On Netflix's "Indian Matchmaking," Dr. Rupam Kaur led one of the most compelling storylines. A divorced mother and pediatric allergist looking for someone to spend her life with, she was told by the matchmaker at the reality dating show's center, Sima Taparia, that she had fewer options than other women for a potential partner.
But over Labor Day weekend, after a year and four months of dating, Kaur, 37, wed her fiancé, Nitin Singh, whom she met on Bumble. The wedding was a small affair, exactly what the couple wanted, she told TODAY.
They tied the knot at the Sikh temple in Glen Cove, New York, in front of 40 to 45 guests, in accordance with local COVID-19 guidance. She had a photographer, makeup artist and dressmaker work on her special day, despite the "last-minute" timing, she said. Singh popped the question in June, three months prior.
While wedding planning may've been stressful, Kaur said that one of the things that excited her about the relationship was just how "easy" it was. Singh and she are both Sikh and were single parents, so they had a baseline understanding that helped them connect faster on a deeper level.
She said she realized "right away" that he's what she'd been searching for. "When I met him and just saw his demeanor and how he's so calm, easygoing and was so honest and communicated and was really straightforward about his feelings towards me ... that was the feeling I didn't expect would happen."
"People always expect fireworks," she continued. "You think there's going to be sparks flying when you meet the person, but instead it was like the opposite. Suddenly there's a stillness and calm ... and it was like I don't have to worry anymore. There's no anxiety about, 'Is he going to like me? What's he going to do? What's he going to say?' It was like, OK, now I know this is it."
Although they were long distance for much of their relationship, with Kaur in Denver and Singh in New York, meeting every two to three weeks, she feels there was an advantage to their situation.
"When you start out dating in the same city, a lot of times you might meet up for a date once every week or two weeks, and it’s gonna be a couple hours, or you might go out to coffee the first time and then go out to dinner," she explained. "But in our case, because we were long distance, it’s like you're ... innately committed to making it work because you're traveling all this distance."
"All of our dates were always extended. The first one was 24 hours," she added. "Because we couldn't see each other as frequently, we spent a lot of time talking on the phone so we spent a lot of time getting to know one another rather than focus on the activity at hand."
Another aspect that helped her know it was the real deal: She and Singh spent each of their dates starting in July 2019 going through a chapter of the book "Eight Dates: Essential Conversations for a Lifetime of Love."
"It was really good for us because it forced us to have difficult conversations about make-or-break topics in your relationship and understand each other's values, which was a really good set up for a trusting relationship," she said.
When Singh proposed, it was a family affair. Kaur said her father, featured on the show, loves her husband, and Singh told Kaur's daughter before he asked her about marriage. When it happened, the family was at home quarantining together after Kaur moved to New York earlier in the summer.
"He basically told my daughter a secret in another room ... and she came out screaming and was jumping up and down and really excited, so I had a feeling it was about to happen," she recalled.
Kaur's marriage story may seem like a fairytale, but she's still a realist about what marriage entails.
"If you understand what marriage is ... then you should have apprehension because it means you want to make it work," she said. "My priority ... was making sure we had good communication and had a good understanding."
She said she also had to reset her expectations due to the coronavirus. Kaur and Singh had a two-week trip planned without their kids, which she thought would be important for their relationship, but they're getting through it, just like everyone else in this time, she said.
While Kaur, who goes professionally by Dr. Kanwaljit Kaur Brar, doesn't want her story plastered across headlines, she felt it was important to speak out after her appearance on the reality dating show.
"What the matchmaker said to me isn't unique to her," she said. "It's what a lot of women are told. They're told that their options are less, especially when they're past a certain age, and that's not specific to Indian culture. ... In Indian culture, they're just a lot more honest about reality."
"Even if other people think your options are less, your options are dictated by your choices," she continued. "If you want to find someone and that's your goal, you can go out and actually do that. It requires willingness to be open to opportunity, willingness to take risks. ... There's nothing to say that marriage is the right choice, but if that's what (you) want, I don't see any reason that can't happen. ... Stigma should not stop you."