Dear JDate,

cont-mt-gabrielle-craigMy friend Ruthie strongly encouraged me to go on JDate because she knew several couples that met on the site. I wrote my profile (and then revised several times) and sent it in along with some photos. I had a few responses, but no one that I was really interested in seeing. After about four months, the man that I was going to spend the rest of my life with suddenly appeared!

Craig and I met online on August 23, 2005, and we soon realized that we lived in the same neighborhood (Riverdale, NY), went to the same schools and have Mondays off from work since we both work weekends. I also found out that he loved animals, which is very important to me since I work at the Bronx Zoo and have several pets. One week later, we decided to meet at a local ice cream shop for our first date. On the morning of our date, I emailed him to say that if there was “no chemistry and connection” I would just take the bus home – no pressure.

As soon as we saw each other we knew that our search was over – we were a perfect match! We ended up walking around “our neighborhood” and realized that our paths have crossed several times. Here are just a few of the many coincidences that we discovered during our first date:

-For Passover 2005, I decided to go to the Hebrew Institute of Riverdale for their Passover Seder. I don’t know why I wanted to do this since I never go to temple. I thought that maybe my beshert was there. I ended up at a table filled with nice elderly women, but did not meet anyone special. Craig and I started talking about religion and I said that the last time I was in a temple was for the second night’s Seder at the Hebrew Institute. Craig started laughing and said that he was there with his mother and brother!

-Craig told me that he was an in-line skater and a few weeks earlier I had biked 5 miles in Central Park as the final lesson in a bike-riding class. Craig asked if the group of adults were all wearing bright jackets and had a leader who kept ringing the bell on his bike to keep us together. On that particular Saturday, Craig was there at the same time with a friend skating in the same part of Central Park and remembered telling his friend that it was great that adults were learning how to bike.

-As a child, Craig lived in the same building in Riverdale, NY that my grandparents lived in. He lived on the fourth floor, his grandparents lived on the eighth floor and my grandparents lived on the tenth floor. I visited my grandparents every weekend of my childhood so I’m sure that Craig and I played together on the big turtle statue in the building’s playground. After looking at pictures, Craig says he definitely knew my grandparents! We both agree that our grandparents must be smiling right now.

Craig proposed to me on April 22, 2006 in front of the lions at the Bronx Zoo. This has significance because my profile name was EarthdayBirthday and a line from my JDate profile was “sweet lioness seeking lion-hearted guy!

On September 6, 2007, we were married at the Bronx Zoo! The whole wedding was just amazing. Highlights included having a beautiful ceremony in front of the giraffes, cocktails in the Butterfly Garden and everyone riding the carousel. During the exchanging of our vows, Craig called me his “Backyard Beshert.” Without JDate, I would have never found this truly wonderful, funny, handsome, caring, sweet man, even though he’s lived so close to me his entire life! Thank you JDate!

Tips for other JDaters:

  1. Look for people in your own neighborhood first. You might find out that they are exactly what you are looking for and it’s really nice to be able to walk home hand-in-hand on your first date.
  2. When reading someone’s profile, you are probably not going to find the person to be exactly what you are looking for, but if most of their qualities appeal to you, give them a chance. You may find out that you actually have a lot in common and that’s what matters most.
  3. There is someone out there for everyone. I know that’s probably what your mother/father/grandma/best friend has told you many, many times, but they are right! Stay with it and you will eventually find that special person.

Gabrielle & Craig
Riverdale, New York

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