How I Met My Person: Dupi + I's Story

IMG_2901.JPG

this blog post is part of a series, #oneblogpostaday.

the first part of this series is focused on relationships + love.


Dupi and I were never meant to be together.

We come from completely different backgrounds, upbringings, cultures + religions. Even when we first got together - we both had almost a visceral reaction to it. I remember after going on a few “dates” (if that’s what we’d call them), Dupi said to me: Katina, we just like can’t get married. We’re too different.

That was three weeks in.

…and even he - a dude who just got out of a long-term relationship - couldn’t fight the feeling.

It’s interesting when you meet your person. No matter how different they are from your imagined Knight in Shining Armour - you know. Because, it’s a feeling like none other in the world. When you connect with another human on a soul level there is literally nothing that could come between you two.

But, we’re jumping a little too far ahead. Let me back up a bit.


How we met

Dupi and I were both in the same graduating class at NYU’s Stern School of Business.

Though it was a pretty tight knit program, we didn’t really know each other until our junior year. We happened to be in the same class that happened to take you on a free trip to Singapore during spring break (insane…I know).

Dupi and I couldn’t have been more opposite students. I was definitely the teacher’s pet - I sat in the front row of every class and was barely ever absent (ha - I’m a nerd, what can I say). Dupi on the other hand was a biiit of a slacker, self-admittedly.

But, I remember being taken by his charisma and ability to change the energy of the room. He was funny, and cute - which were a double whammy at Stern.

Too bad I had a long-term boyfriend. And he had a long-term girlfriend.

Since that class together, we hung out in the same crowds but never became close friends. We saw each other at parties and in classes. I thought of him as a cool, cute Indian guy who had a long-distance girlfriend.

And that was that.


Timing changes everything

Fast forward a year and a half - and what felt like a lifetime. Dupi and I were both in completely different stages in life. We were working intense jobs in New York (unknowingly next door to each other). We had both just broken it off with our long-term, long-distance significant others.

We were livin’ large in the city we essentially grew up in - except now we had money, time, and no one holding us down. Damn was it fun.

But, then something shifted.

I remember the day that we reconnected like it was yesterday. It was winter of 2015. I had just gotten back to New York after my first Big Girl vacation to Costa Rica with my then-roommate. I felt refreshed, clear and ready to dive back into life.

That following weekend, one of our mutual friends from college was having a birthday party. Even though I was jetlagged and none of my close girl friends could go, something in my gut was pushing me there. I mustered myself to get ready and head to the party alone.

Since I wasn’t there with any close friends, I looked for the easiest people to hang out with. I spotted them: Dupi and one of his best friend’s from college were having a drink. I knew Dupi was a nice, personable dude and had a long-term girlfriend (or so I thought). And, his friend was gay - so no awkward conversations there.

I joined them.

The rest of that night was a blur (for many reasons) - but from that moment on Dupi and I have only spent a handful of days apart. Literally.

That night I quickly learned that Dupi no longer had a girlfriend and we worked next door to each other. We went from having an innocent chat to an inseparable connection. I know it sounds like I’m exaggerating - but that’s exactly how it felt.

It feels like from that moment on, it was all history.

IMG_1261.JPG

Time flies by just as quickly as it stands still

That night was almost four years ago.

When I think about it now, it feels like it happened yesterday. But, it also feels like I’ve spent a lifetime (or many) with Dupi already.

Growing up, I wasn’t sure how I felt about “soulmates.” I wasn’t necessarily a dreamer or hopeless romantic. I had been in lots of relationships before Dupi - my longest was 5 years (I know!) - and all of them felt…good. Nothing great. They were just normal.

But, the moment that Dupi and I started hanging out, it felt like I was reunited with someone that I had known forever. Even though Dupi and I were mere acquaintances in college, it just felt so easy to spend time with him.

We didn’t play games. We didn’t battle to see who texted first. We didn’t try to make each other jealous. We just…were. And being together felt so good.

But, not everyone viewed it that way.

Both Dupi and I come from families with intensely strong cultural backgrounds - mine Greek, his Punjabi. Growing up, I had always imagined that I’d be with someone who didn’t have a strong commitment to religion, because my family cared so much about it. If that’s what I was looking for - Dupi definitely wasn’t it.

Besides religion being a factor, both Dupi and I had never dated anyone outside of our own race. Even though we went to an extremely diverse college, dating someone with a completely different background, religion and life experience than you was…interesting to say the least.

But, when we were together none of those things mattered. That was the crazy part. It felt like we were in our own little bubble where there were no issues…until we stepped outside of it and saw that others viewed us differently.

So, we promised to keep that feeling alive no matter who said what - whether it was our family, friends or the world at large.


And the rest is history

From the very beginning, it felt like when Dupi and I joined forces there was literally nothing that could stop us. We’re both extremely motivated people, but together - it sounds cheesy, but it felt like we could take on the world.

We began running marathons (I signed him up for that!), booking trips around the world, and exploring our own city. From the moment that we decided to be with each other, it was like we were leveling the f*ck up the rest of our lives.

It’s interesting now looking back on the beginning days of our relationship, because even though it still feels so fresh and exciting - there’s a different sense of love that I feel now.

Back then, Dupi was my energizer - being around him literally lit me on fire. It was the most passion I had felt about anything in my entire life.

Not to be a complete sap ball, but that deep sense of love for him grows each and every day. But, admittedly so - as any relationship matures - that love isn’t as firey or shiny. It’s not as new and passionate and exciting.

It feels like a deep, grounding sense of home. Of fullness. Of connection.

And, I think that’s perfect. Oftentimes, we want our love to stay the same as it was during the first few months of dating. And when it changes - we think something is wrong. But, for Dupi and I - I think we both acknowledge that while our love has changed, it’s honestly changed for the better. It’s a sustainable, happier, more grounding type of love.

And, I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Katina Mountanos