Before our wedding, some people asked if Matt and I felt an instant connection when we met on JDate. The short answer is: No. Actually, over a year of non-communication passed between our first email and our first date. Apparently, we were both on each other’s “Maybe” list. But after a year of first, and sometimes second, dates with other people, we both found each other on the site on the same night and started to instant message, ending with plans to meet.

On January 2, 2010, we had a hot first date at an incredibly romantic place: the Coffee Bean in Brentwood. Okay, it was actually that generic first JDate where we meet in a safe, public place for a non-committal latte while mentally completing the first date checklist:

• Looks like his photo. Check.

• Didn’t seem to lie in his profile. Check.

• Seems reasonably “normal.” Check.

• Has a good sense of humor. Check.

Actually, he had me laughing out loud and feeling comfortable halfway into my latte. So, when we finished our coffee drinks, it was time to find a place to eat dinner. We walked down the street and into some trendy-looking restaurant with a one-word name and asked to look at the menu. They informed us that we couldn’t dine in the back without reservations, but we were welcome to sit at the bar. We looked at each other and concluded that it wasn’t our kind of place, then went to get soup and sandwiches at the café across the street. By the end of the night, we had both decided that we were worth a second date.

On our second date we went out for Middle Eastern food, then saw Up in the Air. Really good movie, but probably not the best second-date movie… still, unlike the couples in the movie, we both left that night wanting to see each other again. Our third date was when the sparks literally flew—we went to the Griffith Observatory and watched a demonstration of the Tesla Coil. The sparks also figuratively flew, as we realized that we were both compatibly nerdy.

About a month after that, we became “official” in the 21st century way: we both agreed to take our dating profiles off of the Internet. Over the next few years, we went through the steps typical of the road towards permanent couplehood: more dates, meeting the respective families, supporting each other through difficult times, Matt eventually winning the affection of my neurotic dog, training for and completing our first marathon together, going on a road trip across the Western U.S., moving in together, training for and completing our second marathon, me wondering why Matt had not yet proposed to me, training for a half marathon together (because we were over the full marathons at that point), me still wondering why Matt hadn’t proposed to me and trying to decide when I should force the issue…

Then, on December 8, 2012, with the smell of latke grease still thick in the air, Matt and I exchanged gifts for the first night of Hanukkah. He opened his gift from me first, a CD. “Open the big box first,” he told me. I opened up a giant box and removed a Hanukkah potholder and a bunch of Amazon packing air bubbles. Then, I took a black velvet box out from the bottom and my heart started pounding. “This better not be a pair of earrings,” I thought to myself as I opened it up. Fortunately, it was the diamond engagement ring that I had been dreaming about. Matt got down on his knee and asked me to spend the rest of my life with him. On July 21, 2013, we were married.

Was it love at first site? No. Was it magic? Not really. But JDate gave us something better than magic—a loving, supportive relationship that brings out the best in both of us.

Kathy and Matt
Los Angeles, California

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