Brides is committed to guiding ALL couples through not only their wedding planning journey, but through relationship milestones and ups and downs. Every love story is beautiful, has its own distinct history, and its own trials—there's no relationship that looks the same. To celebrate that uniqueness, we're asking couples to open up about their love story, for our latest column, "Love Looks Like This." Below, mental health advocate Mandy Ansari, founder of Girl & the, tells her love story.
“Your friend wants you to know that you’re going to meet your future husband at 35. It’s going to be very quick. Everyone will comment on how fast it progresses. It’ll all happen very suddenly and at 37, you’ll be married, right around your birthday,” a medium in Long Island (no, not THAT Long Island Medium, but one who knows her) told me. I was 31, had ended a five-year relationship, and within five months, my best friend lost her life to suicide. And, my ex was already engaged to someone else. I was lost, confused, grieving, and convinced life as I knew it was over. I had come to the medium hoping to find some peace, but I didn’t know she would give me hope…and a very accurate timeline of what was to come.
Very soon after, I made a cross-country move from California to New York (something the medium had also predicted) for a fresh start and a job opportunity I couldn’t pass up. That same year, I decided to freeze my eggs because I feared the societal and cultural pressure from my Middle Eastern family to “settle down,” or be more cognizant that my “biological clock” would push me into another failed relationship.
On the last full moon of 2020, I felt I began envisioning what I wanted for the next year. After four years, I finally felt ready to make room for a life partner. I decided to write down all the things I wanted in a partner: someone who is generous, kind to waiters, and even specific details, like "a New Yorker with a New York accent." Two weeks later, I swiped right on a guy with kind eyes and a big smile. Almost immediately, Brian slid into my messages with a very flirtatious message, "Hi. I like sandwiches. What's your favorite sandwich?” It turns out his answer was a classic pastrami sandwich from the iconic Katz's Delicatessen (of When Harry Met Sally fame).
After a few negative PCR tests and rescheduled dates, we finally met at my apartment (dining restrictions were still in place in New York City). So, I ordered Brian’s favorite sandwich from Katz's. Our second date was the day after our first date. Brian told me, "To come into your apartment and see the exact sandwich I had been craving that I mentioned in our first conversation waiting for me from Katz's Deli—I knew this was it."
That very same week, we introduced one another to our respective family members over FaceTime. A mere six months later, Brian proposed to me surrounded by 40 of our friends on a rooftop in Manhattan on his birthday because, as Harry says in When Harry Met Sally, "…when you realize you want to spend the rest of your life with somebody, you want the rest of your life to start as soon as possible."
While our happily ever after may sound like a literal rom-com, my road to love wasn't an easy one. But, I learned it’s important to ask the universe what you want and believe that it is on it’s way to you when you’re ready for it. When we got engaged, I immediately wanted to scream about it off of every rooftop. Not to brag, but because I've been right where someone you know, or you yourself, might be right now. Sometimes, love looks like clinging for hope when all hope seems lost, and believing that what's for you will never ever miss you. The stuff that does miss you was never ever meant for you, because something better is ahead.
By the way, we met at 35, got engaged at 36, and got legally married on my 37th birthday. The medium was right on the money, all along.