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Lessons from a Love Story

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Do you know what you want? Craft a creative profile that shows what makes you different from everybody else. Give that standard “saw your profile…” message a personal touch. That’s good advice for online daters everywhere, and Dave and Sara had it down. Maybe that’s why their story has such a happy ending…

As in most endeavors, success at Internet dating is often the result of knowledge, energy, and attitude. But even with a great approach, luck and timing are sometimes what make the difference. After all that work, you just might find your soul mate while casually browsing profiles at 9 a.m. on a Saturday. Dave’s email stood out from all the rest because I could tell it was genuine… He read my profile, was interested in ME, and had taken into consideration what I was looking for.

For one single guy in New York City, that’s exactly what happened.

“I was going through profiles and looking for someone more alternative and artsy,” Dave says of his Saturday morning surf on JDate. “One definitely jumped out; very ‘Amelie’-esque. I thought, ‘Ah, I’ll bookmark that…’”

Sara’s charming photo showed her in a photo booth blowing bubbles. Sara says she was “looking for someone who was in touch with his Jewish side and who had Jewish values, but was hip and creative.

Little did she know, her well-chosen profile picture had attracted the attention of just such a fellow. And he immediately contacted her.

“Dave’s email stood out from all the rest because I could tell it was genuine and I knew he didn’t email 50 other girls the same carbon copy email,” Sara says. “I felt that he read my profile, was interested in ME, and had taken into consideration what I was looking for in a person (a nice Jewish boy with edge)! That’s why I emailed him back.”

Not before she’d checked out his profile, of course. Dave described himself as a “creative hipster” and Sara quickly saw that this guy was her type.

“Everybody’s got a checklist,” Dave says. “Some checks are a higher priority. We both had the top three checks on our respective lists. You narrow it down to what’s most important.”

Dave still gives Sara’s profile a lot of credit for their first date, and advises JDaters to heed her example and strive to be unique. “So many profiles have the same stuff over and over again. That’s a turnoff – ‘I love to laugh, I’m as comfortable in sneakers as high heels…’ Hey, I like to laugh, too. So does everybody else! Put a little effort into differentiating yourself.” So many profiles have the same stuff over and over again… ‘I love to laugh.’ So does everybody else! Put a little effort into differentiating yourself.

Many of Sara’s friends are on JDate and she tells them to write their own profile, but seek as many opinions on it as possible. “It should reflect who you really are,” she says. No more and no less.

Before their first phone conversation, Dave and Sara traded a couple of emails “just to get a feel for one another and be sure that we wanted to get to know each other better,” Sara says.

“I found it was a learning process on how to email girls,” Dave said of his online dating experiences. “When you try to be too funny and impress the girl, they think you’re totally weird. ‘Who is this guy, why is he making all these jokes?’ It can really backfire. Before emailing Sara, I told myself, ‘chill out and be straight-forward and honest – don’t try to make yourself out to be the next Jerry Seinfeld.’”

It worked. After one fairly brief phone call, Dave asked Sara out. She recommends extending an email or phone relationship just long enough to get to know each other well enough to set up a date, or not to. If you wait too long to meet in person, “chances are, you’ll build up expectations that the other person might not live up to when you meet them,” Sara explains. “I only learned this lesson after going out on several JDates.”

On the night of their drinks-date, Dave arrived first and watched Sara arrive. “He had a huge smile on his face and looked so sweet,” she recalls. Sara instantly had a sense that this would be a good date. As did Dave, who was relieved that Sara was “super-cute in real life. Plus, we had a lot to talk about! The conversation flowed naturally.”

Drinks turned into dinner and Sara realized they had passed a litmus test. “You know that if it turns into something else, it’s going well… But I’ve been out on enough dates not to get my hopes too high, and just take it for what it is.”

After their meal in “NoLIta,” north of Little Italy, our pair took the train back together and Sara’s stop came first. They were lost in conversation so she had to get up abruptly to leave. Dave quickly asked her if she wanted to go out again.

Sara smiled, but her answer, “Yeah, I would love that,” was lost as she jumped off the train. Dave was left unsure what his date was really thinking. This story could have ended there, but Dave called Sara and asked what she had said. She was happy to tell him again that the answer was “yes.” Dave proposed on their one year and seven months anniversary, under a giant full moon. ‘I thought I was being pretty dramatic. But she didn’t know until I got down on my knees!’

About a week later, their second date was what Sara calls “the best date ever. He really took me out on the town for that one. It blew me away. We started at a sake tasting and then went out to dinner and then we went to a lounge…it was the night that never came to an end. That’s when we both knew…”

Dave proposed on their one year and seven months anniversary, under a giant full moon while the couple vacationed in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic. “I figured I’d do it on the beach,” Dave says. “It was a nice night, and I was commenting on the moon and our anniversary. I thought I was being pretty dramatic. But she didn’t know until I got down on one knee!”

“I knew he was going to propose at some point, but I didn’t know when,” Sara says. “We were both completely stressed out and needed a vacation so badly. My only expectation was that I was going to relax on a beach. We were there a couple of days before he proposed, so it was out of my mind and a complete surprise.”

schwimmer2Needless to say, Sara gladly accepted and the happy couple were hitched in August, 2006. As a show of thanks for helping to bring them together and to add an element of romantic fun, JDate was a theme of their wedding. Sara threw a bouquet of JDate profiles and everyone at the singles table received a membership coupon. The couple’s own profiles were prominently displayed and their engagement notice, created by the Jewish cartoon artist, Ben Baruch, spoofed the way they met.”

And what does Sara say to the millions of us who are still looking for the love of our lives?

“Be persistent and don’t get discouraged. Dating can be a drag. You have to kiss a lot of frogs to find your prince, but someone will come along at just the right time, and probably when you least expect it.”

Like at 9 a.m. on a Saturday morning…

Photographs courtesy of Carla Ten Eyck.

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  • Stephanie Kosarin says:

    Lovely story! I love that you gave your guests jdate coupons. adorable. and good luck!

  • Julie Schulman Slann says:

    I enjoyed your story and it gives me hope.

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