i met my husband online

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I met my husband on eHarmony.

Two years ago, if you had told me this would happen, I would have looked you straight in the eye with a little bit of attitude and told you I was not the online dating type. Online dating was for people who needed help. And as a perfectly healthy, intelligent woman with a funky streak of blond in my hair and a masters degree in theology, I didn’t need help.

But once the story got out that I met him online, I started to hear from singles who were also considering online dating, singles who are already trying online dating with a lot of success and some with none, some who are too scared to try it, and some who are ready to give up. And they’ve all asked our story. So if you can handle a little sweet and a little sour, stick around.

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A year ago, a week before Valentine’s Day, in the Aldi parking lot, I broke up with a guy.

And before I went in the grocery store to buy cereal and eggs and bananas, I decided I was done dating people in “real life.” Finding someone online (fake life?) was really the only option left.

Everyone who knows me well could tell you I love the fact I was raised on a farm and that I’m Lutheran. They knew I not-so-secretly wanted to marry a cowboy and wear boots and drive a big, black F-150. And they knew I love the Bible, the Confessions, the liturgy, ceremony and hymnody.

So when I sat down a few days later in a cranky mood to write my online profile, those are the things I wrote about: country living and theology. I talked about boots and guns and Luther and the Divine Service. I wrote very specifically, and I figured if anybody had remotely similar interests, my “Marco” would be clear enough to get a “Polo” in return.

And then I closed my computer, called my sisters, and told them I’d just wasted 150 bucks.

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It wasn’t easy going. The first guy to contact me was a “continuous improvement manager,” but he couldn’t really explain what that was and I had no idea what that meant. One  was a pastor from a church I hadn’t heard of, wore purple skinny jeans, lived in California, and wanted to travel the world instead of settling down. One was about three times my age. Things were looking grim–just as I self-righteously told myself they would.

And then, after a week or two, there sat Chris sat . . . right in my Inbox.

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He was a hard worker. He didn’t say it, but I knew it. He loved to read. He liked simple things: the outdoors, bread fresh from the oven, singing the bass line of hymns, country music. He was confident in himself and didn’t feel the need to embellish things to make himself sound good. He was who he was, and he was good with that.

And if his words were any indicator, he was LCMS too.

Yeah.

I totally wrote him back.

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We started writing each other every day or so. A week or two later, climbing into bed, I opened an email from him and settled back to read it. In a few moments, I heard myself laugh.

I remember looking up in confusion, staring at the wall and thinking to myself, “This guy just made me laugh out loud . . . from the other side of the state. How did he do that?”

That’s when my black hole for a heart started to crumble.

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My husband turned to me last night and said, “You know, in a week or two, we’ll have known each other for a whole year.”

In this day and age, I suppose that’s something. We talked about marriage early. We were engaged after four months. We got married at eight. And neither we nor our parents had a problem with that.

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We were in our late 20s. We both prayed for a faithful, hard-working, pious spouse who wanted faithful, hard-working, pious children one day. We’re country people. We read. We love being Lutheran. We like to laugh.

And I just plain love being around him.

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There is no magic bullet for online dating, but I do believe the way in which you write your profile matters. (Even the Wall Street Journal confirms this.)

Write succinctly. Be honest. Don’t bare your soul. Never, ever bring up exes. (That goes for the first date too. And the second. And maybe the third if you can manage it.)

Write about what you love, because what you love, you know. Don’t use pictures of yourself from three years ago. Be honest in your expectations.

Be willing to think big. (I know you think you can discern a man’s character from looking at a picture of him, but this just in: You can’t always.) Remember that going for a cup of coffee and some conversation won’t kill you. Don’t give up if Ms. Right hasn’t showed up in 3.87 seconds.

But then know too that I was wrong: Online dating isn’t for those who need help. It’s just for people who didn’t find their spouse at a Concordia. Or who don’t live in an area teeming with Lutherans. Or who don’t want to be alone forever. Or who are just brave enough to give it a try.

