Meet 4 Couples Whose Love Stories Will Inspire You This Valentine's Day
Written by Shivani Persad
Sunday February 5, 2023
In many Indo-Caribbean families, love and relationships aren’t often discussed. There are tales of hiding relationships from parents, pretending there are no “crushes” or maybe saying you’re just working on a school project when really… it’s a date. But, that’s not to say there aren’t loving relationships all around us; look at our parents, grandparents, or even our siblings or cousins who’ve found love. When we love (or are allowed to finally show it), we love big, we love loud and those stories are worth sharing.
Here are some Indo-Caribbean couples with beautiful love stories of meet-cutes, challenges, advice and inspiration, that will affirm the quote “love is all you need”.
Yvette and Roy
Yvette and Roy banter like a teenage couple. They exchange smiles and sweet glances. It’s obvious that they’re best friends. “One day I saw her walking across the street, I was in the car with my siblings and I jokingly said, that’s the girl I’m gonna marry,” and he did! They lived in the same building in Toronto when they were younger where Roy claims that Yvette saw him at the ice cream truck and ran upstairs to change to “impress him”. She claims she simply ran into him, he asked for her ice cream as a joke and then she had to go change to meet her friend later. Exchanging laughs Roy said, “well you can take her version of the story, or you can have the truth!”.
What is your favourite thing about your partner?
Roy: “More than 30 years ago, I got involved with the Ramblers Cricket Club in Mississauga, and she was 100% committed to raising the family and supporting me so that I could volunteer with the club. That’s been outstanding, she really allowed me to have the freedom to do that.”
What’s been the best part of growing old together?
Yvette: We don’t know where the time went. Unless I look at the kids or our grandkids, I don’t think about the time. But the best part? I can complete his sentences, I know exactly what he’s thinking.
38 years later, Yvette and Roy still go to karaoke together weekly. In the future, they’re looking forward to enjoying the days as they come. Roy said, “as you get older, you value time and the present more. So I’m looking forward to continuing to live in the moment and not planning too far ahead.”
Ravi and Angela
Ravi and Angela say it was genuinely love at first sight. Angela came to his door on his birthday to buy tickets for a New Year’s Eve party her friend (Ravi’s cousin) invited her to. Moments later she called her friend and said, “I’m gonna marry [your] cousin”. As their kids popped in and out of the screen, Ravi said that year for his birthday, as he was doing hawan during his birthday pooja, he asked God to meet “the one”. Later that day, he met Angela.
Is there a relationship milestone or moment that stands out to you?
Ravi: After just a year of dating, I was diagnosed with ulcerative colitis, getting sicker and sicker until I needed major surgery. She really championed me within the system and was there every day for 4 straight weeks. I knew after that surgery in 2004 that I was going to propose to her. 10 years later I was diagnosed with cancer, and these issues just changed my perspective on life. It’s all about companionship - even when I was out with medicine, she wrote me a letter to inspire me to get better every day. I’m so grateful to her.
Have you faced any challenges as an interracial couple?
Angela: We’ve embraced each other’s lives fully. Our kids have raasi names and biblical names. We see our cultures as complementary to each other, not in conflict. So we take our kids to church and the temple. Once I took Maya [my daughter] to the church and she took off her shoes because that’s what she does in the temple… so she just sees them both as a palace of worship and that’s how we raised them. For our wedding, they did a maticoor on my side and I didn’t know what to expect and they went all in. Ravi said afterwards the pundit told him, “Ravi that family could pray buddy!”
They live a silly life of hiding and scaring each other, still so many years later. Ravi says their metric for life is joy and happiness, so he’s excited to have even more of that in the future. They don’t see their lives as 50-50 they said, they view it as both putting each other’s needs at 100%, so no one is losing.
Sonia and Shree
Engaged couple Sonia and Shree met working at Wayfair. Sonia worked in the office in dispatch and Shree was a driver. Although they share an age difference, they believe relationships are more about your mindset and the mentality of your partner. During the pandemic, they barely saw each other and their relationship existed mostly over the phone, where they built a strong communication foundation.
