#268 Asya Chernyak (Sharon, Massachusetts)
& Matt Sigelman (Brookline, Massachusetts)
Matt was 34 when he met Asya, 25. He was from Staten Island; she from Boston. The couple was married in March 2008 and reside in Brookline, Massachusetts.
What was your impression on the phone?
M: It was a really engaging conversation. It was scintillating. Sometimes you talk to people and there’s just not a lot to talk about and that didn’t seem to be the case.
What did you do on your first date?
A: We went to a lousy Chinese Restaurant.
Did you know right away that this was your match? Or did the relationship grow to the point that you realized this was the right person?
M: It was a very casual date. I was intrigued at first sight, not love at first sight
Sometimes we think you know exactly what you want but when you find the right person you realize that this person is actually different than what you thought you wanted. How does your spouse compare to the image of the person that you thought you’d marry?
A: He was exactly what I wanted.
M: Its interesting, we tend to think about our bashert in really specific details about what we are looking for. I would say that Asya ticks a lot of the right boxes. But if you had asked me a year ago what does your bashert look like and who is she and all those things that make someone not just a set of specifications but actually human, I don’t think that I would ever have come up with the picture of Asya.
How long did you date before becoming engaged?
M: First date to engagement was about 3 months
Tell me about the proposal?
A: Moshe took me to the beach that we went to early on in dating and it was a magical day.
M: Of course the beach in the winter is totally deserted and I can say it was an amazing moment.
Aside from SawYouAtSinai, what other ways did you employ to meet people? (How did you go about dating? Use site, use other sites? Blind dates?)
A: I used other sites and friends recommendations
M: I used other sites and friends, and I would try to meet people at shul and other places. I even met someone on an airplane who I was serious with for awhile.
How long would you say that you were seriously looking for someone?
A: about 3 years
M: It’s been awhile
What were the biggest challenges that you feel that you went through while dating?
M: My travel schedule was pretty hectic. I spend almost half the month overseas. We’d go on a great date and then I’d be gone to Australia. It sorta breaks the momentum of things but it also forced us to be more thoughtful about things.
What did you find most helpful about the matchmaker?
M: It takes the meat market almost out of the equation. I think it’s really easy for people to become really jaded from looking through profiles.
How involved with your relationship was the matchmaker who set you two up?
M: For me it was a good casual relationship. Some people pour out their souls to their shadchans, but I felt like she had a good sense of who I was. Shifra was sending me people who I felt fit me, and I trusted her. She had a good sense of what I was looking for. She was also very effective at coaxing a bit. She was able to give me feedback from the girls
A: I really appreciated her technique. I worked with other matchmakers on the site, and Shifra was the one who would email me and ask me how things were going.
Did the matchmaker keep to your preferences or did he/she encourage you to meet people who fell outside your initial dating guidelines? What advice would you give to others about this?
A: I was too open minded at first, but I would tell people to try to meet as many people as possible.
Did you have any hesitation about using an online dating site? About using a matchmaker? What convinced you to try it? What surprised you the most about the site and the matchmakers?
A: by the time I got to SYAS I had been on other sites. My younger sister was on SYAS and she convinced me to try it.
What would you say to encourage others to try online dating, specifically SawYouAtSinai?
M: Someone recently made a comment to me that ‘gee its such an unromantic way of meeting someone’ and my response was that it was just the opposite and I think people should realize this. Leaving things to chance is possible, but for me what’s more romantic is making your own fate. I know I can always tell my kids that.