In 2020, while the world was reeling under a lockdown, love came knocking at Udita and Aashay’s doors.

Udita had been on dating apps for a while, but there were always compatibility issues. “I had met some guys, but quickly realised that they weren’t meant for me,” she recounts. With Aashay, it was an instant connection. “I came across Aashay’s profile on Aisle and it seemed interesting. Plus, he was quite handsome too,” laughs Udita. From Udita reciprocating to Aashay’s icebreaker message to them becoming friends, things flowed smoothly. Their friendly banter soon graduated into something more beautiful.

The two bonded over their love for cats, food and life. Although their love blossomed over text messages and Udita preferred to continue this way, Aashay couldn’t wait to see her. “I insisted on a video call because we couldn’t meet in person, but Udita was hesitant. I wanted to meet her, see her… look at her dimples when she smiled,” he added.

Meeting in person at a cafe or restaurant was impossible because of the pandemic, so Udita and Aashay found the next best way to finally meet — in Aashay’s car, that too with masks on! Luckily, Covid restrictions were relaxed soon after. That’s when Udita and Aashay decided to have their first official date outside the confines of the car. Aashay adds, “Our first date was in McDonald’s and even though we would have liked to have it someplace else, it was cute. Restaurants were working in limited capacities. There wasn’t any overcrowding. The neighbouring tables were placed far apart, it felt safe and weirdly, romantic.”

Over time, as they started meeting more regularly, their love and fondness only deepened. They knew they had found something special and even informed their parents about their relationship. Udita recalls, “My parents were a bit hesitant, but once they met Aashay, they loved him. My mother speaks to him more than me.” Aashay’s parents too adored Udita and welcomed her into the family with open arms.

Despite having opposite personalities, they respect their differing opinions, try out new things together and support each other during tough times. Aashay explains, “Udita is there for me whenever I get anxious. She always insists on talking it out. She has helped me come out of some really dark situations. She is a foodie and introduced me to her foodie gang too.”

The duo are all set to tie the knot next year and are excited about their future together. Their story is a testament to the fact that love can happen on a dating app — and it can certainly survive a lockdown. Their dating advice for anyone looking for a partner is practical at best: “Just don’t look for perfection in your partner. There’s nothing like it,” Aashay says. Udita adds, “You have to work it out together.”

Aisle wishes this beautiful couple a lifetime of love, laughter and light!

Udita & Aashay: Love in the time of a pandemic! was originally published in Aisle on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.