Online and Long Distance - Real Love Story


So this is my story.

I met Atala on a message board in 2007. He was an anonymous commenter, just like I was. I was more open so most regular commenters knew I was from Asaba, and that I lived in Edinburgh. He was this aloof guy, very very private. I was impressed by his intelligence, and how helpful he generally was to the members of the board, old and new. With time, we began to exchange banters on the site, and I found out that he was also based in the UK. He was a volunteer on the site, and when I also joined the team, we got a chance to work together, and I was further bowled over.

I'm a firm believer in going for what I want and when I became single later that year, I reached out to him with a personal message to wish him Happy Christmas. He replied that he had recently moved to the US, and my heart sank. I didn't believe in long distance relationships, especially with someone I hadn't met first. So I tried to put him out of my mind and look out for other options.

I went to Nigeria for Easter, and organised a meet-up with fellow message board members. The pictures of the party were circulated on the forum, and a few days later, I got a message from Atala. He said he knew I would be deluged with admirers and just wanted to get in line. That was such a corny line, but it got me. Still, I took about a week or so to think about it. I liked him, but he still lived in the US while I was in the UK. Anyway, I told him to send in his application, and that started a witty introduction.


Our communication moved from the forum's private messages to emails, phone calls and web cam, and it was as if we'd known each other for ever. Our conversations lasted hours, and we would speak everyday, and still exchange emails. However, after three months of this, I mentioned that what we had wasn't serious as I hadn't met him. He pulled back then, and we decided it wouldn't work.

I missed him like hell, but had to get back to my life, what I called real life as opposed to online life. We stopped calling each other, and kept our distance on the board. However, just over a month later, I noticed that he seemed to want another chance. He sent a message and I told him to call if he wanted to. My phone begun to ring immediately. Honestly, my heart melted then.

We spoke for longer than we ever had that night, and he said he was willing, ready and able to give a relationship with me his all. I had never stopped caring for him, but I knew I couldn't do an LDR if we did not meet. He said he would do something about it. A week later, he sent me his itinerary for a flight he booked to visit me a month later. I was like OMG, I couldn't believe it was happening.

It almost didn't happen. About a couple of days to his visit, he said something that almost spoilt it all. It was an emotional night, and when we got over that, I knew for certain, he was THE ONE. Meeting him at the airport after that was so exciting, and emotional too. I was scared though, what if he didn't like me? What if we didn't hit it off? All my fears were unnecessary. He stayed with me for a week, and it was beautiful.

He visited two more times in the next three months, and by then, we were talking marriage. On the second visit, we picked out an engagement ring together, and I organised a party for him to meet some of my friends formally. I thought the proposal was going to be nothing special, I was expecting it after all. But he surprised me. He got down on one knee, and sang a beautiful song he'd composed specially for the occasion. Words cannot describe what I felt.

Atala often says he's not a romantic, and he's certainly not a textbook one. But who needs textbooks when you can write your own? We didn't want to share the private emails, or the song he proposed with, but he agreed to write this poem which captures how he felt then, and how he still feels now.

The rising sun after the darkest night,
The comforting hand after a fearful fright,
The healing force that stills a raging blight,
None of these compare to having you in my life.

A sparkling jewel set in a golden crown,
The dazzling smile that lifts a brooding frown,
The wings that bear aloft when one is plummeting down,
All these are but naught to having you in my life.

For a long time my world was seen in shades of grey,
Then you happened, and all my clouds were chased away;

So I'll pass up on wealth more than a sum I could name,
Keep stepping when tempted by the trappings of fame,
Don't care about playing the power and prestige game,
I'd forsake all of these for having you as my wife.

{Personal pictures removed}

And this my beautiful people is how we wrap up the month of love. I hope others are as moved and inspired as I am from all the different glimpses of what has worked and how love can be. Thanks to all those who shared their stories with us this month. And special thanks to all those who have been consistent with comments.

I look forward to March, and wish everyone the best!
Enhanced by Zemanta

A Rollercoaster Ride - Real Love Story

By Naija Mum in London

Dare I say that this story reminded me of Efe and Kevwe of A Love Rekindled? I'm more convinced that love is real, and my stories really happened to some people. Read on...and if you're the first to comment, you get the COMPLETE A Love Rekindled EBook.

____


I like using analogies whenever I tell a story and this time will be no different.

I choose to compare my love journey – with my hubby, YL – to a rollercoaster. If you have ever been on a roller coaster ride (or seen one at an amusement park); you will know that this ride is full of twists and turns – there is THE CAUTIOUS SLOW START, followed by THE EXCITING BUILD UP (as one approaches a scary height or twist), then comes THE SICKENING DROP and then THE REASSURING STEADY COAST as the ride approaches THE WELCOME FINISH!

The Cautious Slow Start:

The first time I met YL, I was in my second year at UNIBEN. I walked into the lecture room and noticed him straightaway - because he was quite tall and handsome. I later found out that he was a friend of a friend (SO). SO was my classmate in UNIBEN and we had been friends from secondary school days.

Well, YL said that it was love at first sight for him. However, it was not the same for me. This was because I had a boyfriend at that time. Even though that relationship was already on its last legs, I still did not consider a relationship with YL because I felt he was too worldly wise and I wasn’t too sure of his intentions. I really was wary of guys in general!

I was also reluctant to go out with YL because I was concerned about gaining a ‘bad reputation’ on campus. You see, in those days, we were quite a close knit community on campus – everyone knew your business and I really did not want to be seen as jumping from one relationship to another!

Well, after a lot of ‘chasing’ – involving lots of suya, cakes, night strolls and restraurant visits - and positive feedback about YL from my good friend, SO grew to become a good (platonic) friend. In fact his gentle, supportive nature meant I began looking forward to seeing him instead of my feckless boyfriend. When I eventually I split up with my then boyfriend - a year after I first met YL, we became an item.


The exciting build up:

YL and I grew closer and closer and I can honestly say that we were one of the most loved up couples on campus. Even when we were away from each other, we thought of one another. To say we were soulmates is an understatement.

What I particularly loved about YL was that he was the first person who made me feel totally and absolutely loved. He was not afraid to show his love and this was refreshing to me. I say ‘refreshing’ because I grew up in a household where feelings were not discussed. This could be frustrating as a lot of issues were often swept under the carpet. This upbringing made me a bit reserved and independent. Indeed, I had a part-time job all through my university days and I was a bit of a tomboy – impatient when it came to emotional issues and more comfortable with male friends.

As I said, we became soul mates and remained a couple all through university. The funny thing is that YL never actually proposed, but he made it clear that our relationship was to end in marriage. From when we were in our final year, he was already making plans for our life together. However, as we approached the end of our final year, I started to get worried about whether our relationship would survive the ‘outside world’. You see, YL has always been the optimist in our relationship, while I have always been the worrier, the realist, the pragmatic one.

The first test of our relationship came when we were posted to different states for our Youth Service. Contrary to what I feared, we grew closer as we savoured out time together – whenever we got together.

Our relationship was tested again when, a year after we graduated, YL decided to leave for the UK. I was supportive of his choice but I chose to stay behind in Nigeria because I was already gainfully employed – in a well paid job. The plan was that we would keep in touch and maintain a long distance relationship. Well, that was the plan.

The sickening drop:

Unfortunately, our well-laid plans did not fall into place and I have to confess that I was to blame. Yes....not the guy this time - ME!

I cannot make excuses for this but looking back, I can see now that living alone in Lagos, with the responsibility of running a business, managing my own flat and overseeing a small workforce of people....I grew overwhelmed and lonely. This was 1992, with very few mobile phones, no emails and snail-speed communication (in the form of posted letters)

I was 21 years old at the time and I guess the weight of being the responsible girl (taking care of my younger ones, being in a steady relationship and managing a business) just got to me. Unfortunately, at the same time I was going through this internal turmoil, I was being courted by someone else – and I succumbed.

