Engagement Stories: Nicole & Carl

Engagement Stories: Nicole & Carl

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After hearing a lot about ChristianCafe.com on the Boundless podcast, I spent a few months trying the online dating scene. After many awkward, hilarious and embarrassing dates, I was about to close my profile as I got ready to move from the east coast to the west coast. That was when I received a message from Carl. Carl seemed nice, and we had a lot in common. But I quickly let him know that I was planning on moving and that I was sure he didn't want to continue talking.

Carl is in the Navy, and he informed me that he was hoping to be stationed on the west coast after some training, so maybe we could just see where this went. I obliged, not having a good excuse and heeding the advice of many Boundless articles to not jump to conclusions and to trust God.

After a few weeks of messaging, we decided to meet in person. I was driving through Carl's city on my way to visit family, so we made plans to get dinner together. Carl took me to an Indian restaurant, remembering from an email that it was one of my favorite foods. The evening was great: We had good conversation about him and the Navy, about our respective families, about my job, and the traveling we had each done. It was refreshing to see that he was clearly living his beliefs and not conforming to this world.

I spent the next two weeks visiting family. Carl and I Skyped a few times and talked on the phone a little. He was planning on visiting me when I got home. He came the following weekend, and what would have been a simple three-hour drive turned into a five-hour traffic jam. I felt terrible that he was stuck, but I secretly cherished that extra time to get ready. I was excited and nervous to see him again.

When he (finally!) arrived, we went downtown to get sushi. It was during this dinner that he spelled out his intentions. He told me about his goals and aspirations with the Navy, the different avenues he could take and what his life would potentially look like (i.e., gone on frequent long deployments). He told me that he believed in dating with the intention of marriage. He knew that dating long-distance would be difficult, but he wanted to give it a try. He let me know that he would rarely be able to visit me due to Navy restrictions with time off, so I would have to go to him. 

I was caught off guard. This was our second date, I was moving across the country in a few weeks, and I still hadn't come to grips with the Navy life. But there is something incredibly attractive when a man lets you know that he is getting ready for an adventurous life, that he would like you to fly across the country to see him, and that he was serious.

I can hardly remember what I said that night, but somehow it ended with us beginning our dating adventure.

The next couple of months involved many long plane rides, lots of hotel stays for me, and hours of conversations on Skype.

Carl and I were both intentional about where our relationship was going. I was done with the dramatic dating scene and had been in a few relationships that ended badly. I wanted to be sure that he was a man with great character not simply someone I found attractive and fun.

We went through a courtship questionnaire, and it covered everything from finances, birth control, husband/wife roles in marriage, and how we thought the mosaic law applied to us today (like I had ever thought of that!). We also used a few books such as 1001 Questions to Ask Before You Get Married, Saving Your Marriage Before It Starts, and later on Sacred Marriage.

We also had to have numerous discussions about the Navy. I had not the slightest idea of what to expect. That sweet man spent hours explaining to me how his being in the Navy would affect my life if we did get married.

After a little over 10 months of dating long-distance, Carl came to New York to meet my family. I was certain he was going to propose — we had talked extensively about it — but I didn't want to get my hopes up. 

We were planning on going out to dinner with my mom and sisters one of the three nights he was in town. He kept telling me to make sure we could sneak off after dinner alone. He proposed that night at a beautiful old mansion overlooking the Hudson River at sunset. He read a few Bible verses to me and got down on one knee and asked me to marry him. We got married this January.

Boundless helped me see that marriage is something that God wants to bless us with because through marriage we become more like Him. It also helped dispel a lot of myths I had about soul mates, holding out for the picture-perfect person, creating extensive detailed lists about what I wanted, and being unwilling to compromise.

Boundless gave me a healthy realization for the difficulty and conflict marriage would bring. That it is not supposed to be easy; it is supposed to make me more like Christ. The article "From 'Hi' to 'I Do' in a Year" by Scott Croft is one my favorites. "Hoping for a Soul Mate" by Steve Watters is another I would highly recommend.

As we walked deeper into our relationship, Carl and I were able to read Boundless articles and discuss topics yet broached. Boundless was invaluable in shaping my views of marriage and what it means to be a godly woman. Thank you, Boundless, for all you do! 

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Are you engaged or newly married? We'd love to hear your story and how Boundless was helpful to you along the way! Email us at editor@boundless.org. For more stories like this one, go to Engagement Stories.

Want to give online dating a try? Boundless recommends ChristianCafe.com and gives you a special offer of two weeks free! Learn more at ChristianCafe.com.

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  • --A lovely story.  Intentionality is a beautiful thing and makes women feel great. I like how she wanted to find a man of character.

  • --Beautiful

    Congrats :-)

  • --Awesome story!! I too had a similar long distance experience minus the Navy bit but I understand it as a close Gf (my matron of honor) married a Navy man. My Fiance & I strongly believe in intentional dating  too & were both quite sick of the "dramatic dating scene" too. Prefect way to describe it! We both right away intentionally dated & it got very seriously quickly so we when through marriage books & questionnaires too. We're getting married March 29, 2014. Congratulations on your marriage! Many blessings in Him. My story...we have a better photo now that we got engagement photos ha community.focusonthefamily.com/.../engagement-stories-nancy-amp-brian.aspx

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