Fiji Time: 4:53 PM on Tuesday 12 December

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Shayal Devi
Sunday, November 12, 2017

Of all relationship types, long distance romances probably require the most work.

The story of Nilisha Prasad and Amit Singh is proof of this.

The couple, who have known each other since 2011, had only one thing in common prior to their meeting. Their best friends were dating and similar to a scene from a cheesy rom-com, their paths were bound to cross eventually.

Love blossomed between Nilisha, an intern at the California Department of Public Health and California State University, East Bay in the US, and Amit, a financial controller from Ba when they were introduced to each other by their best friends.

"I came to Fiji in 2011 with my sister and brother-in-law for a vacation and every time I visited Fiji after I migrated, I made sure to spend some time with my childhood best friend, Nandini," Mrs Singh says.

"We had lunch plans with another childhood friend of ours in the city (Suva). Before heading there, she took me to USP to see her boyfriend at the time, Shamal (husband now).

"We were sitting in the cafeteria area at USP and Shamal came with his best friend, Amit. That is where our eyes didn't meet at all and it was not love at first sight!"

Describing her future beau as very quiet and shy, Mrs Singh says Amit barely made eye contact with her.

"We all forced him to join us for lunch, which he wasn't willing to go to. I remember saying, 'Please come, it will be nice if you came'.

He finally agreed and I felt so happy.

"After lunch, as I was leaving, I was giving everyone hugs since that was the last time I would see them on that trip. Since I hugged everyone, I didn't want to be rude and exclude him. I reached in and gave him a tight hug and he just smiled. I smiled back then left. That is how we first met, awkward but forever memorable."

Their friendship blossomed as they soon became friends on Facebook.

Mrs Singh says her husband made quite an impression on her, adding his quiet presence made her happy.

"Amit won me over simply by just being there for me. I remember going through stressful times and feeling like I had no one else but him to talk to.

"Even though it wasn't in person, he made sure he was within reach if I needed to talk to him about anything throughout the day.

"It was sweet because he wasn't free at all during work but it showed where his priority was. Simple things like that always mean the most to me. Consistently showing he cared by being there was enough for him to win me over."

The couple informed their parents of their relationship shortly after they realised their feelings for the other, news which was received with much joy, especially for Mr Singh's family.

"I told my mum shortly after we got officially together," he said.

"She was always asking me when I am planning to get married so once she knew about Nilisha, she was happy and relayed the same to my dad. The kab karega shaadi (when are you getting married) part still went on until we officially decided on our legal dates.

"They were both happy with Nilisha and gave their blessings and now hoping that we finally be at one place together."

When asked about what he loved the most about his wife, the 27-year-old financial controller says he loves her smile, her kind heart and soft hugs.

"We are both Harry Potter nerds and we have many shared likes. She is always herself and her commitment to our relationship is simply admirable."

As is the case with all long-distance relationships, being in two different countries has been a challenge for the couple. Mrs Singh says their goal was to be together one day and erase the distance factor from their lives.

This month, the duo exchanged vows in a formal wedding ceremony in front of 30 close-knit family and friends.

"Being legally married now and still being away from each other just added to our relationship challenges. We both always say that if we can get through this, we can get through anything. It's a tough situation but we are working hard towards our goal and we're confident the day will soon come when we will be inseparable.

"Those goodbyes at the airport were hard to bear but we had to be strong and keep in heart that we have to look forward to a positive future ahead. It will take time to have the normal processes done but it will definitely happen. Now that we have come so far, we can wait a little bit longer to finally be together forever. Faith and trust is very important in any relationship."

Mrs Singh says even though she and her husband managed make their relationship work, she says being in a long distance relationship is the challenging thing she has done in her life.

"It may have worked for us somehow, but that doesn't mean it will work for everyone. It is not easy. It will only work if both the partners are willing to commit to each other and have shared goals for their relationship from the beginning.

"I will say this though. If you think he or she is the one and you are absolutely sure about it, go for it. Go get him or her, give your relationship 101 per cent, be loyal to one another, be each other's best friend first and love each other wholeheartedly.

"Nothing will be more worth it in the end than this decision right here. Our love for each other has grown over the years and we will continue not giving up until death parts us. We hope we gave couples out there going through a similar situation some encouragement. Thanks for reading our story!"








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