Whenever anyone asks how we met, we always say JDate, followed by me telling everyone that Glen, my husband, is “The best thing I ever bought on the internet!” To which he always responds, “Yes, and she is the most expensive!”
But honestly, as I sat down to craft the photo book of our honeymoon in Hawaii, sifting through the smiles and special memories, I couldn’t help but think it’s time to write to JDate to say thank you for bringing us together.
Our story began in Chicago during the snowy winter of 2009. Having successfully completed my first year of medical school, my mother called me and said, “Melissa, we have a problem. Where are you ever going to meet a ‘nice, Jewish boy’ in a Jesuit medical school?”
Meanwhile, across town, a very busy investment banker was having a similar conversation with his protective older sister who asked, “Glen, how do you ever expect to meet a ‘nice, Jewish girl’ working long hours like you do?” The seed was planted.
Begrudgingly, and with very low expectations, Glen and I signed up for JDate the last week of January in 2009. After communicating with a series of people online and attending two “first-and-last dates” with others, we met for dinner on February 9, 2009 at Quartino, a restaurant downtown. It was the third official “JDate” for both of us, and we both crossed our fingers hoping the third time was the charm.
As soon as I walked into the restaurant, I was struck by how handsome Glen was and secretly glad that his JDate profile pictures hadn’t done him justice — mostly because no one else had the chance to snatch him up before me! In what seemed like minutes, the three-hour dinner flew by. As we were getting up to leave the table, Glen asked me out for our second date. As soon as I left the restaurant, I called my cousin and told her “I think I met someone tonight,” but knew deep in my heart that Glen was “The One.”
After three more dates that week, including ice skating in Millennium Park, a good laugh at Second City, and a home-cooked Valentine’s Day meal, we were inseparable — and our JDate accounts were deactivated.
Two short years and two days after our first date, after countless nights out on the town, adventures with friends, holidays with family, as well as hurdles presented by work, life, and school, our two lives became one. Having promised to celebrate our two-year anniversary with a recreation of our first week together (or the “mega date” as I lovingly teased), Glen asked me to spend the rest of my life with him while on bended knee in Chicago’s Millennium Park.
After excitedly accepting, and with a single phone call to my mother, I discovered that not only did my mom help him pick out the ring and that both families were aware of and anxiously awaiting the engagement, but also that the entire wedding was already planned!
So with literally only a few tweaks, Glen and I were married as planned at the Ritz Carlton Hotel on May 19, 2012, followed by a honeymoon in Hawaii. Within days of returning to Chicago, I graduated medical school and started my Pediatrics Residency, new last name and all! We embarked on our new married life together as best friends, husband and wife, and two people incredibly in love.
Although we are both still very busy, each day we realize how truly blessed and lucky we are. Not only are we lucky to have found each other, but also for having families that encouraged us to join JDate, leading us to where we are today. And I can honestly say every morning we are reminded by the Ketubah that hangs in our bedroom “that our days together are a gift from God and [we] are ever grateful to awaken each day together.”
Melissa and Glen