How I Met My Wife
Closing ThoughtsOpinion

How I Met My Wife

The solution to loneliness is to get out there and help someone.

Allen H. Lipis
Allen H. Lipis

After graduating from City College of New York, I went to Iowa State University for my master’s degree. There were no Jewish women on campus, so for two years I never dated, and I rarely spent time with a woman, even just to talk. It was depressing. I was studying so much more than as an undergraduate.

Given the loneliness of graduate school in Iowa for two years, I took a job after graduating in Columbus, Ohio. For the first few months, it was more of the same, a lonely existence. The only solution was to get out there. I was 24 years old and ready to meet women, Jewish women, and get back to a normal life again.

However, I knew no one in Columbus, and I thought that I had to get into action if I expected to build my social life quickly. I had grown in confidence throughout college life. I was ready to show some leadership in my social life.

My first and best idea was to go to the Jewish Community Center in Columbus to see what was available for single people. I found that there was a Singles Club, but it had fallen into disuse because there was no leadership. There was a database of names of people who were part of the Singles Club, but most of them were in college or working, and no one was actively organizing the club. This was a perfect opportunity for me—to take on the reorganizing of the Singles Club. By doing so, I would have the opportunity to call all the single people, and perhaps to meet them. It was early June, and college kids were home for the summer; it would be a perfect time to meet a whole bunch of people.

I got a list of single people from the Jewish center and started to call the names included. I introduced myself on the telephone, discussed the Singles Club, then asked how it was run in the past, what programs it conducted, and why it was no longer active. Then I asked if the person was interested in reactivating the club, how we might go about doing it, and what the next few steps might be. I suggested that I was willing to work hard to get things started again and would they be willing to help as well. All this took several weeks, and slowly my name was being circulated around Jewish singles my age. We had several meetings at the Jewish center to get together, and out of those meetings, I actually met a few women I liked.

Judy, who was finishing her junior year at Ohio State University, told me that she heard through the grapevine that there was a new guy in town trying to reactivate the Singles Club. She was determined to meet him. We met at the Jewish center at one of those meetings during the summer of 1962, and I was immediately attracted to her. During the meeting, I asked her to have dessert with me at Emil’s, a local restaurant that everyone went to, and that was the start of my relationship with my wife of 59 years. We hit it off right away, and we began dating on a regular basis, even after she returned to Ohio State for her senior year.

There is something to be said about being creative, about having a certain mystery about yourself because no one has met you. I knew the mystery about me would not last, and the singles group would have gotten restarted without me being involved. When you see an opening, take it, for it might not last very long. The only thing I needed was a little courage to call the numbers and start talking. You know the expression, “Strike when the iron is hot.” That’s what I did after arriving in Columbus. Creativity and mystery to meet women worked again, and that’s how I met my wife.

The solution to loneliness is to get out there and help someone. Anyone! Then go help someone else. The more you help others, the more your loneliness will disappear, and it just might lead to someone very special, as it did for me.

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