I had to tell her that I was busy dating someone else!

Match #: 303&304

His story:
I had converted to Judaism a bit more than a year before Paula contacted me through JWed.com; Paula had converted just a few months earlier.
Paula had promised her local Vaad that she would at least try to find a shidduch; but she wasn't optimistic. I had dated a number of very nice women in the year since my conversion, but none of them had yet been a match.
And my first response probably didn’t make things look any better – I had to tell her that I was busy dating someone else! And although she had an attractive profile, her profile had said 'no' to the 'Willing to relocate?' question. I sent a polite reponse declining her interest, figured that was the end of that. Ha Kadosh Baruch Hu had different ideas! My shidduch didn't work out, and shortly after officially breaking up, I sent Paula another email in the hope that maybe she might still be willing to talk. I heard nothing for five days and figured that she had found someone else. But in fact she had gone to an Isralight retreat and had become willing to consider relocation. I was very happy when she finally responded and we began to correspond.
What followed was five weeks of emails and phone calls. We discovered that we had an unvelievable amount in common, saw the world in much the same way, and had very similar levels of observance -- despite the fact that I had described himself as 'Modern Orthodox -- Liberal' and Paula as 'Modern Orthodox -- Machmir'. (Hint to everyone reading this: Ignore labels!) We couldn't get together quickly because we were in different cities and there were all these holidays that were happening! But I think that five week wait really helped us sort out what they were looking for in each other. Finally, after checking our rabbinic references, I flew out to Pittsburgh for a Shabat and they met at the US Airways baggage claim at the Pittsburgh airport. First words out of my mouth upon seeing Paula: 'You're more beautiful than your picture!' First words out of Paula's mouth: 'You're CUTE!!!!' (Hint: Don’t assume pictures tell the truth!)
Things kind of got better from then on; several people who hosted us for meals that Shabat concluded that the match was perfect. We were engaged a few weeks later and were married in Pittsburgh on February 6. It took almost four months to coordinate the logistics, but as of June 1 we finally are living together in the Riverdale section of the Bronx.
Her story:

When I sat before the Vaad of Pittsburgh for final approval of my request for conversion, the rabbis implied that they expected me to look for a shidduch. I gave them a long explanation of why someome my age with my background and education would have a hard time finding a shidduch. The rabbis agreed and one of them joked,'Yeah, there’s like two guys in New York who might work out.' Well, thanks to JWed.com I found one of them!
We got married in Pittsburgh February 6, 2005, and as of June 1, after almost 4 months of commuting back and forth between cities, we set up housekeeping together in New York. Without JWed.com, Charlie and I would probably never have met. And that would have been a shame, for we are well matched in ways we never could have imagined. We have been described by more than one person as 'like two peas in a pod', and 'like an old married couple.' At age 44, I figured I would never get married, and Charlie had figured he would have to 'settle.' Our wedding photo shows us holding the poster we displayed next to enlarged printouts of our respective profiles from JWed. Our wedding guests enjoyed reading them, and many said that seeing them side by side made it clear what made us match.
Charlie and I think JWed.com was a great way to meet, and we would like to pass on some of what we learned:
  1. Don’t get too hung up on labels. Our labels of where we were hashkafically didn’t match, but we did. It’s hard to know how someone might decide to classify themselves in light of their particular experience and background. Also, there are no hard and fast lines between categories. I think I called myself 'Modern Orthodox--machmir' whereas Charlie was “Modern Orthodox--liberal.” It turns out that we both have areas where we are more machmir than the other.
  2. Remember that a photograph may not do the person justice. Charlie’s photo made him look 10 years older and 20 years grayer than he is. I was so taken aback by what he looked like in person that the first thing I said to him was 'Wow! You’re cute!'
  3. Don’t be so sure you can’t or won’t relocate. One week before Charlie and I started corresponding, I would have told anyone who cared to listen that Iwas never leaving Pittsburgh. Hashem had other plans. Once I realized I wanted a shidduch no matter what, relocating was easier to consider.

Aharon and Neshamah Yafah, JWed Match #152, were married 27 Shvat 5765, 6th February 2005.

