Real Love Story - Jimi Odukoya Weds Kemi Banjoko


Jimmy Odukoya is the first son of Pastor Taiwo and late Pastor Bimbo Odukoya. He is also an ordained pastor,as well as a rap/musical artiste. He married Oluwakemi Sade Banjoko a few weeks ago in London. They actually met for the first time in 2011, in a parking lot in Lagos, and spoke to Thisday on how their romance progressed, even as he is a pastor;

Was it love at first sight.
Jimmy: Actually no, I talked more to her cousin, Kike, catching up, updating each other. I hardly spoke to her. We were talking of relationships and she said she has been single for four years and she hasn’t seen what she is looking for. I said this is Lagos, this is your first time in a long time, before you know it you will have lots of offers, people will probably offer to chat you up, and her cousin suggested that we exchange contacts since we were both single and I said okay. That was the first day.

Kemi: The next day was my cousin’s introduction and that was when we started talking. He asked my cousin’s permission to talk to me.

Your cousin is male, I presume?
Jimmy: He is male, we went to school together. When I got there I asked if I could talk to her cousin and he is one of my very good friends and I said why is everybody not talking to her. They said he told everyone not to talk to her, so I said let me go and talk to her and we really had a very good conversation and I asked her to marry me jokingly because my sister had just gotten engaged and I found out that my brother in-law, Olumide’s younger brother had just gotten engaged.


Everyone was engaged so I said why don’t we just get engaged. So I said, take your time, I will give you five minutes to think about it and I went downstairs to tell her aunty that I was going to marry her niece jokingly and it’s funny how in reality it ended up being just that way.

When you first saw him what was the impression you had?
Kemi: The first thing that struck me about Jimmy is that he is very kind and I actually told my cousin about it in the car on the way back. Everyone he introduced me to actually said he is kind and it’s like it radiates from him.

What was it that made you want to marry her?
Jimmy: I think we had great conversations. We talked a lot.

Kemi: We talked for hours, day and night for like three days straight. He would call me up like from 8.00pm and we’d talk till 5.00am and we talked about everything and my uncle was like who are you talking to in the middle of the night.

Jimmy: One thing I always looked out in the person I would end up with was not someone who will be a ready-made pastor’s wife, who can rip out the microphone and preach the sermon. That was not my criteria. I wanted somebody who loved God and who has an open mind towards learning, growing in God and growing in life generally. One thing that struck me is that her love for God is real, is genuine, she can adapt to any situation, she is also very flexible.


Were you a pastor in 2011?
Jimmy: Yes, I was.

Kemi: He didn’t tell me at first(general laughter).

Jimmy: Yes, at first I didn’t tell her. But the first time I told her, I actually just said to her: ‘by the way, I am a pastor.’ There was this 30 seconds silence. She was just kind of silent for a while.

Kemi: (Laughing) I was silent. I was thinking of all the things I had told him.

Jimmy: But I’d mentioned it to her by telling her what my mum would always say and the next day we were talking and she just said straight out of the blue, she said she was thinking of what I said the previous day and what my mum always asked my dates and she said: ‘I am going to stop doing what a pastor’s wife won’t do’. We were not official yet, but I liked the way she was thinking and because most of the ladies I had dated in the past were not comfortable having that conversation.
I tell them: ‘listen I am a pastor, there are certain things you can’t wear, there are certain places you can’t go, certain things you can’t say, certain places where you can’t show up.’

You know he is a Pastor and that he is Pastor Taiwo’s son; is there any pressure?
Kemi: I know he is a pastor, a lot of people love him, and they love his family. I think it’s a big role but I see it like two people meeting and falling in love. We are going to get married and we should go with the flow.


How did you propose to her?
Jimmy: I had intended I would go and do the proposal in December. But the first time I met her father and we had this ‘I will marry your daughter conversation’ all he said was ‘my daughter?’ I had flown to London to see her father and all he said was ‘my daughter’ and we had a very good conversation. It was very interesting.

