She was 36 years old and figured maybe she’d never get married.
But a friend encouraged her to try an online dating site, and it eventually provided the connection for Anne Spielman and Richard Clark.
The Omaha couple met in December 2002, and Anne remembers seeing the photo Richard posted of himself on the website. She thought he looked happy and kind.
Anne hadn’t posted a photo, but Richard was drawn to her profile because they were about the same age and she shared his Catholic faith.
Richard was divorced but wasn’t looking for a serious relationship. He just thought Anne might be someone he’d like to meet.
Anne had almost given up on marriage, so she didn’t have high expectations of finding a future husband online.
The couple exchanged a few messages through the dating site and then talked by phone.
Each felt good enough about the other that they decided to meet for dinner at Upstream Brewing Company in Omaha’s Old Market.
As Richard walked toward the restaurant, he heard someone call his name from behind. He turned around, and it was Anne. He thought she looked great.
Over dinner, they talked about their faith and similar career paths. Richard was a former teacher, and Anne still taught school. Each shared their classroom stories. Richard told Anne about his son, who was 6 at the time.
Richard liked her so much that about a week after they met he bought her a Christmas present, a necklace with a single diamond. He left the gift in a small box balanced on the doorknob of her apartment.
Anne was flattered but thought the necklace was a serious gift for that stage of their relationship. She explained that to Richard on the phone, and he understood. He didn’t want to take the necklace back, but Anne insisted.
He knew she liked Twizzlers licorice, so he agreed to give her some in exchange for the jewelry. But he never returned it to the store.
They kept dating, and their relationship grew stronger, enough so that on Valentine’s Day he gave her the necklace again. This time she was happy to keep it.
He proposed on June 1, 2003 — her birthday.
They married Dec. 3, 2004, at the Old Cathedral in St. Louis, the city where Anne’s parents lived.
The couple celebrated their 11th wedding anniversary last month, and they have an 8-year-old son, Patrick.
Anne believes the Holy Spirit brought them together. Looking back she now knows why she didn’t meet someone earlier and get married when she was younger.
Says Anne, “I was supposed to wait for him.”
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