You were friends for a long time before you started dating, what made you want to start a relationship?
Sonia: After being friends for a while, I thought I could see myself building a life with him. That’s when I knew I wanted to take it to the next level. Even before we were dating, he was always so dedicated to his kids and that was so nice to see. He’s a great father and I want kids, so that was important to me.
Shree: She’s so caring and compassionate, at first I was worried because she’s younger. I think my mum was a little worried too. But it all worked out and it really helped to know each other first. It’s hard to see something bring her down, that’s my favourite thing about her.
What’s been the best part of building your new life together?
Sonia: Now that we don’t have pandemic restrictions anymore, it’s nice to spend so much time with the kids. I like that I can do the fun things that I did growing up with his kids. I want to start our own traditions and grow as a family.
Shree: You don’t really get to know a person until you live with them, so moving out together has been a big milestone for us. Before, I only used to get my kids on the weekend so she didn’t get to spend as much time with them. Now, it’s not so limited and it makes us excited to get married and expand the family more.
When thinking of advice for other couples where kids are involved, they both agreed: communication is key. Sonia said it was important for her to communicate with Shree, to go with the flow but also learn where she shouldn’t overstep. She learned that it was about taking her time to get to know his kids and understand what her role is in their lives.
Matt and Alex
Nine years ago, Matt and Alex met on a dating app. They were each other’s first and only serious relationship - and they wouldn’t change a thing. When they started dating, Alex was 18 years old, so they’ve essentially grown up together, through very formative years. They say they’ve witnessed each other’s growth and learned to navigate through their relationships through big changes like starting a business. They both claim, “he’s my best friend and my boyfriend”.
What kind of challenges have you faced?
Matt: When we got together, it was a pivotal point in both of our lives. I was only out to my friends, not my family. Alex was out to friends and some family already. So navigating that and being at different stages of that was very challenging. Especially in terms of hanging out, when you can’t go to your partner’s house because the parents don’t know, kind of thing. It wasn’t the same journey for all of our parents but in the end, they just needed some time.
Alex: Getting older together has been a challenge too because we now have to adjust our schedules a lot. When we were younger, we had so much time but now we both have so much more responsibility. But my schedule is a lot more flexible, so there are ways to work around it.
What is your favourite thing about your partner?
Matt: I love the fact that we are so different, we balance each other out. I learn so much from him, he’s much more extroverted, and he’s always been the same person since I met him. That inspired me to be comfortable and I gained confidence through being with him.
Alex: Matt grounds me, my life is so wild, so I always have his support and see someone who makes me really happy and comfortable and safe. Who he is all around as a person is everything I love. And I get to use his credit card.
In the future, Matt and Alex hope to move in together once they establish their careers even further. Alex is a professional actor and dancer and Matt is a manager at Gucci. They both say they’ve found that setting boundaries in a relationship is just as important as setting them in other areas of life. “We communicate how we feel to each other about everything, and we’ve built a foundation on that,” Matt said. “Who do you feel the safest with?” Alex said when I asked what advice they’d give to younger couples, “that’s your person.”
There’s so much to learn and appreciate from all of these couples. Whether they’re dating, engaged, or have been together for years, they have one thing in common: their love and support for one another has brought them through the greatest of life’s challenges.
About the Author
Shivani Persad was born in Trinidad and moved to Canada at the age of four. She completed an Honours B.A. in Political Science and a B.A. in French at McMaster University. She also completed a certificate in Multi-platform Journalism from Seneca College. As a journalist, Shivani has been published in Teen Vogue, Cosmopolitan, Vogue Business, The Juggernaut, Anti-Racism Daily, TVO, Flare Magazine and many more. Her passions are labour rights, inequality issues and intersectional feminism. Currently, Shivani works as a Content Marketing Manager in HR technology at Hireguide.
For more information visit: www.shivanipersad.com