So, I planned to propose in December and I had told my friend, Olumide, who would be my best man. I introduced both of them on Skype and Olumide just told her: ‘look I don’t know what you have done to my friend but he is planning to propose in December.’ I was stunned. I actually did not believe he just told her so I decided to propose in March and so I was actually looking for a way to go get a ring that I had booked online.

It was difficult going because she was always with me. I told her I was going for a meeting in church and when I got there the ring was not actually what it looked like on the internet and I spent another two hours looking for another ring and she kept calling me, asking where I was.

So, I told her I would be home shortly and she was suspecting something and when I got back to the hotel, I walked into the bathroom and she went through my stuff and she didn’t find anything and I am sure she was disappointed and she was eating these jelly sweets and they were in different shapes and one of them was ring shaped and so I said I am about to propose because she was getting kind of upset so I moved closer and took one of the candy and asked her if she would marry me. I was about putting the candy ring on her finger and she said: ‘where is the ring?’ So I went to the mirror in the bathroom and asked her to close her eyes, and when we got to the mirror I asked her to open her eyes and pick the ring and she said she couldn’t find the ring, then I asked her to look down and she looked down and saw the ring so I told her to pick the ring, it’s yours, touch it and she was quite shocked as she picked it because she didn’t expect it.

What do you think your mum would have said about her?
Jimmy: I think my mum would have actually loved her. I am sure she would have actually given her so many nick names like kem-love, kem-darling and all the kem-kem stuffs. My mum has always been interested in knowing who I was dating and there was a time I was dating someone and it seemed to be serious. I was schooling in America then and she was about to fly her from America to London for a day just to see her.
Later on, when I came home for Christmas and my mum saw her, she said she was not the one. My mum was always 100 percent right when it comes to anything that has to do with relationships. But seriously she would have loved her, her attitude, her personality and, sure, she would have been all over her.


What did your father think about her?
Jimmy: He is this kind of person that sits back and watches and he then makes his decision. When I first told him that I have found the one I wanted to marry and that I had bought the ring, he said ‘okay, no problem’. There was a time he didn’t go for ministration or travel anywhere and he asked her to come so he would meet her and they had some serious conversations.
I remembered my first meeting with her father; her dad didn’t even smile with me. The second time he didn’t smile at me. The third time, maybe a half smile, but here she was meeting my dad for the first time and they were eating, laughing and having a nice conversation. It wasn’t fair. My dad really likes her and he said she is the one. If he didn’t support we won’t probably be here by now.

How difficult was it courting without acting inappropriately as a pastor?
Jimmy: One thing I believe is that true love waits. If it’s something you believe is true, then it’s worth waiting for. Besides, you are in a place where people look up to you and you have to direct and lead them the best way you can. That accountability and position that you occupy are what keep you going and God’s grace.

Real Love Story - Couple Find Love on Instagram

Matt Fleming and Robin Coe

When I read this story on the MSN Heartbeat blog, it just melted my heart. With echoes of how I too found love online, I think their story is one worth sharing to encourage anyone out there still wondering about online dating and long distance relationships. Honesty, and a commitment to see as soon as you can is definitely key.

Matt Fleming and Robin Coe followed each other on Instagram, and though she had over 200K followers, she would sometimes comment on his pictures and reply to his comments on hers. In the winter of 2011, she shared a photo of someone walking a dog through Toronto's cold landscape which reminded him of his childhood in the midwest. He finally asked her to send him a private message.

"What's up?" she replied. This prompted Matt to send her an eight-paragraph email about himself and his childhood.

"He was just so endearing and sincere. I could feel the warmth in his words," Robin, 34, told The Heart Beat. "I'd long been struggling to find my place on this earth, and despite the differences in our individual circumstances, I could relate to every single word. I didn't hesitate to write back."


Soon enough, the two were regularly emailing while still continuing to view and comment on each other's photos. In a January 2012 email, Matt, made a bold move: "If you want to reach my voice, this is how you get it."

