Monday, November 12, 2012

SHARE YOUR LOVE: Happy Couple Highlight VIII

HAPPY COUPLE HIGHLIGHT

Beautiful Couple: Nikki Rashan and Brandy Jenkins

How long have you been together? We have been friends for 10 years, partners for 3 years and married for 4 months.

 Brandy: We met over the internet on the evening of July 14, 2002. My uncle had just died and I prayed and asked God to send me somebody who would love me unconditionally, be a true friend and partner... It was one of those heart felt type of prayers, and I only prayed that hard twice before in my life. It was destiny that Nikki and I came together. I had just hooked up my computer and put the AOL disc in the drive to load.  I felt a sense of calmness and felt guided. My screen name was Luvme911 because I needed someone to love me now.  I went into a chat room and saw her screen name, Love2loveher. Somehow I knew it was her. We chatted for a long time, exchanged numbers, talked the next day, soon becoming friends. God answered my prayer because he gifted me with whom I asked for. 

Nikki: The night we “met,” I was tired and had been out all day with my daughters. That evening we got home around 11:30 and even though I wanted nothing more than to go to bed, I felt drawn to the computer. “Something” kept telling me to get on the computer so I did. After that I sat there in front of the screen and “something” told me to go into a chat room. I had never been in a chat room before but I listened to voice that spoke to me. I created a new screen and sat inside a chat room for a while. Finally I started to talk to only one person: LuvMe911 It was Brandy. We ended up sending instant messages for half the night. We met in person about a month later. At times it's difficult to describe the intense energy that brought us together, but we both know that something greater than us led us to one another that night.
When did the transition from friendship to partnership occur? Nikki: In late summer 2008, I connected with Brandy a couple of times during a trip to Atlanta.  After that, we started talking more. I could always share anything with her without judgment. She was truly a great friend. I always felt valued and she made me happy. In 2009, Brandy sent me an email titled “My Heart” and revealed her feelings about me.

 Brandy: Nikki and I had a genuine connection and I could always speak my truth with her. I never felt judged. I felt comfortable with her. She encompasses everything a friend should be. I initially emailed her to express my feelings and in turn, she expressed her own but was not ready to be “more than friends”.  As hard as it was for me to accept her reasoning, I did respect it.  Over the following months we visited, hung out, and got even closer.  I had to allow our journey to continue on its path and not let my impatience get in the way. 
Nikki: After the “My Heart” email, we started visiting and somewhat testing the water to see if a relationship would build. I had such a wonderful friend in her, and I was extremely afraid because I didn’t want to mess up such a beautiful friendship. I went back and forth for months about us being together, and I knew it was making Brandy crazy. After my visit to Atlanta Labor Day weekend that year, we stepped back a bit from each other for almost two months, but I thought about her daily. In late October, I finally realized how much I really did love her. I sent her an email and told her I was ready to move forward. She kind of dodged me for a couple of weeks and played hard to get but by the time we connected in person again shortly after, we moved forward and never looked back.

Brandy: I always referred to her as “my Nikki”. I knew that she was promised to me so I had to remain because I knew that one day she would be mine. God’s promise spoken in 2002 was so very clear and I believed it with all of my heart.  We married in San Juan, Puerto Rico on July 14, 2012.
Discuss how you deal with and face challenges that might come up in your relationship? We’ve faced only a few challenges in our relationship. Early on, our greatest obstacle was distance. The first year and a half we lived in different cities and we would see each other on average about three to five days each month. That was often quite difficult. It was then that we learned to communicate best, openly and honestly, no holds barred. If one or both of us became frustrated by distance and felt saddened or even angered by it, we expressed our feelings freely. Whenever we face a challenge, we know that we are welcome and encouraged to state whatever is on our heart and mind. Free flowing communication strengthens our bond.

Long Distance relationships are demanding. How did you weather that storm?

