Shalom Life | July 26, 2014

The Bachelor 2012: Ilona and Nathaniel

Let’s find out what Ilona and Nathaniel thought of their first date together

By: Ashley Baylen

Published: July 31st, 2012 in Culture » Society » News

The Bachelor 2012: Ilona and Nathaniel

Shalom Life, El Al Airlines and UJA’s Community Connect want you to be a part of our Bachelor 2012: Tall, Dark, and Jewish journey! Keep checking back for updates on the contest, love connections and post-date summaries.

You have already met Ilona.

Now let’s find out how her first date with Nathaniel went down. You know it was successful since she was selected for the Top 3, but what exactly did they do on their date? What did they talk about? What do they have in common?

Read Ilona and Nathaniel’s thoughts on their first date below, and check back soon to find out how their second date goes.

Ilona’s thoughts on meeting Nathaniel:

I had a lovely first date with Nathaniel. I was pleasantly surprised to see that in-person Nathaniel looked exactly as he appeared in his video clip on www.shalomlife.com. I liked Nathaniel’s warm, gracious and extroverted demeanor. He was polite, respectful and courteous – a true gentleman!

The ambience of the restaurant was perfect for our first date; it was not too loud and the service was excellent. We had a great conversation about our families, educational backgrounds and interests over delicious wine, dinner and dessert. We even shared a few laughs about some of our comical and unforgettable dating experiences. No matter the topic of discussion, I found it easy to converse with Nathaniel and our conversation flowed organically. I enjoyed chatting with Nathaniel, not only because of his charming British accent but because I found we shared much in common, such as our involvement in the Jewish community, our relocation experiences and our love of Israel.

A funny unexpected highlight of our first date was a group of Jewish men at the table next to us. They were so intrigued about how we met and that we were on a "contest" date with the final date being in Israel! We had a great time laughing and chatting with them. We all shared some of our wonderful Israel experience stories too. At the end of our meal our server totally messed up our latte orders by giving Nathaniel the decaffeinated extra foam latte that I ordered and me the regular no foam latte that he ordered! We had the choice to send them back or use the opportunity to try out our first compromise together. We were able to quickly and happily come up with a mutually agreeable decision. That’s a good sign! Overall, I'd rate it as "refreshing" on the first date scale.

Nathaniel’s thoughts on meeting Ilona:

I had never been to Coppi restaurant before and a few friends recommended it. The food was delicious and the ambiance was perfect. I really enjoyed getting to know Ilona; she is cool, intelligent, and cute. We laughed a lot throughout our date. Ilona is also very genuine and has a welcoming confidence and curiosity. We recollected some funny dating experiences….I have tried my best not to make the same mistakes; this date wasn’t one of them I hope!

We even ended up chatting to a few other people at the restaurant and I was very impressed that Ilona held her own conversation with complete ease, especially since we were on our first date and had met via the Shalom Life contest! After dinner, we continued to take our time to enjoy our conversation further on the walk back to the car which was also really nice.

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