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I love my husband like crazy. I can’t wait for him to come home from work. I’m eager to hear about his day. I’m learning to cook because I want him to know, even if it’s just through supper, that I am grateful for all he does for me. I’m thankful for his extreme patience, because it teaches me to chill out too. I adore his laugh.

And I’m thankful for eHarmony too, for that goofy little website that introduced me to him during a time period when I was convinced there were no good men left.

So, to all you ladies who have asked: Yes, try online dating. And as you do, be strong. Stand up straight. Prepare yourself . . . because the Lord may choose to have you meet someone through the Internet and He may not.

But whether He gives you a husband or not, whether He introduces you to your future husband through a website or whether He does’t, remember this: Your hope and joy don’t come from a guy on eHarmony. They don’t even come from a guy you meet on the street.

They come from Christ.

The contentment you know in Christ and the ability you have to bear your crosses? Those “are His gift to you, to see you through all the blessings and challenges of living the single life. The joy isn’t a momentary, fleeting kind of excitement.”

No, “It’s an enduring comfort, one that He gives you fully and constantly, the comfort that will see you through the lonely nights and the frustrating mornings, the good days and the ok ones. It is His joy, molded and shaped perfectly to fit exactly what you need, and it is all for you.”*

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Ok, it’s your turn. Link up or leave us a comment, telling your story of how the Lord brought you and your spouse together, whether it was on eHarmony, in high school or *sigh* at a Concordia.


*final paragraphs from my upcoming book Hello. My Name Is Single. to be released June 2014 from Concordia Publishing House

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32 thoughts on “i met my husband online

  1. I dated my share of Concordia guys, then I dated an LCMS from the outside, and when all of that failed, I ended up online. OKCupid to be exact, which is a free site, that i was on just for fun, and ran into a lot of creeps. But, in the midst of all of that was my rock band drumming, Roman Catholic hubby, who drove an hour to pick me up for our first date(which was a disaster), and then was diagnosed with kidney failure 2 weeks after we met. 5 years, 1 kidney transplant and an adult confirmation later, he and i lead Sr high youth group and are constantly telling those kids that there really is something out there worth waiting for 🙂

  2. I’m a Concordia gal, but I didn’t meet my spouse during my undergrad years. I met my husband at CTS. Every one “warned” me about his arrival to campus during the Spring quarter of my first year and just kept repeating I had to meet him. The first year guys I came in with had met Brian during summer Greek days. And I was told he was the female version of me, that he carried the LSB agenda around wherever he went, which is so very complimentary to a gal who is rarely without her LSB. 🙂

  3. I love love love this post. Save it in a scrapbook somewhere in case blogs aren’t a thing by the time your kids are old enough to want to read their parents’ love story (or when you just want to gross them out).

    We weren’t Concordia kids, nor did we meet online, but we did celebrate our first year of knowing each other when already married. When it’s right, it’s right.

  4. Love your story! I went to Concordia with Chris… although he was in my brother’s class. And, my husband and I are good friends with his cousin (Brian Heins). Chris is a great guy and it sounds as though you are a pretty great lady! I met my hubby in 1st grade and I won’t bore you with our story, but it is amazing how God has a plan for everyone. I love seeing His mysterious ways unfold in His time and in His perfection despite our imperfections! May your story give hope for a great future to those still wondering about God’s plan for them… Thanks again for sharing! Blessings on your marriage!

  5. Long before internet I met Jerry at college. We became acquainted through mutual friends. The first time I met him he put his arm around me and I thought he was quite forward. That was in September. In December we had an actual date. That winter he ended up having to go back to their family dairy because of his fathers health. I visited him frequently and in April we were engaged. We were married in August. That was 41 years ago. We were young, had known each other a short time and apart most of that summer–600 miles between us. I received a letter in the mail every day. I saw in his family what I wanted. I have not been disappointed. The dairy was good for our family. Jerry loved it and that made it a blessing for all of us. I wouldn’t do anything different. And he still makes me laugh.

  6. I love reading these stories so I’ll add my own. When I was in grade school, I told my friends that I’d marry an LCMS Lutheran. They teased me that I might fall in love with someone else. I was adamant. Then at our Lutheran high school, a smart, good-looking boy transferred in and by senior year we were dating. On our first date we talked about books and history. After four years together at Valpo, he attended seminary in St.Louis. Now 17 years later, he’s still smart and good-looking.

