Alexis Joondeph-Breidbart let Ryan Linden know before their first date that he should be armed with above-average conversational skills if he was to win her over.
“The first thing she said to me when we met on Hinge was, ‘You can do better,'” said Mr Linden. It was in response to a February 2015 message he sent her. “It was basically ‘hey’ so I did something more personal,” he said. He told her his first kiss was when he was 8. She decided she could work with it.
Ms. Joondeph-Breidbart, 29, and Mr. Linden, 31, made sense of their lives and Manhattan’s dating scene in separate apartments in Murray Hill in 2015. He moved to town from his Plainview, NY parents’ home in 2011 after graduating from SUNY Buffalo with an accountant degree and an associate position with accounting firm KPMG. Growing up in Chappaqua, NY, she worked in marketing at Avery Boardman, an upholstered furniture company in Manhattan, after graduating from the University of Massachusetts Amherst with a degree in psychology in 2015.
Her mockery in the dating app Hinge that she expects more than just small talk did her good when they met in person after a week of messaging. At Abitino’s, a pizzeria, they talked about similarities in their background. Mrs. Joondeph-Breidbart’s mother, Dr. Wendy Joondeph, and Mr. Linden’s father, Dr. Scott Linden, are both psychologists. His answer to a question about his pilgrimage to the Firefly Music Festival also left a lasting impression.
“I asked him if he went to Firefly to make him a hipster and he took a serious hiatus,” she said. “He said, ‘I think I’m more of a nerd.’ I found his introspection at that moment really sweet and lovable. “
On her second date two weeks later, Mrs. Joondeph-Breidbart showed Mr. Linden her newly acquired piano. Mr. Linden, who was playing guitar in the rock band The Liaisons at the time, taught her to play “Let It Be”. She sent a video of herself practicing; he was bewitched. At the end of summer, they saw each other several times a week. “I felt like, OK, I really like her,” he said. “I want to finish this.”
This was even before he settled into her parents, Dr. Joondeph and Dr. Scott Breidbart, Affinity Health Plan’s chief medical officer, fell in love. Ms. Joondeph-Breidbart, who received a Masters in Social Work from NYU in 2020 and now works as a public health consultant at NYC Health + Hospitals and a psychotherapist at the Resilience Lab, is close to her family. “During the first few years of our date, she always found excuses to hang out with them and their cats in Chappaqua,” Linden said. Finally he understood why.
“You’re not just nice,” he said. “They are amazing.” Besides, he felt he suited them. For example, Dr. Breidbart as a hobby. “I learned how to bake from him,” said Mr. Linden. “I also really like his baked goods.” In 2018, the year in which Ms. Joondeph-Breidbart moved into Mr. Linden’s apartment in Gramercy Park, the two couples were regularly out and about and played chess together. When Mr. Linden proposed on November 14, 2019, Ms. Joondeph-Breidbart’s parents were overjoyed. Before she said yes, “I had trouble speaking at all,” she said. In her apartment “there were roses everywhere and he tried to create atmospheric lighting and bring our favorite song” Setting Sail “from the TV show” Modern Love “to the stage.”
The following spring, they left Manhattan to get out of the pandemic to get through Chappaqua. The three weeks they wanted to spend with Mrs. Joondeph-Breidbart’s parents turned into 13 months. “Friends asked me, ‘How do you live with your future in-laws?’” Said Linden, now head of solution delivery at Mural, a company that makes software for digital collaboration. “I can honestly say it was great.”
On June 26, Ms. Joondeph-Breidbart and Mr. Linden were married at the Sleepy Hollow Country Club in Briarcliff Manor, NY, to their friend Ethan Sommer, who became the pastor of Universal Life Church for the event. All 150 guests were vaccinated. “We were really lucky with the timing of the vaccine launch,” said Ms. Joondeph-Breidbart. Their compatibility with each other’s families, including Dr. Linden and Mr. Linden’s mother, Gail Linden, is a godsend. “Do you know this whole in-law thing?” Said Mr. Linden. “That escaped us.”