This NYT Wedding Couple Met Online. Twice.

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Heather Purcell and Robert Leja, whose wedding announcement was in this Sunday’s New York Times, first met on an online dating site. They traded emails for a while, but never met in person. Eventually, things petered out.

Two years later, they met on an online dating site again. (Whether it was the same site or not is unclear from the article.) They must have made an impression on one another, but, again, for whatever reason, didn’t end up meeting each other in person, despite “trading emails.”

Then, a year after their second online meeting, and five years after their first, Leja and Purcell joined the same amateur cycling group.

“After signing up, Mr. Leja looked on Facebook for Ms. Purcell, who was in charge of getting the team into shape for a three-day 157-mile charity ride through two steep passes in the Rockies. Her photograph looked familiar: Mr. Leja recognized her as someone he had met twice on an online dating site.

“By the way, do you realize that I’m the Robert from five years ago and one year ago?” he wrote. Ms. Purcell remembered him as a “nice guy from Fort Collins,” and asked him, “Robert, whatever happened to us?””

This time, sparks must have flown, because the couple were married last Saturday.

Of course, Leja almost blew his shot with Purcell by showing up to their third encounter on a Schwinn bike with a kickstand, which apparently is devastatingly uncool.

“I was willing to look beyond that. I was distracted by what a great guy he was.”


So here’s what we’ve learned:

1) Take a chance on a date!
This is why we’re such strong advocates of “getting online to get offline.” If Leja and Purcell had gotten offline after their first meeting, they might have fallen in love 5 years earlier. When you’re dating online, don’t waste too much time talking on email — it can be hard to keep up a rapport with someone you’ve never met. Just take a chance and meet them in person. You might completely spark, and if you don’t, you can stop wasting your time and save your energies for someone else.

2) If you’re trying to impress a cyclist, don’t use a kickstand.
Apparently, that’s a dealbreaker.

[NY Times]