Our story began in April 2012. It’s important to note that Mark, in many charming ways, is not a man of this era. For starters, he’s more chivalrous than any other man I’ve met. Moreover, he listens to records and ironically spends very little time in front of a computer. Despite that fact, we met on JDate!

When I first emailed Mark on JDate, I was incredibly frustrated with the dating scene, but had convinced myself to get back on the horse. Mark’s profile was sparse, but I remember he described himself as a junior high teacher who would give you the shirt off his back – “though I never understood why someone would want my sweaty shirt.” I wrote that anyone who works with middle-school-aged kids is a hero in my book.

A handful of days later we met for an awkward coffee date. If I could share a piece of advice, it would be to give good guys a second chance. We didn’t quite hit it off over coffee. His sarcasm was well over my head and I had a hard time believing that someone with his southern accent was genuinely a Colorado native. Our second date lasted well past midnight (on a school night!). We went salsa dancing (something I did often, but Mark absolutely held his own) and shared a magical first kiss. The next day he called to invite me to go fishing the following afternoon.

Gentlemen, take a note: no games, no nonsense, he called the very next day.

From then on after our fishing date, we were hooked (pun intended). Seven months later, we designed my engagement ring. The diamonds came from his grandmother’s ring and they surround my birthstone as a symbolic “welcome to the family.” Even though we designed the ring together, it was important to Mark that the proposal be a surprise. He asked the jeweler to email me saying that ring production was delayed. I was very disappointed, especially given that we had already planned a getaway weekend. Needless to say, I was completely surprised when he got down on one knee.

Seven months later, last July, we began our life together as husband and wife. Surrounded by loved ones, we exchanged our self-written vows to work harder at this than anything else in our lives. And now every day, I wake up ever more grateful for Mark and for JDate.

Mark is the love of my life. He’s everything I ever wanted in a man and so many things I didn’t dare to want. He’s the other side of my coin – different, but complementary. We didn’t run in the same circles, and never would have discovered how oddly similar we are, if not for JDate. So thank you JDate for helping me to meet my modern-day knight in shining armor!

Irena and Mark
Littleton, Colorado

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