How I Met My Match

How I Met My Match

Courtney Nowak is the winner! She will be receiving dinner for two to The Belvedere Inn! Congrats Courtney (and Derek)! Thanks to everyone who shared their story and voted!

barbara moncrief#01) Barbara Moncrief: 

We met on Match.com 13 and a half years ago. No photos, just a good feeling and worth the risk. My mother thought I was crazy until Katie Courick endorsed this new fangled way of meeting people!


karen neff#02) Karen Neff:

In 2002, a coworker sent me a link with a Yahoo dating sidebar. I was single at the time, so I thought, “Why not?” I clicked on the link, filled in my requirements, and only one man popped up. I did not have a dating profile, so I contacted him via e-mail. It took another three days until I figured out how to send photos. We met in person two months later. We have been married for eight years!


danielle halloran#03) Danielle Halloran:

Tim and I met 30 years ago. I was 16 and he was 23. Tim is my cousin’s best friend from college. They formed a fairly popular Villa Nova band, playing originals written by my cousin, Tim Kwiat.

Tim and I would see each other over the years at family gatherings. He even walked me down the aisle and seated me at my cousin’s wedding in 1991. We always had a great rapport and I looked forward to the times he was invited to a family event or we would go see the band play. He was always there in the back of my mind, somehow.

After 28 years, a marriage, three beautiful daughters and a divorce, Tim and I reconnected at a graduation party, and that is where our stories finally came together. Tim never married (not before our wedding on August 1st, 2015). He said he never wanted to marry the wrong person. I love our story.

We still look at each other and can’t believe it took us this long to find the love of our lives, but also realize we needed to be who we both are now to be together… as for my cousin, he’s still in awe that the man he always considered a brother is now an official member of our family!


dianaandwadenevis#04) Diana Wade:

I recently moved back to town after living in Arizona for some time. I was out with friends at Annie Bailey’s in Lancaster. My friends met up with another group of friends and introduced me to a guy by the name of Wade. The irony of it all: my last name is Wade! Wade and I have spent the past ten years chuckling at the perplexed expressions of those who meet us, check our passports in the airport, and all the adventures in between! The “Wades” still enjoy visiting Annie Bailey’s!


farah kauffman#05) Farah Kauffman:

Think “Upstairs, Downstairs,” literally and figuratively. As an undergraduate student in the 1990s, I worked as a dishwasher at a bar. My “office” was in the cold, dank basement, where I would clean pint glass after pint glass, cheese fry plate after cheese fry plate. I worked alone, far from the front of the house, and my station could be described as bottom rung. Few people sought the role of dishwasher. I was one of those few, as a shy introvert who feared work in the front of the house as waitress or bar tender where I would have to talk to customers.

One floor up stood my future husband, Jason. Jason, also shy, introverted, and reluctant to wait tables or tend bar, worked in a back of the house job like me, but as a line cook. Over the course of two years, Jason and I occasionally talked to each other during downtime at work or during after-work parties when the back of the house staff and the front of the house staff would hang out in their separate cliques. Slowly but surely, we became friends and fell in love.

We’ve been married for almost 13 years and have a 6 year old son. Had either of us worked in upper rung positions at the bar, I wonder if we would have connected. Washing dishes turned out to be one of the best jobs I’ve ever had.


ned_and_leslie#06) Ned Bustard:

My wife Leslie and I grew up fifteen minutes from each other, near the Brandywine River Museum. We went to rival schools, and once sat across from each other at a mutual friend’s party! But we had to go to Millersville University to meet. We fell in together through a campus club called IVCF, and our friendship grew around going to movies, dancing downtown, eating at Isaac’s, and attending concerts by bands like The Innocence Mission and The Ocean Blue.

As our homes were so close, we’d travel together when returning for holidays. During those trips we discussed music, faith, art, history, poetry, and other beautiful ideas. We dated other people on and off, but found that our bond was richer and deeper. Our friends even noticed, and would discuss our inevitable marriage behind our backs.

