Courtship in the 21st century Lynne and Anthony met and fell in love online By Nancy Schertzing | Photography by Jim Luning
Anthony made the investment of a lifetime when he took advantage of a sale on CatholicMatch.com. While other online dating sites charged up to $250, CatholicMatch.com was offering a six-month subscription for $60 in honor of St. Raphael, patron saint of single people.
“It was a good deal,” Anthony grins. “I said a prayer and signed up, then forgot about it for a few months. When I checked it again, I saw Lynne’s profile ... just before I left on a medical mission trip to Guatemala.” “I was doing my residency, so I worked and studied around the clock. I didn’t have time to look for a match. The people I met were mostly in the medical field, but they only wanted to talk about medicine. “When I got back from Guatemala I e-mailed her and asked if she’d like to meet.”
Since graduating from college, Lynne had met new people online and enjoyed it – most of the time. Lack of time and high standards led her to enroll in her first online dating site before graduation. After meeting some really nice guys online, she continued to renew her memberships. As a lifelong Catholic, Lynne thought enrolling in CatholicMatch.com made sense. “All the sites try to match you on personality,” Lynne explains, “but after about 30 dates, I hadn’t found the right fit. I saw Anthony’s profile on CatholicMatch.com and I decided to respond. “When he asked me to dinner, I accepted.”
Anthony: “I am very close to my friends from medical school. My best friend met his wife on My Space and six of my friends met on e-Harmony or Match.com, but I had never tried online dating. After I asked Lynne for a date and she said yes, I called my friends. ‘What if she’s a serial killer or something?’ They laughed and told me to try it.”
Lynne (laughing): “The first thing he ever heard me say was ‘Oh Shoot!’ as I drove through a red light on my way to Applebee’s. Anthony called me to see if he was in the right place, and I was trying to drive and answer my phone at the same time. I misjudged the light. “When I got there he was waiting. I remember he was so easy to talk to – not like some of my other dates. We spent two or three hours talking and enjoying dinner.
Anthony: “I thought she was beautiful. And it felt comfortable with her.”
Lynne: “I thought he was so different from the other guys I had dated – more shy and thoughtful”
Anthony (winking): “I wasn’t creepy.”
Lynne: “It surprised me that I liked him because, at the time, I was looking for someone more outgoing. But I felt comfortable with him right away.”
Anthony: “On my way home from Applebee’s, I felt different – really calm. I thought. ‘Wow, that was fun! I wonder if she’d go out with me again.’ But I didn’t want to look too eager, so I waited until the next day and asked her out for the following weekend.”
Lynne: “Of course, I said yes. Shortly after that, we went to Stony Creek Metro Park and walked the grounds and talked. I was pleasantly surprised that he had such a great sense of humor and that I felt so comfortable with him.”
Anthony: “Before we met, I was always thinking about medicine, and no matter where I was, I felt I should be somewhere else. But with Lynne, for the first time, I stopped thinking of something else. When I was with her, there was no place else I’d rather be. It felt as if time just stopped.”
Lynne: “Except for when he was on-call, we dated every weekend after that.”
Anthony: “She baked me cookies.”
Lynne: “We lived one-and-a-half hours apart, so we took turns visiting each other. Anthony met my family right away and he fit right in. About four months later, his mom came from the East Coast, and I got to meet her.”
Anthony: “Any person I had ever dated, I didn’t tell my parents. But I wanted my mom to meet Lynne. They got along great.”
Lynne: “Very early, I made it clear to Anthony that he was not to tell me he loved me until we dated at least six months.”
Anthony: “But I had never felt this way before! So I started writing poetry for the first time in my life.”
Lynne: “After about a month, Anthony gave me a poem that was so beautiful! It took me by surprise, though, because he hadn’t even kissed me yet.” (Lynne turns to Anthony) “I think I was the first girl you ever kissed.” Anthony (nodding): “I took microbiology in high school so I knew all the things that are in the human mouth. Knowing all the illnesses I could get, I just never kissed anybody. Lynne was the first person I really wanted to take that chance with. “For the longest time I thought I’d never find the right person for me. I was too busy, too this and too that. But with Lynne everything just felt right. I asked my friends how they knew they had found their match. They said ‘I just knew.’ I was coming to understand what they meant.” Lynne: “At six months, I was feeling like things were going well.” Anthony: “Once I could tell her I loved her, we started talking about spending our lives together. We visited jewelry stores and talked about the future. When I told my friends, they said ‘You’ve got to do something special to ask her!’ One of them had hired a skywriter and another had proposed in France. I was under a lot of pressure!” Lynne (smiling): “He did a great job though. When he asked me if I wanted to go back to Stony Creek, I didn’t think anything of it. I love it there.” Anthony: “I took her to the bench where we had talked on our third date, and I pulled out my laptop.” Lynne: “He said ‘I have something I want to show you,’ and he turned on a video montage of all the places we had visited together. It was set to piano music, and it ended with the words ‘Will you marry me?’ coming up on the screen. I looked up and Anthony was holding my engagement ring. “I was crying. I said yes.” Anthony: “We’ve been married since October (2010) and it’s been really easy. The worst thing is that I still work as much as before, but I don’t want to be there so much anymore. I really love my time with Lynne and I hate that my studying and research interfere.” Lynne: “I hope this doesn’t sound cheesy, but I really feel God’s presence in Anthony. I feel so accepted and loved. “If I had to offer advice, I’d say you can meet really great people online. You just have to take precautions. Talk a couple times then get together before you form too strong an image of who you think that person is. Anthony: “It’s important to go in with an open mind. But if you’re thinking about dating online, try it. If I didn’t have friends who encouraged me to try it, I wouldn’t be married today.” He smiles contentedly at Lynne.
Preparing for marriage Catholic couples in the Diocese of Lansing participate in the We C.A.R.E. program as they prepare for marriage. We C.A.R.E. is a communication and relationship enhancement program for engaged couples sponsored by local Catholic Charities agencies and the Family Ministry Office of the Diocese of Lansing. This program teaches skills for handling conflict and promoting intimacy in a Christian relationship.