Long-distance courtship: meet your spouse on the internet?


#1

I know that some of you here have met your spouses or fiances on Catholic singles sites, or that you know someone who has does such a thing. I’d love some advice or love stories!

What was courtship like? Did one person move to be near the other person before the marriage? How did that work out? If not, how did you get to know him/her well enough to decide to marry? Did you get to know one person at a time or did you make friends with a lot of people and then chose to court (or be courted by) one of those friends? Any special things to watch out for?

Thanks for the help! :slight_smile:


#2

DH and I met through Ave Maria online.

We exchanged emails initially. Then we began talking on the phone every night. We met in person 6 months after we started talking. We then traveled back and forth every month for a year. We became engaged at Christmas (14 months after we met) and were married in August of the following year. So, 2 years total between meeting and marrying.

No. DH and I did not do this do this.

Talking to someone every day and writing letters back and forth, you can get to know someone much better than through traditional “dating”. We discussed many topics, in detail, in our hours on the phone. The visits were important, but not the key for discernment.

I had been on Ave for a couple of years prior to meeting my DH. I met several other men in person, though those relationships just didn’t work out. Some were local, others long distance. I did talk to several men at a time, sometimes, and then there were periods of no activity at all. Each time it got to the stage of wanting to meet in person, that was an exclusive situation with each man.

There are freaks in all mediums. Just because it’s a Catholic website, don’t let your guard down. There were a couple of men I met who were just plain weird. I ended up telling them not to contact me again. Also, time is your friend. We took plenty of time to get to know each other.


#3

My dh and I met at Ave Maria Singles too. It’s a very orthodox site. You know, our profiles were what attracted us to each other. It kind of gave us a foot in the door to start talking about all of the big things before we even met in person like NFP, children, being a sahm, church teaching, homeschooling – not to mention things such as likes/dislikes, hobbies, personalities.

God’s divine providence is just so perfect. I was about to suspend my account for awhile just because I wanted a break when dh contacted me. We hit it off right away. We only lived 90 min from each other, so we saw each other on weekends. It worked out different and better than I ever would have expected.

On the flip side, I have a friend who had tried every Catholic web site and a few of the secular ones and she had a period of over a year of bad – and I mean horrible – dates. Turns out, she just found someone who’s great for her and he works a couple cubicles away from her! :eek: :rolleyes: :thumbsup: :stuck_out_tongue: :smiley: And has for some time now, but since they weren’t working on the same project, they didn’t have opportunity to get to know one another until something came up that got them together. So, God’s time, God’s way…

I just knew dh was different when we first starting writing. We had a connection even via email from the start. He was the only one I hit it off with online. We wrote volumes to each other. It’s actually pretty neat to have all of that in writing to preserve for our children one day.


#4

My DH and I met on COL (Catholic OnLine), about 2 and half years ago.

We were both members there, I had been there for about 5 years, and he was a new member looking for information about becoming a priest.

I sent him and email one day, and the rest is history!

Oh, by the way, did I mention he was in England and I was in Michigan?

We lived on the Internet - Skype was a true God-send for us, and we used MSM, and email. I totally agree that a long distance relationship forces you to communicate in ways that you just don’t do if you are face to face with a person.

I went to England to see him for the first time - I was scared to death! But it was amazing, and he proposed to me while I was there (8 months after we originally met online). He came here two more times, and we have been through the US immigration hoops, and continue through them still as we apply to adjust his residency status and obtain temporary work authorization and travel documents.

Prior to meeting him, I was on the edge of joining AveMaria. I had the profile all filled out and ready to go. When I got to the part where it asks you if you would be open to God’s will if the person you met was long distance, I honestly broke down in sobs. I just didn’t know if I could do that or not. My family and friends are all here in Michigan, and the thought of having to leave was just so difficult to even consider. So I prayed and prayed about it. And then I was to the point where I told God that I was ready to accept his will in my life and be open to anything he wanted for me. I was waiting for another pay day to pass by to pay for the membership fee to AveMaria ---- and then I met my dear sweet husband-to-be. :smiley: And go figure, he had to live in England.

God truly works in the most amazing ways.

So here we are, together finally, and married this past September! YAY!

