My name is Laurianne. Back in 2014 I joined ChristianMingle for just three months (with a lot of hesitation, I must say). The reason being was I had been a member about five years earlier with no success because I found most of the men were Protestant, or non-denominational, and considered a Catholic woman a “dealbreaker.” I spent most of my time online defending my faith. However, a friend of mine urged me to try again as she had found someone on the site; she was around my age and also Catholic.

I had been divorced for 19 years after a marriage that lasted 18 years.  I did get engaged in 2011; only to have to break it off as I found out he lied to me and wasn’t divorced, but was in the process and also found out he failed to tell me he had two bankruptcies under his belt that were recent.

However, I decided to try it again. On March 8, 2014 I had my first date with Arthur. He was Baptist and I hesitated because I knew of all the Protestant faiths, Baptists (especially Southern Baptists which is how he was raised), disliked the Catholics the most.  However, he kept coming up as a l00% match for me and I liked his profile and his photos and he lived on N. Hutchinson Island, just 15 minutes from me.  I wrote a little note to him, but didn’t get a response right away. When I did, he asked me to call him and gave me two phone numbers: home and cell.  He said his main home was in Kissimmee, FL and that I could call him “if I could catch him” between his two houses.  I decided not to call him and wrote back with my phone number instead, and told him to call me when he got a chance if he was interested.

Two weeks later he left me a phone message. I called him back and sure enough he said there was a “possible dealbreaker” in that I was Catholic. We talked for 2 hours and he asked me out to dinner at the restaurant of my choice.  He was surprised to find out I was so biblically knowledgeable and I advised him I was a “charismatic” Catholic to which he had no knowledge of.  We met for dinner and on the way I asked God for a sign if he was the man for me – that he would arrive with “fresh” flowers.  When I arrived he was sitting outside the restaurant and walked toward me.  Since I didn’t see any flowers, I figured he was not “The One.”  However, as he got closer, he pulled out from behind a pot of African violets in full bloom. 

Arthur did most of the talking during dinner, telling me about his family and childhood, which I found interesting as he had an idyllic childhood and was a Florida native. We then went to a movie to see Son of God and afterwards he asked me if there was a nice place to go for ice cream.  Being that Kilwiln’s was my favorite place, I proceeded to take him there.  However, they closed in half an hour, but we stayed talking outside till 11:30 pm.  I didn’t get home till midnight.  Our date started at 5pm, and although I had been online dating since the year 2000, I never had a first date last for 7 hours!!  He asked me to meet him at his condo the next day to go to the beach, which I did. We then went out for pizza. He made it clear he was looking for a serious relationship leading to marriage.

At first, I couldn’t understand how God chose him being that I was a New England conservative Catholic – he was a southern Baptist with a bit of a “twang;” I was a “fashionista” and he didn’t even own an iron, and had never shopped at Macy’s; I loved seafood and didn’t eat beef, he loved beef and pork; he shopped for groceries at Aldi’s or Walmart, I only shopped at Publix; his idea of men’s cologne was Old Spice whereas mine was anything by Ralph Lauren.

So as you can see, outwardly there were many differences. He grew up in Dade City, Fla. with horses; I’ve never even been on a horse.  However, internally he was exactly what I was looking for in a man.  He was very spiritually connected like myself, had taught Bible study for 20 years; I had been on a charismatic catholic healing team for many years, was a born again Christian, had rec’d the gifts of prophecy, tongues, healing and interpretation of tongues – God was our priority.  He was thoughtful, caring, honest, a one-woman man who considered marriage sacred and holy. He was monogamous: a widower married 43 years who took care of his ailing wife before her death from cancer, and had been faithful all those years.  He was romantic, a good conversationalist, emotionally stable, financially stable and had a sense of humor that matched mine.  We could talk and laugh all night long.  He also was college-educated with both a Bachelors and Master’s degree, which impressed me as I appreciate a smart man. He was a successful retired insurance executive. I was very familiar with the field as my former husband was in the insurance business and I worked for him for 15 years.  Also, I was an Insurance medical billing manager and so insurance was a field I was well versed in. He was not annoyed or frustrated with the fact that my ailing dad who was in an assisted living facility was a top priority of mine and I visited him daily on my lunch hour as I still worked full-time and also on weekends took him to church, did his laundry and shopped for his snacks for his room. Also took him out for breakfast on Sunday. When he asked me out again, I said I didn’t know how two opposites were going to work it out and that I was going to have to update his wardrobe.  Since he didn’t balk at that statement, I figured there was some hope. He since has changed his hairstyle as well and it took 10 years off of him. His grandchildren began giving him loads of compliments on his clothes, etc. and he told them he had a new fashion advisor!

We had mutual interests, such as museums, the beach, boating (he owns a boat), nature, walking/hiking, movies, fine dining, kayaking and he has embraced my love of music and dancing and now eats loads of seafood, chicken and pasta as well as beef. I appreciate and respect his hobby of photography. We have blended our two religions: he goes to Mass with me on Saturday night and I go to the Methodist church with him on Sunday morning.

Our first date was March 8, 2014 and we got engaged May 29, 2014 — I was 63 years old and he was 67 years old. We bought a ring at Mayors in West Palm Beach, FL and when the salesman found out we met on ChristianMingle he said “this marriage will be successful. I’ve had five other couples in the last few months buy engagement rings… and they all met on ChristianMingle.”

I had been a member of so many online dating sites off and on over the last 19 years and finally my prayer was answered. He asked my dad for his blessing and my dad was overjoyed — repeatedly saying how wonderful the news was and how happy he was for me.  On Dec 30, 2014 my Dad fell and broke his hip. He had surgery 1/1/15 and died 2/25/15.  However, he had met my husband-to-be before becoming majorly ill, and for that I was truly grateful. 

Art and I got married on April 18, 2015 by a Catholic priest at the Rustic Altar outdoors on the Mission de Nombre grounds in St. Augustine, FL with his chaplain co-officiating.  It was a dream come true and I give all the credit to ChristianMingle. For those older women out there who have been waiting a long time like myself for their soulmate, don’t give up.  Love is timeless and God will fulfill all of your heart’s desires and give you more than you even asked for.

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