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Arzoo & David

Our story began as a casual Tinder date in June 2018. David is Nigerian and is two years younger than me. I am Punjabi. I never saw myself in a relationship due to dealing with the university's final year's various pressures. David was my first boyfriend and first true love.

Sometimes, you never know how significant a person will be in your life. Right off the bat, we connected. We found an excuse to do everything together. David was an athlete, so I would watch him play basketball; we would train together and have deep conversations. Many times he supported me on my lowest days. Looking back, I realize that a lot of our story coincides with my poor mental health — which I didn't recognize until now.

In September 2018, we became an official couple. Our love was/is very deep and pure. I had so many insecurities and a lack of faith in being able to make our relationship work. It came from a lifetime of prioritizing "life" & school instead of being able to be in a deserving loving relationship. In my heart, I had already planned our whole life together. I had met his mother and his siblings. Some of my cousins knew him, but I hadn't told my parents. Maybe I thought it was too early. I don't remember.

Later in our relationship, cracks appeared, and we decided it was best to part ways. The experience was heartbreaking, but I never stopped loving David.

In March of 2019, I decided to move away from the city at the peak of my mental health issues, a lot of it had to do with me losing David. My health was suffering for months, and I felt that he was all I had until I didn't. We stayed in touch. I think we knew we'd get back together. It was hard, lonely, and extremely painful.

In June, my life flipped upside down when I experienced police abuse and was hospitalized during a week of mental and emotional distress, which was managed poorly. I broke down mentally, and it was a spiritual awakening. Unfortunately, David never showed up for me. It was devastating. At that point, my whole family knew about our relationship. We've seen each other once since I've been sick, but it was very unpleasant. And though I'm not with him today, I wear that relationship and love on my sleeve.

Our memories will always be carried in my heart. It was the strongest and most powerful force in my life. True love happens between the souls, not the bodies. Maybe, I always thought I wouldn't date outside my race as it seems forbidden and judged, yet it was the most enhancing and beautiful relationship of this lifetime. Looking back, I would tell myself to enjoy every moment. To not let others' judgments dictate my life. Most importantly, to not be afraid.

I wish clarity and positive energy between all South Asian and Black couples. And I wish that you see the purity of your relationships without outsider's perspectives

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