myTamilDate Love Story: Tharshi & Ravi Found Love During Lockdown
Tharshi & Ravi are our latest success story. Their journey shows us the importance of knowing and loving yourself first as a prerequisite to finding true love and a solid partnership.
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Tharshi & Ravi (names have been changed for privacy) are our latest success story. Their journey shows us the importance of knowing and loving yourself first as a prerequisite to finding true love and a solid partnership.

Tell us a bit about yourself.

Tharshi: I am 34 and living in Toronto (Scarborough).  I work in a project coordination role for a local government.  My interests include watching live performances (especially comedy!), hiking, chasing sunsets and waterfalls, and spending time with my loved ones (especially my niece and nephew).

Ravi: I am 34-years-old and I live in Toronto (Mississauga) and work in Vaughan. I am a co-owner and Vice President of Operations of an industrial wholesale chemical distribution business and I am involved with another business venture in Sri Lanka. My interests are travel, cars, gardening, politics, history, religion, geography, biking, comedy shows, genealogy, cooking, and Sri Lankan culture.  

When did you first join  

T: I joined myTamilDate around July 2020. The pandemic really limited the opportunities of meeting new people outside of your immediate circle. Online dating seemed like a way to safely meet someone. I always knew I wanted to be able to communicate with my partner in Tamil, which made this site particularly interesting.

R: I first joined around December 2018. Upon the asserting insistence of one of my friends at a Thanksgiving dinner that year, she created the profile for me. For a while I was inactive on it, but occasionally logged in out of curiosity until 2020 when I decided to take it more seriously and properly explore 

Who messaged first?

T: I did!  The magical word was “Hello”.

What first attracted you to the other person and made you want to meet in person?

T: He was such an effective communicator. He was so easy to talk to, open and clear. However, you can’t really gauge someone properly without meeting them in person, which is why we met in person fairly quickly.

R: The chemistry we had after we first started messaging each other - about different places in the world we would like to visit, where we lived, our interests, background, etc. It was the ease of talking to her, her sense of humour, her non-judgmental nature, and her ability to stay engaged, proactively follow up, and respond to messages, and the endless conversations we could have. But more importantly her honesty, integrity, and down-to-earth easy-going nature. After the third time of us chatting, it just felt so natural and I wanted to meet her. It’s like the puzzle pieces gravitating together, naturally.

From messaging to the first date, how much time passed?

T: It was pretty quick. A couple of days.

Where did you go for your first date and how was it? 

T: We met outdoors at a park in Richmond Hill (Wilcox Park).  We bonded over complaining about having to pay for parking (since when do you pay for parking in Richmond Hill?).  It was a beautiful day.  We went for a long walk in the park and then ventured out to check out some of the beautiful homes and landscapes nearby.  We caught an amazing beautiful in fact that photographers had come waiting to take a picture of it!  It was nice that we both didn’t have plans after the meet up; we talked and walked for hours. Maybe this is why one of my/our favorite quotes is “Walk with me. We’ll figure out where we are going later.” There was something so comforting about walking with him and being so completely myself.

R: To be honest, we just talked about everything in that walk - where we came from, how we grew up, backgrounds, interests/hobbies even down to the minor details – who shovels the driveway in the winter to whom our favourite celebrities are. Just realizing that I could talk to her about anything and everything and be totally comfortable. It is also about meeting someone who has the same values and principles as you as well as similar family, cultural, and spiritual values that you share.   

Some studies say that within 30 seconds of meeting a new person, we can gauge attraction. Was that true for you?

T: Well, since we technically ‘met’ online, then the first 30 seconds was his response to my first question.  Since his profile stated that he spoke English, Tamil, and Sinhala, I asked him if his background was half-tamil and half-sinhala.  He responded saying “he is ¾ tamil and ¼ Colombo Chetty - which is a small minority group in Negombo, Colombo, and other surrounding areas who are Indian Tamil by origin but over time and due to Sinhala influence especially after the 1960s have become more Sinhala.”   When he responded with fractions and such detail, I quickly realized he is special :)  In terms of when we met up, he had a lot of attractive qualities and his personality shone through very early in our first meet up, but I can honestly say from my experience, that attraction grows more as you get to know someone and their values and behaviours.

R: Well…. in the first 30 seconds of meeting each other in person, we were trying to figure out how to pay for parking (in Richmond Hill of all places), so I could not make any assumptions from that. What I will say is - after the initial stages of first chatting with each other on the messenger and on WhatsApp, we were both interested in getting to know more and more about each other and I think even when we finally met in person, as we both got to know more qualities about the other individual, our personalities just meshed together that we just gravitated to the next step organically. However, (in my opinion) to truly gauge an individual, you have to spend time getting to know them properly – their values, principles, behaviours, pet peeves, interests, likes, dislikes, their background, past, and future aspirations. Only then will you truly know that individual and if you are willing to invest the time, effort, and future with them, and this does not happen in the span of one meeting. Just like a breathtaking garden, a relationship requires time, effort, and maintenance to both cultivate and blossom.  

When did you realize that this was your ‘special someone’ and you could see yourself spending the rest of your life with them? How do you feel about the saying ‘when you know, you know’?

T: We had some deep conversations about important topics - religion, values, future, past, etc.  I was so amazed at how introspective he was. Here was a guy who has taken the time to know himself and what he wants. From his responses, I could tell he thought about these things and was confident in his responses. I definitely agree with the saying ‘when you know, you know’.  You can’t really explain it; but it feels so natural and you feel content.  

R: Not enough alcohol in the system to answer this question…. just kidding! Truthfully, in an era where our generation obsesses over material goods and overhyped perception, she does not take refuge in the clichéd illusion that money and material possessions are the answers to all of life’s problems and desires. She just cared about values, principles, family and friends which is what meshed with me the most. Our sense of humour and humility meshed together. When we talk together, it’s like a puzzle that just completes itself together naturally. It’s like the missing pieces found each other instantly.  