To say they hit it off would be an understatement. One Skype call between the pair lasted 13 hours—they stayed up all night and finally hung up at 6 a.m. They found themselves in the middle of a full-fledged long distance relationship—Robin was in Toronto and Matt lived in Oakland, Calif.

On April 24, 2012, the couple finally met in person, The Star reports. Robin captured a photo of Matt upon first seeing him face-to-face. She says it's an odd feeling to see someone for the first time when they simultaneously seem so familiar.

"I couldn't even make eye contact with him. I'm not exaggerating," Robin told us. "For at least an hour, I couldn't look him in the eyes for more than a second or two. I was a flustered, giddy mess."

Since then, the couple has shared their blossoming romance through photos. Earlier this week, for example, Robin posted a photo of a gift from Matt—an illustration of her dog, Gracie. Looking forward to an upcoming trip, she captioned the pic: "Have I mentioned lately that long-distance love is like holding your breath, chin tilted up towards a surface that is 36 days away?"

They say love happens when you least expect it, and that was definitely the case for Robin: "I was at the end of a five-year-relationsh​ip...I was fully immersed in the process of getting comfortable just being on my own. I was happier than I'd been in probably a decade. And, honestly, I think that's why we found each other. I finally had room in my life to let in a little light."

When asked for a tip to maintain long distance love, Robin says they do their best to have the next visit planned before saying goodbye as having something concrete to look forward to can ease the pain of constant separation. She also thinks that honesty and communication are the fuel to any relationship,as does not sweating the small stuff, when you know and remind each other every day that you're in it together.

I couldn't agree more with her, and wish them the best.

Nse Ikpe Etim Writes on her Personal Journey to Love


It is not often that one finds a true love that lasts through the decades, and so when I read this Real Love Story from Nse, I just had to share. Enjoy...

Becoming Her by Nse Ikpe Etim

I had been immunized against the bug and this is received through all the amazing lessons life hands you on a platter.  I had a boyfriend when it was a taboo to have one. I was 17. Our first meeting was as ordinary as it gets. I went on a stroll which was not uncommon those days on our estate, and there came this young man driving his father’s car.

He stopped, chatted with me for a while and I wonder what he said that made me get into his car and have him drop me off. He called the intercom and we talked again but he knew the times to call when mum would not do the picking. Little did I know that the day he picked me up was the day I would begin the journey.

We spent our spare moments together, talking, walking and when we walked the streets, word travelled swiftly to our parents. On my arrival home, a cane was the welcome party. We always paid dearly for those nights because our parents wanted us to be straight kids, but we didn’t mind.



This did not deter me nor stop my stubborn heart from wanting to be with him. I had a friend who listened to my fears and laughed at my tales of the experiences school had brought with it, alongside the education I so craved. I remember when he played the guitar and sang Chris de burgh’s “Lady in Red”. It was so beautiful; the funny thing is that I was not wearing red when he sang, but in that moment red was just a state of mind.

I was fragile and he was so caring, attentive to my every need. We would meet up at 7.30pm under the stairs and talk till it was almost 10pm. Then he would tell me it was time to go. I would sulk, make faces till I cried and he would be forced to stay at least a second more. Well that was until mum called out my name and I would run inside, pretending the trash was my mission. He would run back home and sometimes, the doors would be locked and he would have to call for someone to open the door. He was the best friend I’d never had.
After dad’s passing, I craved the father-daughter relationship so much that I looked at him in that light. I had found my first true love. He took me on many firsts; squash, scrabble games, drives, music. And the day that Tunisia and Nigeria played a match at the stadium in Surulere, he asked me out on a date. It was our first official date (who takes a girl out to a football match on a first date?) We went out to watch the Eagles play and I was blown away. We won the match and he had won my heart. Our friends marveled at the way our love grew and we became the bad examples of what not to be.

