The Magic in ‘We’


080114_beshertLisa & Brian Bennett

First Date: May 18, 2011,for sushi in Columbia
Wedding: May 25, 2014
Venue: Renaissance Baltimore Harborplace Hotel
Residence: North Bethesda, Md.
Favorite Activity: Going on picnics

After Lisa Blatt and Brian Bennett went on their first date, Lisa looked up his Facebook profile and determined they had a mutual friend.

She called the friend to ask about Brian. The friend said she had to “marry him right now.”

That was enough approval for Lisa.

They met through the online dating service J-Date in the spring of 2011. Lisa had just moved back to the Baltimore area after completing physical therapy graduate school at Widener University. Brian was cute, looked ambitious and liked animals.

“I couldn’t find anything I didn’t like,” recalled Lisa, now 28.

By the same token, Brian found Lisa’s profile cute and laid-back, and he found her easy to talk to after making the initial move. He was on summer break from the Catholic University Law School and needed to have fun.

They talked online for two weeks. Brian was in final exams, and Lisa was studying for her board examination. They “met in the middle” in Columbia, and without revealing their dietary restrictions (Lisa kept a kosher-style kitchen and Brian is gluten-free), they settled on a sushi restaurant.

Brian remembers the conversation flowing easily, without the awkward pauses found during a typical first date. They realized they shared a similar sense of humor and often the same viewpoints. He remarked that they should “do it again sometime.”

Lisa wasn’t sure if it was a line … or not. She hoped he would call or text.

Brian did hope to see her again and broke his “three-day rule.” He had tickets for the Orioles, and they arranged to meet after the game. They strolled around the Inner Harbor several times, getting to know each other. They shared their first kiss by the harbor.

A few months later they professed their love, and they soon realized they were destined to be together. Brian completed law school and an internship and then studied hard for the bar exam. He still, however, made time to see Lisa.

“I wanted to make time for her,” said Brian, 29, a native of Potomac. “Every time I could, I made time to see her.”

Lisa was the first to learn Brian had passed the bar after his computer froze. She texted him a mazel tov.

In May 2013, Brian re-created their first date at a downtown restaurant and proposed.

They married May 25, 2014 at the Renaissance Baltimore Harborplace Hotel. Rabbi Susan Shankman of Washington Hebrew Congregation performed the traditional Reform ceremony as witnessed by 160 friends and family members.

During the ceremony, Rabbi Shank- man whispered to them to take it all in, that there would never be a moment more magical.

They do acknowledge the magic in their relationship, however.

“He’s my best friend, and I feel like a better person when I’m around him,” said Lisa. “He completes who I am.”

Linda L. Esterson is an Owings Mills-based freelance writer. For “Beshert,” call 410-902-2305 or email

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