Met You at ChiTribe is profiling all of the love found at different ChiTribe experiences throughout the years and the city, aka Jewish Couple Goals. Meet Shaily Hakimian and Keelan Armstrong who met at ChiTribe in April 2019 (but we think they actually met at the ChiTribe launch in August of 2018)! Do you know someone who met their partner at ChiTribe, too? Email us so we can profile them during the Jewish month of love: February 2023.
I think initially neither of us pictured people like us to be together. We are an unexpected paring that just works!Shaily Hakimian
What Shaily loves about Keelan: He knows how to take care of loved ones when they need it most like caring for his parents when they were sick or helping my dad walk when he had issues. He is my superman.
What Keelan loves about Shaily: She is always willing to try anything in life. She is pure of heart. She is always positive and willing to work together to fix a problem.
Meet ChiTribe Couple Shaily Hakimian and Keelan Armstrong
Relationship status: Three Years of Monogamy!
We are in our thirties, flirty and thriving. We’re in a committed monogamous relationship, but we’re not squares. But…we also don’t swing.Shaily and Keelan
Met at ChiTribe’s “Pre-Chametz Fest” on April 17th 2019 at Irish Oak
Before ChiTribe launched in August of 2018, Shaily Hakimian was an active part of the team that met weekly throughout the summer to discuss the future of Jewish life in Chicago. By April 2019, ChiTribe Happy Hours were a staple in the community and Shaily was officially on the ChiTribe board. At the “Pre-Chametz Fest 2019”, Shaily was greeting all the attendees when she met Keelan (who showed up for the chametz). He started chatting her up and buying her drinks. They talked most of the night but when Keelan had to leave, he did not ask for her cell.
After meeting at ChiTribe, Keelan added Shaily on Facebook, but it was not until December 2019, when the pair shared an Uber home from the Latkes and Vodkas party, that they realized they only lived a block away from each other. We all love a slow burn!
After realizing they were neighbors in December 2019, their short distance relationship began to bloom. Keelan reportedly thought she was cute but did not make a move because, as the name of the event prescribes (Latkes and Vodkas), Shaily was intoxicated.
Luckily, only a week later Shaily and Keelan were both invited to David Kaplinsky’s going away party. Shaily only showed up for a minute but Keelan said “hi”, and then Shaily messaged Keelan at 1:00 AM with a simple “It was great to see you.” Understandably, Keelan interpreted this as flirting, but it turns out Shaily is just weird and wanted to come back to the party.
After both conferred with Rebecca Schwab (ChiTribe Executive Director and mutual friend of both Shaily and Keelan who strongly endorses this relationship), Keelan asked Shaily on a date the following Monday night at Angelinas. They got drinks and walked to the lakefront despite the literal freezing weather on January 6th, 2020. Starting a relationship can be easy when you only live a block away from each other, and they haven’t looked back since!
Key to relationship success
Shaily and Keelan participated in SHALVA’s Seven Circles which helped them develop their communication styles. Shaily and Keelan are always willing to try to find a compromise, for the post part…
We compromise even when Shaily is really stubborn sometimes.Keelan Armstrong
Yes, we compromise but Keelan is also very impatient.Shaily Hakimian
As they both work from home, they are also good about giving each other space to do their own thing if schedules or moods aren’t optimal. They also recommended to move at your own speed and not rush into anything. Three years strong and they still live in separate apartments! #ShortDistanceRelationship
And the nagging.
Keelan nags Shaily about valuing her time and not doing work for free (unless it’s for ChiTribe). Shaily nags Keelan about getting a CPAP because he snores. She also nags him about not waking up her at any point in time that she may be asleep, regardless if it’s the middle of the day or the middle of the night. She’s also chronically cold and makes Keelan turn up the heat to an insane level in the bedroom. (We tried to edit this, but it was just too funny to cut down.)
Favorite Jewish experience as a couple?
Shaily took Keelan to the mikveh for his conversion which was extremely fun- for her. Shaily also loved getting to see Keelan’s grandfather’s siddur from growing up in Lexington and hearing stories from his mom about Jews in the south including what once was a thriving Jewish community in Helena, Arkansas.
When asked, Keelan shared his favorite Jewish experience in this relationship is that he gets to eat all the Persian and Moroccan food on the holidays and impress Shaily’s family with his Farsi skills.
The couple also consistently host Shabbat for their friends through OneTable.
BONUS EXTRA CONTENT ABOUT SHAILY AND KEELAN
When we sent couples our Met at ChiTribe questions, we did not ask for any bonus content. However, this is Shaily Hakimian we are talking about, so there will always be bonus surprises to make everything better.
Shaily and Keelan both attended Indiana University in Bloomington but never met on campus. Keelan was active in Yiddish club and Shaily knew a lot of the people in it (obviously).
Shaily and Keelan grew up in very different families. Shaily is an only child and first gen American, with 27 first cousins. Keelan is the youngest of four children with a very small extended family. Both love the other’s families even though they are so different!