It was the spring of 2003 during the Memorial Day weekend holiday when I first saw my wife, Shani, in a JDate chat room. I live in New Jersey and my wife’s home was in Israel. I just happened to be looking at profiles in Israel. When I typed in her member account and read her profile and looked at her photo, I was speechless. I was impressed with her expressions, and her profile seemed to mirror my thoughts on relationships and marriage. I assumed at this time that she was in Israel. After chatting with her online, I found out that she was actually in New Jersey, just one hour from my home!
Shani was leaving the U.S. that Wednesday after the holiday. I asked her for her phone number and called her that evening. We spoke for about an hour. I finally gathered enough courage to ask to meet her for lunch. She accepted. On Memorial Day, I drove to Long Branch, New Jersey and met her with flowers and banana muffins that I baked.
We enjoyed lunch on that rainy day and talked about each others JDate stories. At the end of our day, we said goodbye, but my heart told me that I would want to see her again. On the day of her departure, I called her at the home that she was staying at and wished her all the best. I really wanted to wait with her at the airport, but she insisted that she go alone. It was a very emotional time for her. A month passed before I received an email from Shani, and from that moment on, a friendship developed.
We would call each other in the late evenings and talk about many things. During our year apart, I would mail care packages of chocolate and other goodies to keep her spirits high and keep her laughing constantly. One year later, I suggested flying to Israel and spending time together and meeting her family.
On my first trip to Israel, in May of 2004, I arrived at the airport and her father, Solomon, and brother, David, were waiting for me. Shani had a huge heart shaped balloon in her hands. I was extremely nervous and was not sure what her expectations were. I met Svetlana, Shani’s mother, and received a warm welcome from her as well. After meeting Shani’s family and spending quality time with her, I realized that I wanted to spend my life with her and bring her into my world. After only a week in Israel, I proposed to Shani, and she said YES! Unfortunately, I had to leave and return to the U.S. We made plans to marry on September 9, 2004. The wedding was held in Tel Aviv at a wonderful French restaurant called The Margaux.
On February 8, 2005, Shani, Nelly and Vicka (dog, cat) arrived at Newark airport to stay! My home became our home, and we are very much in love and happy.
Thank you, JDate.
Shani & Arthur
Newark, New Jersey and Israel