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Sunday, December 26, 2010

Romance in the Raw # 6: The Start of My Love Story

I have known Dhrumil Purohit through WeLikeItRaw.com for a couple of years. I really respected and admired him. I liked the way he conducted himself and I dug the content he shared on his websites and Facebook. I enjoyed our friendship even though it was rather light and we had never even met in person.

In January 2010, I had the opportunity to meet when a group of great people got together for dinner at Au Lac. Debbie Young actually wrote up a blog post on it. You can check out her photos at That's the Way Au Lac It. When we finally met, he was everything I thought he would be based on his online presence. It was a nice chance to get to hang out & get to know him in person. I knew I had a little crush on him, but of course we were both in relationships so nothing went down.

Several months later, Dhru (pronounced like DREW) had mentioned he was going to be in LA for an Indian wedding and was going to get a group together for dinner again. Of course I was down to meet up for dinner, but I was WAY more fascinated with the Indian wedding. So, somehow I blurted how cool that was & before I knew it he invited me to join along. I was BEYOND excited. I love going to events that are out of my norm and that sure fit the bill for me.

As the wedding approached, I knew that my feelings toward him had grown (even though I had never told him that I liked him). I had even tried to convince myself, my friends and everyone who asked that I DID NOT have an interest. Furthermore, I would go into detail as to how it would never work out even if he did like me. Afterall, I am 6 years older, live on the West Coast and he lived on the East Coast. I had 2 children, been divorced, etc. In addition, I didn't even think he would be interested in me since he never flirted with me. He gave no indication that he was interested and he also mentioned how women had mistaken his generosity for romance in the past. I was careful not to assume anything!

The weekend of the wedding arrived and I was beyond nervous, not so much to be hanging out, but more so because I thought I would be so obvious and give it away that I liked him. I didn't want to make him feel awkward and ruin our friendship. I made it through lunch, although eye contact was difficult for me. Garba was another story, I felt tingles with just the slightest physical contact, whether he was leaning in to tell me something in my ear because the room was loud or when our knees touched while we were sitting down. It was crazy, I felt like a school girl all over again!

On the drive back to my car, Dhrumil started asking me about lessons I had learned from past relationships. He even asked me why I wasn't dating now. I freaked out and said that there was no one I was interested in. My inner voice was SHOUTING out, "LIAR! Tell him you like him... THIS your golden opportunity!" The conversation continued, but I still didn't have the guts to admit it. Finally, I remembered the tweet I had posted earlier that morning. I knew I HAD to say something now. Finally, after several chicken hesitations I blurted out, "OK, so you know when you asked if there was anyone I would like to date? Well, I lied. If there was anyone I would like to date it would be you, but I am sure you are not interested because you deserve to date a nice young girl, get married, have lots of babies, and all that good stuff. Plus, I am 6 years older, divorced with 2 kids that are already 12 and 14. We live on opposite coasts and I don't even know if you are attracted to me." I blurted that out so fast I am not even sure if he comprehended what I had said.

He paused, it was silent. I was freaking out and preparing for rejection. I even had to turn my head and look out the window. I was sure he was put in an awkward situation, but I knew I had to get that off my chest. After the pause that felt like an ETERNITY, he responded by THANKING ME!!!! Can you believe it? I was geared up for "Thank you, but NO THANK YOU!" However, to my surprise, he said he didn't have all the answers to my questions right then and there, but he couldn't be happier. I was stunned..... SAY WHAAAA....??????

The next day, between the wedding ceremony and reception Dhru opened up to me and told me that he was not interested in dating. My heart dropped. What? As he continued, he expressed that he was not looking for something casual, but rather he wanted to build a life with someone. I wondered to myself, "Did he change his mind about dating me or is he saying he wants to just go for it?" To my pleasure it was the later. I can't even begin to tell you how that intention set the tone for relationship. Pretty powerful stuff.

Back at the wedding ceremony & reception, we felt a little silly because we had already announced the night before at Garba that we were just friends. So, we just played it cool. However, I could tell some of the other guests at the reception were onto us. I didn't know how respond due to the newness of it all.

After the wedding festivities were over, Dhrumil decided to stay in LA another day. We went for a drive and talked about all the major issues that could be potential roadblocks for us. We opened up about fears, life dreams, goals, marriage, children, career, spirituality, money, and so forth. It seemed a bit strange to be so bold about typically touchy subjects, however in reflection this is exactly how I would want things to go down BEFORE getting too emotionally wrapped up and romantically entangled in a relationship that didn't share the same views or life vision. It was such an objective interview. This was SOOOOO REFRESHING! Being bold and direct is definitely the way to go!

