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“Our Families Set Us Up!”

This couple shows us that love can blossom anywhere and anytime if you give it a chance, even if your family is involved from the very beginning…!

By April Zara Chua

Many might find the idea of being matchmade by their families rather awkward. With everyone watching how the relationship would turn out and with all those expectations put on a couple, it can also be stressful. However, one pair proves that such relationships can be successful if you learn to go with the flow and keep an open mind. 

Dira Haridas, 33, never thought she would meet the love of her life through her aunt. But that’s exactly how her love story with husband, Praveen s/o Ooma Maheswaren, 35, began. Although a little unconventional, the two met after being introduced by their aunts, both of whom were classmates when they were younger. 

No pressure

“We were both single so we went along with it. We got each other’s numbers through our aunts and it was Praveen who made the first move by texting me. We called each other and sent text messages often for about a month before we decided to meet in person,” said Dira. 

The couple recounted that although they were aware it was a matchmaking session, it didn’t feel awkward at all as their aunts didn’t put pressure on them and reminded them to take their time to get to know each other first. Their aunts also assured them that everything was going to be perfectly fine if things didn’t work out. 

 Without the added expectations, they managed to strike up a meaningful friendship. Their parents also took it easy, and advised them that it was more important to make decisions with a clear mind, without external influences.

Good vibes

The two had good first impressions of each other when they met in person and soon realised that there was chemistry between them. They attributed it to the time they spent getting to know each other through phone calls and texts. But, it was not without some minor surprises. “Praveen thought I would be taller because I looked tall in my pictures and I thought he would be shorter!” shared Dira. But appearances aside, she liked that he was a friendly and jovial guy, and he found her to be a sweet and soft-spoken girl.

Their relationship progressed steadily after their good first date. About a year into their relationship, Dira was scheduled to fly to Perth for a holiday and this was when Praveen decided it was the right time to pop the question. A few days before she was set to leave, he told Dira he was ready to take the next step. “Praveen said to take my time in deciding if I wanted to go ahead with the proposal. I said ‘yes’ the night I flew off to Perth,” she recounted.

Finding forever in each other

The couple’s friends had nothing but well wishes and excitement for them when they announced their engagement. Dira said, “They were extremely happy that we had finally found our Mr Right and Mrs Right. They also couldn’t wait to attend an Indian wedding!”

When asked what sealed the deal, it came down to their personalities and how compatible they were as a couple. “What I love about Dira is her patience and strong determination. She’s also very mature and responsible,” shared Praveen. As for Dira, it was Praveen’s cheerful personality that won her over: “I love his jovial side. He can turn a sad and stressful day into a happy and funny one, and he can always cheer me up with his jokes. His love for his family, especially his grandma, is something I treasure greatly as well.” 

The couple tied the knot in 2017 and welcomed their first born in 2018. 

“Thank you, aunties!”

Looking back, Dira and Praveen say they owe it all to their aunts who took the effort to introduce them to each other. “We never would have thought a simple introduction would lead to marriage,” Dira admitted. 

Is there anything they would have done differently? None. The two are just thankful that both families gave them space and allowed them to get to know each other without any expectations or pressure.

Any advice to anyone looking for that special someone? The couple believes it’s important to have an open mind and accept that love can blossom anywhere: there is love that grows from arranged marriages, love that stems from friendships, and love from special connections. 

“No matter how you meet, it is important to communicate with each other and see what your heart and mind say. If your heart and mind say ‘this is it’, then it will definitely be. Just like how it was for me,” said Dira.