Jennifer Piro and Michael Balkin: A Match Backed by Experience and Data

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Jennifer Beth Piro and Michael Golding Balkin were married Feb. 27 in Scarsdale, N.Y. The ceremony, at the Rowsley Estate, the headquarters of the Scarsdale Woman’s Club, was led by two friends of the couple who became Universal Life ministers for the event. Jessica H. Hirschey legally solemnized the couple’s New York City marriage certificate and led the couple in their exchange of rings; Jacob Condon led the couple in their vows.

The bride, 30, is taking her husband’s name. She is a manager of events and corporate membership in Manhattan for the Morgan Library & Museum. She graduated summa cum laude from the University of Massachusetts and received an M.B.A. from Baruch College.

She is the daughter of Jeanne Piro and Michael J. Piro of Pelham, N.Y. The bride’s father is the chief information officer at Interfaith Medical Center in Brooklyn. Her mother teaches English as a second language, and coordinates that program at Public School 119 in the Bronx.

The groom, 32, is a service manager in Manhattan for B. R. Guest Hospitality, a company that owns bars and restaurants. He graduated from Johnson & Wales University in Providence, R.I.

He is a son of Bridget Golding and Joseph Balkin, both of Manhattan. The groom’s mother is an instructor in English as a second language at Hunter College. His father retired as an associate professor of statistics and psychology at John Jay College.

Mr. Balkin met Ms. Piro in September 2007 on his first day of work at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. He was hired to manage a cafe and a restaurant at the museum along with Ms. Piro, who had already been there two months.

“I remember walking into the office that we shared and seeing Jennifer for the first time,” Mr. Balkin said. “She was stunning and beautiful, and I was very excited that we would be working together.”

They soon struck up a friendship and began palling around at bars and Yankees games, and in Central Park, where they tossed Frisbees and basked in the sun.

“Although we were friends, I was definitely attracted to her,” he said. “I laid down a number of not-so-subtle hints to let her know that I was very interested.”

But Ms. Piro had not yet turned to that same romantic page.

“I had just finished college,” she said. “Though Michael was a great guy and someone I knew I could trust, I just wasn’t ready for anything more than a platonic relationship.”

By 2009, they began to spend less time together but would occasionally meet to catch up on each other’s lives.

“By that time, I had pretty much resigned myself to the fact that we would never be more than friends,” he said. “But in the back of my mind, I never gave up hope.”

In January 2012, Ms. Piro signed up for eHarmony. After completing a lengthy questionnaire regarding the type of men she preferred, the site’s algorithm computed her best potential matches and steered her toward several profiles, the very first of which belonged to someone named Michael. “All it said was that Michael was 29, but there was no last name or photograph attached,” Ms. Piro said.

She clicked on the profile to read more, and soon realized that Michael was in fact her longtime buddy Mr. Balkin.

“I was shocked,” she said. “Of all the men in Manhattan, of all the men in the world, I found Michael again. I was like, ‘Whoa, this is crazy.’”

After deciding to “sit back and think on it for a while,” she told him about their computer connection in March 2013.

“I was in disbelief but very excited as well,” Mr. Balkin said. “I’m not big on superstition, but if there were ever a sign that we should be together, that was it.”

That month, they went on their first official date, to a restaurant in Manhattan.

“At that point, we had known each other so well and for so long,” she said. “We knew that there was no turning back, and that we were meant to be together forever.”

By VINCENT M. MALLOZZI

Source New York Times

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