Can’t Hurry Love
Meet Neil and TJ! Neil is Indian (Gujarati), and he was born in Boston, MA. His family moved to Louisiana when he was around eight years old. His wife, TJ, is Caucasian and adopted, so she is not sure of her heritage but believes she is Cajun-French. TJ was born in Baton Rouge, LA, and grew up in Alexandria/Pineville, LA.
How They Met
They initially met in high school. As Neil tells it, TJ was older than him in high school and way too “pink” for his liking. However, after college, life brought him back home, and he saw her at a coffee shop and reached out to her after that. Likewise, TJ remembers Neil from high school, but they did not know each other then. It was not until life randomly brought them both back to their hometown.
How Long Have They Been Together
Almost six years! They have been married for just over two years.
How Was Meeting TJ’s Parents For The First Time
Meeting TJ’s parents was very lowkey, and Neil felt welcomed. They sat on the back porch and had a few beers; it was great.
How Was Meeting Neil’s Parents For The First Time
TJ was beyond nervous. She knew how unprecedented it was to meet Neil’s parents so early on, and she was determined to get it right. A childhood friend of hers had married an Indian guy. Therefore, she reached out to her for advice on how to impress them. Her friend advised her to eat seconds of everything and to do the dishes. And to this day, TJ still follows this rule!
What Challenges Have They Encountered And How Do They Handle Them
Neil has been fortunate to have a progressive and welcoming family. He always jokes around that TJ’s more Indian than him because of her knowledge of classic Hindu texts, history, and her successful yoga practice. Nonetheless, there is an apparent language barrier between her and his grandmother. Yet despite it, he has seen them have hour-long conversations without really using much dialogue.
Similarly, TJ grew up in a loving and mostly open-minded home. She has parents and educators that taught her about other cultures through literature.
Collectively, they believe that love spans race and culture, and leading by example, is the best way to overcome even the idea of adversity. Furthermore, they meet conversations about their relationship that center around race/culture with facts.
Wedding Tips They Wish They Knew Beforehand
They highly suggest attending a multicultural wedding before attempting to plan your own (if you can). TJ was overwhelmed – in the best way possible – but wish she knew what to expect. Days and days of celebrating the love of your life is not for the faint of heart.
Top Tips To An Interracial And Intercultural Relationship
- Layout your priorities and compare your values before you decide to get married.
- Talk about money and the uncomfortable stuff. You may not realize what’s a deal breaker until you do!
- It’s essential to remain patient with each other, no matter what. Of course, there have been times where lines have been blurred because of how they were raised. Strive to gain insight from each other on these childhood differences. They will help you understand more about each other.
What They Love About Being In An Interracial And Intercultural Marriage
Neil loves how seamlessly TJ’s blends in with his family and the sisters she’s gained.
On the other hand, outside of all the spicy, mouthwatering fusion food they create, TJ loves all the traditions their collective upbringing has inspired within their family. In addition to becoming unafraid of dancing in front of anyone, let alone a vast crowd. Since being married to Neil, she can’t help but jump in on the perfectly choreographed Indian family dances during reception performances. Without a double being part of Neil’s family and active in the culture has taught TJ a lot about herself.
What They Are Still Learning
Neil is still learning that traditions evolve, usually into something unexpectedly fulfilling. Whereas TJ has found that sharing a language is everything. She is hopeful of becoming fluent in Gujarati someday so she can speak to everyone in Neil’s family, any time.
How They Plan To Raise Their Children To Know Both Cultures
They hope their children will place value on family and shared customs more so than any religion. In addition to absorbing both of their cultures and being open to everything life has to offer.
What Else They Want To Share With Others Reading This
Keep your mind and heart open.
What did you think of Neil and TJ’s love story? Have a question for us? Write to us @[email protected].
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