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TJ and Michelle

Tampa, FL

When we were matched by eHarmony (18MAY05), I was deployed in Iraq and Michelle was in Tampa, FL. There were several funny things about the match you created. First, our houses are literally two miles from each other and we have both lived there for 5 years. We shopped at the same grocery store and purchased gas at the same filling station. However, we had never run into one another at all in those five years. We even discovered that we frequented the same place for lunch.

Secondly, Michelle joined eHarmony to support a friend who would not join unless Michelle did. I joined prior to deployment, cancelled my membership once I received knowledge of my deployment and actually have no idea why, but reactivated it while deployed.

The date, the 18th, was also important. It is both of our favorite numbers. Her birthday is 18APR and mine 18JUL and several things in our separate lives had happened on the 18th of the month or had some connection with number 18.

When I saw Michelles picture, I was blown away. But it wasn’t the typical nightclub or day at the beach lust. It was that I simply knew she was the one. I read her profile and seemed as if I was reading my own. I made the first leap by communicating first and we took every advantage of the “hit or miss” time I had available due to being at war. My first open communication email from Michelle was received on 22MAY05 and once we used our own email addresses, we continued to ask questions and probe each others hearts and minds. We continued with our foundation of communication and each email was more anticipated than the previous and each one brought us closer together. Every now and then, I was able to make a phone call. Those calls were like gold and we made the most of every second. Our dedicated communication continued.

Finally, I was granted R&R leave in July. We spent a wonderful five days together. We first met at her house and when our eyes met and the first paint brush of a kiss was complete, our love was without doubt. During those five days we had our first “date night” on 18JUL05; my birthday. Those five days were too short but long enough to solidify our relationship. Much too quickly, I was on my way back to Iraq. I was not due to finish my deployment until January but my unit was blessed with an early Christmas present. By 18NOV (there’s that number again), I was home for good. Once I returned, everything between us was the same, better, amazing.

On 18DEC, on date night, at a very romantic restaurant, I asked for Michelle’s hand and she accepted. We were married on of course the 18th.

Thank you eHarmony. We are so very blessed and thankful for your service.

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