Lockdown turns couple's first meeting into 204-day long date
MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) -- Over the last two years, the pandemic put strain on a lot of relationships, but it also helped some flourish.
Anju Tomar was living in Milwaukee in April of 2020. She was dating online, but she didn't expect to meet anyone as the world was just shutting down.
That's when she met Mike Faith, who was living in Nashville.
"I said to Anju, 'Well I would come and meet you, but I'm not flying at the moment.' But Anju said, 'It's just an eight-hour drive,'" said Faith of their first FaceTime date.
With the flip of a coin and a leap of faith, Anju drove 500 miles to Nashville to spend the weekend with Mike. That weekend turned into weeks and then months.
"Two hundred and four days," the couple said in unison. As the couple hits the two-year mark in their relationship, they credit the pandemic for bringing them together and strengthening their bond.
"When you're together 24/7 from the start, that's a little unusual. Anju says it feels like 10 years. I don't know if that means she's sick of me," Faith joked.
Dr. Munther Barakat is the director of behavioral health therapy at Aurora. He says quarantine played a big role in relationships early on in the pandemic.
While many parts of the pandemic put a strain on couples and families for various reasons, like finances and child care, Barakat says those who just began dating could see long-lasting benefits.
"You have to be more creative and more thoughtful about the things that you're doing with each other and that creates more resilience in a relationship, I would say," said Barakat.
Anju and Mike spent their time learning about each other and learning new things together.
"We'd do puzzles, listen to music, dance, do our work in the daytime, which both of us could work from home," said Tomar. The couple also learned to cook together and they share a love for Indian food.
Once things began opening back up and strict travel restrictions were lifted, they were able to travel together. They've already been to eight countries together in their short time together.
As the world opened back up, the couple eventually spent days apart for work travel, but Anju now lives in Nashville with Mike.
The couple says one thing that hasn't changed for them is the amount of work they put into their relationship and each other.