Sadly, when YL paid a visit to Nigeria after a year in the UK, I told him about this other person. Looking back, I could have lied to YL, but I could not bring myself to do so. YL was devastated and betrayed! I still recall that period as one of the worst periods in my life. I was a walking zombie because I was so torn and confused.

However, I still could not keep away from YL and I went to see him at the airport on the day he returned to the UK. We shed a lot of tears together – holding hands silently as we both pondered over the sadness of shattered shared dreams. His last words to me as he left me to board the plane.....’Just remember that I will always love you.’

I believe his plane had not even touched down in London before I realised my mistake – of letting the love of my life go! I thought about contacting him for a while but I was afraid that the mess I had created was too much to overcome.

After a lot of soul searching, I decided he was too good to let go and I contacted him – by writing a heartfelt letter in which I apologised and begged for his forgiveness.

The reassuring steady coast:

Long story short is that he did forgive me. Tentatively, we started communicating again but I knew I had to win his trust. I also knew that I was not happy without him. So, I quit my job and joined him in the UK!

Coming together again was not an easy process. We went through a long process of recriminations and trust-building. I can honestly say that it was really difficult at times but the bottom line was that we truly loved each other and we both felt we had met our soul mates.

I do believe that the success of this reconciliation process had a lot to do with the fact that both families really liked each other. Even when we went through ‘the sickening drop’, tboth fathers (his and mine) acted with the great wisdom that can only come from having gained invaluable life experience. They were both very understanding and supportive. Their only comment was to tell us ‘What is yours is yours’

The Finish................:

I have now known YL for 23 years and we have been married for 12 years. How do I know I love him still? Because everytime I hear something funny...he is the first person I want to share it with; Whenever I am sad, he is the only one who knows what to say to me. His success is my success and vice versa. Indeed I couldn’t wish for a better partner or father to my children – because he is genuinely a nice, caring person.

I pray God grants us good health and long life so we can continue to savour life’s experiences together. My advice to others...We are all human and we are not perfect. If you find real love, move mountains to be together. Life is full of challenges and having someone beside you to lean on - and vice versa - is a blessing.

_________________________________

image from rollercoasterking.com

A Love That Changed My Life - Real Love Story

This story is from Rita of ERO Inspirations. One of the things that was confirmed for me as this month progressed was that as we're different, so are our stories. But no matter the story, love is real, love is for everybody. Age ain't nothing but a number, and neither distance nor money is a barrier to love.

Do you consider yourself hard hearted? Love will find you. Think it's too late to get that Tall, Dark and Handsome? He's right there. In this story we find that even when you have a history that makes people turn up their noses, there is forgiveness and someone for you. Enjoy!

When he asked me if what he heard from “The Scandal” was true, I denied vehemently. He was nothing more than a classmate to me, so I felt there was no point in opening up to him. He took my words, and defended me anytime people made mention of “The Scandal”.

He was a great friend. He was the “middle-man” trying to help mend my relationship broken by “The Scandal”, so we met often. He was very easy to talk to. I told him things about me (except the truth about “The Scandal”). He was not judgmental. With time I began to like him, for he is very easy to love. After a while I realized we had become very close. We had shared secrets, pains, joys, and used our strengths to help each other in our weaknesses. I had started feeling something for him but was haunted by the secret I kept from him. I decided to tell him the truth about “The Scandal”. I knew the truth could make us separate, but I could not go on with the lies and deception. For his openness and love, he deserved to know the truth.

He was far away and we communicated via phone at specific times. When I could not take the guilt of my lies anymore, I quickly seized the opportunity when he called me to break the news.
“Remember ‘The Scandal’ and those things you heard about me?” I started, “they actually happened. I am sorry I lied to you and I am sorry I have kept this a secret from you for over a year!”


The silence that followed was deafening. A minute later, he hung up on me. Surely that night was going to be a sleepless one for me. There was no way I could reach him. I did not know what he felt, what he thought, or what his decision could be. I put myself in his shoes. It was an unforgivable act. A combination of lies, deception, betrayal, destruction of ego and reputation. If I was the one, that would have ended the relationship.

When I had not heard from him the next day (because he is a consistent caller), I concluded that the friendship was over and I accepted my fate. He did not deserve someone like me, even as a friend. A day afterwards, I received an email from him. I expected to read of my faults, my mistakes, what I had done wrong and why we can never be friends again. To my astonishment, what I read was “God loves us all, we wrong HIM but He still forgives us no matter what. So who am I not to forgive? I may hate you for a minute, get angry for a second, but I will remain the man who wants to walk in GOD's image and purpose and will learn to forgive (as per to forget..hmmm dat one na shock therapy I go need sha)”

I had gone into relationships hoping to find love and acceptance – these I never found. Worse still, I had been told by many that I was not wife material – maybe at best a concubine or mistress. But what He did made me feel accepted and loved. When we met face-to-face, I said, “Tell me more about your God. Does He love me and has He also forgiven me of my sins?” (I did not have a Christian/godly background so I did not really know who God was). That began my journey of getting to know the grace and unconditional love of God. The more he taught me about God, the more I was falling in love with him and His God.

We did have some challenges with our relationship that made us stay apart for a while. It came as a surprise to me when one morning, after all our ups and downs, he challenged me to a game of scrabbles. He knew I like Scrabbles but he was not always keen on playing, hence my surprise. He was to play first but he “cheated”. He peeped into the scrabble bag and took more than 7 tiles. While I was trying to tell him he must return the tiles and pick the right way, he spelt something on the board that read “Pearl, will you marry me?” I was so shocked yet excited at the same time. I had to “cheat” as well and picked letters E and S to add to one of the Y’s in response. Nine months later, we got married.

His act of forgiveness, and accepting me for who I was despite my past, mistakes, flaws, weaknesses, secrets and heartbreaks made me a whole, different woman. It drew me to God, taught me to love myself and others, helped me let go of self-condemnation and helped me step out into the future God had in store for me. He remains a man whose love makes me love him more with each passing day.

It is my prayer for ladies waiting on God for Mr. Right, that they meet the man of their dreams, who understands that no one is perfect, and who will love them for who they truly are.


________________

And I say Amen.

Do you want to be inspired in your own relationship? Want to know more about Rita and her Mr. Right? CLICK HERE.

A Love Rekindled - Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award


My book made it to the second round!

LOL...sorry for the break in transmission of love stories, but hey, A Love Rekindled is a love story too.

The Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award is a contest for writers and self-published authors in two broad categories, General fiction and Young Adult, with 5000 entries for each. I am so pleased that A Love Rekindled beat out the rest to emerge one of the 1,000 that have been selected.

The Award includes a round-trip all expenses paid to New York, a Prize worth $15,000 as an advance to a book deal with Penguin, and publicity through Amazon when the book is released.

This is the second round (where Amazon editors reviewed 300 word pitches), and by March 22nd, we'll find out if A Love Rekindled made it into the Quarter Finals (where Amazon top customer reviewers rate 5,000 word excerpts).

To all those who made it, Congratulations! This is so exciting. My heart is racing, but I'm taking deep breaths. Below is the pitch, I hope the excerpt does a good job too!




Efe returns to Nigeria after years in the United States, dreaming of a happy, independent life. However, everyone expects her to get married, and her nights become plagued by nightmares of Kevwe, her ex-fiancĂ©. Long hours at work and drinking in nightclubs only provide temporary relief. Then Efe encounters Kevwe’s twin brother, and knows it’s a matter of time before Kevwe is back in her life. Sparks fly when they finally meet again, but desire is no match for bitter-sweet memories of first love and heartbreak.

For seven years, Efe believed she was rejected; now Kevwe claims she abandoned him after a crippling car accident. Efe had no knowledge of the crash, and blames his family’s unwarranted hatred of her ethnicity for their separation. Stuck at a crossroads, Kevwe prefers to look to the future, pledging he’s never stopped loving her. Efe does not want to lose him, yet she needs the traumatic events of the past resolved before she gives in to rekindled love.

