Jai Schneider shares the story of how she met Art.
My name is Juanita (Jai) Schneider and I am married to Arthur (Art) Schneider, U.S. Navy Gulf War Veteran from the Cherry Hill community.
I met my husband on a dating app called Plenty of Fish. I went on there just to try something new. I was a single mother, working 12 to 14 hours per day at times and a graduate student. I slept about three, maybe four hours a night on average and had no real time to go out into the world and date. I’m not much of a dater anyway. I shuddered at the thought of trying to find someone who would take me seriously, accept my three daughters and was hoping for the possibility of something long-term.
I went into it with no expectations and an open mind. After a week, I was completely over the ridiculous messages I was receiving from men who just didn’t have a clue. Art’s profile popped up on the final day that week when I had decided that I would no longer use the app. His profile showed that he was a 98 percent match for me. I sent him a message saying hello and introducing myself to him and waited for a response. I received one almost immediately. We chatted non-stop for a couple of weeks and decided to meet. He had captured my heart through phone calls and text messages. I wasn’t able to make it the first night he asked me out but I said yes to the second time. He asked to meet me on South Street at Tattooed Moms. I was nervous and excited at the same time. I almost canceled several times but I went and met him and I was not disappointed. He was funny, sweet, handsome and made me feel like I was the only woman around. We had a six hour date just talking and getting to know each other and we parted ways at 12:30 a.m. We went home and talked on the phone until the sun came up. We have been inseparable since then.
We have done so many romantic things together. We have taken weekends to the beach, the mountains, and other places. I actually think the most romantic thing that happened between us was when he took care of me when I had surgery in November 2018. He was so sweet and caring and he showed how important I was to him. I really do love our trips to the Poconos when we can go too. We don’t get to do a lot very often but we value every second of it and try to get as much romance out of each experience that we can. He took me away for the weekend to celebrate our two year anniversary (Jan. 25, 2017) and I had just gotten over a bad case of bronchitis. We went to dinner and took a walk to the beach in January to look at the ocean and the stars. He seemed a bit nervous but I didn’t think much of it. We talked about his time in the Navy and being on the ship all the time, looked at the clear sky and listened to the waves crashing. He came up behind me, hugged me and told me he had an anniversary gift for me. He showed me the ring and at first I thought it was some sort of promise ring. Then he told me that it was more than that. I almost passed out. I was so happy. That to me was incredibly romantic. We were married on Oct. 14, 2017. Two weeks after my birthday and one week after we ran a Spartan race.
I think we stand out as a couple because we are so different but it doesn’t change what we feel for each other. I love Arthur to the very depths of my soul and he loves me just as much. There are people who have had and still have issues with us together because of our racial differences but we don’t let that bother us. I love my Navy guy. He would go to the ends of the earth for me and I would do the same.
The only lessons we could share with other couples is that communication has been and always will be the key to a strong relationship. Don’t think that you have to be exactly alike to have a great relationship. Being different can be a great thing. Also, be open to new experiences and the ways that love can find you even when you are not looking for it.