Josh met his bride-to-be in 10th grade when he left the private Hebrew Academy in Great Neck, New York and moved to the town’s North High. "At first I thought he was a pest," says Amanda. ‘"I found him to be annoying."
By 11th grade, they had become friends, and Josh Wein realized he had a crush on Amanda Levine. It was obvious to everyone. Even their English teacher said to him, "Why don’t you ask her out already?"
Josh was both cautious and confident. He didn’t rush to ask her out, but was sure she would eventually go out with him. "I even made a bet with a friend that I could win Amanda over."
It took him until senior year to win the bet. On September 18, 2001, Amanda agreed to be Josh’s girlfriend. They were both 17 years old.
Their relationship was put to a test when they went off to college. While Josh attended Syracuse University, Amanda was working for her degree at the State University of New York at Buffalo. "Though it’s not common, I got permission to have a car as a freshman," says Josh. "That made it easier for me to go and visit Amanda every month." Amanda would make the same trip, but by train."
Some college classmates had a hard time understanding Josh. "They just couldn’t understand how Amanda makes me so happy," says Josh. "As my mom has said – she’s beautiful inside and out."
"We always have a good time together," says Amanda. "We both love sports, and that’s the only time we can be a bit competitive. We were never competitive in high school, because I was the artsy type, and Josh was the numbers guy." They developed their strengths, and Amanda received her degree in art history, and Josh’s degree was in information management and corporate entrepreneurship.
After college graduation, there were new decisions to make. They knew that they wanted to stay together and to move back to New York City.
Then the biggest decision – marriage. A blogger, Kristina M. who herself married her high school sweetheart after college graduation, states a major advantage. "You have a shared history," she writes.
But do these marriages work? Dr. Martin Whyte, a Harvard sociologist, researched the question for his 1990 book, "Dating, Mating, and Marriage." His finding: "Women who had married their first sweethearts were just as likely to have enduring and satisfying marriages as women who had married only after considering many alternatives."
In fact, Amanda’s parents met in kindergarten. "My parents never judged our decisions to stay together," says Amanda. "They too went through all the hard tests of a long distance relationship, but at least in our days we had cell phones to keep in constant contact!"
Amanda works as an events producer in Manhattan and recognizes and appreciates a job well done. On the seventh anniversary of their becoming a couple, Josh planned a special evening in a hotel overlooking Bryant Park. It was after dinner in a hotel suite strewn with rose petals that Josh got down on one knee and took out a ring and said to Amanda: "Seven years ago today you made me the happiest man by going out with me, and tonight I want you to make me the happiest man for the rest of my life by marrying me" Through tears, she granted his wish.
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A little more than a year later, on November 14, 2009, Amanda and Josh were married. Mazal tov!