Eventually I realized that I wanted to spend the rest of my life with Leslie. But attempting to cross the chasm from “friends” to “lovers” has historically meant the demise of many good relationships, so I knew I needed advice. I had formed a good rapport with her parents, so I secretly telephoned her mother and told her I wanted to marry their daughter. She counseled me to “go quietly,” and so I did. I wooed Leslie covertly. Nearly a year passed . . . and then one night, after a show at the Fulton, we had The Talk. We were married a year later—25 years ago this past June.


anne zeumer#07) Anne Zeumer:

I truly believe that Kyle and I coming together was a fated inevitability. For years we circled one another without really coming into contact, (aside from some social media stalking). We shared mutual friends, worked for the same company, even briefly met in person once. There was something about him that I couldn’t shake. It isn’t the right time until it’s the right time, though, and while other relationships came and went there was finally an opportunity for us to get to know one another.

After a week of working together for the first time at an event in New York, Kyle decided that we got on pretty smoothly and that I would make a good partner for a month-long work event in Ohio. Working together and living in a small camper 24/7 for a month would put any relationship to the test, but we grew to enjoy each other’s company so much that we were sad when it was over. In that month, Kyle and I had become best friends. We would go on a few more work trips all across the country that winter, becoming more attached until it was clear that being apart was no longer an option. I had just been offered a full-time position with the company, so I moved from Long Island to Lancaster and got a place with Kyle.

Fickle circumstance could have easily kept us apart, so I feel very lucky and thankful that we found each other.


kimberly weit#08) Kimberly Weit:

I first met my sweetheart standing in line for a concert at the Chameleon Club in Lancaster. He was alone, and I was actually standing with another, but it turned out we were waiting for the same person to arrive! I saw him again inside, and our common friend didn’t like standing near the stage like we did, so we were together again.

By the end of the night, my new line buddy and concert pal and I were talking up a storm, and we found out that we had quite a few common friends. How did we never run into one another before this? So we exchanged numbers and said we would look for one another online. This evolved into quite a correspondence and we seemed to be writing to one another every day.

Finally, brave enough to meet, he took me to a picnic where his band was playing a private party. It was a blast and we made friendships that have never faltered. Two of the couples that were there that evening have since married and I am lucky enough to say I’m one of them. My husband and I have become inseparable, creating art and music together non-stop. At times I must admit, I feel as if I live an enchanted life. Thank you, downtown music scene for pulling us together!


scott may#09) Scott May:

Well, it all started on a starry night in December at the legendary Santa Stumble. You see, I had no plans on meeting anyone other than those crazy enough to enjoy some merry cheer and a frosty beverage. As the night unraveled, and being a responsible person and all (you know I would never promote unruly behavior or over-indulging of spirits), we visited establishment after establishment, always partaking in a glass at each sponsor’s venue. As we walked into the Pressroom‘s outside patio, one of our friends saw someone they hadn’t seen in a while, but I, however, noticed her friend.

When you see that one person and they notice you, it just sort of brings a silence to everything. The two friends were catching up as we flirted back and forth until we walked to Aussie and the Fox. Out of the many beautiful women in Lancaster, this woman was introduced to me. We exchanged flirty small talk and that look (you know that look… the look that stirs everything you’ve strived for: happiness). Since that night, Sue and I haven’t looked back. Actually, we have skipped and galloped forward.


jona green#10) Jona Green:

We were just friends for so long, it’s hard to remember how we first met. This is why we each have a different story. The exact details have maybe been lost to time, but Millersville University and a common group of friends were involved. Eventually, he moved to Montana for school so it was a surprise to see him on the street. We ended up at a party that night and that was it for the rest of the summer. After seven years of being just friends, things moved pretty quickly when we finally got our mutual act together.

Summer was over and he was headed west for the fall semester. I drove along and then flew home. We were separated for four days when he called and told me we were getting married over Christmas break or he was dropping out and coming home. “I can be ready by Christmas!” Fifteen years and two wonderful boys later, our lives are entwined in more ways than those two “friends” could’ve ever imagined.


sharon herman#11) Sharon Herman:

My husband Randy and I went to high school together and lived in the same town. After graduation, I got married and started a family. I lost touch with Randy for over 20 years. Five years after I got married, my husband died suddenly of cardiac disease.

