When couples get married, the bride and groom vow to love and honor each other in good times and bad, in sickness and in health. In most cases, the couple has just experienced the good times and the good health, but each person promises to be there for the other should times become more challenging. For Jen and Brad, the situation was a little bit different.
Jen and Brad first met in Atlanta in early 2006 through JDate. Jen, who was living in Charlotte, N.C., messaged Brad, who was in medical school in Atlanta. Having gone to college in Atlanta, Jen instant messaged Brad asking if he wanted any restaurant recommendations. The two began to write to each other, talk on the phone, and eventually met a month later at a Starbucks® in Atlanta. When Jen visited friends in Atlanta, she and Brad went out on a few good dates, but since Jen was about to move to New York City and wanted to experience the “single life” and Brad still had two more years of medical school, the two realized it would be difficult to pursue more than a friendship. They remained friends, emailing occasionally and playing Scrabble® on Facebook.
When Brad matched for his internal medicine residency in New York, he and Jen started to talk more frequently. Brad had updated his JDate profile to show New York as his new home and even though they were just friends and dating others at the time, when they noticed each other on JDate again, they both began to wonder if this friendship might have a chance to become something more.
In the fall of 2008, Jen found herself very sick one evening – it happened to be the same night that she and Brad had made plans to go for a casual dinner as friends. Comfortable with him, Jen told Brad that she needed to cancel dinner because she was feeling very ill and was having severe stomach pains. An hour after their phone call, while resting in her apartment, Jen heard a knock at the door. Brad, who had never been to her apartment, was at the door with JELL-O®, Gatorade®, chicken soup, DVDs, and magazines. Since Brad had told Jen that his long-term goal was to be in the field of gastroenterology, she was especially at ease talking to him and he knew just the right foods to deliver.
A few days later, when Jen wasn’t getting any better, she found herself being admitted—ironically—into the same hospital where Brad was a resident at the time. “Guess where I am?!” she exclaimed, when she called Brad. Within the hour, he was at her door with flowers and seeing what he could do to help out.
Every day during Jen’s 19-day stay at the hospital, Brad, who her dad lovingly nicknamed “G.I. Brad,” would come up to her room during his breaks and visit. By the time Jen was discharged from the hospital, they both knew their relationship had changed.
A few weeks after being home, they went out on a date to celebrate Jen’s recovery and Brad’s 29th birthday. They have been in love ever since.
Ironically, a year and a half later, Brad found himself as the patient, with Jen now by his side. An operation for appendicitis resulted in infection and he, now, had to stay at the hospital for a week. The roles reversed, and Jen stayed with him each night, tending to her boyfriend.
Aside from these short hospital stays, Brad and Jen have been fortunate to enjoy more than three years of good times, good health, much fun and love – and six years of friendship since that first instant message on JDate. The couple became engaged Labor Day weekend in 2010 atop Stratton Mountain and were married October 22, 2011 on Long Island. On the eve of their wedding, they read excerpts of their JDate profiles at the rehearsal dinner and shared some of the cuter lines from their first emails. They are proud to tell their friends that they met on JDate!
Jen and Brad
Melville, New York