My romance with Rachel did not begin with flowers falling from the sky while bystanders randomly joined together in song, or even with a maiden attending her first formal ball only to meet her Prince Charming. Nonetheless, our whirlwind relationship is most certainly the love story that fairy tales are written about! We had both been searching for that special someone for a long time and had each joined JDate with the hope that this would bring us closer to the end of our journey. Even so, neither one of us could have planned it out this well…thanks JDate (and fate).
We had both been members of JDate for some time, meeting many new people, but never really “clicking” with the right one. Then, right before New Years, I got this unassuming email from the most interesting girl and it seemed like my luck had changed. However, due to some bad timing and a bit of concern I had over our nine year age difference (I would soon learn that this was an unnecessary concern), I never replied to her email and thought my moment had passed. But, over two months later, Rachel sent me a second message, and this time I seized my moment. That night we began emailing and within three days, we had our first conversation (that lasted three hours). We have spoken or written (sometimes both) every day since and no matter how much we share, we seem to never run out of conversation. One week after we met through JDate, we set up our first date, which is now a time that I remember as vividly as the moment I met my soul mate.
After our first date, as I drove away, I remember thinking, “was that real?” I’d never been on a date that went so smoothly; the conversation flowed and laughter was filling in the end of each story. I had just met someone for the first time, but as we stood together, everyone in the restaurant disappeared and all I could focus on was her and how comfortable and interested she made me. And later, when we spoke about our lunch, we both agreed that we had a great time and could not wait to do this again.
And so we met again…and again…and again. We shared intimate conversations at the oddest of hours, stories meant for only your closest friends, laughter for no reason at all, and soon, a closeness formed that introduced me to my best friend. I could recount each and every moment of knowing Rachel, but I will spare you all of the details. As I have told her many times, she has shown me what the storylines of romance movies had been bragging about all this time.
Our relationship has taken us down many roads showing us some of the happiest times life can offer and presented us with some of our greatest challenges. But through it all and because of it all, Rachel and I have emerged stronger, closer and more committed than ever to each other and our future that awaits. On December 3, 2010, after almost 10 months since we first emailed, I surprised her at her house where I had decorated a wall in the room with small mementos that I had collected from all of our dates. A second wall remained blank to signify the many more memories we would have together. I walked her around the table in the center of the room that wore a rose petal heart, a bouquet of her favorite flowers, her favorite scented candle and a ring box on a bed of petals in the center. I sat her down and read her a poem I had written just for her for this night, as our song (Love of a Lifetime) played softly in the background. And before the poem ended, I was on one knee, ring box in hand, asking my future fiancée to marry me (she said yes!). That night, I knew what happiness truly felt like as this was a proposal, much like our relationship, that meant the world to us both – wrapped in memories, surrounded by family, comforted by friendship and encircled in love.
Now we are planning our wedding and I am confident that our feet have not touched the ground since. Thank you JDate for stepping in and giving fate a hand …and we all lived happily ever after!
Rachel and Mark