_________________

A LOVE REKINDLED is mainstream romance. The story entertains, is emotionally engaging, and provides a window into another culture, place and people. I’m Nigerian and decided to showcase local characters in loving relationships through this novel. I also witnessed ethnic violence in Warri and thought this topical issue could be explored in fiction. Love stories cut across race, class and geography, and adult mainstream and romance readers will want to see how Efe and Kevwe overcome romantic conflict.

African romance is – internationally - an unexplored niche that has the potential to be richly rewarding. My first novel, a self-published Nigerian romance, was very well received, and has garnered a substantial following on blogger, Facebook and Twitter. It was also subsequently published, to good reviews, in Nigeria
.


If you’re interested in more information about this contest, go to: http://www.amazon.com/abna.

Between Nigeria and Singapore - Real Love Story

This story is by Le Dynamic Professeur and his sweetheart, and fiancee. They decided to do a unique, his and hers point of view interview-style narration of their real love story.


Like the tale of Durban who wished for a bird in a city where there were only wild birds; but as fate would have it, a bird from the West flew across oceans to find Durban in the East. Since then, the sun has never stopped rising in the East. So goes our love story. You know when God writes your love story; all you are is a piece of character bonding with other characters to form a fairytale of a life time. Welcome to a story you’d live to remember. Our names are Moyosore & Mayowa.

Moyosore: I met Blessing in a very unusual way. I was studying for my Masters degree in one Singapore’s finest Universities in the year 2007. All that I had on my mind was to complete the degree and go for my PhD as soon as possible. I didn’t really have many distractions then safe for soccer which I played twice a week. I had just suffered some knocks from a relationship that never happened with another lady so I was not interested in another heart break. I was very vision oriented and passionate about my studies.

Mayowa: Moyosore came into my life at a time when I least expected. With the dream of becoming a medical doctor, I had made up my mind never to allow any distractions especially in the area of relationships. I had just finished my Cambridge A’levels around mid 2007 and was waiting on my call up to start medicine at the University of Lagos. Because I had so much time on my hands, I decided to try one of the social networking sites – hi5.com. That was where my flight to the east to meet Durban began.

Moyosore: I was living with a few close church brothers then. We were very much into each other. They were people I had so much respect for because I saw them as my blood brothers. One of them, let’s call Him, Bro K, met Mayowa on hi5.com. He would always tell us about Mayowa and how they’re getting to know each other and becoming awesome friends. Because of the time difference between Nigeria and Singapore, Bro K was always up as early as 6am in the morning to chat with Mayowa and some other of his friends in Nigeria. One faithful day, on my way to school, I met Bro K chatting with Mayowa online and He decided to introduce us to each other and we exchanged contacts.

Mayowa: When Bro K introduced Moyosore to me, he didn’t sound too interested in becoming friends. Guess because he was on his way to school. He was in a rush and just said Hello, ‘how are you?’ and ‘bye’ not long after. I was a little disappointed. Some weeks after, Bro K asked if I would like to speak to Moyo again. Reluctantly I agreed. Somehow, we ended up talking at length.

Moyosore: We began developing friendship, talking about our goals and aspirations. I found out she wanted to be a medical doctor because she of her passion for people. I told her about my vision and passion for people too and how I would like to be professor and inspire people all over the world. Being me, I was very passionate about my vision to inspire people that it seem that was the only thing I had to talk about.

Mayowa: I was almost put off by how much his vision had consumed him but thank God I endured a little more. One day, we just hit it off, this time not on the course of visions and aspirations but on tales of our pasts. That was when I saw the interesting side of Moyosore. His openness and sincerity were the first things that opened my heart to him. We started to find our feet in the friendship and enjoying each other’s company. We continued chatting everyday for several hours.

Moyosore: Sometimes, I miss my morning classes because I was chatting with her. The daily routine became something I could not do without. I enjoyed every beat of it. We were so interested in getting to know each other more that in months, we had become best friends. We talked about everything! Most importantly, we shared God’s word daily, and chose a day of the week to fast and pray. I would share revelations I’d gotten from my quiet time with her on a daily basis. No doubt, that strengthened our relationship. Not long after, I perceived she was the one for me but I didn’t know how to present it to her since I hadn’t seen her before. It was a strange feeling but I knew it was real. It was a rare affection but it was unarguable!

Mayowa: The feeling was mutual but I didn’t want to give in. I was adept on getting to 400L medicine before starting any relationship. Moyosore confessed his love for me January, the following year. I acted as if I felt nothing because I was just about to enter into the university then and I felt a relationship at that time would be a huge distraction. Somehow we both carried our parents (on both sides) along. We told them how we met and our parents counselled us, albeit very carefully and prayerfully too.

Moyosore: Everything became clearer when my Dad called me one day and said, “Moyosore, that lady you’ve always been talking about, I perceive within my spirit, she is right for you. Make it work”. To my greatest amazement, that was the first time I ever had my Dad talked about a lady to me. He was always an advocate of platonic friendship and would often say, “Don’t be in a hurry, enjoy the friendship”. Moreso, for a lady he hadn’t seen and all he knew about her was all I told him, I was stunned. After that I summoned the courage to let her know how I was feeling. I poured out my heart to her entirely, telling her I have never felt that way before about anyone.

Mayowa: Somehow, I took courage to pray about it; albeit reluctantly at first. A time came when I felt I got a conviction within me that God is in it and I should go ahead. I called Moyo on 14th March, 2008 to tell Him. That was how our relationship started. Till then, we still hadn’t seen each other. Through every challenge, hurdle, temptations and anxiety, God was there. He assured us He would see us through. On July 23rd, 2010, we finally met for the first time. I must say, I have no regret whatsoever. I always tell him, I love him plenty plenty. LOL

Moyosore: If you ask me, I’d tell you she is the best! From the beginning till now, its evident God orchestrated it. I have no regrets whatsoever. I can’t wait to take Mayowa to the altar. She is the best thing that’s ever happened to me. I believe I am the most privileged of men to have such a jewel as my own. I will never trade that for anything in the world. I love her so much.

There goes our love story. It sure doesn’t and wouldn’t end there. See you on our wedding day!

__________________

The first picture is from Google images search, and not of the real persons. Thanks for reading.

I fell so deeply in love - Real Love Story

Binyerem Ukonu of Ink Upon my Paper is a writer and published author. For today however, he'll be sharing about his recent (December 2010) marriage and the story behind it. Can money buy you love? Read on...


Ok! She is going to kill me at this one, but I must say this. When I met my wife, I did not know she was my wife, because she was so small and innocent. Her cousin was my friend, and I had gone for a street carnival along his street. He made sure I was there, after series of calls from him. Finally, I decided to go for the party with two friends of mine. It was towards the end of December, 2007, and it was in Owerri. It was meant to be the end of year party for their neighbourhood. It was fun to have gone. We had comedians of all sorts, and dancers, even those that danced with their belly on the bare floor.

I stood with my friend – her cousin, I remember, under a whistling pine tree, close to a yellow bus. It was in front of their house. He told me that his cousin – a girl – had just visited them from Lagos. He said that she was around for his sister’s wedding. It was even then that I knew that my friends sister was about to wed. She was in the navy, I remember. So, he called his cousin out and introduced her to me as Adaobi. She smiled all through our chatter. She was innocent indeed. I promised to see her the next day, but never did. I saw her again after three years, and it was then that she became my girlfriend. I had gone to Bonny Island, and she was still in Lagos, working with a bank.

I fell so deeply in love with her. Something had changed in her. She was now more mature, and spoke like a career woman. And nothing puts me on a high more than that. We promised not to let anyone know we had something together, and we kept our promise to each other. The day I proposed to her, we were hanging out with a few friends, and I looked at her and couldn’t resist it. I immediately pulled out my phone from my pocket, and composed the four word question; WILL YOU MARRY ME? I had only ten thousand naira in my bank account when I sent that sms. People that want to get married always keep good money in the bank. I waited, and finally, I my phone rang, at first. It was YES. I immediately ordered for more drinks, but no one knew why. I guess I am one of those that proposed without a ring.

