Jessica and Elliot met with an IM in the middle of the night. Jessica had gotten home from a JDate which was a disaster. However, she was not willing to give up and signed back on to JDate to see if anyone interesting had sent her a message. Just as she was about to sign off, she got an IM from “TheStealthRhino.” Immediately intrigued by his beautiful eyes and humorous name, she responded. This led to two more weeks of messaging and emailing online before Jessica asked Elliot for his number. She wanted to hear his voice already! Elliot appreciated the fact that she was a girl who knew what she wanted. He was more than happy to give it to her. They spoke for another week before they went on their first date.

This was no ordinary “dinner and a movie” date. The conversation and laughs started immediately. Because they had about a month of conversation before they met, there was a foundation of a strong friendship. They couldn’t wait to see one another again.

The second date was the following weekend on New Year’s Eve. Elliot invited Jessica to a house party, but before going, he set up a dinner with a couple of his close friends attending the party so Jessica would have an opportunity to know other people there. One of Elliot’s friends said to him later that “it was as if they had been a couple for some time because they clicked on so many levels: intelligence, humor, compatibility.”

After a month of seeing each other casually, Elliot wanted to make sure Jessica was his girl. One night, before seeing friends perform at the 8×10 in Baltimore, the two went out to a fancy dinner at the Wine Market Cafe. Over a couple of glasses of wine, lamb burgers and a sweet dessert, Elliot passed a box across the table. Inside was a sterling heart link bracelet. He said, “I want to be able to introduce you as my girlfriend when we get to the concert.” Jessica never fastened a bracelet more quickly than in that moment.

For five years, Jessica and Elliot shared many experiences: graduating college, moving into a new apartment, many meals eaten out, movies, baseball games, concerts, mini road trips, family time, comedy shows, attempted cooking meals, jokes, laughs, and countless other memories. Then, it happened: Elliot proposed.

They celebrated their five-year anniversary on January 18, 2012. Jessica’s present to him was “Date-A-Palooza” — three nights of events including a Jim Gaffigan comedy show, a CAPS game and another comedy show featuring Jeff Ross. Elliot added an event to Date-A-Palooza: dance lessons at Glen Echo Park. Years ago the couple took West Coast Swing lessons and it was a great experience for both of them!

Elliot had to work all day Saturday, so Jessica spent a day doing things on her to-do list: lunch, an eyebrow wax, a mani/pedi (how fortuitous)! She was told to be ready to go at 3:45pm so they could get to their dance lesson on time. Elliot picked her up and off they went to Glen Echo Park.

The couple pulled up to the park around 4:00pm. As they walked in the cold, Jessica told Elliot she hoped they had space heaters in the Bumper Car Pavilion. He just laughed at her and told her that she would be fine dancing in the outdoors. As they approached the pavilion, there was a five-piece band set up on stage. This was a HUGE improvement from the rusty old boombox the instructor had before. However, this time, there was no instructor; it was just the two of them and the band. Elliot ran up on stage to see “what was going on” and as Jessica stared off, looking at the park, their song started to play. Then Jessica heard, “Come over here, honey.” There was Elliot, on stage, on the microphone, singing their song.

It was the most beautiful version of “Right Down the Line” by Gerry Rafferty that she had ever heard. As the song started to fade, Elliot got off stage and told her everything she had been waiting to hear for five years. Before she knew it, he was down on one knee and he asked her to marry him! Jessica proceeded to hug everyone in sight — not only Elliot, but every member of the band, the coordinators at Glen Echo Park and the photographer she didn’t even see was there documenting the entire event.

When Jessica and Elliot got back to the car, Elliot had a wedding planner notebook, wedding magazines and a “Future Mrs. Barber” t-shirt waiting for her.

Both of them feel so lucky to have had the opportunity to have met and fallen in love. It never would have happened if they hadn’t logged on to JDate all of those years ago. It’s worth taking the chance and seeing who is out there. You never know when you’re going to meet the love of your life.

Jessica and Elliot
Bethesda, Maryland

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One Comment
  1. Wow…. As Elliots parents we lived through their courtship and now have this beautiful account to cherish written by two beautiful people. Love Pops and Emah B.

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