Evan’s mom bought him a six-month JDate subscription as his birthday present in 2011. I went to buy a one-month subscription, but wound up buying a three-month subscription. At the time, I was living in Tampa, Florida and Evan was living in Orlando, Florida. We were about 45 minutes away from each other. Evan reached out to me first in late September with a cheesy line, and I replied in return. I guess you can say I sort of like cheesiness. We exchanged phone numbers, which led into an obscene amount of texting and late-night conversations that sometimes ended at 4 am. Before I agreed to meet him in person, I convinced him to go on a “Skype Date” with me. After our video chat, we set our official date in person on October 15th, 2011. We planned to go to Dave & Busters and then to watch a movie. It was such a good night that we ended up seeing each other the next day for breakfast as well. From then on, we both knew we wanted to continue to see each other.
Shortly after, we spent Thanksgiving and Hanukkah together. We booked a three-day cruise to the Bahamas that December and had the time of our lives. On weekends we spent time with each other in every way possible. Whether it was seeing a movie, going to Saturday morning Shabbat services, or hiking, we made a point to spend a lot of time with each other. In March of 2012 Evan went to Israel for the first time with Taglit. This was the first time we went without seeing each other for almost two weeks. We barely spoke and had to Skype again because he was always hiking and doing activities. Overall, this experience brought us closer together.
In 2012 Evan lost both his grandfather and mother suddenly. His grandfather passed in March from health difficulties, and his mother passed away in December from breast cancer. Throughout the rough times, Evan was still able to maintain straight A’s in school, obtain custody of his 13-year-old sister, bury his mom, study for his LSAT, work part-time, and take care of his 4-year-old son. Quite naturally, I stood by his side and helped him every step of the way.
It wasn’t until July of this year (in 2013), that we finally felt like we could breathe from all the obstacles we faced in the past year. Evan graduated from UCF in May, obtained custody of his sister, and got accepted into Stetson Law School in St. Petersburg, Florida. We proudly moved from Orlando to St. Petersburg this August so he could fulfill his dream of going to law school.
We took a trip down to Key West to visit my family last Labor Day weekend. Unexpectedly, Evan asked me to marry him on September 8th while we were on the boat with my family at one of our favorite places, Boca Grande. Boca Grande is a secluded island where locals go to enjoy the long holiday weekend. The only way to get out there is by boat. It was so romantic and unforgettable.
Evan and I both feel we were meant for each other from day one. We have so much in common, our communication is amazing, and our loyalty is unbreakable. Candidly, we both feel like we cannot live without each other. We are, and will be, that couple who is successful, happy, and that grows old together. Who would have thought a guy who is originally from Brockton, Massachusetts and a woman from Key West, Florida would ever meet?! Thanks to God and JDate, Evan and I will be married in March of 2015.
Hela and Evan
St. Petersburg, Florida