When we walked, mothers would point at us and say “that’s what you should never be” hahahaha… We were good friends, and much more. I had only learnt to cook at 15 and dad passed before I succeeded in making Egusi soup edible. My best friend was a willing guinea pig, tasting any and every meal I cooked. Watching him enjoy my cooking was therapeutic, considering the effort it took dad to eat the morsels of pounded yam and my rather shoddy Egusi soup.
I began to hope that one day I would bear his kids. At 17 though, kids and their thoughts!

The semester had resumed and we both went back to our different schools, no emails, no cell phones, no blackberries or WhatsApp. The post office was rather cumbersome. All we had were our hearts and our thoughts. It turns out that was all the connection we needed. When the holidays came around I looked forward to seeing him, and then he told me he was leaving the country. My heart broke and tears poured freely down my face, I begged him to stay but he told me he had to go. I accepted this with a heavy heart and hoped that one day I would find a friend like him. When we got to the airport, I bade him farewell, he turned and said “I will come back, Nse”. I cried my heart out and went back to school the next day. I had lost the only friend who never judged me, who sang to me, and told me I was beautiful.

The years went by and one day I ran into his mum and got his number off her. We started talking again but I decided to let him go. I dated other men, became a woman and swore never to marry. I knew it wasn’t meant for me because after what I saw my parents have, mine had to be just like theirs or better!
I had finally become a woman, set in her ways but something was missing. So again I set out to look for him.

I searched every social network to no avail and one day I used a search engine and there he was staring back at me. I sent him an email and he responded. We were ecstatic. At least I was, I had found the only man who knew the right things to say to make me happy. Then he proposed. I was over the moon. I accepted and told mum. My family was happy because they knew our history and just when I was getting ready to be Mrs……. He broke it off! I cried again, third time is a charm yea? He wasn’t supposed to make my mascara run he was meant to smear my lipstick!

I had been heartbroken yet again but this time it was done by him not a circumstance. I hated him, I loathed him and I rued the day I first set my eyes on him! He had changed me and now no man meant anything to me. I just dated and if it was inconvenient, I walked away. My famous quote “I was not born to be married” raised dust in some quarters, but no one cared to know why! Why get married to someone who would cheat on you or better still whom I would cheat on? Why get married to someone who would make me a shadow of myself or perhaps, have me give up my career for him? Yes, again I say, I was not born to be married.

I got an email from him after so many years and I hated his guts. I alternated between ignoring him and giving frosty replies. He had my sister play mediator and that earned him a fairly warm reply. Well at least he was honest to walk away when he did rather than walk all over me in the marriage.

As the days went by, we spoke about so many things, emotions got in the way and he blurted it “I would love to spend the rest of my life with my sweetheart” and I asked him “have you told her?”. He said he had been trying but she seemed distant (abi you for no pretend say you no sabi say na you) oh well. I wanted him to say the words. And he did! “Will you marry me?”

My heart skipped a beat and I said “listen yeah, you just have to give me some time to think this through” I knew my answer would be yes, but how was I to tell him I never got over him? Would I be perceived as weak, needy or just a desperate woman? It had taken us two decades to get to this point and what a road we had come. This is my heart, my happiness my true love had come back to me. Who cares what anyone thinks!

… So I got on the phone, called my friend and asked her to send him a card, flowers and a bottle of wine with my reply… “Yes I will marry you, my one true Love” Well I think that’s what I sent, but to be honest I was quite giddy. The long and short of it is that I said yes and my life has never been the same!

Culled from Myhandismine

Is This For Real? Journey to the Altar Series


Hello everyone, I'm starting a new series titled Journey to the Altar. Some of the brides and would-be brides, will share with us a brief snapshot of their journey to the altar. Our first contributor wants to remain anonymous, but that does not detract from her funny and heart warming story. Enjoy...

How did you meet your fiance?

Hmmm...I went to spend the weekend with my sister in school because I was so bored at home. She and a couple of her friends happened to be organizing a send forth for a friend of theirs so I tagged along. That evening, I got my hair done, did my nails...needless to say I was feeling like a fine girl. Being that I wear glasses, I dumped them for my contacts. Unfortunately, one lens dropped and I couldn't find it so I was left with just one 'working' eye because I refused to wear my glasses. Lol.