I had to tell her that I was busy dating someone else!

His story:
I had converted to Judaism a bit more than a year before Paula contacted me through JWed.com; Paula had converted just a few months earlier.
Paula had promised her local Vaad that she would at least try to find a shidduch; but she wasn't optimistic. I had dated a number of very nice women in the year since my conversion, but none of them had yet been a match.
And my first response probably didn’t make things look any better – I had to tell her that I was busy dating someone else! And although she had an attractive profile, her profile had said 'no' to the 'Willing to relocate?' question. I sent a polite reponse declining her interest, figured that was the end of that. Ha Kadosh Baruch Hu had different ideas! My shidduch didn't work out, and shortly after officially breaking up, I sent Paula another email in the hope that maybe she might still be willing to talk. I heard nothing for five days and figured that she had found someone else. But in fact she had gone to an Isralight retreat and had become willing to consider relocation. I was very happy when she finally responded and we began to correspond.
What followed was five weeks of emails and phone calls. We discovered that we had an unvelievable amount in common, saw the world in much the same way, and had very similar levels of observance -- despite the fact that I had described himself as 'Modern Orthodox -- Liberal' and Paula as 'Modern Orthodox -- Machmir'. (Hint to everyone reading this: Ignore labels!) We couldn't get together quickly because we were in different cities and there were all these holidays that were happening! But I think that five week wait really helped us sort out what they were looking for in each other. Finally, after checking our rabbinic references, I flew out to Pittsburgh for a Shabat and they met at the US Airways baggage claim at the Pittsburgh airport. First words out of my mouth upon seeing Paula: 'You're more beautiful than your picture!' First words out of Paula's mouth: 'You're CUTE!!!!' (Hint: Don’t assume pictures tell the truth!)
Things kind of got better from then on; several people who hosted us for meals that Shabat concluded that the match was perfect. We were engaged a few weeks later and were married in Pittsburgh on February 6. It took almost four months to coordinate the logistics, but as of June 1 we finally are living together in the Riverdale section of the Bronx.
Her story:

When I sat before the Vaad of Pittsburgh for final approval of my request for conversion, the rabbis implied that they expected me to look for a shidduch. I gave them a long explanation of why someome my age with my background and education would have a hard time finding a shidduch. The rabbis agreed and one of them joked,'Yeah, there’s like two guys in New York who might work out.' Well, thanks to JWed.com I found one of them!
We got married in Pittsburgh February 6, 2005, and as of June 1, after almost 4 months of commuting back and forth between cities, we set up housekeeping together in New York. Without JWed.com, Charlie and I would probably never have met. And that would have been a shame, for we are well matched in ways we never could have imagined. We have been described by more than one person as 'like two peas in a pod', and 'like an old married couple.' At age 44, I figured I would never get married, and Charlie had figured he would have to 'settle.' Our wedding photo shows us holding the poster we displayed next to enlarged printouts of our respective profiles from JWed. Our wedding guests enjoyed reading them, and many said that seeing them side by side made it clear what made us match.
Charlie and I think JWed.com was a great way to meet, and we would like to pass on some of what we learned:

  1. Don’t get too hung up on labels. Our labels of where we were hashkafically didn’t match, but we did. It’s hard to know how someone might decide to classify themselves in light of their particular experience and background. Also, there are no hard and fast lines between categories. I think I called myself 'Modern Orthodox--machmir' whereas Charlie was “Modern Orthodox--liberal.” It turns out that we both have areas where we are more machmir than the other.
  2. Remember that a photograph may not do the person justice. Charlie’s photo made him look 10 years older and 20 years grayer than he is. I was so taken aback by what he looked like in person that the first thing I said to him was 'Wow! You’re cute!'
  3. Don’t be so sure you can’t or won’t relocate. One week before Charlie and I started corresponding, I would have told anyone who cared to listen that Iwas never leaving Pittsburgh. Hashem had other plans. Once I realized I wanted a shidduch no matter what, relocating was easier to consider.

Aharon and Neshamah Yafah, JWed Match #152, were married 27 Shvat 5765, 6th February 2005.

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