”
And he responded, “Sure!” When her mom picked her up from the park later on, Christina’s phone dinged a notification, and she saw “He made us Facebook official before even leaving the parking lot of the park!”
They navigated challenges during their dating relationship…
At the time they met, Christina and Matt lived an hour and a half apart. During the course of their relationship, they contended with an additional move that increased the distance by 45 minutes, leading them to use text, video calls, and weekend visits to get to know each other. The nearly two years between their first date and their engagement included much personal growth and a few temporary break-ups.
Christina observed, “A lot of people think they’re ready for a relationship, and then they get in one and find they have baggage they didn’t even know about!” But the couple continued to communicate and persevere through various challenges, and gradually they discerned marriage and a future together. On the 4th of July, 2020, Matt decided the time was right….
Christina described the proposal as “perfect,” and noted that he definitely threw her off-track by letting her decide the activities for that day. They had committed to attending his cousin’s 4th of July party that evening, but he let her pick what they did beforehand. She chose to go for a walk in their favorite park, and they took pictures there together before he caught her off-guard by popping the question! While Christina had had a “sneaky suspicion” that Matt planned to propose that day, “he played it off so well and was so calm and collected the whole time that I thought I was overthinking it!”
A wedding in the time of COVID wasn’t easy.
COVID restrictions in Michigan at the time of their May 2021 wedding dovetailed well with Christina’s desire for a small wedding. Besides the wedding party, composed of his and her family members, the reception hall was able to accommodate just fifty additional guests. The couple were married on May 22nd, the vigil of Pentecost, during a Latin Mass celebrated by a priest who had known the two of them throughout their dating relationship. Nine months later, the couple happily welcomed their first child!
Advice for singles considering trying CatholicMatch…
Asked what advice they’d offer others considering signing up for CM, Matt commented, “It’s a good tool to try and find someone.”
Christina elaborated, “It’s a great place to talk to other single Catholics who share the same morals. I’m someone who likes to see all of her options before choosing, and I definitely feel like I was able to do that through CM. I talked to many guys before meeting Matt, with all types of different personalities, which was nice because I got to figure out what I wanted in a guy in the process. What I (originally) thought I wanted isn’t what would’ve been best for me!”