After getting ready we headed to Swé bar (only if my parents knew my whereabouts that night). Anyways we got there, I was having a very good time; I was high on power horse, I was very happy. In our group we were just generally enjoying ourselves and being a mess, next thing this guy comes to ask me to dance...I'm like err ok, when the guy was beginning to get in my space I practically ran away. *covers face*.

So I was sitting down, on bag duty (i.e. Looking after peoples bags cos I wasn't dancing). Then this other 'broda' comes along and asks me to dance; in my mind I was like ooohhh who is dis one again? I looked at him with my functioning eye and I'm like ok so I got up n danced with him. After a while I excused my self and went back to my sister and her friends. Since I had taken a few drinks, the bathroom was calling my name, so I dragged my sister along.

On our way back, I met said broda at the stairs and he's like excuse me, can I talk to you? I'm like sure...that is how my sister left me (she left me with a strange man) I was just there smiling like a mumu while he was talking...probably didn't hear half of what he was saying... And being theat I couldn't see properly I was trying not to squint too much. Anyways he asked for my number...I gave it to him...the next day he called me...we talked and talked and talked...those conversations were long sha. And we have been together ever since. :D

How did he propose?

We were going to see his parents one afternoon so he came over to mine to pick me. He got to my house and was like mehn I'm hungry so I quickly made him something to eat. Next thing he said he wanted dessert. I'm like where do you think you are abeg let's go jor. So on our way I started craving ice cream and I'm like please can we stop by at Oh La La to get some ice cream. Normally he would have said Oh La La ko Oh La La ni and reminded me that I'm lactose intolerant. But he was like, sure no problem. I was doing cartwheels in my mind.

We got there, the place was rather empty. But what was my own...ice cream on my mind, I placed my order, took a seat and we waited. The girl brought our orders, in between me admiring the ice cream and making fun of them on Tinsel, I saw him looking for something in his pocket. I didn't pay any attention because I thought he was searching for his phone, so all attention went back on my ice cream (p.s. Its not that I like food like dat o, ehen).

I turned back to him to see if he had found what he was looking for and I saw him on one knee, box in hand. In my mind I was like what's going on here? Why is he on the floor, I looked away for a few seconds, loaded... then it dawned on me, I'm like ehn? Is this for real? He opens the box and I see this lovely ring and he says "will you marry me?" I screamed yes, yes...:D and the rest, well...

I really had no clue cos most people will say their guys kept telling them of how much he loved them etc before the proposal so I had conditioned my mind that's oh, thats how it went. So I wasn't expecting it, cos broda wasn't even confessing any love in advance...lol.

What are you looking forward to about being married to your fiance?

I think it'll be getting to see my best friend everyday and always having someone to talk to.

What do you think is the “key” to a successful relationship?

Communication and Respect. I think these are very important.

When is the wedding?

The wedding is in May 2013 yay \o/

How are you planning the wedding?

Myself, My sisters, My sister in law and loads of help from my wedding planner Rubies and Emerald Events. I feel that it is extremely important to have a wedding planner/ coordinator. When I think about the vendors I have been exposed before my planner, I know she has and still brrn SAVING ME MONEY AND TIME! She has a good relationship with vendors and venues since they work on many weddings not just one, so they can give you economies of scale. They can also help you put together a realistic budget. In the end the money and time saved might be greater than the cost of the planner who knows exactly what she is doing.

___________

Journey to the Altar series is presented by Rubies n' Emerald Events. These stories are from brides and would-be brides who have worked with, or are working with the wedding planner .Rubies N Emerald Events is an innovative events consulting, planning and managing firm. Their creative team focuses attention on every little detail about your event. 08136884717, Pin: 2A7992D3, http://www.facebook.com/rubiesandemerald?ref=hl


Teju Babyface and Tobi Banjoko - Real Love Story

Teju Babyface and Tobi Banjoko

Some of us have the notion that when a man and a woman get together, it is usually the woman who may have cajoled the man into the marriage. But that is not always true, men are real people - with their own needs and emotions - and often they are the ones who seek and find the woman after their heart. However, it is not often that we get a candid insight from a man who is married or about to get married.

