I never thought I’d meet a nice Jewish boy on JDate and end up getting engaged to the strains of “O Holy Night!”
My friends urged me to join JDate in college, as many of them were members, too. We would spend hours tweaking our profiles and excitedly poring over the possibilities, scrolling through the pages of photos of eligible bachelors in the Los Angeles area.
In the fall of 2005, as I signed into my JDate account, I saw a new match: Ben, a sandy haired guy with a megawatt smile, pictured at an archeological dig. Even online, I was quite shy; I generally waited for potential suitors to message me rather than initiating contact myself. However, there was something about Ben, something warm and intelligent and kind in his bright eyes. I decided to drop him a quick note.
Ben and I emailed back and forth for several weeks before we resolved to meet at a local bar. Ben was a newly minted Angelino who had spent his college years in New York and was desperate for an unpretentious bar with good beer. I knew just the place. Over cheesy potato skins and the aforementioned beer, Ben and I chatted for hours upon hours until the waitresses stacked chairs around us, turned off the lights, and gently nudged us out the door. I’d never met someone so genuinely interesting, smart, and hilarious. We discussed everything from old television shows to our childhoods to my distaste for corned beef, a matter that still causes controversy between us. On subsequent dates, we lingered so long at our venues of choice that, in quick succession, we shut down a sushi place, a coffee shop, and an art museum.
As Ben walked me to my car one night, both of us jittery from Spanish lattes with extra foam and several hours of great conversation, he leaned in and quickly kissed me. I didn’t expect it and didn’t have time to prepare a pucker. I was grinning so broadly that our teeth clinked mid-peck, but I was too smitten to be embarrassed.
Ben and I dated for three years after that first kiss, including a year of long distance travel when Ben’s job led him back to New York. In 2008, we headed to Las Vegas for New Years. Once we checked into our hotel, Ben told me he was returning to the car to get the rest of our luggage. A few minutes later, he called and explained that he had gotten distracted; would I join him for a drink?
I sat down across from Ben at a patio overlooking Vegas’s famous dancing fountains. I didn’t notice that his hands were shaking as he counted down the minutes until the next “show.” When the music began and the beams of water shot into the air, curls of fluid furling and unfurling in time to the melody, I turned to take in the sight. When I looked back, Ben was on one knee, an open box in his hand displaying a ring that seemed to glow in the moonlight. Meanwhile, a friend’s brother, unnoticed until that moment, snapped photos from across the patio. I could hardly manage a breathless “yes” as happy tears ran down my cheeks. Ben later told me he had timed the proposal to coincide with one of the only non-Christmas songs in the fountain repertoire, but we arrived in Vegas late and missed the carefully selected musical number. He wound up proposing to “O Holy Night.” Oops!
Ben and I were married on February 13, 2010. I cannot thank JDate enough for introducing me to my soul mate. Our rabbi – who commented that we were the most well-matched couple he had ever married – even read aloud our JDate profiles during the wedding ceremony! We look forward to many, many happy years together – years of staying too long at coffee shops, smiling so hard our cheeks hurt, and maybe, once in a while, clinking teeth when we kiss.
Jan and Ben
Los Angeles, California