Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Four Years

Today is our four year anniversary. Today is the last year that our dating anniversary won't be eclipsed by our wedding anniversary. Today is the last time when we'll celebrate this lucky happenstance meeting more than we'll celebrate the hard-but-oh-so-easy decision to bind ourselves together, legally and according to the customs of our religious tradition, despite whatever challenges life will throw at us. I haven't really talked about how Jason and I met on this blog, because in many ways it doesn't really matter. We met, we're right for each other, and we're getting married. But on our four-year dating anniversary, it feels fitting to think back on our how-we-met story.

Four years ago, luck and a free dating website brought us together. Although we'd both been on OkCupid and JDate (on and off - a person can only really take Jdate in one month stretches at a time) for a year or so, we'd never seen each others' profiles. One night, Jason was playing around with his search preferences and my profile suddenly appeared (he still doesn't know what minor changes he made, but we're lucky he did). He decided to email right away.

I battled with whether to reply because I had decided that dating younger men never worked.  But his sense of humor, mastery of the English language (online dating is a testament to the need for education reform), a variety of cute, nice smile, representative photos (I had some interesting dates with men whose single photos were less than honest) his height (at 6'3" it meant he wasn't put off by my 5'9", unlike many other Jewish men), and some truly odd similarities in our profiles (in addition to some disconcerting parallels in our self-descriptions, OkCupid also rated us as a 95% match) finally overrode my concerns about our three year age gap. After finally getting over my superficial ridiculousness about age, I then nearly canceled our first date because of my superficial ridiculousness about a massive pimple that appeared two days before the date. Luckily, due to serious self-sit-down and a helpful lady at Sephora, decided I would be stupid to give him any flaky first impressions and went through with the Thursday night date. Ignoring the pimple was definitely the right decision.

It just felt good and comfortable from the first moment. We met for Mediterranean food at a cute outdoor cafe and he invited me to continue the date at an intimate concert venue across the street. Someone at the music venue's bar mentioned their surprise that it was just a first date. (I know, it's too chick-flick barfy to be true, except that it actually happened. And I wouldn't have shared it, except that those of us with online dating stories need to take our how-we-met romance where we can, okay?) After the date, I didn't have any of the will-he-call/does-he-like-me-as-much-as-I-like-him jitters that can lead to missteps in early dating: we both just knew there would be a second date. Beyond that, neither of us put any expectations on it: Jason wasn't really looking for something serious and I had been burned enough to want to take things slowly. All we needed to know was that the first date felt right.

After our fifth kept-feeling-righter-and-righter date, I disappeared on a two week trip to Budapest and Prague with a girlfriend. Jason showed up the weekend before my trip with 10 CDs that he had decorated with hand-drawn sketches (my ipod had just died, and I was grumpy about the more limited travel music on my old-but-still-functional CD walkman.) That's when I knew he really liked me. And that's also when I really really started to like him in the deep important ways, because it hit me that he was tall, smart, funny, cute, honest in his interactions, didn't play games, and entirely respected my independence. I barely noticed the men in our hostels and I found myself looking forward to making out with Jason when I got back to Los Angeles, instead of looking forward to making out with random cute guys in Prague.

We don't have any big-gesture romantic stories about how we met. There weren't any surprises or tortured turns along the way. It's just been a good-and-getting-better story since the first email. Four years ago we met by chance, and now we're celebrating the choice to be together. So, as much as I'll miss celebrating our official anniversary on September 21, I'm much too excited about April 3 to really mind. And anyhow, September 21 will always be a fabulous excuse for a nice dinner out.

22 comments:

  1. Happy Anniversary! (And ps, as of now, at least, we are NOT giving up our dating anniversary! Like yours will be, our first one post-marriage was 5 years, and I couldn't pass it up. Maybe it'll fade with time, but for now, two anniversaries it is.)

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  2. Aw. :) We also remember those other special anniversaries, along with the wedding one. We remember our first conversation anniversary and our day we began to be boyfriend-girlfriend. It helps they were one month apart on the 18th of each month. :) And we were married on a 17th. So around here, the 17th and 18th's are important days. :)

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  3. Happy Anniversary! I enjoyed reading your how-you-met story :)

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  4. Happy Anniversary! We will
    definitely be celebrating our dating anniversary later this year (which will be after our wedding) since it will be five years.