You can read our meeting each other story here: batcave.co.uk/blog/

~Liza


#5

My fiance and I met on Catholicsingles.com. It’s funny because I got a free trial membership and only joined to see if I knew anyone on there, but the Lord works in mysterious ways. I was on for about 4 months then we met. Two other men contacted me, one was a 40-year-old fuddy duddy (I was 22 at the time) he was asking all about having children and raising them strict Catholics, and I’m thinking…ok dude, I’m only 22 and still in college, I have not even gotten this far in my mode of thinking! The second dude had a kid, and honestly, I didn’t want to deal with that, he also seemed kind of jerky. Then you get those guys who send you a message saying “Hey nice profile, check mine out and see what you think.” BORING! I never replied to those.

Then on Valentine’s Day 2004, I had gotten back to my mom’s house and checked my email, lo and behold, I had a message in my Catholicsingles.com mailbox! I read one of the most interesting emails from a guy whose screenname was “Jusbnme.” I was intrigued and wrote back. We wrote for about a week, talked on the phone for a week. What I’d give to have those 2 weeks again! They were so exciting! Then we had our first date and have been inseparable since.


#6

I’m not married, but I did meet my GF online. We were both members of the St. Blogs webring, and Facebook. One night we just started IMing each other. We chatted a bunch for a couple months, then realized we were perfect for each other. We have been dating for nine months so far, and it’s going really well. I’ve gone out to visit her three times, and she has visited here once. (61 days until the next visit. . .) We have talked about marriage, and both know what the other person expects.
So yes, internet relationships are possible.

Yours in Christ,
Thursday

P.S.
I agree that Skype is a Godsend.


#7

I met my husband on Catholicmatch. I was also a member of Ave Maria. I liked CM better because they had message boards (Ave Maria didn’t at the time.) I will say this: many people are on both sites (as well as others) and the creepiest man I met was from Ave Maria, so don’t think that just because it’s supposed to be the devouter site that you’re safe. In fact, the biggest jerks I encountered all had “perfect” profiles in regards to portraying themselves as good Catholics. Just keep that in mind, but not to the point of being too paranoid to give a guy a chance!

My DH sent me a message and I saw he was in England (I was in Ohio.) I always thought it would be great fun to live abroad, so I wrote him right back!

We didn’t spend much time together in person before marriage. In fact, we got engaged on our first meeting. (Actually, I was totally expecting this.) I had a clear idea of what sort of man I wanted to marry and I could just tell that he was that sort of man. It helps that I have had a LOT of experience dating - especially prior to becoming Catholic - and I knew all the red flags and signs of a jerk. I knew DH was a GOOD man - a “mensch” - and I had no fears about marrying him at all. It’s wierd, really, that it worked out that way. I don’t know how to explain it. I just had a clear idea of the kind of man I wanted to marry - a good, honest, humble man who would love my son as his own and whom I could trust - and I asked St. Joseph to help me find him. When DH came along, I immediately recognized him as the man I was looking for. It had nothing to do with chemestry and romance - I knew this before I met him.

Anyway, he flew over to see me a few times, and we were married just under six months after meeting face to face, and less than a year after he first emailed me. We now live in the UK

We’ll be married one year on February 4th, and we’ve just had a baby boy in December. It’s been a bit of a bumpy ride, since we got married and moved in together AND I had to adjust to living in a new country. But, things have really gone quite well, I’ve started to figure out this marriage thing (reading Dr. Laura’s Proper Care and Feeding of Husbands, as well as another book called The Surrendered Wife really helped), and I’m feeling pretty darn good about it.


#8

I met my husband via AveMariaSingles. :thumbsup:

What was courtship like?
My husband contacted me a day after I had what I thought was a great in-person date with another member. There was a lot that interested me about his profile, so I asked my (future) husband if he would be offended if I first saw how things developed with this other guy, then followed up with him. He said he wouldn’t be offended. Things fizzled with the other guy, so I contacted my husband & it was off to the races!

We e-mailed for a few weeks, added in phone calls for a few weeks, and then he came up to meet me. A few weeks later I drove down to visit him & meet his family. (That’s when I pretty much knew…:love: ) 5 months later we got engaged; 8 months after that we were man & wife. :slight_smile: It’s been 3 & a half amazing years. We owe Our Lady sooooo much.

