How we met: ‘He said my nails looked nice, and I knew there was something there’

India was working for the police force in St Augustine, Florida, in February 2019, when she visited an accountancy firm during one of her routine patrols. “I was going around the local businesses to introduce myself,” she says. Building those relationships is common in the US, to help prevent crimes such as break-ins and trespassing in small towns. “I hand out cards so that people can contact me if they need me.” When she walked into the accountancy firm, she met the owner, Todd, and was struck by how handsome he was.

He asked if they could take a selfie together. “I was friends with the police chief,” he says. “I wanted to send him this picture to show she was doing great community outreach. She was a bit embarrassed when I took it.”

Todd and India were both in relationships, but found themselves regularly bumping into each other after their first meeting. “She nicknamed me ‘two-minute Todd’ because we ran into each other a lot, and would always chat for two minutes. It’s a small town and you see the same people regularly,” he says.

By 2020, they had both broken up with their former partners. When India posted a picture of herself on Instagram, Todd responded with the word “wow”. “I thought he must be single because there’s no way he’d say something like that if he was still in a relationship. There had always been a spark, so I was pleased,” says India.

On the 4 July weekend, India was working at a celebration. Todd was out with his son, Tex, and she came over to speak to them. “Todd said my nails looked nice, so I knew there was something there,” she laughs, and Todd admits he was trying to signal that he was single. That night, he sent her a message to ask her out.

They went for dinner a few days later. “We talked nonstop – everything just clicked,” says Todd. “We had shared work interests, political interests and we both love basketball.” India says that he was “so open and really genuine”, as well as down-to-earth. They became a couple after their first date and Todd later wrote to the police chief, who had retired, to tell him about his and India’s relationship. “He jokes that it’s all down to him that she’s in my life. He recruited her, and without that we wouldn’t have met.”

In March 2021, the couple moved in together. They travelled to Chicago for their first anniversary a few months later, and Todd proposed on the flight. “I talked to a friend about good proposal ideas, but none of them seemed as if they were for me,” he says. “I knew she was really worried about flying as she’d never been on a plane. I upgraded us to first class and I thought it would be a great way to take her mind off it.” She says she had “no idea” it would happen while they were flying. “He had bought me some earrings a couple of days before and when I saw the box I thought he must just be giving me more jewellery,” she laughs. They plan to marry in December 2022.

Todd’s son, who is now nine, lives with the couple four nights a week. “We also have two dogs and love going for walks around St Augustine. It’s a really pretty town,” says Todd. They coach a children’s basketball team together, and like to travel whenever they get the chance.

“I love what a great dad he is,” says India. “He’s very caring, he gets on really well with my family, and he’s like the male version of me. We’re best friends.” Todd feels exactly the same way about his fiancee. “India cares for everyone in her family as well as me and the people in the community as a police officer. She just has such a big heart.”