How did your respective families and friends react to the fact you met on a dating site?

T: I think both families were happy that we found someone that we felt strongly about.  I don’t think there were any concerns about the fact that we met on a dating site. If anything, there was praise.

R: My family and friends didn’t care how we met. They were just happy that I found someone meaningful and caring.

What advice would you give to those looking for love but finding it difficult to meet someone?

T: Try different avenues; be positive and persistent in what you are looking for. Don’t settle if it doesn’t feel right. Find yourself, and then find someone that has also been on that path of self-discovery. 

R: Be open to new experiences but take your time to analyze and ask yourself what it is you really want and if you are truly ready to enter into a serious relationship. Take suggestions from your friends. Don’t be afraid to try new things and take risks. Don’t be afraid to be yourself. And here’s a big one – BE THE MOST BRUTALLY HONEST AND GENUINE VERSION OF YOURSELF!!! Because no matter what, there is someone out there who will love you for who you truly are. We live in an age where everyone’s social media and online profiles portray the pretentious version of ourselves. Be respectful of the other person and of his or her wishes, but you also have to be the most authentic version of yourself. Keep in mind that no relationship is perfect, and you will have disagreements and challenges you will have to weather along the way. That’s life, and I have seen many friends and relatives learn it the hard way. But as long as there is genuine love and care for each other, those are the ties that bind. Some people come into our lives who are here to stay forever, and others come into our lives for seasons at a time. The key is not to confuse seasonal thrills with lifetime expectations. 

What factor would you say patience played in your journey of finding love?

T: Especially given our ages, I think patience played a pivotal role. It may have been tempting to settle earlier but I am so glad that I waited for the person that feels so right and natural to be with. 

R: It was a significant factor. There is a certain level of maturity and life experiences that come with our ages. Personally, I was not ready for such commitment in my 20s. One can’t rush into these things. There are people who have come into our lives; we think we can see ourselves with them, but that’s just a clichéd illusion. Unfortunately, we live in an age where we like the thought of marriage from what we see on the outside of our peers, on social media, and the fantasy world of marriage portrayed in movies, TV, fairy tales, and in the media of glitz and glamour. Unfortunately, we get blindsided and take those to be the authentic forms, that when the honeymoon phase wears off and we are faced with real life situations, we are not able to contend and that’s when we see relationships fall apart. I’m really happy I waited as long as I did, before I decided to find the person I wanted to settle down with. Love does not have a timeline or expiry date. Intuitively, you will know when you have met the individual you will want to spend the rest of your life with. But no doubt, this will require significant time, sacrifice, patience, effort, and hard work - none of which can be rushed. Remember, pumpkins do not become silver carriages overnight. You are the captain of your destiny and only you know how you want to navigate that ship.

“Finding the right person to spend your life with is a big decision that could dramatically alter the trajectory of your life. It is similar to a career, where any one job interview that goes well could change your life. So, approach online dating as intentionally and methodically as you would finding your dream job.” Agree or disagree?

T: I think finding your partner is more like finding your calling (career-wise).  First, you have to find yourself - this includes having a good understanding of what you want to do, what drives you and motivates you.  If you are lucky to find your calling - it gives life a new meaning, and feels less like ‘work’. Similar to finding your calling, finding the right partner requires an understanding of yourself, your values and priorities.  

R: In general, I would neither agree nor disagree. Jobs and careers can change (even your dream job can change as your experience in different roles, life experiences, organizations, corporate surroundings, and social circles change). Intuition plays a critical role; you cannot properly gauge a job; neither is a job or career permanent; more than just your career, it’s your passion – a calling to something greater that will truly give you happiness and self-satisfaction to the point where it does not feel like work. 

So, first you have to find yourself and know who you truly are and what drives you. Sometimes, this might require you to take risks and live different experiences to fully understand and come to terms with who you are and what your true calling and passion is in life. Your life partner has to compliment you in this. 

Just remember – similar to your job or career, there is no magical formula for success in a relationship, neither are there any universal rules or logic to navigating through a relationship, because just like every job and every company, every person and every relationship is different and how you decide to adapt yourself to the other person will vary on a variety of factors. But just like a successful career, a relationship requires time, effort, understanding, compromise, and above all HARD WORK, HARD WORK, AND MORE HARD WORK! There are going to be days of immense sacrifice and great challenges, but you will know in your heart whether it is truly your job or your calling to be together. In the end all you will have is each other, and at that point only you will know if it was all worth it.

Even though online dating is the most effective and popular way to get married these days, some people in the Tamil community still find it to be a taboo. What would you say to them?

T: I would say that there are a million ways to find your partner. Online dating is definitely one of them. Of course you have to exercise caution and do your due diligence , but I think that goes for every avenue and relationship. Try it!

R: Take the risk. Try it out. You don’t know anything unless you try it. Don’t be prejudiced about finding love because love can be found in the most interesting of places. Take it from me, who was rather hesitant to try online dating for many years. In my younger days, I thought it was a joke and only people who were desperate to get married would date someone they met online and it seemed more like an arranged marriage. I thought that if I ever did meet someone special it would happen through the traditional means such as friends, school, work, or social settings. But I was eventually proven wrong by my friend who put me on and by others in my friend circle who met their partners online. So, I strongly urge you to filter through the stereotypes, jokes, and prejudices about online dating. Just try it and see if it’s for you. If we as a community are courageous enough to take great life risks and shatter the glass ceilings of traditional educational paths, careers, gender roles, and where we choose to live to fulfill our dreams, then why not take a risk on love and happiness? Just try it! At the very least you can say you met someone new. 


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