Of course, people have different reasons they get married ranging from security and wealth to physical looks. Most often, we cover everything under the blanket of love. I know I am a chief culprit here, lol... but I do strongly believe that a deep sense of knowing what you want and caring for one another helps any relationship, especially marriage. Still, when I read about Teju Babyface's comments on why he chose Tobi banjoko to be his wife, I was touched by his candour.

Well, I kept coming home and my house kept feeling empty. I kept leaving events and finding there was someone I would like to tell the story, but there was no one. I just kept feeling lonely. There was a space in my heart that was crying out for friendship. But may be more importantly was the fact that I started making mistakes. I started making mistakes that I had made before and I thought it was over. People I shouldn’t have been fraternizing with, women. I started making all those kinds of mistakes and I wasn’t getting better. There was a point in my life when I was so disciplined that for almost two years, I wasn’t with any woman. And that was when the *Teju Baby Face Show* was born. And I found that thereafter, I could not seem to replicate the same discipline, no matter how I tried. So, it occurred to me that some thing had to change. So, when you put the loneliness together as well as my inability to be disciplined any more, it was instructive.

I met Tobi for the first in 2008. We were holding an audition for ushers. I wanted to have a show, my 2008 show that was called *Comedy Meets Class*. So, we wanted classy ushers. And at the time she was on her last ushering leg. I can remember I walked into a room filled with about 40 hot women. And she just hooked my eyes immediately. That was the first time I met her. With each of the 39 other girls in the room that day, our eyes would meet at some point. But this one studiously ignored me. It was as if she made a declaration that our eyes weren’t going to meet. And when I actually interviewed her for the ushering job, she didn’t seem to care. She said the money was too small and she left.

So, when I saw her a month later at another job, and I went to chat her up. I can never forget, she told me, ‘Excuse me, please I’m working’. What she meant was you are disturbing me, and I got the message (Laughs). And so, I started to find out more about her, and I found she was what you can call a ‘good girl’. But you see, that’s not enough. What you asked me was what made me decide? A pastor asked me that question recently. Let me use this word. When I told my father, when my father asked me, this girl you are serious about, what does she do? I said dad, she is a model. He said explain yourself. I said well, she was in the recent *Most Beautiful Girl in Nigeria*. Now, when you tell parents that, they don’t think that the girl is bad. On the other hand, they form a certain world view in that sense of the word.

I had always said that the woman I would marry would be one who would be very beautiful. In 2010, we were trying to date first of all and we hung out after about three months, so we didn’t date again until 2011. We tried to date in 2010, but it didn’t happen. My fault oh! In each of the time we tried to date, there was never any point in time where I had to do any convincing. In fact, on our first date, she came to my house and we needed to go and buy groceries so that we could cook together. And I remember we were walking across the street when I saw a Mercedes Benz, G-Class. And I pointed and said that’s my dream car. And this girl said, on our first date o! ‘Don’t worry, we will have it (Laughs). And I looked at her, then she blushed. And said no, no, no. That’s not what I meant. She has always been like that!

Before she came along, I was panicking; panicked as to how I would marry. Because you see, I was getting older, and there was nobody out there I wanted to marry. I really panicked. If I look at the list of everybody that I have met in the past years, they didn’t seem to be anybody that I wanted to marry. And I thought to myself that if I lived for thirty something years and I haven’t found a woman, what are the chances of me finding her next year, or in the next two or three years. And she just came along, and solved that problem. I am not marrying her because she's beautiful or because she makes me feel somehow. I am just comfortable with her. We are supposed to be married. It’s just like that. {Source}

I was seriously laughing at the point where he said he was panicking. Who says men don't get marriage fever too? I wonder if Teju Babyface told his fiancee all this? I also wonder if the guy in the post, Wanting to Wait, made himself this open to his girlfriend? Sometimes men have this wall about their emotions that make it very difficult for us women to connect and really feel them. The truth is that when men share their sensitive side more often with the woman they care for, they'll both be much more in tune and the love will be shacking the woman like wine.