By the end of the day, we began to say our goodbye's. I felt such a calm sense about everything that was unfolding. I knew that everything was a bit new, but it didn't feel that way on a deeper level. I felt like I was re-connecting with someone I had known for a lifetime. As we hugged and said goodbye, I said "I would like to tell you one word that sums up everything that I am feeling about our connection.....SOUL MATES." We gazed into each others eyes. It was a beautiful close to the start of a beautiful relationship. I drove home feeling as though I had been in a dream!

Here is a quick shy candid video that we took on the fly...not thinking I would actually post it, but it is just so darn precious I GOTTA let him say hello to you!

Here are some photos from the Indian wedding. I had sooo much fun wearing these awesome clothes!

This is what I wore to Garba

Playing it cool

Rocking a sari for the first time

The lovely ladies that dressed me

Dhru & I blissed out

Diggin' the get up!


CAlex6977 said...

Thanks so much for sharing. I playfully joked with you on twitter and facebook about how you coul dbe so serious and buying houses and blah blah blah. No sooner than 1 week after that I met someone. We knew right away it was perfect. Its only two months in and we have taken two trips together and are planning another. Our lives have melted together beautifully. I now know what you mean. Thanks so much for your wonderful outlook on life and sharing it with all of us.

Anonymous said...

what a beautiful story, thank you for sharing !

Megan Ugarte said...

Love this, Lori! Congratulations :) I actually (believe this or not) had a dream last night, which you and Druhmil were both in. You were both making appearances in my environment to share what peaceful love was like. All I remember was bamboo, a shanti on the water, and lots of greenery. It was beautiful...it's not often that people that I haven't met randomly pop into my dream, so I had to come here and tell you that! -Megan

Dhrumil said...

Hi Lori,

Long time reader here... I gotta say, I couldn't be happier for you.

That man of yours looks like an amazing guy. I wish I was as cool as him.

; )

p.s. I love you.

Penni said...

Even though I heard Dhru's end of the story several months ago....I just sat here and cried and got goose bumps all over again. I love you and I love Dhru and I adore the two of you together.

Much love and many blessings, Beautiful People!
xoxo - Penni

grass fed momma said...

I agree with Penni. I loved the post but that video was just so cute and I could not stop laughing and smiling.
I love you guys and I love that you are in love.
Lot's of LOVE!!!!!!!

James M said...

Life is always full of surprises when we least expect them, isn't it? Your story is a reminder that even though we get surprises dispersed throughout our lives, it is up to us to take control of them and make something out of them. It does no good to sit back in hope of something happening.

Hope to hear more inspiring stories in the year ahead. Oh, and hopefully, you'll provide some tips on how to overcome the age gap, because I'm 9 years older than my girlfriend and feel like a dinosaur at times.

Mila Ilina said...

soul mates sounds about right.. i had no idea you guys met for the first time the night i ran into you guys at Au Lac.. seemed like you both knew each other for ages! so happy for the both of you ;-)


Anonymous said...

Awesome story!!

Ben T said...

really sweet

Anonymous said...

Wonderful story! You guys make a beautiful couple. Congratulations!

Lori Painter said...

@ CAlex6977 - LOL! Your story is amazing! Funny how that happens to us! I am sooooo happy for you! Enjoy life in love! :)

@ Adeline- Thank you!

@ Megan- Hey girly, so great to finally meet you this past week! Your dream gave me goosebumps! Probably a bit of that will come true! :)

@ Dhrumil- Silly man, I love you too! :)

@ Penni- Awww... thank you so much! I feel so loved and supported by you! Thank you, thank you, thank you!

@ Debbie- Ok, little confession: I LOVE that video too! When I watch it I too get the biggest smile on my face. I really am happy! Thank you for all your love!

@ James- Thank you! I will definitely be sharing more! Congrats on your relationship!

@ Mila- YUP! BTW, the pic you posted of us on your facebook photos is one of my favorites!

@ Ben- Thank you! :) Oh....and thank you for your amazing sense of humor! You have such a talent for it! I hope to see more of it soon!

The Robertsons of Mumbai said...

That was fun to read! Like a soap opera, without the negative drama!

Like you, I put some important issues out on the line with my husband before we actually got too serious, and it was such a refreshing thing to do, as compared to my past relationships. It is amazing how simple the complicated issues become when you agree to drop the drama and act out of love (he was married before and had two daughters the same age as yours, plus we shared different religious ideas).

Good you had those lovely ladies to help you with the sari wrapping - it can be big pain in the neck!