  7. Adriane, I can not tell you adequately enough how HAPPY I am for you and your new husband. You are a ffffffffine looking couple. The Lord has blessed you so. I’m going to tell my boys (Paul -26 and John – 23) to check out e-harmony. But before we spend the money…do you Adriane or any of you on this chat-line have an leads? My boys just happen to be single at this particular time in their life. Paul has a Masters in Education, won a Fulbright scholarship last year and taught in Malaysia, and plans on attending Concordia Theological Seminary in St. Louis this summer. John is a Bio/Chem grad. from Hillsdale College in MI and attending Medical School this fall either in Columbia, MO or St. Louis. ANY LEADS Adriane….or anyone? They have no idea I’m fishing for them, ha. They’d probably kick me. Pastor Flo, Grace, DeSoto, MO (stevenlflo@gmail.com). 🙂

  8. Hi! Thank you for your encouraging post. Even though I am married, I have a few friends and relatives who are struggling with the same issue of finding a Lutheran spouse. Is there another way we can encourage those who go through this? Or perhaps words that aren’t so helpful?
    I met my husband at Concordia NE. ..*sigh* and I feel very fortunate to have found him there, even though at the time, I was not looking for him. He was looking for me though, as he was a junior and was ready to meet someone; I was a new freshman. It was never in my plans to meet him, especially since I was dating someone from high school…eek. We met in concert band and he sat behind me playing trumpet. He piqued my interest the first time I saw him, and I became more interested after we had our first long conversation outside of the Janzow cafeteria…. so many happy memories from CUNE 🙂 He and I have been through so much together… illness, being broke, having no jobs, feuding parents, military separation… but God has been faithful to us through it all. It’s been our faith in Jesus that had preserved us, and our receiving of the sacraments, and the hearing of the word which has strengthened us in how we help one another. I’m so thankful to have him and thankful to God for giving me a loving spouse. God bless your marriage!

  9. Ours is a Concordia story, once-removed. Although I had dated some guys casually while attending Concordia, no one was special.

    I had had quite the silent chat with God about the bumper crop of losers that were there, and I told Him I wasn’t ever going to marry since the quality control of the guys was not up to my standards. This was during a Wednesday evening chapel service—and I was on a date! Perhaps I was a bit, uh, cheeky.

    That Friday, I had planned a weekend visit with my brother and his wife, both ConU grads.

    Well, that weekend was a set-up. My brother taught with my future husband’s mom at a Lutheran school. There just happened to be a fondue party planned that Saturday night, and i was invited to crash the party. J (my future husband) was there since it was at his place.

    ANYWAY, J and I met, spent the whole evening together, and as I left the party, he kissed me. I just knew this guy, so kind and patient and funny, was who I had hoped to meet.. Later, he told me he knew right away i was the one as well.
    37 years later, he’s still amazing, we still have fondue parties, and my heart still races when I meet him at the door.

    Oh, and yes, I am still a bit cheeky. And he loves me for it.

  10. I love this post! I’m not an Internet girl or a Concordia girl (though I did go to Concordia Nebraska the same time as Chris), but I did meet my husband through my call. The LCMS church I am called to was without a pastor for a few months, and they voted on whether or not to “keep me” after I had signed a contract and was about to sign the call documents. It was all very backwards, but the funny part is that my husband was one of two people in the congregation to vote “no”. We laugh about it now, but at the time it was all very unreal and shocking to me to be in that voting meeting. I do have to explain for him, though. His intentions were to point out that the church did not know me and that they were going about the call process in the wrong way. If I hadn’t taken this call, and if the majority had sided with him and the other person, I wouldn’t be married to my husband. It’s crazy to think about; crazy in an awesome way. I love your story; it’s amazing what God does in our lives! One of our Pastors, George Poulos, met you a few months ago and came back to Florida to tell me I had a twin. I hope we get to meet in person some day and take a photo together. 🙂

