After meeting on Tinder, Anastasia was terrified to admit that she was married and in an open relationship, but Anna wasn’t deterred – a deep relationship followed.
Anastasia: We have the banalest dating story. With only some nuances:
1) self-isolation and coronavirus;
2) I am married, and we have an open relationship.
We met on Tinder one night. I went to the app because I couldn’t sleep, and Anna, because she had no company for a bike ride and had to sit alone on the river shore. We swiped profiles at the same time and wrote to each other at the same time. And from the very first message, emotions overwhelmed us.
I was consumed by the thought that I wanted to see her. I didn’t care about self-isolation and COVID. A few days later, we began to make a date. I was terrified to say I was married. But lying is definitely not my story. I told everything as it was and was sure that Anna would refuse to meet. But we met.
We walked all night and only went home in the morning. It was impossible to part. We were saying goodbye, and I hoped that she wouldn’t remember I gave her my jacket. This would be a reason to meet again. As it turned out later, she also hoped I wouldn’t remember about the jacket.
And we met again and again. Each meeting was magical, Summer, St. Petersburg, and white nights. We got close very quickly and trusted each other. And in six months, an incredible number of events have happened.
We both still remember September 2020 with awe. I had to fly to my hometown for some indefinite time. A week later, I began to feel the desire for Anna to fly in and spend time in my town. It was still warm there in summer, but I didn’t dare to invite her to fly. This idea seemed too fantastic.
But one evening, we corresponded, and Anna offered to fly herself. The idea was crazy because getting to Yeisk is not easy. But she did it. Oh, it was terrific, sun, sand, sea, and an incredible starry sky at night. For those few days, problems, affairs, and worries simply didn’t exist. We rented an apartment, and it was a real island of calm, security, and peace.
Here, in Yeisk, this photo session with Dasha happened. It was an absolutely fantastic experience, so these photos mean a lot to us.
Troubles and difficulties also happened. They’re even too many of them in such a relatively short period of time. We both lost loved ones with an interval of just two months. All this had completely unbalanced us. My lifestyle has changed a lot since the time we started dating. I changed my profession and job. I have less free time, and we began to see each other rarely. The mismatch of work schedules, illness, and travels strongly influenced not for the better.
After my grandfather’s death, I almost completely lost the desire to communicate and see with anyone, depression began. It was challenging to maintain a relationship. I still don’t understand how Anna had (and has now) enough patience and strength to understand, accept and lend a helping hand. Therefore, time is still our worst enemy and most significant difficulty.
I remember these difficult months and think about how lucky I am. Having entered Tinder then, I could not even imagine that I’d find a girl who would be ready to come day and night to help, support, and listen. I’m amazed at her empathy and responsiveness. Sometimes it seems that she doesn’t care about herself as much as about others.
She always finds words that give strength. You can be sad with her, you can laugh, you can cry with her, you can talk until the morning, or you can be silent. Of all this, the ability to remain silent is almost one of the most important. And it will always be comfortable, not ashamed. Everything becomes warmth, kindness, calmness. I don’t know how she does it. But I’m eternally grateful to her. Sometimes I think: God, how does she even laugh at my jokes, and is she comfortable with me generally? We are so different.
Anna: I love the way she rolls her eyes when someone (including myself) says some nonsense. I love how she reacts because of something amusing, how her face changes, and she starts laughing (and cursing) a lot. I love how she combines extraordinary tenderness, kindness, sensitivity with rigidity, sarcasm, confidence, and steadfastness. She knows what she wants and follows it. She is honest with herself and with others and values her family very much. Anastasia is very strong, but the moments when she can show her weakness are also very valuable. Firstly, it is also a sign of strength, and secondly, these are moments of trust and the establishment of an emotional and spiritual connection, empathy, and support. I also love how she and her husband playfully swear, argue, and mock each other. These dialogues are just soaked in love and so sweet.
What will happen next is always difficult to say. At the moment, we have ordinary plans and dreams. I want to return to my old life when you could spend time in public places, dance, eat delicious food and walk until the morning. And also to travel, grab our backpacks and go on our first trip abroad together. If we talk about something global, then I would like not to have to hide photos in our country and tell only a couple of friends that we have a relationship, not be afraid to walk hand in hand down the street and be the most ordinary couple. In the meantime, we can do exactly the opposite.
Photography by Darya Elfutina