I’m writing you our story as I fly from San Francisco back to New York to begin what will be the last part of my long distance relationship with my fiancé. I know you probably hear it a lot, but we have the best story.
I had been an on-and-off New York JDater® for quite some time. I would meet someone on JDate, see him for a few weeks or months and then decide that “it” wasn’t there. I would take breaks from JDate and try to meet people socially, but the men I met at bars or through friends either were not Jewish or Jewish, but not right for me. I had heard so many success stories and it seemed like everyone I knew had a friend who had met their husband or wife on JDate. I wondered if I’d ever have that type of long-term success. Little did I know that my luck was about to change.
On a cool day in October when I had the day off from my graduate program, I decided to log on to JDate and see who was online. Instead of narrowing my search to look for men in my area, I chose to look at everyone online regardless of their location. At the top of the list, I saw a face that I knew I’d never seen before, but looked so familiar. He was in San Francisco, 30 and was looking for marriage and children. Even though I knew that this handsome man was on the other side of the country, I read through his profile. It was witty, sarcastic, filled with the same likes and don’t likes that I liked and didn’t like, and under the section of “What do you want in a mate?” was a quote from the band Cake. Since Cake was my go-to college band, I decided, why not just say hello? I rarely sent the opening IM, but I figured I didn’t have anything to lose, so I said, “Props on quoting Cake.” The handsome San Franciscan looked at my profile and sent back a “Thanks!” That morning, Ilan and I IM’ed for an hour and a half, then the next day for an hour and a half, and the day after that and so on and so forth. We would often joke about meeting each other and what it would be like, but I never thought it would actually happen.
One night, a month after our initial IM, a little voice in my head said, ‘Go and see if Ilan is online.’ I said hello and asked what he was up to and his response was, “Well…Actually I was looking at flights to come to New York and meet you. What do you think?” To say that a million emotions rushed through my body at once is an understatement, but I went with my gut and said, “Yes. I would love to meet you.” That night was our first phone conversation. I had butterflies the entire time. He told me that my voice sounded exactly what he thought it would sound like and I felt the same way about his. I felt a strange connection to him even though I had never met him in person. Two days later he booked his flight to New York.
We spent the next few weeks talking regularly and figuring out what we would do while he was in New York. We were very honest about our fears and excitement and also recognized that there might be a period of adjustment and weirdness once we move from the computer screen to the real thing.
I will never forget the way I felt while I rode in the taxi to meet him at his hotel. I kept thinking, ‘Am I crazy? What am I doing? What if we hate each other?’ But, with every nervous question, came the same answer I’d been telling myself since we made these plans: ‘I just have to know. I just have to know if this connection is real. I just have to know.’ I stood in his hotel lobby and took a deep breath. Then, he walked off the elevator, smiled and hugged me. Within 10 minutes, we were holding each other, kissing, looking into each other’s eyes and saying, “I can’t believe you are exactly who I thought you would be.” We spent 5 days walking around New York hand in hand like we’d been dating for years. When he left, I wondered what would happen to us. Would this amazing connection go anywhere?
We continued to talk almost every day, even when I was in Israel for four weeks. Six weeks after our first encounter, I flew to San Francisco. That weekend we became exclusive and have been together ever since. During the school year, we see each other every few weeks and I spend my graduate school breaks in California. We make it a point to be together for holidays and family functions and traveled to Spain last Spring. Today finishes our longest stint together in one place: three and a half months.
What makes our story even more amazing (more amazing than the fact that we’ve been long distance now for almost two years, more amazing than the fact that we are each other’s greatest loves, more amazing than the fact that JDate brought two people together from opposite sides of the country) is that three weeks ago, Ilan proposed to me. After this school year ends, we will get to spend the rest of our lives together.
So thank you, JDate. Thank you for letting us live the quintessential modern day fairytale. Ani L’Dodi v’Dodi Li. I am my beloved and my beloved is mine.
Lindsay and Ilan
San Francisco, California