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They Didn’t Need a Dating App After All


One day in late spring 2016, Olympia L. Moy was thumbing through listings on the dating app Coffee Meets Bagel when she came across a profile that looked promising. The page belonged to Elizabeth A. Ingriselli. Ms. Ingriselli had graduated from Princeton; Ms. Moy had, too. Ms. Ingriselli was starting a career in law; Ms. Moy was eyeing law school.

Ms. Moy “liked” Ms. Ingriselli’s profile. Then she waited.

A response never came.

Several weeks later, Ms. Moy went to a Pride Month mixer in Manhattan. As she scanned the room, she noticed a familiar face. It was Ms. Ingriselli, sitting alone. Ms. Moy had two options: She could simply avoid Ms. Ingriselli, or she could introduce herself and risk some awkwardness if their conversation turned to the apparent Coffee Meets Bagel rejection. Figuring that she’d at least be sparing Ms. Ingriselli the awkwardness of being alone, Ms. Moy decided to walk up and start a conversation.

It turned out that Ms. Ingriselli wasn’t alone — she’d come with friends who were in a different part of the room getting food. Ms. Moy would learn later that Ms. Ingriselli hadn’t rejected her on the app; she just had not seen the “like.”

As the two started talking — first alone, and then, when Ms. Ingriselli’s friends returned, in a group — they made initial observations about each other. Ms. Ingriselli was struck by how attentive Ms. Moy seemed in conversation. Ms. Moy noticed a chipper energy in Ms. Ingriselli. The group began discussing the intensity of law firm work and the challenges of building a family while being employed by one. “If you raise children, they won’t even know who you are,” Ms. Moy remembered somebody saying. But Ms. Ingriselli struck a defiantly upbeat tone. She took her work seriously but, she said, she also wanted to raise a family.

By the end of the night, the two were connected on social media.

Ms. Moy and Ms. Ingriselli spent time as friends first. They went roller skating with a couple of other friends in Brooklyn’s Prospect Park. They went to an event at the Rubin Museum of Art in Chelsea. Then, one day a couple of months after meeting, Ms. Moy asked the question. Or, rather, she typed it: “I wrote to her something like, ‘I feel like such a millennial asking you over Facebook, but do you want to go on a date?’”

As their relationship deepened, Ms. Ingriselli grew to appreciate an altruism that she saw in Ms. Moy, who spent much of her free time doing community work, including volunteering with the National Queer Asian Pacific Islander Alliance and organizing community projects in Chinatown. (Ms. Moy is a founder of the nonprofit Think!Chinatown.) That altruism extended into the relationship.

“Her love language is acts of service,” Ms. Ingriselli said. “She’s always thinking about me, and not just me, but other people.”

Ms. Moy’s appreciation of Ms. Ingriselli’s optimism, which included the positivity that Ms. Moy had noticed on the night that they met, also deepened. “There’s a sense of safety I feel with Elizabeth because of her disposition,” she said.

Ms. Ingriselli and Ms. Moy originally booked the Princeton University Chapel for an August 2020 wedding, but those plans were derailed by the coronavirus pandemic. The couple ultimately settled on a more pandemic-friendly ceremony, which was held this year on March 7, at an outdoor dining structure on Grand Street in Chinatown that was built by artists and other collaborators working with Think!Chinatown.

Ms. Ingriselli, 32 and an associate at the law firm Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz, and Ms. Moy, 38, a third-year law student at Fordham Law School who is currently working with the legal nonprofit Mobilization for Justice as part a program run by the New York State Unified Court System, were married with about 20 guests witnessing. Bex Ahuja, a friend of the couple who became a Universal Life minister for the wedding, officiated. Ms. Moy and Ms. Ingriselli plan to hold a second, larger celebration at the Princeton University Chapel next year. But the two see a special symbolism in the temporary structure that they used for the March wedding.

“When it was needed,” Ms. Moy said, “people came together and made this beautiful space.”

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