Make me a match

Meeting a potential soulmate is hard...but dating apps can help

Hillary and Jeremy Elkins met via JSwipe a couple of years ago. The couple recently married. (Photo: Jai Girard Photography)

Who doesn't love, love?

But finding true love, while never easy, seems more elusive than ever before.

So, where do people turn to find their bashert, their soulmate? In the past, couples most often met through family, friends, work. Today, more people than ever-nearly 40 percent of couples-first meet online, according to 2019 studies.

After spending only one month on the popular dating app Coffee Meets Bagel, pediatric dentist Risa Hurwich, 29, met Mike Kopinsky, a 29-year-old investment banker. Despite its name, Coffee Meets Bagel is not a Jewish dating app and at the time, it didn't have a Jewish filter. However, for both Hurwich and Kopinsky, meeting someone Jewish was a priority.

Before signing up for the app, Hurwich followed the advice of a friend on how to maximize its full potential.

"I complained that I didn't want to be on the app because it was so time consuming to go on dates and get ready-and it was so stressful to talk to people. But my friend said that you really need to talk to the person through the app to ensure that this is someone you want to meet in person.

"A lot of people don't like talking on the app. But it's a huge time investment to meet face to face," Hurwich said.

She had only been on the app for about a month before she met Kopinsky. They are engaged to be married this coming March.

While many people dread the idea of using a dating app, some actually love the process. One of these positive-minded individuals is sales professional Mallory Kirsch, 24.

"I'm actually very outgoing and love talking to all of these new people," she said.

Kirsch and her boyfriend, Spencer Gilbert, 23 and a solar engineer, met on Hinge about a year ago.

"I had been utilizing some of these dating apps for a couple of years," Kirsch said. And while Kirsch said she had met some people through the apps, she never cared that much about any of them until she met Gilbert.

"I definitely was interested more than I was with anyone else I had met. We talked for a lot longer and we had a very good rapport. I was definitely a happy camper leaving that first date," she said.

Of course, not everyone knows after the first date. Cyber threat intelligence manager Hillary Elkins, 29, met Jeremy Elkins, also 29 and a human capital consultant, via JSwipe over two years ago.

Meeting someone who was a committed Jew was important to both. While both say they knew something was different after their first date, they readily admitted that it was not love at first sight.

"But within a couple of weeks, we both knew that this was something special," Jeremy said.

"Right away it was different," Hillary said, "but knowing takes time. Something was there, something was different; it was just easy."

They were engaged about eight months after that first date and married about five months after that.

Call it kismet, call it karma, but it's almost solely through the magic of the dating app JSwipe that Elli Smerling, 29, originally from Deerfield even met Andres Sevi from Buenos Aires, Argentina-both transplants to New York City.

It was a huge priority for each of them to meet someone who was not only Jewish, but also someone who was involved Jewishly.

"With some of the other apps, they may be Jewish, but they didn't really care about being Jewish," Smerling said.

Smerling and Sevi were married in Argentina in December.

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