Article

Love at First Re-Meet

Plenty of ambitious professional couples endure a period of long-distance romance in their relationship, but Drs. Janelle Nassim and Eric Smuclovisky, who became a couple in 2016, began living in the same city for the first time in June.

They were married on Sept. 9 in Maine, after years of seeing each other just every three weeks or so.

“Never underestimate the power of sending flowers,” Dr. Smuclovisky said.

The two first met in 2008 at Florida Atlantic University in Boca Raton, from which both graduated. A close friend of hers was a lab partner of his, and the friend suggested that the two might be a match.

But both were focused on their studies, and their introduction fizzled.

Years later, in 2016, she was living in Boston during a rotation in her final year of medical school, and was celebrating her birthday with the same college friend who had initially introduced her to Dr. Smuclovisky. The topic of the good-looking lab partner came up, and her friend revealed that he was now a medical resident in Houston.

The friend pulled him up on social media and then sent him a message from Dr. Nassim’s phone.

“To be honest, we had kind of forgotten about each other,” Dr. Nassim said. “I didn’t even know he went to medical school.”

Dr. Smuclovisky, who said he remembered being impressed by Dr. Nassim when they initially met, responded immediately.

With their common experience as doctors-in-training now between them, the two began messaging each other regularly. At first, they corresponded maybe a couple of times a week. Then maybe daily. Soon they began talking on the telephone.

“It was instant common ground,” Dr. Smuclovisky said.

“I realized slowly that this could really be a compatible match,” Dr. Nassim said.

In October, she was to visit Houston, where he was in a radiology residency, for a possible internship, and he suggested they get together. He sent a limousine to pick her up at the airport, and planned dinner out. This time, the two hit it off. “It was love at first re-meet,” Dr. Smuclovisky said. “When you know, you know.”

The two shared their first kiss that night.

Dr. Nassim, 32, is now a third-year dermatology resident at Harvard, serving at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston and the university’s other affiliated hospitals. She received a medical degree from Florida Atlantic University, too. Dr. Smuclovisky, 33, is now a fellow in interventional radiology at Massachusetts General. He received a medical degree from Ponce School of Medicine in Ponce, Puerto Rico.

“We committed to long-distance,” Dr. Smuclovisky said. “The way we connected was we always put an effort toward communication. We always made a point and dedicated the time to one another.”

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Credit…Erika Delgado

In September 2018, Dr. Smuclovisky proposed, and the couple began planning both a wedding and a life together in the same ZIP code.

They originally intended to marry in a small ceremony in Boca Raton, Fla., with a large party at a hotel in Delray Beach, Fla.

Because of the coronavirus, the couple instead was married at the Cliff House in Cape Neddick, Me., through a video link with the Rev. Michael J. Calderin, a nondenominational Christian minister who officiated from Florida. A few minutes afterward, the couple had an outdoors ceremony overlooking the ocean. The couple reflected their diverse heritage in their wedding ceremony by including cultural and ethnic traditions as his mother is Cuban and his father is a Jewish Argentine of Russian extraction, and her mother is American while her father is Persian and fled Iran during the revolution.

To insure the safety of all the doctors’ wedding guests — 19 adults and one toddler — each was tested for the coronavirus 72 hours in advance of the event.

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