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Erin and Ryan

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Erin and Ryan

I had only been on JDate for a few months when I met Ryan. We both knew there was something special about each other.  It was a Thursday evening and we spoke on Instant Messenger. I had a full weekend ahead, but somehow he persuaded me to meet him the very next day, Friday afternoon, before all of my other weekend plans.

When we met, we were like giddy schoolyard children. Both of us are die-hard romantics. It was a mere coincidence that I happened to know his housemate and I agreed to Ryan’s generous offer of making me dinner at his home that evening. Upon arriving at his home and meeting his friends, he said he had no plans all weekend and asked if I would be willing to cancel all my plans and spend the weekend with him. On a gut feeling (that we both were having), I excitedly agreed.Erin_Ryan+Ontario

An hour later, he told me that he didn’t need to date anybody else, and that I was “it” for him. The entire weekend his housemate kept coming in and out of the house. Each time looking at myself and Ryan and saying, in astonishment, “YOU are STILL here!?!” We would just smile and look at each other knowingly.

It may sound crazy or trite, but we really did fall crazy in love with each other. We can’t believe that we had found in each other the person that we had only thought existed in our dreams. It is a feeling that is indescribable. That was just the beginning. I have two children from my first marriage; they had just turned four and six when we started dating. He was the first man I had introduced them to since my divorce. They took to Ryan immediately and have called him Abba now for three years. They really love him and consider him a father and he loves them as if they are his own. He does everything for them.

Erin_Ryan+Ontario+4One year after we met, January 13, 2007 (which happened to be Shabbat so we were at Temple), Ryan pulled out a key to the Rabbi’s office and pulled me inside. Sitting on the desk was a stuffed elephant holding a heart-shaped box (I collect elephants and he worked for a toy company at the time). Ryan pulled a ring out of the heart-shaped box and proposed – I was in shock! We went into the sanctuary, he received an aliyah, everyone was singing and dancing, and then they announced that Ryan was sponsoring the Kiddush in honour of his engagement to Erin! This was all a surprise to me, as well as after shul, when I found out that he had arranged a surprise engagement party lunch at our friend’s house. My friend made heart-shaped challah and heart-shaped everything, from confetti to cakes to heart-shaped embroidered towels in the bathroom! As a result, I now have a tradition of making heart-shaped challah every Shabbat. And if that wasn’t enough, we went to celebrate overnight at a very romantic and luxurious hotel, and Ryan brought a catered meal and my favorite wine and champagne. The next morning, we went to his parents’ house to tell them in person that we were engaged.

On November 4, 2007 we were married in our dream Orthodox Jewish wedding.  We both say it was the happiest day of our entire lives. We really are each other’s best friends. 

On November 4, 2009 we will be married for two years and we have our first baby due to be born, G-d willing, in January 2010.

We have never been happier.  We are each other’s entire lives and are forever indebted to JDate for helping us find our true Besherts, and having a life we have always dreamed of having.

A Quote from Erin’s Wedding Speech

I love you Ryan. You are my very best best best best best friend. There are so many things I love about you that I decided it was best to make a list of just a few of them. So here they are:I love how you look at me after you make me laugh. I love how you always bring me coffee ‘just because.’ I love how you love to sing with me. I love how you always know what to say to make me feel happy and loved. I love that we appreciate each other and respect each other. I love that we listen and hear each other’s words. I love how you always look for the best in everyone. That has really affected my outlook on life. I love how you keep it positive. I love how you always know what to do to cheer me up. I love how you take care of me when I am sick. I love that you let me buy shoes whenever I want. I love that we laugh at the same things. I love that you would rather stay in a hotel than go camping. I love having Shabbat with you and the kids. I love the way you smell. I love your smile. I love your eyes. I love holding your hand. I love how you accept me for who I am and I love that you tell me that you love me for what is on the inside, not the outside. And I love all of you too. I love that you are proud to call me yours. Because I am so proud to now be able to call you my husband.

You and the children are the biggest blessings in my life. I appreciate and thank G-d for you every day.

Ryan, we are unstoppable. I know that together we can accomplish anything. And we have only begun to experience it; just imagine what life has in store for us. I can’t wait.Erin_Ryan+Ontario+3

A Quote from Ryan’s Wedding Speech:

I’ve learned something about love this week. Being separated from Erin for seven days, (it is a Jewish tradition not to see each other for a week before the chuppah) I felt incomplete. It’s not how someone makes you feel when you are with them; it’s how they make you feel when they are not. Love sustains a man in the desert. It bridges the gaps of the widest oceans. Love is within you. Love is something that spreads from you and can be spread upon you. You can be awash with love, drenched in the bliss of, as my friend would say: “Being in the only place I would want to be at that very moment.” There are lessons in love that I believe teach us about our capacity for that very emotion. Love is a fever gripping the heart. The fires of love take the clay of our content and kiln it to an unbreakable bond. I have found someone brilliantly kind and unfailingly generous with her time and her mind. She is a writer, a lover and a fighter for those who cannot speak. She is a woman of the ages and the inspiration to many who have met her.

Erin, today we start forever.

Thank you,

Erin and Ryan
Hamilton, Ontario, Canada

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13 Comments »

  • Erin says:

    it does say trite :)
    BTW an update:

    we had our beautiful baby boy on Jan.14/10

    Zev Golan David

    he is absolutely perfect.

