This Man Got His 'Bollywood Love Story' When He Met The Woman Of His Dreams

"Finally, through meeting the woman of my dreams, I’ve proved the old adage wrong. You can have it all."

They meet, break out in choreographed dance with beautiful music, and fall in love. Then the movie ends, and we turn off the TV. That's love in the world of Bollywood.

Growing up in America in an immigrant family, I was in love with my Indian culture. I helped my mom cook, watched Bollywood movies like it was my job, and even danced and performed traditional Indian folk dances.

One day, I knew, I would marry my "Bollywood Princess." I had posters of Kareena Kapoor on my walls, and when I hit my early twenties, my family started introducing me to potential brides to meet from the arranged-marriage system of aunties, who were excited to play matchmaker. The plan was to marry the perfect bride: a great cook, beautiful, with a love for family. Of course, she would be Indian. And not only Indian, but from Gujarat, the state our family is from. And not only Gujarati, but also a Patel—and ideally a specific Patel from these five villages my family comes from. Simple, right?

But it didn't happen. By my late twenties, I had written two books and was traveling as a speaker and trainer. More books were written, and soon I was called to speak around the world. Instead of flying back and forth to home for a couple days, I decided to live on the road full-time as a nomad. Traveling made my heart soar. My family was happy about my success, and yet very concerned.

"Jaymin, when are you going to settle down and get married?"

"No one will want to marry you if you keep traveling everywhere! Get a job in one city where you can start your family."

For nearly a decade, I had happily met the women my family members set me up with. I "courted" here and there, but no relationship lasted. It was the same story each time. She wanted me to settle down, and my soul wanted to travel. It felt like I must live my passion or find love and start my own family. I just didn't see why I would have to give up what I loved doing to have a family. I was ready to give up hope. I was slowly coming to terms with the idea that perhaps my exciting, purpose-filled life would be spent alone.

Then, one weekend, I was invited to speak in Seattle. A friend had been trying for years to introduce me to a woman who lived there, but geography had never been on our side. I reached out, and we carved out a couple hours to connect with each other.

In that short time, we learned we had grown up with many similarities and interests. We had attended grad school to get our MBAs the very same years. We had even attended some of the same conferences without knowing it! We graduated with nice corporate jobs, which we then quit to travel around the world. Eventually, we became coaches and speakers because we wanted to help others with our life's work. It was like meeting the female version of me!

More importantly, I couldn't forget how she made me feel. She had this amazing presence and warmth that invited me to show up fully and authentically. She was gentle, curious, open and accepting. In those few short hours I spent with her, I felt so safe and seen. It was a magical feeling.

Soon after, we found ourselves speaking in San Francisco at the same time. We made plans to connect. What was supposed to be a lunch date on Sunday became lunch and dinner on Sunday, exploring the city on Monday, supporting each other's speaking events on Tuesday, enjoying a lovely picnic on Wednesday, and postponing my Thursday flight so we could also spend Friday together.

That evening, after one of her workshops, she took me in her arms and asked, "Do you want to be my partner?"

Partner? I was stunned. I wanted to say yes, but this wasn't happening like my Bollywood dream. She was so amazing, but she wasn't a Patel from the five villages, she wasn't Gujarati, and she wasn't even Indian! She was a mix of Polish and Swedish heritage, with bold blue eyes and curly blond hair. There was no way my family would accept me marrying her, so why date her? But the feelings from spending the entire week together could not be denied, and I followed the voice in my heart and said, "Yes!"

Six weeks later, we were back in Seattle brushing our teeth, and it hit me. I turned to her and said, "Just so you know, I'm going to marry you. How long do I have to wait before I ask?"

Her eyes flashed a smile, and being a relationship coach, she said, "Well, we are currently enjoying 'new relationship energy,' so I would say it's too soon right now. You'll have to wait at least six months."

I nodded, smiled, and kept brushing my teeth.

After what felt like the longest six months, we were engaged. What was supposed to be one lunch date had turned into a week, and had now turned into a lifetime. My friends couldn't believe it—I was finally going to get married! My family was less excited by my actions. They were hugely disappointed that I didn't choose a wife from those five small villages in Gujarat as they had expected me to do.

I had taken a bold step. It was not the Bollywood dream I had imagined, but I listened to my heart and knew it was the right decision.

My wife is the most amazing person I've ever met. She is medicine and magic. She has taught me that people do not fall in love; they rise in love. Anything feels possible with her.

Together, we are raising two children as we travel the world full-time as nomads. We have published a total of nine books, and continue to coach and speak everywhere we visit, sharing our story and our message to inspire others. It's a bold move, and not always an easy one. We face the same issues that all parents face—no sleep at night, sickness, bumps and bruises and crying, in addition to scheduling problems and travel upsets as we move to a new home every few weeks. But it's all worth it. I learned that I can, in fact, have it all. I just needed to follow my heart and say "yes" to the moment.

I was always told life was about making tough choices. I never felt like I could have it all. Finally, through meeting the woman of my dreams, I've proved the old adage wrong. You can have it all.

I did have my Bollywood love story. We met, we fell in love, and now we're dancing in sync to the beautiful music of life's ups and downs together.

Story by Jaymin J. Patel, Chicken Soup for the Soul: The Miracle of Love © 2018 Chicken Soup for the Soul, LLC. All rights reserved.

Cover image via IVASHstudio I Shutterstock

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