INTERRACIAL/INTERCULTURAL LOVE: AFRICAN-AMERICAN WOMAN AND INDIAN MAN
AN ENGAGEMENT STORY THAT WILL MAKE YOUR HEART MELT
Hi! We are Shae and Jay. Yes, we know, our names rhyme. Everyone gets a kick out of that when we introduce ourselves. Jay was born in Punjab, India. He moved to the U.S. with his family when he was around 8 years old. I’m African-American, born and raised in North Carolina. We will celebrate our 5th anniversary next month and we are getting married next year.
We are complete opposites but we compliment each other well. For example, I am more free-spirited and he is rigid. He is unbelievably stubborn. I am open-minded and willing to try new things. He lives life by a strict schedule and I go with the flow. Our differences cause some friction but we always find a way to work through it or laugh about it.
HOW WE MET
Jay and I met in college while pledging the same co-ed business fraternity. Our pledge class was really close so we spent a lot of time together as a group. The following year, Jay and I began to hang out one-on-one but just as friends. We had a great time going to the movies or grabbing a bite to eat. Our friendship blossomed quickly.
We attended a minor league baseball game in the summer of 2010. I confessed that I was interested in him romantically. He agreed that it was worth exploring. We called it quits, not long after, when he gave me some unsettling news. He informed me that his parents expected him to have an arranged marriage, and he feared that his family would disown him if they found out about me. I didn’t want Jay to deal with that type of pressure or loss. I also refused to be his partner knowing that he already planned to marry another woman. We tried to remain friends but our friendship was not the same. We ended our friendship as well. Neither of us remember how long the break actually lasted.
A LOVE WORTH FIGHTING FOR
During the fall of 2012, Jay re-entered my life. We picked up right where we left off. By March of 2013, we started officially dating again. I was willing to make it work if he was willing to fight for our relationship. We were finally on the same page. The arranged marriage wasn’t an option anymore and, although; I knew the choice was not easy I was grateful that Jay wanted our relationship to flourish as badly as I did.
OUR ENGAGEMENT STORY: November 25, 2017
Jay proposed to me on the campus of North Carolina State University where our complicated love story began. It was the best surprise of my life.
In order to get me to campus without spoiling the surprise my cousin, Sonja, decided that a photoshoot would be a good cover up. She convinced me that she needed me for a photoshoot for her photography business. I dislike being photographed but I adore my cousin so I agreed. If I had to be a part of a photoshoot I needed reinforcements. I enlisted my friend Bridgette to be in the photos as well. Turns out she was in on the scheme.
Sonja, Bridge, and I arrived at my favorite area of campus, the Court of Carolina, for this photoshoot. It was dark out so I was confused as to how we were going to get any good pictures without natural light. I saw rose petals scattered on the grass. A white poster board was set up along with a projector. And before I could even gather my thoughts, tears of absolute joy began to fall and the following video began to play.
A NIGHT OF ANSWERED PRAYERS
Our engagement was so special and a complete dream come true. I call it the night of answered prayers. I have known for a long time that I wanted to be Jay’s wife. It was just a matter of him asking me. The night was full of moments that I will treasure forever and thanks to my cousin I will have photos of those moments as well.
MEETING SOME OF HIS FAMILY FOR THE FIRST TIME
Jay’s mother and older brother attended the engagement. I can’t even describe in words how amazing it was to finally meet them. Jay also made sure my immediate family members and our closest friends were there to witness such a huge milestone for us. I ugly cried the entire time and my heart was overflowing with joy.
OUR TOP TIPS FOR OTHER INTERRACIAL/INTERCULTURAL COUPLES
- Do what is best for you. No one else will have the answers for you.
- Expose your partner to your culture.
- Be honest and open with your partner throughout your relationship.
- If you decide to go against tradition, or the wishes of your family prepare yourself, and your partner for the worst, and best case scenario.
- Know that you are not alone. It might be helpful to find other couples that understand what you are going through.
What did you think of Shae and Jay’s beautiful, tear-jerking, and all around inspiring engagement story? Wishing you and yours a Happy Valentine’s day! Please feel free to post a comment below!
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