She Kick-Started His Heart – The New York Times

While on vacation in Spain in August 2017, Jacquelyn Kate Drozdow finally decided to take her sister-in-law up on an offer to fix her up with her friend Matthew Philip Comite.

“Hook it up, OK? As soon as we get back,” Ms. Drozdow, 29, said to Lelia Drozdow, having grown tired of the dating scene.

Her sister-in-law had known Mr. Comite, 32, from sleepaway camp in upstate New York since they were teenagers; they had remained friends ever since. She and her husband, Greg Drozdow, Ms. Drozdow’s brother, were even on the kickball team that Mr. Comite captained.

Mrs. Drozdow knew Mr. Comite was also looking for a serious relationship and she was sure he would be a good match with Ms. Drozdow. Once back in New York, she texted Mr. Comite asking if there was room on their kickball team for Ms. Drozdow to join.

Mr. Comite, usually strict about not accepting anyone without competitive sports experience, immediately agreed. “Jackie Drozdow? Of course!” he said, peppering his text with heart-eye emojis. He had seen photos of her on Mrs. Drozdow’s Instagram account.

Ms. Drozdow was all in.

After the first game later that month, Mr. Comite asked Ms. Drozdow out on a date to the West 79th Street Boat Basin, hoping it would remind her of Miami, her hometown.

“I lived in the West Village and wondered why he picked that spot for our date — I was annoyed about having to go all the way uptown,” said Ms. Drozdow, a mental health therapist in private practice who has a master of social work degree from N.Y.U. “But when we met up, he was so nice and I realized that he thought I lived in the Upper West Side and didn’t mean to make me travel that far.”

The date lasted more than five hours as the two sipped sangria and shared calamari. “We couldn’t stop talking,” Ms. Drozdow said. “It felt so natural, like catching up with a best friend.”

The date ended only because it started to rain. “As we ran to the street to catch taxis, Matt unexpectedly kissed me,” Ms. Drozdow said. “I felt like I was in a rom-com. It was so sweet.”

Within a month of dating, each was committed to the relationship. And on a trip in January 2018 to Steamboat Springs, Colo., where Ms. Drozdow had spent every winter as a child with her family, he told her he loved her.

“I knew she was waiting for me to say ‘I love you,’” said Mr. Comite, a regional sales director at the German software company SAP, who received a master’s degree in exercise science at Columbia. “But I knew she was the one from the beginning. I loved the way she treated me and how she went out of her way to make me happy.”

In June 2019, they moved in together.

In March 2021, the couple went on an extended weekend in Scottsdale, Ariz., where Mr. Comite planned to ask Ms. Drozdow to be his “teammate forever.”  Scottsdale was the perfect place that combined their shared love of outdoor activities and romantic moments.

With some advice from Ms. Drozdow’s closest girlfriends, Mr. Comite decided on popping the question during a private picnic at the resort. “I called the hotel ahead of time to set it up and hired a photographer to secretly take photos of the special moment,” he said. After Ms. Drozdow excitedly said yes and many calls to close family and friends, the newly engaged couple went on a sunset hot-air balloon ride to celebrate.  

On Dec. 3, the couple exchanged handwritten vows during a traditional Jewish ceremony at the Breakers Palm Beach. Rabbi Edwin Farber officiated in front of 230 guests, with Rabbi Mario Rojzman participating in the ceremony. Both rabbis are from the Beth Torah Benny Rok Campus in North Miami Beach, Fla.

[Click here to binge read this week’s featured couples.]

At the reception, the newlyweds shared their first dance to “I Want It That Way” by Backstreet Boys, their favorite song to sing on road trips. “We actually cut our couple’s dance short because we wanted our friends and family to join and celebrate,” Ms. Drozdow said.  

“The day was so full of energy,” Mr. Comite said. “We loved that our friends and family walked away with an understanding of what we feel and value about each other.”