We wedded three months after the proposal, on the 29th day of December, 2010. I dated Adaobi for eleven months. Our wedding was grand, and I can not remember who I invited that couldn’t make it. Even amongst writers, I had Ebenezer Alamie, Chizitere Ojiaka and Onyeka Nwelue. I overheard my best man telling someone that what he loved most about this couple (us) was the love that dwelt between them (us). To make things more beautiful, she understands the point that I am a writer. Not all partners do. I never believed in the myth surrounding 14th February, but I’ll celebrate this year’s valentine. As this season of love comes and passes by, I’m glad I’ve achieved a book, and a wife.

One Queen for every kingdom - Real Love Story

By ChiChi of From Now Till I do

The introduction

Afam and I met back in 2007, where we were both volunteers at a Youth Conference. My mum, also a youth worker, actually introduced us and at the time I remember us being very polite about the whole thing and were like 'hi - hi'.

Four months later we were both going to the National Conference and Afam’s original transport plans didn't go as planned. Through no fault of his own he missed his lift to Wales and I ended up driving us both down to the conference. It was during those two hours, while my sister slept in the passenger seat that we got a chance to talk and realised that we had quite a lot in common.

Living in different towns we communicated regularly by telephone and email. We would talk for hours about anything and everything and he made me laugh. I enjoyed his company.

We were both at a stage in our lives where dating was not an option. We didn’t want to be in relationships which didn’t have a purpose, so very early on in the relationship we laid our cards out on the table. This was key because we didn’t want to waste each other’s time.

It was on a cold Saturday night back in October 2007 where Afam told me that he cared about me a lot and believed God was calling us to develop a relationship that would eventually lead to marriage. That November I came down to see him for his birthday and we had our first proper date together.

Journey to the altar

The following year, after a fun filled family Christmas, Afam took me away for some one on one time. He booked us a table at a beautiful Thai Restaurant by the river and then proceeded to give the most romantic proposal.

'Darling, I have always known that there's one woman for every man, one Queen for every kingdom. From the moment you stole my heart, I have waited for this moment to say these words. I love you, I love you with all my heart. Will you marry me?'

My words back were 'yes, yes I will, you know I will'.

It was great end to 2008.



After months of planning, relocations and job changes on June 26th 2010, we stood before our family and friends and committed our lives to each other.



Early days


For me I love the companionship and partnership that marriage brings. I love my husband dearly and enjoy building our lives together, setting up home, making goals. Even the mundane day to day things are much more enjoyable when it is with someone you love.

Before I met my husband I was a very independent person, now I am an interdependent person and love sharing my life with him. He is kind and incredibly selfless. He always wants to make sure I am okay, he consults me in everything and we truly are great partnership.

Afam takes his responsibilities as a husband very seriously and loves the Lord with all his heart. He has taught me so much; encouraging me to grow and develop in my faith and skills as a wife, for which I am grateful.

Success in marriage

Communication and trust are the two things I think are essential in marriage. Being able to effectively communicate with your spouse is so important as every argument or fight is bringing you one step closer to oneness. Trust allows you to grow, be yourself and develop together. You also need to approach marriage with a selfless attitude and know that it is for life.

Love endures all things... 1 Corinthians 13:7

Afam and I pray daily together and commit our lives and marriage to God. We also ensure that our own personal walk with God is sound as this is fundamental in ensuring that our relationship is successful. We regularly read and watch marriage DVDs as well have an older couple who advise, support and pray with us.

Be prepared to make sacrifices and be prepared to learn, as marriage is a journey of personal development and growth.

For those of you who are not yet married, don’t waste your single years. Prepare yourself to become a wife (or husband) and strive to become selfless. Learn to depend on God and not in your own abilities (Proverbs 3:5) as this same dependency and submission you have for God is what will be transferred to your husband in your marriage. Last but not least don’t settle!

Marriage takes commitment and you have to work at it daily but it is also a beautiful partnership and the rewards are sweet!

Now will you help me write my future? Real Love Story

So you might have been wondering who N from the last post was. It's The Wordsmythe. She has her blog HERE, and is also a writer, and aspiring author. She is blogging every week this year, so make sure to follow her. Read on...


It was Sunday the 16th of February 2003, two days after Valentine’s Day. Another Valentine’s Day which had come and gone with no significant other for me! That was about to change!

The pastor asked us to pair up, share a prayer point each and pray for one another. For some strange reason and in quick time, everyone around me was partnered up leaving me to wander around the aisle looking for some other hapless soul.

It turned out that everyone in the auditorium had a partner except for me so the pastor asked me to be a third wheel to whichever pair would let me. I looked around noticed this tall, dark and handsome guy (I mean that literally) grinning like the cat who got all the cream. I’d never seen this guy in church before so I thought he might be visiting. He and his partner beckoned me over and we prayed for each other having shared our requests.

After the service, I got talking with the guy. It turned out he’d been attending the church for a while. We exchanged e-mail address and promised to stay in touch. I also asked him to give a friend a ride when he told me where he lived.

For the next two weeks we communicated by email, getting to know each other. As I read his emails, he struck me as the type of man I’d been praying about for a husband. He seemed caring, generous, kind and chivalrous. He cared deeply about his family and seemed loyal to his friends. I could tell he was a conscientious worker as well.

Our first telephone conversation lasted about four hours, going on into the early hours of the morning. Needless to say, neither of us was very productive at work that day. A month to the day we met, again after a church service, he handed me a tatty little exercise book. It was his maths book from primary school. In it, he’d written a note which read;

This is my past. Now will you help me write my future?


That marked the beginning of our 17 month courtship.

In November 2003, we went on to visit with his family on the East Coast of America. A friend of mine who lived in Canada at the time was visiting her cousin upstate New York so we decided to go and see her.

We wanted to see the Empire State building but the queue was an hour long so I said we should leave off and do something else. He offered to pay for the fast-track queue but it would have cost something like an additional $50 or $60 each. I thought that was a waste of money.

He suggested we go to Central Park. I couldn’t imagine traipsing around the park in New York’s sub-zero November temperatures so again, I said no. Finally we were at Grand Central waiting for a coach back Hightstown when he asked me to go with him to see the lights in the grand hall. By this time I was exhausted from a full day out and turned him down yet again.

We got back to his aunt’s and were in the middle of a conversation when he got up, went to the dining table, then came back. Before I could make sense of what was going on, he got down on one knee and held out a diamond ring! Apparently he’d planned to propose atop the Empire State building, in Central Park or the Grand Central Station and I’d thwarted everyone of his plans.

He reeled off a speech but to this day, I don’t know what he said as I burst into tears and covered my face with my hands, overwhelmed by it all. I said yes and the rest is not history at all! We got married in August 2004 and have two sons.Our marriage has been like wine, it’s gotten better with age and he’s still as romantic as ever, if not more.


_________

Now, now now, that is not the end. I just have to share this post of N's 40th Birthday with you. Mo'Cushla made sure was one of a kind. This kind love eh? LOL...CLICK HERE

PS. More love stories on the way o...

Bernard Pivot Blogfest

This blogfest is from Nicole of One Significant Moment.


1. What is your favorite word? LOL...does 'hey!' count?

2. What is your least favorite word? 'bloody' as in the cuss word

3. What turns you on creatively, spiritually or emotionally? Good music just takes me away.

4. What turns you off? Limitations, unnecessary ones. I just love me my freedom.

5. What is your favorite curse word? "oh no!"

6. What sound or noise do you love? Thunderstorms

7. What sound or noise do you hate? Crying babies

8. What profession other than your own would you like to attempt? Astronaut

9. What profession would you not like to do? Medicine

10. If Heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say when you arrive at the Pearly Gates? I love you child, welcome.

From the Man's Point of View - Real Love Story

This is one of the sweetest things about this February Love theme. I woke to an email from the husband of one of my contributors who wanted to surprise his wife by sending in his own part of the story. Of course I said YES. He starts from the very beginning, so he goes first. Come back in the next 24 hours to read N's part. For now, enjoy Mo'Cushla's story!