After many years as a widow, I decided it was time to get back into the dating scene. I signed on to Facebook. After a few years on this site, I received a friend request from Randy. I accepted and we briefly chatted. He shared with me that he too was widowed, losing his wife of 20 years to brain cancer. We immediately connected. He asked me out for dinner and the rest is history! We were married New Year’s Eve 2014!


matthew aughey#12) Matthew Aughey:

I met Donna at a ChiveMaryland fundraising event in Baltimore. I was going through a divorce and moved to an area where I didn’t know anyone, so what better to do than surround myself with hundreds of folks trying to make the world a little happier? It was a tough pill to swallow for an introvert like me.

I checked into my hotel and posted on the Facebook event page that I would be having a  few drinks at the bar down the road as an open invite to all. Eventually, four others joined me, including Donna. We started off strangers and ended up new friends. Donna and I stayed in touch for the next two years, occasionally bumping into each other at Chive events in Maryland, D.C., and Virginia.

As Valentine’s Day 2014 approached, I tossed caution to the wind and asked her if she had a date for Valentine’s Day. She replied, “No.” I asked, “Would you like one?” She said yes and we set the date.

Since then, a lot has changed in our lives. Through being separated by oceans, living in different states, adult life, and responsibilities, we made it work and pushed through the difficulties together. In July of 2015 we moved into an apartment together and continue to plan our future together, no longer having to drive two hours just to see each other. She transferred her job to the area and we both continue to support Chive Charities and local Chive events.


david schwalm#13) David Schwalm:

Margie and I met in first grade in 1955. She was the cutest girl in class, and I was shy. When we got to high school, we had several classes together, but I was “going steady” with her best friend. We got to know each other fairly well. After my girlfriend dumped me, she invited me on a church youth-group hayride. She later told her mother that she liked me because I always made her laugh.

After high school, she went to the Reading Hospital to become a nurse and I went to Susquehanna University. Email hadn’t been invented yet and long distance phone calls were expensive, so we continued our relationship through letter writing. We got engaged, but the Vietnam war was going strong when I graduated, so National Guard basic training sent me to South Carolina and Georgia. By this time we were so eager to get married that we planned our wedding for the week before Christmas, right after I got home. I’m sure that our mothers were thrilled with our timing. The wedding worked, though. We had three children, who in turn provided us with seven grandchildren. I do my best to always make her laugh, and she’s still the cutest girl in class.


courtney nowak#14) Courtney Nowak (*WINNER*)

Amo, Amas, Amat…

Our love story began the summer before Freshman year. My friends and I were looking through the high school yearbook, selecting possible suitors. I had to meet him! Fast forward two months later, there he was: Derek, the boy in the yearbook. Over the course of the year we courted, I cheered as he ran past during a cross country meet and I flirted with him behind my pom-poms. He was oblivious and I was head over heels. I somehow managed to talk to him about doing an extra credit project and we became friends.

Finally, in May of my Freshman year, through the miscommunication, failed dates, and detentions due to our interruptions, he stood at my cheerleading tryouts with roses and asked me to be his girlfriend. I will always remember the look on his face, waiting for an answer. It was the same look on his face when he proposed. It was the same look on his f ace when he waited to see our first son born. He was never oblivious, just patient. After 14 years together, not much has changed; patience, love, and encouragement are among the daily actions we display for each other. It is hard to believe that I picked him from a yearbook and he chose me to be his lifelong partner.


audrey mcclune#15) Audrey McClune:

In 2004 I had returned from grad school abroad in Scotland to teach English at my alma mater high school, Conestoga Valley.  My mother-in-law Patty had recently become the librarian, and she immediately eyed me up as a potential suitor for her son Drew– the only problem being he was in a relationship and was stationed in Florida with the Navy.

