Posts tagged “love stories

love story: nell & adam

“Online dating sucks…until the one time it doesn’t.”

It’s a great line, and if anyone out there uses it, they should give credit to my friend Nell Reid.  Nell’s one of my favorite examples of how your life can turn around in an instant:  she met her husband Adam the very same day she jumped back on JDate after a hiatus.

Nell had what you’d call a “shift”: she had just returned from a trip to Iceland – and there, on a rooftop, she looked up at the sky and rattled off a list of qualities she wanted in a man.  She came back from the trip in such a great frame of mind and feeling so good about herself, that she re-wrote her profile.

“I secreted him,” she says, referring to, of course, The Secret, which she had read a few months before.

“Adam was living in Washington Heights, and I was in the East Village,” so we probably wouldn’t have met otherwise.  But then we figured out we’d been at the same midnight screening of Lord of the Rings a few years before.”

Their second date came shortly after.  “He took me to see Darjeeling Limited and then out for Indian Food.  I thought that was clever,” she recalls.

The connection was instant and deep, and they quickly became very comfortable with each other… so much, that Nell invited him home for Thanksgiving – even though they’d only known each other for two months.

Then she “had a bug out,” as she calls it.

“The Thanksgiving before, my ex had been home with me; and it all just felt weird.  I freaked. It was moving too fast for me, and I told him we needed to slow down.”

Adam gave her the space she needed, and they went their separate ways.  But he never stopped letting her know how he felt about her.  He even invited her to vacation in St. John in December, but she already had plans to go to Mexico.

“We kind of took that time off from each other.  When we returned, we started hanging out and things quickly got serious again.”

In January 2009, he proposed to her on his birthday – at the same restaurant they had their first date.  They were married at a barn in the Berkshires on October 3, 2009.

During the rehearsal dinner, Adam, who’s a filmmaker (check out his award-winning feature Hello Lonesome) surprised her with a short video he made.  The voiceover is Adam reading his JDate profile:

Beautiful, right?

Their secret (besides The Secret)?  Well, from over here, it’s clear that they both support each other’s passions: Nell believed in Adam’s movie from the start and was a pivotal factor in its production, and Adam encouraged Nell to leave her job in advertising sales to discover her bliss.  You can read all about that on her blog, Nell’s Dish du Jour.

Lately, her bliss is their baby boy Theo, who just turned 7 months and who is so yummy I almost ate him when we met for lunch.

Photo courtesy Nell Reid

Nell’s a gifted photographer, and it’s no surprise that Adam has also been turning his camera on their favorite subject:

Did this story warm your heart?  Please pass it on and share the love!

love story: david & julie

This is how it happens:  I go to an Oktoberfest party in Princeton, New Jersey, and the nice couple who pick me up from the train station tell me they’ve been married for 37 years.  I’m 37 years old.  I need to get their story.

David and Julie Schmidt met at church when they were both in college – she was 20, he 22.  I remember what I was like at 20 and 22, and I marvel at how two people were able to get together at that age and know how to have a relationship.  How did they learn to do it, I ask?  “It took 37 years,” laughs Julie.

David and Julie have two daughters and have moved all over the country for his job – he’s an executive compensation consultant; she’s a schoolteacher.  Last year, they were humbled and overjoyed when their youngest daughter’s boyfriend came over and asked for her hand.

Does this still happen?  Why yes, it does – apparently, at least, in the Schmidt family.  “They lived in different cities, and he wanted to make sure she didn’t get away,” recounts David. “And because she would have to move 220 miles away and she was ‘our little girl’ as he put it, he wanted us to know he’d take good care of her.”

So what’s the secret to their marriage?  (I always wonder if someone’s going to give me a dirty look or call me out for being nosey when I ask this, but they never do.)

“Selflessness,” says David, without missing a beat.

“Yeah, he really likes to golf, and now I’ve been taking lessons since it makes him happy if I go with him,” says Julie.  “But it wasn’t always this way – I used to be resentful about all the time he spent on the course, and then when he’d come home he’d zone out.  But now I look at it differently, and I actually enjoy going.  And now Dave is more willing to do things I like to do, and usually he enjoys those experiences with me as well.”

Suddenly it hits me: one of the reasons why so many of us have trouble finding a lasting relationship in New York is that this can be a selfish city.  It’s all too easy to be alone here.

The trick – as David and Julie discovered together – is finding someone who is willing to play the selflessness game with you, because then you both end up winning.  Then you both end up putting green.

Before we say goodbye, David and Julie give me their email address – which is made up of their initials, and which they both share.  “We’ve always had a joint  bank account, and of course now we have joint email.  That’s when you know it’s real love.”

love story: doris & barry

One of my absolute favorite things to do is ask couples about their love story.  I want to know how they met, why they fell in love, and what keeps them together.  I do it because I think love is what we live for and because, well, I want what they’re having.

I meet a lot of couples.  And all of them are only too eager to share their stories.  They light up when I start asking my questions.  They teach me so much.  Mostly, they give me hope.  So I started thinking I needed to do something about this rather than keep it all to myself.  Maybe it’s a documentary, maybe an online series, maybe something else (I’m open to suggestions).

I know I wouldn’t be the first to come up with an idea like this, but we all do things our own way; and, in this day and age, I think we need as many reminders and as much inspiration as we can get – I know I do – about love. So I figured I’d start cataloging the stories here.  And I’m so pleased to introduce you to couple number one: Doris and Barry Schwartz.

I met Doris and Barry at the New York Philharmonic, where I volunteer.  I was immediately captivated by their sense of playfulness around each other.  So I got them to tell me their story separately and then together:

It all started at a party in Brooklyn…

I pressed for the specific location, but neither of them could remember.  What they did recall, with utmost clarity, was this: Doris was 19 and had emigrated from Germany only a few months earlier. Barry overheard her telling a story at the party:  “It was so cold, my legs froze off.”  Barry (drink in hand) quickly quipped, “Well then, here’s a toast to those beautiful replacements.”

A bit later into the evening, Barry starts playing the piano.  Doris boldly sits next to him and asks him if he knows how to play the blues, which she loves.  Barry immediately concedes, and Doris is so moved by the music that she spills her beer onto Barry’s lap.  Then – as Barry fondly recalls – she starts to mop the beer off his thigh.

Six months later, they were married.  That was 55 years ago.  Their secret?  “I don’t think there is one,” says Barry, but it has to do with respect.  “And trust,” adds Doris.  “I would often go to Germany to visit family, and he never told me I couldn’t do that.  And he knew I had male friends over there that I’d have dinner with alone, but it was never an issue.  We trusted each other.”

They also know how to have fun.  A few years ago, they were sitting on a bench in Central Park when a woman walked over and told them she was doing a survey.  They gamely answered her questions, not really knowing what they were getting themselves into.  A week later, they got a call asking them to show up on a corner in Greenwich Village and follow the specific instructions they were to be given. Once there, they were ordered to “Get in that taxi with this 20 dollar bill.”  They did, when suddenly pulsing lights came on and the driver turned around to beam, “Welcome to Cash Cab!”

It’s no surprise Doris and Barry were chosen to be on a TV game show.  They play so well together, it’s only fitting that their enduring love story began with a joke and a song.  And they look amazing – I think I might want to do another piece just on their beauty secrets.