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They say there’s a fine line between love and hate—well no other Amazing Race Canada team in the upcoming seventh season exemplifies that concept more than Aarthy Ketheeswaran and Thinesh Kumarakulasingam.

The dating couple may feel lots of warm and fuzzies for each other now, but back when they first met at work they couldn’t really stand each other. Ketheeswaran says that Kumarakulasingam wasn’t exactly the romantic kind of guy who would sweep her off her feet, and he was happy to give her the cold shoulder. Eventually though, when they did start talking, they realized how much they had in common and they hit it off.

“You think you hate someone but it’s a fine line!” Ketheeswaran jokes.

They’re here to represent

The couple is ready to show the rest of Canada just how tightknit they’ve grown, while also showcasing a very unique (and oh-so-Canadian) perspective: they’re in this to represent the struggles of immigrants and the refugee families across the country.

“My family and I immigrated from Sri Lanka where I was born,” Kumarakulasingam, who is currently a computer science student in Vancouver, says. “We came to Canada looking for a new life and here we are; it’s been great.”

“My parents also came to Canada, so we have that background in common,” adds Ketheeswaran, whose mother grew up in the same town as her boyfriend. “Just watching our parents, we take for granted the freedom and the ability to feel safe. In Canada you can kind of do anything you want and not have to worry about getting in trouble for speaking your mind. It’s really having that sense of freedom that we watched our parents struggle with a lot.”

Communication is key

In terms of their own struggles while on The Amazing Race Canada, the duo are confident that their smarts and determination will take them far. The one thing they know that could hold them back stems from the very beginnings of their relationship: communication.

“We think we’re definitely a lot of fun, we’re positive people and the life of the party. That would be really great for viewers to see on TV,” Ketheeswaran says. “We’ve known each other for quite some time and we’re definitely working on our communication together, but I think in any relationship there’s always a balance. I have a hot head, and Thinesh is very patient and calm and collected, so we’re hoping that on the race we remember we’re on a race and that fighting only leads to loss in time and more stress.”

If only some of the show’s previous couples had gone into the series with that same attitude. Although, where’s the fun in that?

Catch Aarthy and Thinesh on The Amazing Race Canada when the show kicks off on Tuesday, July 2 at 9 p.m. ET on CTV.