Did one person move to be near the other person before the marriage?
Yes. I moved to his state 5 months before we were married.

How did that work out?
Fine, I guess, if you take into account that a new job and a re-location are among the top 10 all-time stressful events! Throw in planning a wedding out of state, and heck, if you survive that, nothing’ll stress you out again!

If not, how did you get to know him/her well enough to decide to marry?
I didn’t relocate til after we were engaged. Between meeting and engagement, we swapped traveling: he’d come up to see me & stay with my folks, and about 2-3 weekends later, I’d go see him & stay with his grandpop. We just talked & talked & talked. Always probing, sharing, praying countless rosaries together, going to daily Mass as often as possible; in short, making productive use of our time together to discern that we were, in fact, called to join in marraige.

Did you get to know one person at a time or did you make friends with a lot of people and then chose to court (or be courted by) one of those friends?
I could usually only handle 4-6 e-mail correspondences at a time, just out of courtesy to them re: time factor, responses, and staying a part of my real life. I was always 100% honest & up front about the fact that I was corresponding with other men. I got pretty good at being charitable, but to the point if I didn’t see anything developing. The guys usually appreciated that.

I had many phone call ‘relationships’ with some really great guys. In-person dates with 4, I think.

Any special things to watch out for?
Just be yourself. Try not to over-edit every e-mail. (That was one of my difficulties that I struggled with for the first few months.) I had a list of 50 questions or so that I would throw in from time to time when conversations seemed to be stalling out. Everything from “Who’s your favorite Muppet?” to “How do you feel about gun control?” Just to keep the getting-to-know you process fresh and productive–not everything has to be about religion, ya know!:slight_smile:

If you go to AMS’s Success Stories, you’ll find a week’s worth of reading & inpiration! Here’s a link to Long-distance Success Stories.

PM me if you want the link to our success story.


#9

I have to say I find it totally fascinating that a couple of you got engaged on your first meeting after getting to know each other long-distance or overseas! What an incredible story that’ll make for the grandkids someday… :slight_smile:


#10

I wanted to update and thank you all for your input. I’m using a **lot **of the advice that you all gave me. I also decided to leave the other site I was on (where the atmosphere was generally heterodox) and join AMS. Just a few days into my membership and I’m really excited about this site!

Please pray that God leads me along with journey and gives me the wisdom to make good decisions and ultimately foster a healthy relationship with a good man… hopefully ending in a very blessed, sacramental marriage (though that is really just the beginning). Thank you so much!


#11

You will be in my prayers :)!

I was on catholicmatch.com for a little over a year. I met some great men and some not-so-devout men on there, but it was a great experience. In fact, because I joined, most of my friends did too! One friend is dating (almost 3 yrs now) the man she met off of this site (we’re expecting wedding bells in the near future!) and they are an incredible couple. After a year of meeting men and nothing going anywhere with them, I finally said, “Okay, God, I’ll be satisfied being single and here’s my life.” Then, boom - a week later, I started to like a guy-friend (we’d been good platonic friends for over a yr) who’s non-Catholic girlfriend had just dumped him for the final time (he said, he realized ONLY Catholic girls from then on!). However, I made my promise to God to let Him direct my life, so I wiped the thought out of my mind and moved on. A month later, we saw eachother at a dance (I was in college), and I asked him to dance (being fed up with never getting asked by a guy, figuring we were friends so it wouldn’t be akward or overbearing). He had actually been working up the courage to ask another girl (who had a steady boyfriend at the time but he didn’t know) to dance and then possibly on a date. I came up, asked him to dance, and he said “yes” and then immediately fell head-over-heels in love with me (literally it was boom) and followed me around the rest of the night, looked for me the whole next week (forgot that I lived off campus), and found me a week and a half later and hasn’t let me go since :). So, you never know what God has in store, but know that my prayers are with you and your future spouse :)!


#12

OK I don’t have any personal experience but I have a neighbor… Who met a woman from Brazil online and became engaged to her. The twist is… He is the mental case not her.

