Equal Partners Who Love to Talk

At the conclusion of their first date, in February 2018, which had included three hours of cocktails, a cheese plate, dessert and a firs...


At the conclusion of their first date, in February 2018, which had included three hours of cocktails, a cheese plate, dessert and a first kiss, Chimnomnso Kalu and Dr. Benjamin Kenigsberg found that they weren’t quite ready to call it a night.

So they headed over to a nightspot across from Ms. Kalu’s Washington apartment, and spent three more hours getting to know each other. They ended the night by talking about their next date, a trivia night, which again involved cocktails. Their third date was another many-hours event, with brunch, a walk, a crossword solved surprisingly quickly, a trip through the National Portrait Gallery in Washington, and then dinner.

“I was smitten with her very quickly,” said Dr. Kenigsberg, now 34 and a cardiologist and critical-care specialist at MedStar Washington Hospital Center in Washington. He graduated from Stanford and received a medical degree from N.Y.U.

Ms. Kalu, 35, is an assistant United States Attorney in Washington, and prosecutes major crimes such as carjackings and robberies. She graduated from Harvard and received a law degree, summa cum laude, from American University.

The two met through the dating app the League.

“I had tried online dating and not had a lot of luck with it, and was pretty close to giving up on it entirely,” Ms. Kalu said.

But a close friend met her husband through an app, and so Ms. Kalu kept at it. “I saw how happy my friend was,” she said. Ms. Kalu very methodically set aside 15 minutes each day to swipe through responses to her profiles on several different apps.

Dr. Kenigsberg intrigued her. “He was interested in some of the same sorts of things I was,” she said. “The way he wrote, he was funny, he was cute and he certainly seemed like he was very smart.”

After their initial date, she said, “I remember I texted two of my best friends and said something to the effect of, ‘He even likes my stupid puns.’”

He was still in medical training when the couple met, so there were times when she left work early, when he was waking up for a night shift, just so they could have an early dinner together.

“We would move heaven and earth to see each other,” she said.

The two initially planned for a wedding in June 2021, after being engaged in April just a day after they bought a house together. But by July, given the spread of the coronavirus pandemic, they decided that they didn’t want to wait.

On Oct. 3, the couple were married in the gardens at Dumbarton House, a museum in the Georgetown neighborhood of Washington. Judge Reggie B. Walton of the United States District Court in Washington, and for whom Ms. Kalu was a clerk from 2012-14, officiated.

The couple had 11 guests, “physically distant but socially close,” the groom said, whereas they had intended originally to have more than 250 people at their wedding.

“We didn’t feel it would be responsible,” Ms. Kalu said, “but we didn’t want to delay our lives.”

Dr. Kenigsberg said what drew him to Ms. Kalu from their first interaction has never wavered.

“I never knew who I wanted to marry, but I always knew what I thought that person should feel like in my life,” Dr. Kenigsberg said. “To me, what was important was having a partner, someone who was an equal to me, someone I looked up to. In every facet of our relationship, that is what I experienced. It always felt like this is a woman who is a truly impressive person, and I really have not ever looked back from that.”

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Newsrust: Equal Partners Who Love to Talk
Equal Partners Who Love to Talk
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