The final lines of the write-up are something I hear quite often, and one I experienced myself. That sense of comfort and peace that comes when you've made the right choice. I wish Teju Babyface and Tobi Banjoko a happy married life as their wedding comes up in a few weeks.

I found love in a way I could never ever imagine - Real Love Story



This post was sent in by Atoskin of Life and Living Blog. She really enjoyed the Real Love Stories last February and wanted to share her love story with my blog readers too as a testimony. Enjoy her story;
I met "my timekeeper" as I fondly call him through his uncle. His uncle and my mum attend the same church so we have known them over the years. As a matter of fact, his uncle and my mum belong to the same society in church. After my last bloody break up, I decided that I would take my time and let God choose for me.

I visited my mum on a particular weekend so I worshipped at her church, "my former church". After service as usual, I greeted every body who knew my mum and I.

When the weekend was over I went back to my house to get ready for the week. Sometime during the week my mom called me and said she had gist for me.

She told me that a particular man in our church who belongs to the same society as her called told her that he wanted to borrow something from her. She was confused as she didn't know what he meant. Eventually, he spilled the beans and said that he wanted to introduce his nephew to me. So my mum gave him my number and asked him to speak to me.

I found it very funny and I was excited at the same time. I patiently waited for his call but it never came through until two weeks after. Before the call came through, My mom would call me and at the end of every conversation, she would ask me if he has called and I would say no. At a point I had to tell her to stop asking and I told her that she would be the first to know when he calls.

I took my mind off the phone call and continued with my life. Then on this fateful day, I forgot my phone in the office and by the time I got to work the day after, I saw two missed calls from an unknown number. Let me say here that I do not return calls from numbers I don't know.

Well, before the close of work that day, my phone rang again and it was that same number, I had a butterflies in my tummy as soon as i saw the number. I answered the call, boy, I was happy!

He told me he wanted to see me in person so we fixed an appointment.

We finally met, and he asked me a couple of questions; the first question he asked was "Are you in a relationship"? And I said no. So he started by telling me about his nephew, his past relationship and how he has promised to get him a wife and how he thinks we are compatible and then he made a comment that really made me blush, in his words, he said "If I was still single, you are the kind of woman I would marry". I couldn't help myself from smiling stupidly. That was the nicest thing someone said to me in a very long time.

He went on and on, and I must confess that I already started "jelling" for this timekeeper I hadn't seen or met. I then asked for his full name because I wanted to check him out on facebook as soon as possible.

Eventually, I checked him on facebook and I liked all I saw so I just kept calm and waited for his call. He added me on facebook and called me a day after.

That was how we took off, he doesn't live in Nigeria but was he was coming home for his sister's wedding which was to take place in about 8 weeks from the time we started talking. We started counting the months, then the weeks, the days and when it got to the hours, I started getting paranoid.

We enjoyed every minute we spent together on phone, we talked about anything and everything. I prayed about us and I asked God to perfect all that concerns us if we are truly meant to be and He did!

Finally he arrived in nigeria but we couldnt meet until the day after. Our first meeting was magical, we were so happy and it felt like we had known each other for years.

I attended his sister's wedding, met his parents and all his siblings and I was amazed at the love they all showed towards me. It felt too good to be true.

He asked me if I would marry him and I said YES!

I'll paying him a visit in a couple of days and I cannot wait to be spend the rest of my life with him.

My timekeeper will always be a constant reminder that God loves me so much. He indeed makes all things beautiful in His time.

P:S Many thanks to 9ja foodie for inspiring me to want to spoil him with food. You are really a blessing!

Atoskin Sweeti.

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!
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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.

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...

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

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!

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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.

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ps, image courtesy of Google and not of the couple.
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