Mo’Cushla’s Story….

I’d seen N in church a few times, she was pretty hard to miss being that she was in the choir and everything. I noticed how she always seemed to be smiling when she sang which I found both endearing and amusing. I liked her, but having recently become ‘serious’ about my faith I wasn’t sure if that was because I felt she was attractive, or if it was something more serious. She stood tall and looked as if she worked out, but not too skinny, she had curves in all the right places… (what can I say, old habits died hard back then)……
Thinking back, there was once a time I would have found a way to introduce myself to her and used every trick in the ‘players’ handbook to get her number…’ But I guess God wanted to show me a different way of doing things ….

I should stress at this point I didn’t fancy her ... in that way. I just liked the way she carried herself and wanted to say, ‘Hey’...But how to do it, I had it all planned out in my head….It would be casual, nothing scripted, I’d say, hello, she’d say ‘hey’, we’d smile, a brief pause and the world would go on...

I didn’t know any of her friends, I didn’t talk to any of the people she hung out with, and despite my confident exterior I wasn’t about to just walk up to her and risk being shot down… (you never know with some women, Christian or not !!). The one friend I did have asked why I was so interested in her, I replied I wasn’t, I was just curious..…. its not like I fancied her or anything, (and honestly I didnt’t) ….I just felt she was a cool, good looking girl and she’d be nice to know, that was it ….or so I thought. My friend jokingly said I should go and pray about it… we both laughed and I forgot about the conversation.


The next few weeks were a bit of a blur… Life went on, work, gym, church…I saw her on Wednesdays and Sundays, but still didn’t do anything. I just thought, it is what it is. I wasn’t thinking about dating, or going out, and certainly wasn’t thinking marriage. Yes, I wanted to talk to her, and yes I liked her, because she seemed like a genuinely nice person. And just to prove how uninterested I was in her I even decided to start praying for her, they weren’t long prayers or anything like that and I didn’t know why I was doing it, …but I made a conscious effort to, because as you well know, you can’t be attracted to people if you pray for them, besides I just thought its what Christians were meant to do…. So in the back of my mind she remained the cool girl from church that I liked….and that I occasionally prayed for..

I realize now I was falling in love and I didn’t even know it…(I told you God wanted to do something different). Time went on and I’d been looking for a ‘way’ to talk to her for almost 5 weeks with no success.

On Sunday 16th of Feb 2003, PAi, (our church senior pastor), took to the stage to start the service. We were a rapidly growing congregation and one of his pet hates were church cliques, he hated seeing the same people sitting together, in the same place, and not mixing with new people he knew were joining. So he said … “I want you guys to get yourselves into groups of 3 or 4, with people you’ve never spoken to…. introduce yourself, tell them what you do, where you live, exchange prayer points…. just do something.”

“This is it” I thought … this is my chance, but N was singing, how do I get from the middle of church, past all these folks who I’d never spoken to, to join her group..

I devised a plan of action….I needed to be quick and not loose sight of her, then I’d accidentally ‘bump’ into her naturally …….As I got up to execute my plan, the ‘sister’ beside me just shot out her hand and said ‘Hello my name is ……’ (I can’t remember her name), I felt my insides fall apart….. I was too much of a gentleman to ignore her, even though that’s what I wanted to do. Needless to say, I didn’t, I stretched out my hand, and introduced myself.

By this time I’d lost sight of N, I noticed people around us all had the maximum in their group, so it was just me and ‘sister show-stopper’…. We made small talk for a minute or two, I told her who I was, and what I did, but my heart wasn’t in it. I was still smarting from my missed opportunity, when just over my companions shoulder, a figure seemed to stop and hover, scanning the room as if looking for someone, I didn’t pay much attention till I heard the words…….“Hi can I join your group?” I looked up and the biggest grin formed on my face….. It was N.

I cant remember much after that, I just remember smiling…. a lot !! (she would later tell me she thought there was something wrong me because of the weird smile I had on my face)...

It all started 16th Feb 2003…. I proposed on the 30th of November 2003 we married in August ‘04…..…

8 years after our initial conversation, I’m still smiling.

Mo’Cushla

Happy Valentine's Day

There are two parts to this post and they both fit into the spirit of Valentine and my February Love.


Thanks to Christina Lee of Write-Brianed, you can read this short excerpt where the two main characters kiss for the first time. This is Kevwe and Efe from A Love Rekindled, my upcoming book. After being college sweethearts, they were separated for seven years, and this is evening of the day they met again.
Kevwe gripped her wrist and stared into her eyes, covering her hand with his and intertwining their fingers right on her thighs. Efe trembled. She would have jumped to her feet if the feel of his fingers kneading hers on her laps was not so distracting. Her heart raced, muddling her thoughts.

“Let me show you how much I’ve missed you,” he murmured, desire in his gaze.

His fingers stroked over her slender knuckles and along the length of her thigh. A rush of pleasure suffused her brain as he leaned towards her. His manly scent flooded her senses and her head swam. God, she wanted to melt into him. Her heart jumped as she remembered how it used to be between them.

They had been young, so much in love. When they split she missed him so much, and she had been filled with regrets. Maybe going all the way with him would release her from the prison of the past. Her body certainly wanted it.

She whispered his name like a plea and shifted forward. He fit between her thighs like they were made for him. The loneliness that lay like a piece of hard ice in her heart thawed in that moment. Their lips met and clung together. It started gently, but in an instant the kiss became hot, and then turned hungry and desperate. The hurts of the past disappeared; the only thing that mattered in that moment was the heat of arousal.



Thanks to Stephanie Haefner of Writer's cocoon, I'll be answering the following questions for you;

1- What is the most romantic thing anyone has ever done for you? Suggesting that we get married on valentine day. It was just fortuitous, but romantic that I am, it didn't even occur to me till my then fiance, now husband, asked me. My heart leaped and....hmmm...let's just say, I'll never forget that day, and the day we finally got married.

2- What is your favorite love song? There are so many of them, and though I can't list them all, I have two that I can't choose one over the other. My Heart will go on by Celine Dion and I'll always love you by Whitney Houston.

3- Do you have a favorite romantic movie or book? Titanic is my favorite romantic movie (obvious, right?), and Redeeming love by Francine Rivers is my bestest romantic fiction.

4- Do you have any romantic plans for Valentine's Day this year? Believe me I do, hehehe...

5- What's your favorite romantic treat? (candy, chocolate, edible body paint, etc...) Just being with my heart, my lover, and if there's caramel ice cream involved, then....


Enhanced by Zemanta

Young Love - that's YAmore

Young love can be so sweet and innocent, and that's what YAmore is all about...


From the Oasis of Young Adult fiction

We love blogfests. And we love good YA romance. So we decided to combine the two in our first annual That's YAmore Blogfest.

Starting the Friday before Valentine's Day (that's February 11th), we invite you to post 250 romantic, swoon-worthy words from your YA WIP.

This is actually from a short story that made it into a scene in A LOVE REKINDLED...

__________

On the way back to her dorm, she was surprised by Kurt drawing her into an alley. She peered into his shadowed face.

“It would be good to know how you feel about me,” he said, “do you think we can have something more?”

“What do we have now?” she asked. They’d been seeing each other almost daily now for the past few months and all their friends knew them together. Yet, nothing had been defined.

“Well...we’re more than simply friends, right?” he asked.

“Are we?” she whispered in reply and lowered her eyelids. Her heartbeat raced and she folded her fingers into her moist palms.

“I really like you Virgie, and I want you to be my valentine.”

Virgie raised her face and searched his. Her fists softened. “I also like you Kurt.”

“Look at me.” Kurt stared directly into her eyes, as if reading her thoughts. “Virgie, you can trust me and I mean it. I wouldn’t do anything you didn’t want me to do.”

He placed his hand, which had been stroking her hair at her nape, then used the other one to hold her cheek, raising her face.

“May I?” Kurt asked.

