"She makes me a better person. She's always looking out for me, thinking of ways to improve my life. It makes me think about the future, how to be a better husband, a better father...a better human being."
"Even the smallest moments with him become memories. A simple text from him brightens my entire day. I look forward to sharing the everyday moments with him – grocery shopping, cleaning the house, buying furniture. Those small moments we haven't had much of due to our distance are what I look forward to the most."
"We met through family friends. Our families knew each other from way back, but we never really met formally until our parents introduced us online. At that time, I was living in Tulsa, Oklahoma, and she was in California."
"The first step was reaching out to each other over the phone. Then we moved on to playing online escape rooms to get to know each other better. It felt a bit forced initially because we weren't sure how to navigate online dating. But gradually, as we got to know each other through our families and personal visits – her flying to Tulsa and me coming to California – we truly bonded."
"We were figuring out different date ideas, especially during the tail end of quarantine. We started talking over video chat and phone, trying to find ways to interact while being in two different states."
"For me, growing up with Disney movies, I always dreamed of finding my Prince Charming, but not in the stereotypical sense. I was looking for someone who could be my best friend, someone to support and grow with me, someone to share a romantic life with. That’s the kind of relationship I saw in my parents."
"Growing up was different for me. I was sheltered, not going out much. My life was about sports, schoolwork, and home. Attending an all-boys high school limited my social interactions with girls. So, when I went to college, it was more about exploring and understanding what I wanted in a partner. I was looking for someone caring, someone who could truly understand and empathize."
"Managing our relationship with the time difference and our busy schedules was challenging. By the time she gets off work there, it's already late in my time zone. But that never stopped us from maintaining our deep connection."
"Interestingly, we're now engaged and planning our bachelor and bachelorette parties. One of the activities we've planned is an escape room, continuing a theme that's been special to us since the beginning."
"Our cultural background as Indian-Americans adds another layer to our relationship. We both come from the same part of India, speaking the same languages and sharing the same religion. However, the way we were raised, the things we experienced, were different based on our familial personalities."
"For instance, celebrating festivals like Diwali or Holi, or even Christmas, was more festive in my family. I would be the one urging my brother to help me decorate the house. But in his family, they didn't do all those things. We both are the eldest siblings, which shaped our independence and involvement in family activities."
"Growing up, I saw my parents as a model for a healthy relationship. They were supportive and romantic with each other. I've always wanted to show our future kids what a healthy relationship looks like - that it's okay to want romance and a supportive life partner."
"My childhood was quite different. My parents weren't very romantic in front of us, but they were supportive. It’s nice to see another perspective through her, and it's something I’m learning and hoping to incorporate for our kids' future."
"Even simple things like holding hands in public were new to me. My family never did that, so learning to express affection openly has been a journey for both of us."
"She's been teaching my parents to be more romantic too. They went on a date after she suggested it, and it was a lovely change to see."
"Discussing children was important from the start. He even brought up the topic on our first date in person. In the past, most guys would shy away from discussions about marriage, relationships, or kids. His openness to talk about these things made me comfortable to open up too. Initially, I thought about having four kids, but after seeing my aunt with three, I've settled on two. Given our busy careers, we envision a lifestyle where we both are present and involved in our kids' lives."
"He's someone I want my kids to look up to, a role model. Regardless of how rocky our start may have been, the moment I saw him, something clicked. I felt that everything would be okay with him. He's going to be there forever, supporting me. With him, I feel like nothing bad will ever happen."
"She cares so deeply, sometimes to the point where it seems like she's putting others before her own health. She gets that from her mother...she's taken on a lot of the burden herself. The results speak for themselves; she always goes above and beyond for everyone. I am so in love with her."