No really! It is a really long sordid story you can read about here on my blog: Mary’s Blog

And the ending that has not yet been posted:
From an email to my sister and brother:

Hey Guys guess what? I now know why Jude hasn’t been around lately. I talked to the postal lady that lives next door and she witnessed a domestic dispute between him and Nueza (apparently she did make it here from Brazil). Then I looked in yesterday’s paper and lo and behold…In the Police Report section: Jude XXXXX, 48, of 1200 block of XXXXXXX St. Jan 10, for misdemeanor domestic battery, telephone line interference, resisting or obstructing a police officer and criminal damage to property; transported to XXXXXXXX County Correctional Center.

Jan 10th was 1 day after Nueza was supposed to arrive. Oh my goodness!!! Postal lady did say he got home last night (first time she saw his car in the drive in a week) so apparently beating your gf is worth a week in jail. I am so glad we had him banned from contacting us! He would have been calling us to bail him out and telling us all about how unfair the cops are.

Well that’s all for now… knew you all would want to be updated.


#13

Wow I just read your blog and the ending. I’m really sorry that you have to go through all of this. I can’t imagine being trapped in my own home, including my home of Church, my place of refuge. I hope that peace can come out of this.

-Alison


#14

BlestOne, this post is terribly confusing!:confused: :o
Can you boil it down to a sentence or two, if you’re sure it belongs in this thread?
It seems like you might be pointing out that there are wackos in online dating sites, correct?


#15

Pretty much…
Here is the shortened version…
Neighbor is Jude. He found a woman though the internet. She is Nueza, a Brazilian woman who last year left her country to come to the US to meet Jude in person. They got engaged but just before he came into the church they had a big disagreement and she left to go back to Brazil. My hubby was recruited to sponsor him at the last minute. He was a bit strange but not totally psycho at the time. Got to know him 3 mos later a little better and he seemed normal, but over the next 6 mos I realized he was not normal and he was progressively getting worse. I talked to the pastor a few times about Jude… not just the one I blogged about. Mostly that I was concerned that he thought everything was going to be finally right when she came back. She did come back on Jan 9th. On Jan 10th he was arrested for domestic battery… What a welcome to the USA for Nueza, she obviously didn’t see that he was progressively getting worse over the past year since she left the last time, even though they spoke and emailed at least once a day, usually more since she left.

I would say… be careful, trust your gut, she left the first time… She should have cut her losses and trusted herself and her decisions more.


#16

Thanks for the advice. I will definitely take it. I’ve learned the hard way to trust my gut. I’m sometimes wrong when I have a good impression of a man, but I’m just about never wrong when my intuition says “run!” These days when I get that kind of blip on the radar, I just head the other direction right away.

I hope Nueza will be okay… I will pray for her.


#17

I met my husband on the internet, but in the days before there were matchmaking sites.

It was interesting and very different to get to know someone from the inside out, instead of the outside in. We had instant online chemistry and are happy as clams to this day.

He was in California and I was in CO. Then I moved to TX. But then unfortunate circumstances dragged me to California, where I had never been and had no desire to visit, and all in less than six months’ time. When we finally met it was a little weird at first, but we soon became comfortable. We are just about perfect for each other. Another miracle in my life from God! Another prayer answered in a most amazing way!


#18

It happens all the time…though long-distance romances can be difficult, they can work…

Dear CatholicSingles.com,

Tom and I met in January 2003 in the chatroom on CatholicSingles.com. I was scanning the profiles as was my habit when chatting with new people, and I realized that Tom and I had something in common, we had both been to World Youth Day Toronto 2002. My roommate, in Michigan, just laughed when I said, “Well, I’‘ve found my soulmate, it’'s too bad he lives in Denver, Colorado!” I know it is cliche to say it was love at first sight especially in the arena of on-line dating where relationships are rarely “first sight” but I knew there was something special about this one.

Then on July 2, 2005, Tom and I were forever joined in Holy Matrimony back home in Lansing. Now a little more than a year later we are excitedly awaiting the birth of our first child, John Paul. To tell our success story about meeting online and falling in love was a little strange at first, but now I cannot imagine my life any differently.

Sarah & Tom


#19

BTW, what is “dh”?


#20

dh = dear husband
ds = dear son
dd = dear daughter
dc = dear child(ren)

there was an abbreviations thread around here at one point…i’ll post if I find it.


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