  11. After 7 1/2 years of teaching in Japan, in various ways my family convinced me to return, and I lived with my sister, her husband and their four kids in a kind of “homemaking apprenticeship” for a year while trying to figure out what I wanted to do. I went to a weekend visit at Concordia Ft. Wayne to consider becoming a deaconess, but eventually took a job at our congregation’s K-8 school. The day I officially moved out of my sister’s house was also the day our headmaster was being ordained. At the dinner after the ordination, he introduced me to one of his classmates. We had a nice conversation and I went home to unpack my new place, but I was awake until 2am praying for his safety in driving home 5 hours that night. About a week later he made contact with me through Facebook and after talking back and forth some, asked me out, and the rest is history. I later learned that he had seen me at Ft. Wayne (he was also a newly ordained pastor). In fact, I had sat in his pew for the chapel service, figuring he was alone and wouldn’t mind, but his friends who would have sat with him just came later and sat behind me. They asked him who his sister was, and for some reason that got him thinking that maybe I could be his future wife. Unable to meet me that weekend, he searched on Lutherans Online to no avail. He almost didn’t go to his classmate’s ordination, but he drove the 5 hours anyway and noticed me right away in the narthex. I think I was even wearing the same dress I had worn that other weekend, but I had since cut my hair much shorter, so he wasn’t 100% sure. He saw where I sat in church, and knew it was me by the way I genuflect in church. Having been in Japan, merely bowing during the service felt too casual of a way to show respect to God, so I was in the habit of doing more of a full, deep-knee bend, like a curtsey only without any kind of skirt flourish.
    At our wedding, his friend at whose ordination we met was one of our groomsmen, and we asked him to give the only toast, since he knew the both of us more equally than anyone else there. “It was love at first genuflection…” and God’s grace continues to give us joy in our life together.

  12. I met my husband on a blind date…he was Roman Catholic, I was Lutheran. We were married in 5 months, my Pastor married us, when asked how we would raise the children, I was firm in my beliefs and my future husband didn’t pose an argument. We have been married 26 years, he was confirmed Lutheran after 8 years (before his confirmation, he came home from class and asked “Lisa do you know where you go when you die?…my response Heaven..duh!” …not a very sweet wifely response, unfortunately I did not realize he did not know that, I assumed a Roman Catholic would be raised knowing that…my mistake and an eye-opener). My husband is now a Pastor for almost 11 years. It is safe to say that God’s plans are always better than ours. Thank you so much for your blogs and writings, I appreciate and admire your style. It is refreshing and honest! Love your story, God’s continued blessings and thank you again!
    PS: sorry for any grammar mistakes! 🙂

    • funny. I can’t imagine this weekend’s birthday boy being not firm in the faith. But then I didn’t meet him until CTS. 😉 Glad that you were firm, Lisa, as I would have had one less friend otherwise. 🙂

  13. I LOVED reading this post. You know my history. Did I ever tell you I tried online dating too? When I was ready to give up on that…mainly because sometimes even being in an area where there are so many Lutherans, few are really LUTHERAN. After one particularly horrible date, I pretty much – ok literally – threw my hands up in the air and said, “Ok God, REALLY?!” The next morning, I woke up and thought, “Ok, it’s time for the Holidays, I’ll focus on Advent and look forward to being able to go home for Christmas. So I did. Christmas Eve – at home, at my home congregation – our church is a small renovated house – I’m standing in the small narthex and the door opens…In steps my R and my heart LEAPT. I knew it immediately. He was why the online dating stuff in WI wasn’t working.

    I remember sitting down next to my sister in law, turning to her and saying, “If he would move to Wisconsin, all would be right with the world.” She was so excited (my brother and sister in law had become really close to him over the years prior and she and my mother had wanted us to date – my excuse was always that he lived so far away and I would not be willing to do another long distance relationship. By this time I think it had easily been 4-5 years since I had even seen him.) We talked a little bit that night at a Christmas Eve party, but there were so many people. By the time we were able to talk in a corner alone, it was time for me to leave with my parents.

