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Iryna and Phil

Odessa, Ukraine


When the sun was rising for her, he was just going to bed. She lived in Odessa, Ukraine, he lived in Fredericksburg, Virginia, and there were seven hours and thousands of miles between them. First I was charmed by Phil’s letters on eHarmony. They were so sincere, interesting, amusing! But it was mostly not what he was writing, but how. I immediately understood he was a very verbal person and we shared that quality. And then I saw how much in common we had!  

Phil: I first saw Iryna’s eHarmony photos and was taken with her eyes. I felt they reflected her kind, generous, beautiful soul! I was not scared by the distance between us, because I was ready to search for my Love anywhere, captivated by the eHarmony question, “How far would you look to find your soul mate?” And very soon I knew that Iryna was my soul mate- caring, honest, giving, kind, serious, humorous, open-minded, strong, and passionate about her job and interests. And I told her about my Love  

Iryna: I tried to gather things that would tell Phil and his two children, Emily and Zach, more about myself, Odessa and Ukraine. CDs of Ukrainian and Russian rock singers, postcards of Odessa, T-shirts with Odessa symbols. Phil then sent me a package which filled my eyes with tears of happiness as he put there his very personal and important things like the actual journal he had been writing at the age of fifteen, his childhood photos, letters from his teachers. 

Phil: Later, over a year and a half of courtship, there would be hundreds and hundreds of letters where I was using more and more Russian words learnt from my beloved teacher, international phone calls with two-three hour talks, unforgettable romantic trips, dozens of photos, plans for a joint future and the feeling of happy serenity, because from now on we belonged to each other forever.

To make the first date happen, Phil had to get a Ukrainian visa and fly to Kiev. And I took a one-night train trip from Odessa. We both were dreaming to meet of course, but at the same time there was anxiety and thoughts like, “What if she never shows up in the airport? What if he is different in real life?” The moment we saw each other in the airport was such a relief! There were a few funny incidents that day, like taking the wrong car, being unable to get into their hotel room, because the key-card didn’t work, almost missing our train. But it was just nothing, because we were together at last! A real team where one could get nervous about the situation, but the other one immediately relaxed the partner with a joke and a caring touch.

Iryna and I had a ten-day first date together and it was bliss for both of us! On a wonderful summer day in Odessa we met Iryna’s parents, friends, and colleagues at school. The warm gentle waves of the Black Sea were whispering to us the words of Love. There were a few more hours in Kiev together, and then parting for a long four months. And letters, letters, letters.  

Iryna:  The next time Phil came to Odessa the day before my birthday, on 31 December. And we spent a 2005 New Year eve together at my parents’ house. And the next day was a wonderful birthday party. Almost two amazing weeks together in a winter Odessa and again parting till the next meeting in May, to Poland and Germany to meet my family, and to experience the world together as a partnership.  

Phil: Iryna and I met in Odessa in late August again. This time I arrived with my parents to have an engagement party with Iryna’s family and friends. And this time we didn’t have to part any more, as Iryna and I flew to the US together and married there in Rockville Court House, Montgomery County, MD on 28 October! My parents and friends were with us on this day to share our happiness and joy. And on 28 December my parents organized a beautiful post wedding party for us and the extended family in Long Island, NY. I love celebrating our marriage again and again! We enjoy every day of our life together and plan to do so for many many years and get older holding hands and looking in each other's loving eyes.  

If two years ago someone told us that we would meet our soul mate on the other side of the world through an internet service, we would have just laughed! But now Phil and I cannot even imagine what our lives and futures would be if we had not joined eHarmony! Now we know ourselves through truly knowing another, and keep telling people that eHarmony is really the site where we found our soul mate and fell in Love for all the right reasons!

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