She traveled often for work, but had never done something like this -- driving across the country, during a pandemic, to meet a man she'd first spoken with for a few hours the night before on FaceTime.
"Am I even doing the right thing?" she thought. "This is crazy."
But Tomar was excited, too. She'd felt such a strong connection with Mike Faith hours earlier. She liked how quickly he wanted to talk after they'd matched on a dating app. His British accent charmed her. And they'd quickly bonded over their shared experiences as immigrants in the United States.
So when Faith mentioned that he'd hop on a plane to meet her in person "if it were normal times," Tomar found herself saying something that surprised her. "Well, it's only an 8.5-hour drive."
Before long, she was in her SUV and on the way from Milwaukee to Nashville one morning in April 2020. At the very least, she told herself, she'd just stay for a day or two and end up with a new friend.
Even now, nearly two years later, she's amazed by all the things that happened next. If it hadn't been for the pandemic, she says, everything might have turned out differently.
He had a feeling when he saved her name in his phone
At his home in Nashville, Faith was waiting for Tomar's arrival. He'd felt the connection, too, and was impressed by how eager she was to meet up in person. He'd dated around and had started saving his dates' names in his phone with descriptions of his first impressions. Something felt different about this one.
"It just felt really easy and relaxed and fun," Faith says. "After we talked, I said to my friend, 'This one's good.'"
In his phone, he wrote: "Anju Odds-On Favorite."
Tomar and Faith are both in their 50s and divorced. Both have grown children.
Once they met up in person, the two discovered even more points of connection.
Tomar is Indian. Faith's kitchen was already full of Indian spices; it's among his favorite cuisines to cook.
He took out his ukulele and played one of his favorite songs; it turned out to be a prayer she says every day.
They had a shared love of music. And both loved to travel for work and for fun.
Faith is a CEO. Tomar wo