Lewis Temple stood under the chuppah and looked into Jessica Norman’s eyes. The feeling was powerful.
“I was filled with joy and awe in thinking about what the future would hold,” recalled Lewis, 26. “I felt so lucky I was marrying her.”
That powerful connection was evident from the moment they met for coffee in Philadelphia in December 2009.
The pair connected via the online dating site OkCupid. Both were just back from Birthright Israel trips and found their interests quite similar — travel, Judaism, reading, movies, television and music. They conversed online for a month before meeting.
Neither hesitated, and they clicked immediately. They talked for five hours.
They agreed to email or call soon. But Lewis couldn’t wait. He texted that night and arranged to see Jessica three days later.
They went to Longwood Gardens, an arboretum that features indoor and outdoor displays. Afterward, they went to dinner; an hour past closing time, restaurant staff asked them to leave.
“I really liked him, and I was excited and nervous because we clicked so well,” said Jessica, 29, an Owings Mills native. “I’m very shy and he’s kind of shy, but we never had a lull in the conversation. We had so many things in common, so much to say.”
The next weekend they enjoyed a movie marathon at Jessica’s apartment. Two weeks later, Jessica met Jeffrey and Debra Temple at their home prior to accompanying Lewis to a party. Just as she did with their son, she spent two hours immersed in conversation with his parents. Then, she met his friends.
Things heated up quickly, and Lewis enrolled in a horticulture program at Delaware Valley College after taking a few years off. Jessica was in the clinical psychology doctorate program at LaSalle University, about an hour away. They saw each other twice a week and professed their love by Passover.
But it all went too quickly, and they broke things off. When they got back together almost a year later, they knew they were in it for the long haul, said Lewis.
In July 2012, Lewis led Jessica on a scavenger hunt in her apartment. After solving five or six puzzles, she found a ring in a futon. Karen and Michael Norman had given their permission.
They married on July 21, 2013 at the Mendenhall Inn in Mendenhall, Pa. Rabbi Michael Beals officiated the Conservative ceremony, which was witnessed by 100 friends and family members.
“I think about him all the time,” Jessica said of Lewis, who put off his career to move to Houston so Jessica could pursue a neuropsychology post-doctoral fellowship. They plan to return East in 18 months.
“I can be in a terrible mood, and he walks in the door and I burst into song,” said Jessica. “He doesn’t have to do anything. He just raises my spirits.”
Linda L. Esterson is an Owings Mills-based freelance writer. For “Beshert,” call 410-902-2305 or email Linda.Esterson@verizon.net.