  • Alex says:

    You mean “trite”, not “contrite”. But congratulations.

  • Andrea says:

    I am the friend who hosted lunch and made the heart shaped challah. One thing I can tell you James, is that the bunch of us have a friend who she just continued dating because there was nothing ‘wrong’ with him, to say no about, but it was at least 8 or 10 dates before she realized she was falling for him. With my own husband, we were best friends who never remotly considered dating until it whacked us over the head. in fact, we had a TERRIBLE first impression of each other before we became friends. One never knows what is going to happen! The bunch of us also have a friend who met her husband when she finally decided to consider dating men outside of her geographical area. She ended up moving from NYC to our small Canadian city to be with him and is very happy. Good luck to you on your own journey!

  • Ryan says:

    Hi James, As I recall, my jdate profile was pretty sparse at the time.

    Here is a clip:

    “Dating is supposed to be fun. Nerve wracking too, but most of all it has to be fun. Never settle. Follow your gut. Realize that you have to meet a ton of people before you meet the one. Timing is everything, so don’t rush to meet until you are ready for whatever can happen. Be good to yourself. You’re single, not a social leper or insufficient. It just happened that at some point you looked at your life and decided to focus on you.”

    I was feeling overwhelmed with the amount of dating I was doing. All those coffee dates gave me caffeine jitters! I had taken the pictures off my profile to nudge women into reading the words. Actually, I did ask anyone who messaged me to check my blog out. Writing about my perspective on life and love made it possible to help me understand how I felt about dating and getting older. Sharing these thoughts on a blog also helped women who read it get to see the non-dating life I was leading at the time. Dates can be like job interviews. The blog gave me a shot at sharing myself outside of the defensiveness that occurs in the dating arena.

    What I realize now, is how much of all this is due to my wife. She saw something in me, and helped bring it out. Without her love, I’d still be in the dark.

    You meet the woman who makes you forget everything you know, and who is strong enough to believe in the future. Find her, and don’t let go.

    Ryan

  • Erin says:

    Ben:

    AND you were a groomsman in our wedding!

    As well, remain a good friend to both of us.

    thanks Ben!

    Erin

  • Sharon, Israel says:

    Hi James,
    I have no idea how old/observent you are, but I think you should definatly try Jewish singles events and keep being on this site, before relocating anywhere. Being around a lot of Jewish singles, is no gurentee for finding the one.

    A lot of the MAZAL TOV posts, actually include couples from two different continents. One of my very best Israeli friends, who dated Israelis for years, came across a Jdate profile a few months ago, which really appealed to her although the guy, lived in Europe. They IM & talked on the phone for a few weeks, and then flew to meet each other. A short time later, they became engaged.
    I believe, there’s also the heavenly timing factor, which has nothing to do with rules, numbers or statistics.

  • Tim says:

    Erin, it’s great that you have given excerpts from both your wedding speeches. More importantly, for people like me genuinely looking for the one, do you have an excerpt of your Jdate profiles? It would be great if it could be published, as I really want to know what it was that attracted you to Ryan initially, about from his looks and the fact that he cooked dinner for you on the first date as you happened to his housemate. I have been on Jdate a long time and I would love to know what is a winning profile for women who could be my life partner.

  • Ben says:

    Wow…

    I am the “housemate” and was there to witness the entire weekend!

    It’s great to here that she never did end up leaving :)

    Mazel Tov guys!

    Ben Kayfetz

  • James says:

    Thanks for the tip Sharon but I live in Australia and these cruises and other JDate parties are only in the USA. Also, I know they are expensive, not that I can’t afford it. Another thing is whether it’s Jewish singles parties or trips/cruises, I know for a fact that there are far more guys than ladies that attend, which unfortunately makes it much harder. The likelihood of me finding a single Australian Jewish lady at these events is very limited, as I don’t want to relocate. Having said that, Sharon, do you think I should relocate to Israel where more Israeli girls are likely to want to get married than Jewish Australian girls? I learnt Hebrew at school but unfortunately I have forgotten a lot of it, but hopefully there would be Israeli girls who would be prepared to take on an a nice Australian guy and speak only English to him, assuming their English is good, like yours! Unfortunately, theren’t enough Jewish girls on JDate in Austalia.

  • Sharon, Israel says:

    Hey James, I can definatly relate. I have been on Jdate for 2 years, and have been searching for my beshert online, for almost ten years now, with no luck.
    You should join one of the site’s organized trips/cruises, I myself have never tried it, but it looks effective plus it’s fun, so either way you win.

    And one more note to every “Mazal Tov” couple out there: the increasing number of Jewish singles, as a wise Rabbi once said, IS EVERYBODY’S BUSINNESS. So don’t forget us lonesome souls still looking. You can really make a difference, just by having us on your mind & prayres.

  • Erin says:

    James:

    He didn’t persuade me before the first date, he persuaded me while we were ON our first date :)

  • James says:

    I would like to know what Ryan did to persuade Erin to cancel her plans for the weekend before the first date and to let him cook dinner for her on the first date. I have been on Jdate for over 3 years and I look decent, but have had no luck. In a lot of cases, the lady will cancel the date to say something urgent has come up!

  • Sharon, Israel says:

    Beautiful!!! I’m tearing up! Congrats & tons of nachas to u both. I hope I get to experience what you have someday, unconditional love. Thanks for posting a lovely story, to give us all hope.

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