    Also, I love your story as well.

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  5. woo hoo! Happy Anniversary! AND we totally met online too. Match actually. It's funny b/c I had to tell a bunch of friends/family that this past weekend, and um, it doesn't really bother me, but it's definitely not the most romantic how me met story either....
    Not that I care one little bit now b/c I'm a married lady and it all worked out!
    Hope you guys have a wonderful day! xoxo

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  6. Happy Anniversary!! My husband and I met on match.com and I almost didn't reply to his email b/c I thought he lived too far away. Now I live with him in that "far away" place. Go figure. Like you we didn't have any drama, it was just easy and natural which is how I knew it was right.

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  7. Happy Anniversary! I met my husband via Match, so romantic online dating stories always give me the warm fuzzies :)

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  8. Happy Dating Aniversary! Our last one pre-wedding was four years as well and we celebrated our fifth on Saturday night. Unfortunately, we didn't really get to spend it alone because I was throwing a bachelor party on Saturday. So we spent our 5th dating anniversary eating expensive prime rib and going to an alcohol-free (i.e. all nude) strip club in West LA.

    I don't think the hubby wants to keep celebrating the dating anniversary, but September 18 will always be important in my book.

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  9. I think this counts as an anniversary that you should keep celebrating after the wedding. Also, tortured turns may make for a good movie, but they stink in reality. Think about all the fun stuff you have managed to miss by skipping over tortured angst: break-ups, long absence, divorce, the perils of step-parenting.

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  10. My fiance and I met on eharmony and we're getting married in 4 days! I like to remind him that it's a good thing there were no grammatical errors in his profile because, had there been, I never would have responded! Like you, I was amazed at how carelessly some people wrote...

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  11. Aw, I love hearing about other couples that met their hubbies/future hubbies online too! I'm marrying mine in 2 weeks!

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  12. My fiancee and I met on OkCupid, too! And our story is eerily similar...

    Happy Anniversary!

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  13. Happy anniversary!

    My husband and I met on an internet chat board devoted to, of all the blessedly dorky topics, law school and politics. It can be an odd thing to tell people, but I like that, before we'd ever spoken on the phone he thought I was wonderful because of my brains, humor and strange musical taste. That, to me, is romantic.

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  14. Happy Anniversary! I also met my fiance online! hooray!

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  15. Happy Anniversary!! I think that's a really sweet "how we met" story. I like the idea of still remembering your dating anniversary... we didn't mark it in any big way this year (5 yrs), but I don't think we'll ever really forget it.

    "Beyond that, neither of us put any expectations on it"

    sounds like us -- neither of us wanted anything serious, until suddenly we did.

    Am sorta surprised how many people met online (we didn't - we met in a bar ;)), but then also not really. Will have to tell me sister to encourage her that there ARE nice guys on okcupid and match.com!

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  16. when you aren't looking forward to making out with sexy foreign men, you know its love! ha ha i kid i kid. but seriously one of the best feelings in the world is when a relationship feels so right. congrats on 4 years!

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  17. woot woot. way to beat the online dating odds!

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  18. Happy anniversary!! I've always felt a little weird that the wedding anniversary eclipses the dating anniversary because I don't like the idea of wiping away the many years we've been together when you talk about your relationship to others. But I do like the way you put it — celebrating the day you make a conscious decision to stick together rather than the coincidence of starting to date.

    And I do like your first date story. I think it is romantic even if it was instigated by the internet.

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  19. I really hope you keep celebrating your dating anniversary.

    You guys have a great story. All love stories are great, but yours has MIX CDS. Dammit, that's hot.

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  20. Happy Anniversary! It is great that happenstance intersected your life paths so that you meant. I love the story. It is always nice to hear of successful internet dating.

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  21. I forgot to say that I love this line: "mastery of the English language." My husband also impressed me with his writing skills. And I notice those things. :) And he was writing in a second language and still impressed me. :)

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