Virgie knew what was about to happen, and she wanted to know what it would feel like to really kiss a guy. Kurt would be her first in this. The way he looked at her melted her heart. She nodded and closed her eyes.

International and cross cultural fairy tale! Real Love Story

From Amy of Making Mrs Mauritz.

This is one sweet tale of love across race, culture and nationality. I came across her blog while they were planning the wedding and I marveled at how awesome love can be when it breaks barriers. Enjoy...


Love can be found in the most unexpected places with the most unexpected person. My unconventional love story began one fateful summer day when I was studying at the Starbucks close to my schools campus. My diligent studying was interrupted by a gorgeous young gentlemen who wanted to know if he could sit with me. I pushed my books to the side and thus began our love story.

Who would have known in 1984 when we were both born that our paths would ever cross and that we were destined to be soul mates? He was born in a tiny town in the midwestern United States to parents of Swedish and German ancestry. I was born in a small city in Nigeria to parents who barely had enough money to make ends meet. Fastforward 23 years and our paths collided. A Texas raised Nigerian girl and a Midwestern American boy meet and fall in love.

Three years later we got married in a wedding celebration that celebrated our love for each other as well as both our cultures and heritages. I am truly blessed to be living a modern day international and cross cultural fairy tale!

___________________

First to comment, do state your choice of chapter 1 - 35, and please leave your email for a fast response, or make sure it is on your profile page.

Have a fantastic weekend people. Remember to do all those secret shopping you need to make Valentine's day special.

I told you I'd see you soon - Real Love Story

By Histiara.com, another blogger I admire a lot, for her writing and the personality that shines through her blog. I hope these stories are as motivating and inspiring as they are for me, this one has some love and life tips too.

First to comment, please state the chapter you'll prefer, or email it to myne @ mynewhitman.com. Cheers!



"Like playing footsies in the dark, our hearts melded before I saw your beautiful face." ~ Maidofheart 1995

I was a self-sufficient, confident, content single who wasn't searching for a man. I was pretty sure no man could melt my stony heart. I’d had years of practice and the carcases I left behind could attest to my uncanny ability to bruise the ego and grind a man to a halt. Life taught me a lesson: 'How to train your heart and never be taken captive again.' But life deceived me. My heart could melt and beat again. Here's my story:

One mildly hot mid-May Friday evening, I'd gone to spend the weekend with one of my best-friends. We were to be bride's maids at her brother's wedding the next day. As I got out of the car and stepped into the house, Nepa struck and the house was plunged into darkness. I groped around and was quite sure I had my bearing right. I took one step up to get into the dining room and bumped into a stone wall, a warm and moving stone wall and almost lost my balance.

"Oh sorry, excuse me. Are you alright?" A deep velvety male voice reached out a hand to steady me.

"I'm fine." I ignored the hand he offered and I shouted at the top of my voice; "Modele are you home? I hope there's petrol in the gen o."

The man chuckled.

My friend came down the stairs and made introductions whilst the lights were still out. We shook hands and I indulged him in a few minutes of polite small talk. When he was leaving he took my hand, pulled me close and whispered in my ears, "See you soon," and he stepped out of the house. Then the lights came back on.

Shock was not the word but the feeling that zipped through me. Who was this guy and how dare he cross my personal space. I was torn between anger and a strange feeling of excitement.

Excitement was one word I hadn't felt in a very long time.



I wished I got a good glimpse of him. I had no idea what he looked like and he was going to see me soon. How? When? But importantly, why was he interested in a silhouetted stranger?

The next morning we got all set for the wedding amidst the pandemonium and adrenalin typical of weddings.

At the reception, someone bumped into me and my heart raised a bit as I thought perhaps it was the mystery man. No, it was a photographer. Then I subconsciously started looking around for any guy who stared at me longer than a few minutes. But the thought that he'd recognize me was another issue. Since when did I care about a guy, least of all one I'd never seen? For all I knew, he could be dead ugly with warts on his face. But then it didn’t matter, right?

Once or twice my friend asked if I was okay since I kept looking around and over my shoulder as though I was looking for someone. I decided to shrug it all off and enjoy my day.

We got back and were getting ready for the night party when at the last minute I decided to go for a quick walk. I often did that to clear my head and get fresh air when going into a crowded place. When I got back, the house was locked and the wedding troupe had all gone; the guard informed me.

It was 11pm; the party had started and wouldn't end until 6am as was the norm then. If I was already dressed for a party, it wouldn't have been too bad. I would have taken a taxi but in a kaftan on bathroom slippers with no make-up on? There was no way I'd be going to the venue dressed like that even if to collect the keys. Where would I start searching for my friend in the throng of people?

It was getting late and the prospect of sitting beside the guard swatting mosquitoes the entire night wasn't my idea of a cool night. I weighed the options and decided to shake off any embarrassing feeling, grab a cab and go get the keys.

As the saying goes, the party was in full swing when I got there. There was no other way to get inside without being in full view of everyone and my friend was nowhere in sight. "Oh dear,” I mused.

I took a sweeping glance at the nearest table to the door and was glad to see most of my other friends seated at the table. I asked if anyone had seen Modele and they told me she'd gone after one of the caterers and won't be back for a while. I had no other choice but to stay put and not get up from my seat. It was far better than sitting outside.

The MC said a few words, toasted the couple and asked everyone to join the couple on the dance floor. My friends all got asked to the dance floor by husbands, boyfriends or someone, leaving just me at the table. I loved watching people dance so I was in for a treat but that was short-lived. I felt a tap on my shoulder and a guy dressed in buba and sokoto Aso-ebi extended his hand, asking me to the dance floor. Above the din in the background I shook my head and tried to tell him I wasn't interested. He kept nodding, I guessed he wasn’t taking ‘no’ for an answer but I declined his offer over and over again until he gave up and went somewhere else.

When the dance was over, everyone flushed with sweaty face sat down, giggling and rather bubbly.

The MC, who happened to be my friend's other brother, walked over to our table with the microphone in his hands and decided to do something rather funny and unorthodox. He was going to introduce us to the most confirmed bachelor in the group and see if he could pair him up with a lady (Chick was the word he used). He pulled up the guy who earlier asked me to dance with him and told us all how he was the hottest cake and would all the single ladies please stand up. Of course, female etiquette dictates, you dare not stand up. There were about six of us who were still single.

The MC introduced all of the single ladies at the table except me because he knew me well enough to know I wouldn't have liked the idea, so he skipped my table. Jokingly, he asked the guy to pick one of the ladies as he pointed to each of them. The guy shook his head at each person and simply said he had someone else in mind; looked at me, smiled and sat down. Everyone at the table laughed at the entire thing.

That was when it hit me; his voice. It was the same deep yet soft tone I’d come to associate with the mystery man. I tried to match the voice to the face and he was better looking than I expected. In spite of my initial anger at his audacity, my defences still crashed. I felt stripped bare and vulnerable.

The MC hopped back on the stage and announced the last couples' dance. This time, mystery man strode purposeful towards me, smiled and extended his hand. Feeling rather shy without the protection of make-up and nice clothes, I did the most practical thing I could, I pulled out my feet and dangled my bathroom slippers and shrugged.

He laughed and still, he pulled me up and led me to the dance floor.

"I told you I'd see you soon." He whispered and winked.

That night we danced and talked like we'd known each other for ever. Last question I asked him after a zillion and one questions was how he knew I was the one he met the night before.

He said he'd met my mum the day before and he liked her as a nice woman/mother. Then just before I bumped into him at my friend's house, he saw and liked my silhouette from the door and he liked the sound of my voice even when I hollered. lol. But the icing on the cake was after we were introduced and he made the connection to my mum.

Well, we said the 'I do's' a year and half later and we've been together for about a decade and half and we have a beautiful daughter.


My 12 basic tips on marriage:

1. Know yourself: your strengths and weaknesses.

2. Read as many books as you can on marriage and discuss with those who have been there.

3. Marry your best friend.

4. Discuss everything; past, present and future.

5. Be realistic in your expectations. You're joining with another human being who is flawed and fraught with short-comings just like you.

