'I can’t recall what the pastor preached about that morning,' says Lester, 'but at a certain point he mentioned, that he is not fond of dating sites, such as Funky Fish, even if they are Christian. Curious as I am, I decided to browse.'
Lester subscribed to Funky Fish but was not very active. That changed when Marleen (21) enrolled a year later, under the profilename 'Aimee22'. 'I found this hideous,' Lester says, 'but like any average man, I was attracted to her nice profile picture. I thought: good looking girl, let’s have a look at her profile. It said something like: don’t hesitate to send me a bottle describing your dreams and ambitions. I found that quite appealing.'
Marleen: 'I think I was a member for about two weeks, maybe even shorter, when I got my first bottle from Lester. The enthusiasm in which he shared things, such as the songs of his band and that he had learned Spanish to communicate with Colombian refugees in his church, really stood out for me. In addition, I was very pleased that we could talk about the mission together. That is something that concerns both of us.'
Lester: 'After one or two emails we ended up talking about missions. That really impressed me, this was the deep insight I was looking for. Additionally, Marleen really took the time to write long emails about herself and she showed interest in what I like to do. I’m very eager to learn, am curious by nature and I also want to be able to share that with Marleen. That’s possible with Marleen.'
From the first date to going steady
After a month of emailing each other, Lester and Marleen planned their first date. Lester traveled from Eindhoven to Amsterdam for a date at the Leidseplein. That went well and more dates followed. Marleen: 'On the third date Lester asked me to go steady with him at Eindhoven, at the very last moment when I really had to leave because he waited too long to search for "the right moment" - something I did not realize.'
Romantic marriage proposal
Marleen: 'At a certain point we decided to take go on an exchange abroad, something we both really wanted to do. We spent four months in Helsinki, Finland. On our last day there, Lester took me to a restaurant and afterwards to a church nearby. He had secretly asked the keys of the church and prepared a song on the piano. He played that for me and then he proposed. I said yes...'
Patience and common sense
Marleen and Lester have a few dating tips. Marleen: 'Do a lot of things together so that you really get to know each other.' Lester: "Be patient. In my church, many people want to get married as young as possible. I think marriage can be very good, but it’s not something you should rush into. Make sure you find a good partner. In my opinion, hunting is not wrong, just use your common sense. "
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