As fate would have it, Drew’s relationship ended and Patty persisted, arranging a “chance” meeting for us at her house that summer when Drew was home on leave (Drew had no idea he was being set up).  I would never have believed in love at first sight, but it happened when I saw the handsome Naval aviator with a sweet and slightly ornery grin standing on the other side of the kitchen counter.  I offered to give him a tour of the fantastic Lancaster bar scene that I had begun to enjoy, and our first date left us both feeling that we had something special together.

After two years of long-distance dating during which he was deployed twice, we married in Lancaster, and I set off to join him at his duty station in Maine.  Two kids, four moves, and several deployments later, we find ourselves in Norfolk, VA.  Our adventures with the Navy have kept our love and our commitment to one another strong.  We intend to settle back in our hometown when Drew retires from the service in several years.


allen clements#16) Allen Clements:

Christmas eve.. about six years ago.  I was back home in Louisiana spending the holiday with family.  I had recently signed up for Match.com and had several nice but not quite right dates.  I wrote Kerry who was a pretty high match as the ratios go.  Kerry wrote me back the same night sparking a fun conversation and the promise of a low-pressure date at some time in the near future.

Kerry had a busy life living in Lancaster and working in Philadelphia to provide for her two children. It was hard to get together.  We finally got to do a quick mini-date at Chestnut Hill Cafe to break the ice.  We hit it off.  She was beautiful, fun, easy to talk to.  I could tell we were both in a similar place in life and wanted similar things out of a relationship.

We each had coffee and shared a Wendy-Jo’s muffin… a sweet sentiment.  As we continued to date we’d often revisit and one of us would produce a Wendy Jo’s muffin, fondly remembering how we met.

We made CDs for each other sharing some of our favorite music. We continued to share and support each others passions and dreams.  When I finally got to meet her children, Gabe and Olivia, I loved them too.

We married at a favorite music festival in my hometown of Lafayette, LA.  Five years later, we have our own little house in Marietta and four children.  Our love continues to grow.


maria hershey#17) Maria Hershey:

It wasn’t all at once like a bolt of lightning.  At least not for me. It was slow and patient waves of attention over months and semesters that ultimately culminated in a hug.  And then a kiss.

Freshman Art 101- walking to the campus shuttle after our Final with a classmate I had never noticed, hearing about how he plans to be an animator for Disney.

Ceramics Studio- sitting at my pottery wheel, being handed a flower to brighten up my vases on my studio shelves.  Weekly.

The Last Carrot Juice Bar- joining fellow potters and sculptors to wish our graduating studio mates goodbye. Chatting with that guy who keeps handing me flowers. Hugging everyone goodbye when we get back to the studio.  Hugging him, and feeling like I had come home.  Knowing suddenly that I should feel that safe for the rest of my life.

Campus Art Gallery- inviting him to the Ceramic Student Show, showing him my ceramic vase on display, chatting about movies and art.  After the show, discovering that he has a box of action figures.  Including Zero and Jack, Lock Shock and Barrel.

That is where the kiss comes in.  I am a sucker for Nightmare Before Christmas. And he can float dollar bills in midair, just like Copperfield.  Who can resist that?


sue kerlin#18) Sue Kerlin:

My husband and I met at an Armstrong crew party when I was just 16 and he was 18.  I told my mother that I would like to go out with him.  My mother came home from work one day and said Bob will be here Saturday to pick you up.

We dated for about a month and he just stopped calling. We met up again about two years later and dated for about two months and again we broke up. I started working at Armstrong in January 1978.

Bob invited me to his cottage along the chickies creek in Febuary 1980.  I guess third times a charm because I moved in with him and two years later we got married. We have been happily married for thirty three years!


bonni tucci#19) Bonnie Tucci:

Bob and I met for the very first time on our birthdays. His Mom had to wait 20 minutes for the delivery room to open up at a hospital in Westchester County, New York. You see my Mom and I were busy in there and I was born a whopping 20 minutes before him. We spent our first 3 nights together in the nursery, lived in the same town but didn’t meet up again for 16 years. We both have older brothers who were working in a local grocery store who helped get us employed there.

