Serious in Life and Love, Varisha and Ankit Found Fun With Each Other
By Kelsey Miller
Varisha and Ankit aren’t the kind of people you’d describe as “goofy.” They’re forthright in conversation, goal-oriented, and driven in their careers—she, a specialized dentist working in prosthodontics, and he, a corporate financial manager. Both joined Bumble hoping to find a long-term partner, but given their full and busy lives, dating wasn’t always easy. In fact, they were both so tied up with work that, after matching in August 2019, it took nearly a month for them to meet up. But despite being two fairly serious folks, their relationship kicked off with a moment of almost slapstick comedy.
“I was super nervous,” Varisha recalls. A recently named chief resident in her hospital program, she’d been even more busy than usual. “I hadn’t been on a date in eight months.” When Ankit walked into the Los Angeles bar, her jitters got the better of her. They ordered two beers and raised their glasses together to cheers, but Varisha’s hand was shaking so badly that she spilled her drink all over herself and him. “I was mortified!” she says. But it got them both laughing, breaking the ice for what they both describe as the longest and funniest date that they’d ever had. The conversation topics were the usual first-date fare: interests (hip hop, rosé), hobbies (game nights, basketball), and work (intense!). But the chit-chat was far from mundane, thanks to the obvious chemistry between them. Varisha recalls: “He was just so funny that I couldn’t stop laughing.”
Varisha was instantly charmed by Ankit’s open, outgoing demeanor. To this day, it’s one of the things she loves most about him. “He wears his heart on his sleeve, and you never have to second-guess his intentions or wonder what he really means. Even after that first date, I remember my girlfriends asking what he was like, and genuine was the word I used to describe him.” Looking back on that night, Varisha says it was the first big hint that Ankit might be something special. “I don’t know that I’d ever had that genuine quality in a relationship before. I’d never met anyone like him.”
After that first date, they met up as often as their schedules would allow. Despite business trips and long hours often getting in the way, they kept in constant touch, growing closer even when work kept them apart. It happened so fast, it took them both by surprise. “I knew I was falling in love with him,” Varisha says.
Ankit felt the same. Like Varisha, he’d felt it from their earliest dates: “I’d had so many dates that hadn’t gone anywhere,” he recalled. After meeting Varisha, “I was like, ‘Oh damn. This is different.’” He loved her ambition and entrepreneurial spirit. As someone equally committed to personal development, “that really stood out.” But he also loved the way he felt in her presence—how easy it was to open up to her, and how good it felt to do so. “We’re both Indian, but we come from very different backgrounds,” he says. “She’s from the northeast and I’m from Houston. I grew up in a lower-income community, and hers was more affluent. I never sensed any judgment from her. We could be ourselves, tell our stories. She was always interested and wanted to hear more.” Two months in, he knew for sure that what he had with Varisha really was different. “There was no particular moment I realized I loved her,” he explains. “No one day or one thing that caused it.” But the more time they spent together, and the more they talked, the more his feelings grew. “I started caring about whether or not she’d gotten a chance to eat, or if she’d had enough water, stuff like that.” He didn’t decide when or how to tell her he loved her. “It just came out one day, naturally.”
By spring 2021, engagement was a foregone conclusion. Practical folks that they are, Varisha and Ankit had discussed marriage openly, moved in together that January, and went browsing for rings in March. “I just want to get a sense of your style,” he’d told her. “Then I’ll run with it.” Again, it was a practical move, but Ankit had plenty of romance planned too.
The couple flew to Hawaii that August, to attend a friend’s wedding and then take a vacation of their own. While Varisha had initially suspected Ankit would propose there, he’d quashed that plan months earlier. Sure, Hawaii was romantic, but there were too many activities planned, too many flights, too many chances to lose a ring. Anyway, she’d see it coming! Hawaii was definitely out, he told her. With that settled, Ankit went “radio silent” on engagement talk. By the time they flew out, Varisha figured he’d probably propose in the fall, maybe on their two-year anniversary. Now she could just enjoy a relaxing getaway, without wondering if every sunset would be the sunset.
They spent their last weekend in Maui, and their hotel package included a complimentary couple’s photo session upon arrival; a nice perk, but also kind of a headache. They hadn’t even dropped all their bags in the room before they were rushing out the door to meet the photographer. The photographer guided them toward a secluded beach, where a beautiful table was set for a romantic dinner for two. Varisha’s heart leapt as she realized what was happening. All that talk and he was proposing. She approached the table, beaming and giddy.
“Oh, ma’am?” the photographer interrupted. “That’s not for you.” Varisha laughs at this now, but in the moment, she was flustered and embarrassed. “I almost crashed another couple’s romantic sunset dinner!” She’d barely recovered when she turned around to see Ankit down on one knee. He’d managed to surprise her after all.
“Ankit’s all about the details, and about having a good time,” Varisha says. It’s one of the things that make her confident in their future. “I tend to carry the weight of the world on my shoulders, and get stressed out quickly,” she says. When that happens, Ankit’s the first to swoop in with encouragement and spreadsheets, reminding her that whatever it is, they’ll figure it out.
Now, they’re both looking forward to their forthcoming “big, fat, Indian wedding” and celebrating with their families. “But once that’s done, I can’t wait to just devote time to one another, and grow together,” says Ankit. Each having found a champion in the other, their dreams have only gotten bigger. He adds: “I’m so excited about the life we can build together.”
Main photo credit: Blinnk Photography