6. Romance is short-lived, comes and goes but love is what keeps you afloat. The goose-pimples of the early days don't stay the same. They translate into something deeper, stable and mature. You won't and don't have to feel them to be in love.

7. Marry someone with similar goals and aspirations. Don't be too poles apart. Yes, opposites attract but you need a meeting point.

8. Handle your in-laws with extra special care.

9. Keep few trusted friends. Not everyone is happy for your successful marriage.

10. Learn to handle money.

11. Forgive quickly and easily.

12. Love God like crazy. When the rough times come, He's the ONLY one who can keep your home.

_______________

ps, image courtesy of Google and not of the couple.
Enhanced by Zemanta

Tips for a Healthier and Happier You!

I got the following guidelines in my email and want to share with you. I'm still struggling with some of them, but from the few I already practice, I know they definitely make me healthier and happier. I shared all on tweeter yesterday and my followers loved it and asked to see them in full. Feel free to share.


Health:

1. Drink plenty of water.
2. Eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince and dinner like a beggar.
3. Eat more foods that grow ON trees and plants and eat less food that is manufactured IN plants..
4. Live with the 3 E's -- Energy, Enthusiasm and Empathy.
5. Make time to pray.
6. Play more games
7. Read more books than you did in 2010 .
8. Sit in silence for at least 10 minutes each day
9. Sleep at least 7 hours per day.
10. Take a 10-30 minute walk daily. And while you walk, smile.

Personality:

11. Don't compare your life to others. You have no idea what their journey is all about.
12. Don't have negative thoughts on things you cannot control. Instead invest your energy in the positive present moment.
13. Don't over do. Keep your limits.
14. Don't take yourself so seriously. No one else does.
15. Don't waste your precious energy on gossip.
16. Dream more while you are awake.
17. Envy is a waste of time. You already have all you need.
18. Forget issues of the past. Don't remind your partner of his/her mistakes in the past, that will ruin your present happiness.
19. Life is too short to waste time hating anyone. Don't hate others.
20. Make peace with your past so it won't spoil the present.
21. No one is in charge of your happiness except you.
22. Realize that life is a school and you are here to learn. Problems are simply part of the curriculum that appear and fade away but the lessons you learn will last a lifetime.
23. Smile and laugh more.
24. You don't have to win every argument. Agree to disagree...

Society:

25. Call your family often.
26. Each day give something good to others.
27. Forgive everyone for everything.
28. Spend time with people over the age of 70, and under the age of 6.
29. Try to make at least three people smile each day.
30. What other people think of you is none of your business.
31. Your job won't take care of you when you are sick. Your friends will. Stay in touch.

Life:

32. Do the right thing!
33. Get rid of anything that isnt useful,beautiful or joyful.
34. God heals everything.
35. However good or bad a situation is,it will change.
36. No matter how you feel,get up,dress up and show up.
37. The best is yet to come......
38. When you awake alive in the morning,thank God for it.
39. Your innermost is always happy,so be happy.

LAST BUT NOT THE LEAST:

40. Consider forwarding this guide to those you care about.

The kind of person I’d like to marry - Real Love Story

By JustJoxy

hello dear people, and happy Monday! Like I said, I'll be giving out a chapter of A Love Rekindled to the first person to comment. Go ahead and enjoy the real love story for today.


T came up to me as I was sorting mail in my job as a casual post office sorter. It was my last week of employment after having worked there on and off over the past five years. He was a permanent member of staff and I didn’t even notice he was standing beside me till he said hello. I looked up and up and said hello in return. He asked how I was doing, and we exchanged names and chatted for a short while before he had to go on his break. I can’t remember what we both said, but I do know we discovered we both went to the same church, even though I’d never seen him there before.

After he left, I turned to my friends and said something like ‘I’ve met the kind of person I’d like to marry’ or words to that effect. They asked me if he’d worn a wedding band, but I’d not thought to check. It turned out that even though he wasn’t married, he was dating a girl in church. I didn’t mind, it was nice to be friends with a guy who was being genuinely friendly without any strings attached, and I enjoyed the few more conversations we had before I left Royal Mail later that week.

My prayer life changed. My prayer was ‘Dear God, after so long, I have finally met the kind of person I’d like to marry. Lord, please make it happen according to your will.’

This was in December 1994, a few weeks before Christmas. I was travelling to America for the first time early in the New Year too, and was looking forward to my trip. I had a lovely time while I was away, and when I got back, he told me his girlfriend had broken up with him. I commiserated with him, but I was turning cartwheels on the inside!


And so we became good friends, he worked in the transport department at church, so after service, if he was driving, I’d sit up front with him while he made his drops. We chatted nonstop and the more I found out about him, the more I liked him. Eventually after months of platonic friendship, he popped the question in August 1995, and I said yes. I didn’t have an engagement ring, he couldn’t afford the type I’d like, but I didn’t care, I was happy to wait.

We got married in July 2000, and it was the happiest moment of my life when I walked up that aisle and he turned to smile at me. My wedding band cost £9.99, and his was second-hand, but none of that mattered. (Our bands have since been upgraded, plus I have a ¾ carat diamond engagement ring)

My parents had liked him from the first moment they met him, and to date, he’s more their son than I am their daughter! We have three lovely daughters, and he takes care of all four of us like royalty. T is genuinely one of the nicest men I have ever met, and I know I am one extremely blessed woman to have married him.

First Lines

Thanks to Brenda Drake, I'll be sharing the first line of A Love rekindled with you today. The book is mainstream contemporary romance and starts with a nightmare....

The air was smoky from the kerosene lamps and candles whose flames flickered into the darkness.


SO what do you think?

Giveaways - A chance at $75 shopping and a free eBook!


Happy weekend my lovely people, I hope the day has started off well? For us here, there's shopping, movies and some cooking. But hey, let's talk about the one-time-use $75 promotional code that CSN stores is offering to my awesome readers!

CSN Stores has over 200 online stores where you can find everything from stylish furniture, modern bedding, great cookware, furniture and general home decor. This promotional code can be used in any of these stores, to buy anything you want. With Valentine round the corner, this is absolute great timing! How do you win, you ask? Simply leave a comment, follow if you want to, and I'll pick a winner by my next weekend blog.

This CSN giveaway is only for those in the US and Canada, so I'm throwing in something extra. For all the posts this February, the first to comment will get their choice of one chapter from A Love Rekindled emailed to them.

So get commenting and enjoy the rest of your day.

That word ‘Love’ is a mighty big deal to me - Real Love Story

By Flourishing Florida - Now married for two years (December 2010) and with a cute son too...

Four months to our wedding! Hurray!

December 13th has always seemed far away to me b4 now. But suddenly, it feels like tomorrow. This whole ‘Mrs’ thing is so much realer to me now. It’s not my fantasy (& i fantasize a lot!) or my imagination doing over-time. This is actually happening! U betcha am excited as hell, but am also scared shitless. It’s crazy really. Me, Florida. I am really going to be married to a Nigerian man! A naija who’s never been abroad @ that! I mean, am told dat am so frigging emancipated that only an oyibo or oyiborized man can manage me! How did i wind up with MM & to the point that i feel like it’d be ordained to be like this. Doesn’t it just show you that a lot of times God’s ways r so different from what we envisaged. So, how did we meet? I have this very good friend, Nonie, who works @ Zenith Bank with MM. She and MM just recently got jisting. They used to be nodding acquaintances, till something brought them to a closer friendship.

7th Feb. 2008, MM goes to her and says he’s looking for a wife, does she have any recommendation. Nonie said yes, me. Then, she contacted me and warned me not to fuck up oh. She marketed him so well that i, who hadn’t wanted a relationship for the next 6 months to 1 year, said fine. 1 hour later, MM sends me a text introducing himself and says he’d call later. I replied that it was ok. But, work and all made me not to save his number. Thus when he called, i didn’t know it was him. He reintroduced himself and we talked briefly. He said he’d call back, i said ok and we ended the call. Truthfully, i wasn’t impressed! First and foremost, his English was below my usual standard and my standard is pretty astronomical. Secondly, he sounded stiff and too business-like. I was like, does this man realize that he’s wooing a woman and not closing a deal?