We dated for 6 years, went to school in different States, me in Connecticut and Bob in Tennessee but have been married now for 45 years. If that’s not fate I don’t know what is. A true love story continues on and on. We have three beautiful children and 6 very precious grandchildren.


robin frehafer#20) Robin Frehafer:

David and I were neighbors and friends during our childhood years.  He was the cute, quiet guy that tried to drown me at the Palmyra swimming pool every summer.  Other times, he would ride his bike past my house.  We went our separate ways after graduation, but remained casual email friends.  In 2015, he found out that my father was in ICU and I was not handling things very well.  He contacted me and took me out to dinner to make sure I would eat.  He was there by my side when my dad passed away.

What started as a renewed friendship after 40 years apart, grew into love and we were married on November 20, 2015.


muzette1#21) Laurie Reese:

Tom and I worked together for almost two years before we started dating. After 13 years of traveling, I came home to visit my family. I packed everything into storage & loaded the cello into the car. I thought that two months would be a good stay, as I didn’t think this area would support me as a cellist. I was willing to give it a try.

A new friend suggested that to create new music, jazz and other types, I should meet the Reese Brothers, who were playing jazz in the Bottling Works at Bube’s Brewery that weekend — Tom, flute, and Kirk, piano. After the gig, I introduced myself.

About six months later, I got a call from Kirk that the Hotel Hershey had asked them to add a cellist. It wasn’t always easy, but we ended up with a beautiful, unique sound: acoustic piano, cello and flute.

Approximately 1 1/2 years later, I broke up with my boyfriend around the same time that Tom’s wife left him. Tom and I started to rehearse weekly. Our rehearsals started with dinner at Bube’s; then we rehearsed less and watched movies instead. One evening, when he dropped me off at my car, Tom leaned over and kissed me on the cheek. In that instant I fell in love.

Now it’s been 23 years. We work together, play together, & travel together. Building and maintaining a relationship on this level takes some effort, but we grow closer as time goes by.


nick_and_hannahsmaller#22) Nick Kienzle:

My wife and I met under an elaborate disguise akin to a James Bond film. Or at least, it was sort of like that.

Her sister and I worked together. With our company holiday party quickly approaching, I signed up to take someone, regardless of not having a guest in mind yet. So, I created a fake guest name and hoped to find someone willing to be “Acacia Wimberley” for the evening.

Hannah was that girl.

Our first interaction went something like “I don’t know you, but would you like to pretend to be someone else for an evening and get free food?”

Beautiful, artistic and adventurous, she was everything I was looking for, and after many hikes, cups of tea, endless laughs and sun-filled road-trips, I proposed with a silver feather ring on the side of a mountain, in the pouring rain. 37 days later, we married, on the side of another mountain, with less rain but more hail.

Our shared vision of a visual storytelling studio and mutual love of adventure, sushi and creativity brought us together, but it’s her kind heart, a heart with wisps of wanderlust and childlike wonder, that keeps me falling in love with her each day.


betty_and_mike#23) Bea Stauffer:

Living in a small town, the most entertainment we had was to drive around looking for other bored kids.  One night, I was driving my Firebird on back roads.  While stopped at an intersection, a car flies past me.  I thought I knew the man driving so I took off after him.  Flying on back roads and heedless of safety, I passed him.  Howling gleefully, I flew down the road I thought would become a straight-away.  Instead, the road came to an abrupt end directly across a steep bank.  Realizing this, I slammed on the breaks and finally came to a rest sideways, the headlights of the car behind me glaring on on me.  Forget being scared at what might have occurred, I was mortified and embarrassed.  To my dismay, I discovered the driver was NOT who I thought.  He was a complete stranger!

Later, my mother and I were walking through a parking lot. She spied a man that could be described as looking like a hooligan, driving a race car; someone I was sure she would think would not be a good influence on me. Certainly not a choice for a boyfriend.  To my surprise, she says, “Now HE looks like a nice young man.”  I was shocked!  Turns out it was the same guy that was driving that car I passed on that back road.  We’ll be married 30 years January 2017.  I love him dearly, still.  And we still like to go for long drives together!