    Long story shorter, the next week, he went to my brother and sister in law’s house for dinner, they helped make sure that R got my contact information and encouraged him to email me. I got my first email from him January 2, 2010…and the rest is history. We emailed back and forth, called each other every day, thank goodness for unlimited text messages, and we both knew pretty early that this was it. Engaged on Dec 25, 2010 and married June 2011. My sister in law put it the best when she posted “Two confessional Lutherans found each other and neither the seminary or any of the Concordias were involved….another Christmas miracle!” on her FB wall.

    I’m so happy you two found each other!

  14. Two weeks before my 18th birthday my Dad was killed in a freak plane crash. He was my sole guardian and the one who brought me to the font and Divine Service every Sunday of my life (OK, except when I was barfing.). Two weeks later my step mom told me that the night before my Dad died he had suddenly rolled over when she thought he was asleep and said “I really hope Melrose decides to go to River Forest for college.” THAT was NOT my plan. But how could I turn down my Dad’s last wish? On move in day, when I was standing at my uhaul trailer all alone waiting for the orientation staff nerds that were graciously unloading it for me into my dorm room, my husband came up to me and introduced himself just as I was silently talking to my Dad in my head asking him what on earth he was thinking when he made his last wish sending me over 1000 miles away from home. My husband has been my love and protector and my best friend ever since.

    • Hi Melanie! 🙂 This is Karla, Pastor Struve’s daughter (the middle one who’s husband is a Pastor in the St. Louis area)! 🙂 I read the first sentence of your comment and thought, hey this sounds familiar. And then I read your name and knew instantly it was you. Hope you and your family are doing well. I, too, (sigh) met my hubby in a Lutheran school — not a university though but at a Lutheran elementary school — Our Redeemer’s basketball tournament, in fact, in Wauwatosa — he was a member there and Mt. Olive was playing them (we won — Go MO!). As they say, it’s a small world in Lutherandom! 🙂 Lots of love in Christ! God’s Blessings! 🙂

  15. I am a Concordia match-up as well, but it was almost not that way. I had dated a Concordia guy, broke up with him, and got engaged to a guy I worked with at camp (yes, an LCMS guy at a Lutheran camp, but he was not a Concordia guy). That ended, and I had almost given up on the dating scene, but my husband and my friends had other ideas. That was almost (gasp!) twenty years ago now.

  16. I am from Fort Wayne. I think sometimes it is the most difficult when you are from a town full of LCMS. My friend called me one night about midnight and said she just met a guy that night that would be perfect for me. She arranged for us to meet in July, we went on a date in Sept., and got engaged in Nov. After we were engaged several of our mutual friends were upset with themselves for not thinking to match us up earlier. We were in our late 20s. 12 years later we have been blessed with three boys.

  17. My husband and I are a Concordia story. (Concordia, St. Paul) We met – we talked – we realized we were actually dating – we talked marriage and didn’t get scared off. We’ve been married for almost 26 years now.

  18. Nin, this is the sweetest post ever! I am so glad I got to be there at the beginning to hear about the coffee date in person. That it was snowing like crazy and nothing was open for you two to meet up is another good twist to the story. And the Aldi parking lot!

    Love you sweetie, And congratulations on your “almost” one year of new and improved great beginnings.

    Mom

    ________________________________

  19. eHarmony here, too! When we lived in Maryland, there were four LCMS pastors in the “mountain Maryland” region, all in their 30s, and all had met their wives online. When I learned that the man I’d been matched with was a seminarian who wrote children’s books for CPH, I knew it was a match to pay attention to. Dating online just makes sense, when you have particular standards that are not about being picky but about what you want your marriage and your life to be. And when the world’s version of dating has strayed so, so far from what finding your spouse should be.

  20. Did you feel like you definitely saw God’s hand in this all when you realized how many mutual people you guys know?!?! Your love story is profound and beautiful and so very centered around Christ.

  21. I am a *sigh* at a Concordia girl. 🙂 My husband and I were set up by his roommate at Concordia St. Paul. Our ceremony was held in the chapel there, and presided over by the campus pastor. We will have been married for 15 years in August. Beautiful story, and beautiful writing!

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