In the evening of that day, MM called back as he promised (and majorly scored a point for keeping his word). I’d slept then, but in the morning i sent him a text apologizing for not answering his call. He called again in the day, we talked. I think he called again in the evening, but i can’t quite remember now. Anyways, what i know is that on Val’s day he sort of told me what he wanted. I say ‘sort of’ cos i honestly can’t say now that there was a proposal. My reply: i told him i just wanted friendship. It’d been barely 3 months i walked out of a relationship that wasn’t going anywhere no matter how badly i’d wanted it to, and i felt i needed time to heal properly. MM says if it’s time i needed, no problem. However, one week after that he wanted to know what’s up. It was really funny, cos it’d only been one week! The man knew what he wanted, i tell you. He tried to reassure me that he wasn’t going to be a bad husband and all. I have to admit, i liked hearing that. I told him about my parents and my fears about marriage, but it didn’t deter him. So, i said alrighty. That was the 21st of Feb, 2 weeks on the dot from the first day we spoke to each other!

Was i excited about being engaged? Hell no. I was frightened. I tot i’d just done something really crazy. I mean, am nuts but this was simply over the top. I was afraid of what people would say, so i didn’t want to say anything initially (when i finally started telling, i pushed the date backward so it’d appear that we’d known for a longer period). Nonie, when i did tell her what i’d done, was alarmed. She was like ‘this is too fast, this is too fast’. My mom too! I was really surprised about my mom, cos isn’t she d one who’d been bugging me to consider someone? I guess what stunned her the most was that i hadn’t seen MM face 2 face, (and i was supposed to be so into looks eh) so how can i be so sure he was my Mr Right. All those reactions made me wonder if i’d done the right thing. For starters, am not ur regular fairy-tale meeting kind of girl, so how could i be d one doing this things that sounded like something out of the movies? But the doubts were only for a short while. There was this connection i felt with MM that was incredible. Even though we’d only just known each other, i felt so much @ home with him. I told him loads of things about me, the good, bad and terrible. I tot now he knows i don’t fit into the mould of a ‘good’ girl/wife, that should make him think twice. Nada. He wanted me and that was it.



On the 7th March, he came over to Abuja to see me. About a week earlier, he’d told me he loved me. My reaction: utter shock. The declaration was completely unexpected and in a way, unwelcomed. Don’t get me wrong. I liked him like hell and enjoyed our courtship, but i hadn’t started thinking along the line of ‘love’. That word ‘Love’ is a mighty big deal to me, and i’ve disqualified guys just for using it prematuredly. I wondered if i’d have to ax MM now, cos if he’d been using it flippantly, that would have been it. I simply wasn’t going to marry a man whose words don’t count! Over the days that followed, MM kept ending every call with ‘i love you’. Ha! There was a day i wanted to scream @ him to ‘shut it already, you are going to jinx this’. He must have noticed my discomfort, cos he stopped it. Then i felt like i’d been amputated. LOL. Isn’t that crazy? I wanted to hear him say he loved me, so i told him i loved him. I don’t think he believed me. I don’t think i believed me either. It really was a probational ‘i love you’, which was subject to confirmation after we’d seen when he comes to Abuja. Thank God the chemistry face 2 face was as amazing as on the phone, cos i wouldn’t have hesitated to call off the engagement if it hadn’t.

The much anticipated day came and i went to the airport with my heart in my hands. He came out & we saw. I went, ‘OMG, he’s so small and young!’ LMAO. He isn’t small @ all. He’s 6 foot plus but slim; my eyes were playing tricks on me. But, he does look younger than his 31 years (32 soon). We hugged i was really shy. All i was thinking was ‘am i really going to marry this man?’ I was trying to reconcile the man i’d been talking to on the phone for the past one month to the man i was seeing. When we got to my house, all the strangeness around him was gone. He was the man i was almost in love with, who i completely fell for the instant we kissed. Seriously, it felt like coming home, that kiss. We got on so well that the original arrangement that he wouldn’t sleep in my house that first visit was reviewed. I did tell him nothing nothing oh 4 night and he said it wasn’t sex he came for. I slept in the bed, him on the floor. Around 3am, i joined him on the floor sha. The following morning, we went to meet my sister and her family (he came with a wine and told them his intentions), then we went to his Aunty’s too. That was how we became official engaged. Oh, before his time he’d spoken to my mom.

It’s been 7 months now of knowing MM and it’s been an experience to cherish. Why am i marrying him? Cos he’s wonderful. One of the key things i love about him is that he holds his word sacred. If he says something, he means it. It’s great to be with a man who you aren’t second-guessing, wondering if there’s an entirely different meaning to the things you heard. Another point he had to his favour was his family. From the time we started speaking, i could see that he had a father he was proud of. A father he respects. I’ve met his dad and i agree with MM. To have a husband whose father stood by his sick wife for nearly 20 years now is very reassuring. A man who taught his son that marriage isn’t only for the good times, when the woman can execute her wifely duties. A man who understands sacrifice. A man who single-handedly raised 5 children. This man, who is so different from my own father, is MM’s role model and father. For me this is paramount.

One year for dis institute called marriage.

It’s been quite a journey, i tell you. One that saw us experiencing lots of fun, laughter, kisses, hugs, caresses, love-making, tender feelings, quarrels, hurt feelings, frowning (him), raised voice (me – am still working on this bad habit i picked up from home), tears (definitely me), misunderstanding, compromise, doubts, fears, in fact every emotion you could possibly think of. But, in the end i’d say there’s been great fulfillment in all.

Our love is maturing. We are learning to be less selfish, gaining more understanding of what partnership is really all about. We’ve renewed our commitment to each other, planned our future, dreamed of our kids etc. Bottom-line, we are learning what it entails to be a ‘we’.

I’m very happy for this opportunity i got to be a wife, with all the accompanying joys, responsibilities and difficulties. I pray that God helps me to do better in the following years – and especially He should help MM, cos sometimes i get the impression that it is harder to be a good husband than a good wife. There are so much he’s burdened with, many expectations i have of him both voiced and hidden. And i guess am harder on him not to fall short on them cos i had such nightmares about marrying a man like my dad, so he is constantly being measured against my phobias. But, he hasn’t failed me – not once! He is a terrific man. Lord, please keep him this way (that will not be a walk in the park, i know). Amen

Debate Tuesday - Who should love the other more?

The man or the woman?


But first of all, happy February everyone, it's the month of love. As usual, this is going to be a love-themed month for me and my blog. Some of you already know that not only is February my SO's birthday, it's also my wedding anniversary. I'm an unabashed romantic and already ideas are popping in my head for ways to make it memorable. But for this month and on this blog, it's not going to be all about me. I've gone looking for love and will be bringing you "Real Love Stories" and from people all around us.

You know how you go to wedding websites and the first place you go to is "Our Story"? I'm a sucker for ohhing and ahhing over those. For someone like me who believes in romance, these stories show that it can be real. LOVE IS POSSIBLE. It happens to people we know and it can happen to anyone. I have several guest bloggers who will be sharing stories of how they met their fiancées and their spouses. Some of them have also been married for several years and will be sharing marriage and relationship tips with us. The "Real Love Stories" starts this week, so watch out. If you want to share with us, send me an email at myne @ mynewhitman.com

Click link to read the REAL LOVE STORIES

OK, before we get all lovey-dovey. There is this question that crops up sometimes. In a relationship, is it the man or the woman who should love the other more?

The received wisdom (old wives tale) seems to be that the woman should be with and marry a man who loves her more. Maybe if men gave themselves such advice, it would be the other way around. I personally think what is more important is that both love each other deeply, and work to nurture and sustain that love. This is because love is not static and in a long term relationship, it tends to move around. Today, she loves him more, tomorrow, he loves her more.

What say you all?

Elsewhere on the Web