After spending almost my entire twenties in a relationship (which resulted in a brief marriage that ended in divorce), I found myself single again at 30. I knew I wanted to be a wife and mother, so I began my quest to meet the man who would make my dreams come true. I put myself on a two-year-plan, which then extended to a three-year-plan (because I hadn’t met “him” yet). For three years, dating became my hobby, and JDate was one of the primary resources I used. It was fun to browse the profiles looking for matches, to correspond via email and to actually meet the men behind the words in the messages and chats. I had my share of awkward dates, and did meet quite a few nice guys (and am still friends with a few), but that special connection I was seeking just wasn’t there with any of them.
On Saturday, June 14, 2003, there was a JDate party taking place at the Emerald City nightclub in Philadelphia. I made plans to go with two of my girlfriends, Mindy and Robyn. At the event, we were quietly pointing out men who we recognized from their profiles, as well as those we had already been out on dates with. Then, across the room I noticed a man who I had never seen before, and he was just my type: tall with salt and pepper hair, a big smile and very animated in his conversation. I didn’t approach him right away, but he kept catching my eye as he moved around the club, always seeming to be talking to other women.
Finally, I saw that he was just finishing a conversation with someone, and figured this was my chance. I decided to be forward and approach him. I walked over, smiled and batted my eyelashes, and said, “I just have to tell you, you have a great head of hair. It’s very distinguished looking. Reminds me of George Clooney!” I don’t even remember his actual response, but do know that he smiled at me, told me his name was Michael, and we started to have a great conversation. Then, my friends told me they wanted to leave and get something to eat. So, I asked Michael if he’d like to go with us. Luckily, he said yes. We flirted and talked the entire time at the restaurant. My face hurt from smiling and laughing so much. I learned that he lived in Hershey, PA, which was two hours from Philadelphia (this explained why I had never seen him at a Jewish singles event before). His brother lived in the area and he happened to be visiting that weekend. He had made plans to go to the JDate party with a friend who also lived locally, but his friend cancelled. Luckily for me, he still went by himself (a sign of confidence). If he had decided not to go alone, we would never have met!
The very next day, Michael called me to say that he was still in town and asked would I like to have dinner with him that night, before he headed back to Hershey? Of course, I said yes. This was our first real date, and we had a great time. The conversation just flowed and there was definitely chemistry between us. The funny thing is though, that when I looked up his JDate profile, I didn’t like it! He didn’t have the most flattering picture of himself up, and his essays were riddled with spelling and grammatical errors, which really bothered me (although I did like the fact that he stated “Must like dogs” because I said the exact same thing in my profile). I realized that if he had written to me through JDate, I would have ignored him. Yet, I was willing to overlook this because I felt something with him I didn’t feel with any of the other men I had met in those three years.
A few days after we met, I flew to San Francisco to attend a professional conference. Michael called me every night to talk, asking about my conference and giving us an opportunity to learn more about each other through our conversations. I knew there was something unique and special about my connection with him, but I was also a little hesitant to give up the “dating life.” There had actually been another man with whom I had been corresponding via JDate messages at the time that I met Michael, and I still made plans to meet him shortly after I returned from my conference. I am glad that I did because I just didn’t connect with this guy, and it was on this date that I realized that Michael was the man for me!
We dated long distance for one year, and then Michael found a job in Philadelphia and moved in with me. About four months later, he proposed, and we were married eight months later on June 26, 2005 (two years and two weeks after we met). My friend Mindy, who was there the night we met, was my Maid of Honor. On June 5, 2007, we became the proud parents of a JBaby™ when our daughter Jemmi was born. I am now the wife and mother I always dreamed I’d be, with a wonderful husband who I would never have met, if not for that JDate party. Thank you JDate for making my dreams come true!
Elisa and Michael