The year was 2016. Gazal, a dentist from Mumbai, couldn’t sink her teeth into the idea of arranged marriage. She was tired of going through countless unsuitable matches and matrimony websites. That’s when Gazal decided to take a chance on Aisle. “It was difficult for my parents to understand why their suggested matches were not working out,” she admits.

Nearly 1,400 kilometres away, Ankur, who was working with a fast-growing startup, was tired of not finding love on dating apps. As luck would have it, he stumbled upon Gazal’s profile on Aisle and felt drawn to her. “We were in different cities, but I was open to moving for someone worthwhile,” he says.

Back in 2016, couples with high compatibility on Aisle would be able to see each other’s phone numbers to encourage conversations. When Ankur sent her an Invite, Gazal decided to not take things further because she was very clear about her potential partner being in the same city. Unsurprisingly, life had other plans for the pair. “I could see her number, so I decided to send her a text anyway,” says Ankur. Gazal came straight to the point when Ankur texted here. “I had a very successful career in my city. So the only way this would move further for me was if he moved here.

Their first date was challenging. Gazal found Ankur a bit too intellectual. They struggled to find common ground when he came to Mumbai for the date. “I got a bit bored!” Gazal says. Fate had other plans and the couple began to bond at the last phase of their date — a play near Nariman Point. Gazal and Ankur found each other laughing at the same jokes and having a great conversation.

Despite the spark, Gazal was hesitant to pursue the relationship due to different interests and, most importantly, the long distance. She suggested they stop talking before it got too serious. “Although I really liked Ankur, the location was non-negotiable for me,” she confesses. They went their separate ways and even met other people.

As time passed, things began to change. Gazal couldn’t get him out of her mind and missed him so much that after two months of silence, she got in touch with Ankur. They picked up right where they left off. “It was so easy, it felt like we had never stopped talking,” says Ankur. Gazal liked him enough to consider moving, but luckily, Ankur managed to make things work with his start-up.

Ankur and Gazal have now been married for five years. Though poles apart, they were similar in the most important aspects of life and have built a strong foundation of communication and mutual respect over time. “I really appreciate Ankur’s value system. He’s open, not patriarchal, and an amazing communicator,” says Gazal. It’s true, when destiny is involved, love always finds a way.

“The spark and Bollywood-esque butterflies will fade with time. Then, what you’re left with is a partner that you will eventually spend the rest of your life with,” advises the pair. “You need to be sure that it’s what you want long-term. I know I wanted a life with Ankur and I’m really glad I found him,” says Gazal.

We’re glad too, Gazal. Cheers to the years of togetherness to come!

Gazal & Ankur: Going the distance! was originally published in Aisle on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.