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Victoria and Jeff

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Dear JDate,

cont-mt-victoria-jeff-01In October of 2006, Victoria spotted Jeff online and wrote him an email saying, “I know you are far away, but I came across your profile and I just want to say ‘Wow’.” Apparently, Victoria was impressed by Jeff’s writing skills. Little did she know that some of it was embellished, like his height (Jeff claimed to be 5’10” when he is actually 5’8”). About an hour went by, when Jeff looked at Victoria’s profile and replied, “Wish I lived in Ohio.” The two began emailing each other regularly for three weeks and became friends. Then on Thanksgiving weekend, Jeff and Victoria began to call one another.

The two had fallen in love over emails and phone calls and finally decided to meet in January. The distance between them created a small problem. Victoria lived an hour away from Pittsburgh, so they decided to meet there on Friday, January 13th, 2006 for their first date.

Jeff and Victoria were not superstitious about having a date on Friday the 13th, they believed their relationship was meant to be (in Hebrew the word is “beshert”). The similarities are more than a coincidence; Jeff is from Beverly Hills and Victoria’s street name she lives on is Beverly Hills Drive. Victoria’s hometown of Khmelnitsky, Ukraine is an hour away from Jeff’s grandmother’s hometown of Polonne. Victoria immigrated into the United States from Ukraine at age 12; Jeff’s grandmother immigrated at age 11. Jeff’s grandmother was named Dora and Victoria’s great Aunt was Dora. Jeff’s great grandmother was Sally Rose and Victoria’s grandmother was Rose Lerman. Plus, on Jeff’s mother’s side he can retrace family from Kiev.

The first time they set eyes on one another was at Pittsburgh’s Omni William Penn Place. As Jeff waited in the lobby, Victoria pushed through the revolving door and up the stairs. As Jeff recounts, “I knew she was the one, she was incredibly beautiful.” The two went out for dinner and shared a first kiss over wine and osso buco.

Because Victoria had been to Pittsburgh before, the next day she acted as the couples tour guide. Jeff had a plane ticket to go home on Sunday; however, they were having such a good time Jeff decided to extend his trip and stayed an extra day. The next day during breakfast at Einstein’s bagels, Jeff told Victoria, “I am supposed to end up with a woman like you.”

For their second date, Jeff and Victoria decided to celebrate Valentine’s Day together in Chicago. However, with Valentine’s Day falling on a Tuesday and scheduling conflicts due to their university programs, they decided to celebrate Valentine’s on February 4th. That night over fondue, they exchanged “I love you’s.” In two weeks Jeff had a ticket to visit Victoria in Youngstown, Ohio where he met her family and tasted authentic Russian food.

Jeff wanted to return the favor, so during Spring break he gave Victoria a tour of California. The trip included a visit to Disneyland, Hollywood and a stop at Jeff’s parent’s house where they enjoyed his father’s barbequing skills, his mother’s gourmet cooking and their sense of humor.

cont-mt-victoria-jeff-02After more weekend meetings and introductions to family and friends, the two set their wedding date for May 27th, 2007. This decision came a week before Jeff’s graduation and before they had even officially been engaged.

On Saturday, May 27th, 2006, Jeff rented a sailboat on Lake Michigan and they sailed down to Navy Pier to enjoy a picnic, champagne and fireworks. During the finale, Jeff asked Victoria to marry him. When they got back to Jeff’s place, candles lit the room, rose petals were on the floor and the champagne was waiting.

In October, Victoria’s parents threw Victoria and Jeff a wonderful engagement party. In February, they went to Ukraine for another engagement party and to see Victoria’s childhood best friend get married. They also traveled to Polonne to look for Jeff’s grandmother’s roots. February 24th, on Victoria’s 15th year Anniversary in the USA, she had her bridal shower in Youngstown, Ohio.

Finally! May was here and the week of the wedding was full of celebrations. It was a dream come true and a fairy tale for both of them. Jeff can still close his eyes and taste their wedding cake, which was made of chocolate and raspberry with Chambord liqueur. The celebration with friends and family was a day they would never forget.

As much fun as the wedding was, the honeymoon was equally, if not more exciting (no offense to any of our friends and family). Victoria discovered Paris for the first time; Jeff discovered it for the first time while in love. It is truly a romantic city. Even as we speak, Jeff and Victoria can close their eyes and taste the wonderful food and champagne on their tongue. Jeff can still hear the wind blow through the grape vines of Reims where they spent a weekend. The trip was unforgettable.

Thanks to the JDate, we found each other and made our dreams come true. We tell our friends and family that JDate was the best thing that ever happened to us!

Tips for other JDaters:
Write a lot about yourself in your profile. Women were intrigued by my profile because it looked like I took online dating seriously. In your profile, talk about your travels, favorite foods, likes and dislikes. Don’t hold anything back.

You can post up to four pictures on your profile, so don’t just use one head shot. Use action photos or pictures that tell a story. When a woman looks at your profile, she can ask you a question about the pictures — it lures them in. In my profile, I used a couple of pictures from my travels. A picture with the Eiffel Tower in the background or a giant wave and surfboard will definitely help.

When you search for a woman and find one that you like, don’t write a form letter that says “oh I liked your profile, check out mine, we have a lot in common,” etc. Read her profile and find one thing that you find interesting or funny and ask her a question about it. This shows the woman that you actually read her profile and took an interest in something other than her pictures. She will most likely answer you back and then you can have a conversation.

Victoria & Jeff
Playa Del Rey, California

Update: Victoria and Jeff welcomed a beautiful JBaby boy, Marc Lerman Gillis, in 2009. They are thoroughly enjoying their new family and we wish them all the best!

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