Nikki: We did not do anything structured, but we made our time together count. Being apart forced us to really get to know each other.  We talked a lot on the phone and became emotionally intimate.
 
Brandy: When we talked, I always invited her into my world. I also felt invited into her world so we always knew what was going on with each other. I felt like I was there because I could always sense her energy.

How did you decide who was moving? And Why?

Brandy: It was another sign of God’s work. I had a trip planned to visit Nikki in April 2011. Just before my visit I received a call from a company that found my resume online.  I scheduled the interview while I was there and got the job on the spot. When I got back to Atlanta, I put everything on Craigslist and a few days after my daughter graduated, June 2011, we loaded up the car and moved. It was an easy transition.

Nikki: The timing of Brandy’s move couldn’t have happened at a better time. It was perfect. By then we both were fed up with the distance, but didn’t know when one of us would be able to move. I wasn’t able to relocate yet because my girls had one more year of high school to complete. When Brandy got the call for the interview and then hired immediately, we were so happy.

What would you say is the key to the success of your relationship? With non-judgment, trust, loyalty, and respect as our foundation, we’ve cultivated a love that is solid. Communication is key in our relationship.  A solid foundation has been formed which helps us communicate our individual needs, wants, and desires to each other. We never have to guess what the other is feeling.  Openly and honestly we communicate knowing our concerns will be met with love and understanding.
 
What role does spirituality play in your relationship? At this point in our relationship, spirituality plays a major role in our day-to-day lives. Initially it was a growing process. In the beginning we held onto our faith in a more personal and individual basis. Gradually and naturally, as we developed a deeper connection with one another, our spiritual connection deepened as well.  We believe in God, and trust that He brought us together and will guide us throughout our relationship.

How do you practice your faith together?

Nikki: We don’t attend church regularly, but we read spiritual books together and incorporate faith-based conversations in our daily life.

What role does sensuality and mutual attraction play in your relationship? We've always had a strong affection for one another. Even during the early months of our friendship, we'd lay next to each other on the couch while we talked and listened to music. This kind of interaction was not one we shared with anyone else who was "just a friend." Our natural affection intensified once we entered a romantic relationship and, of course, expanded.  We thrive from the attraction we feel for one another.

What are you most attracted to? Brandy: I love how she thinks. I am an “A+B” person, but Nikki helps me see the entire picture. She challenges my thinking. She opens me up to the whole picture and helps me consider different ways to think. Physically, Nikki has a nice derriere. It captures my attention every morning.
Nikki: I find Brandy to be just a wee bit cocky. She has a healthy streak of confidence and that’s a turn-on for me.  Physically, she is very shapely like a woman should be shaped.

What have you learned about each other during your relationship?

Brandy: I learned that Nikki is my validator. With her actions and words she confirms who I am to her; I love that. I have also learned that she is an amazing listener. Her opinion is objective and fair. Her truth is always gentle and honest.

Nikki: I learned that Brandy lives up to what she says. In the courting phase, she described how a relationship would be with her, and she has lived up to every word.

What has the relationship taught you about yourself?

Nikki: Brandy has helped me re-develop a relationship with God; a connection that I lost for several years. I am grateful to her for that.

Brandy: Nikki has taught me to slow down. Nikki takes her time with everything she does. She always enjoys the process and the journey and not just the end-result.

Nikki: It is a good balance. She nudges me and helps me speed up. And, I help her slow down.

You both are mothers.  How do your children feel about your relationship? Nikki: Our girls were happy that we found happiness in each other.  They all get along and support us. We’re so happy they were part of the wedding ceremony.

Brandy: My daughter adores Nikki. There are times when she and Nikki talk and text with one another comfortably.  She has expressed that “she’s so happy that I’m happy.”

What tips would you give to other lesbian couples? Our tips to other lesbian couples are:
1) Be loyal to one another. 
2) Always represent yourselves in a positive light.
3) Express your feelings honestly.
4) Support and encourage one another.

How do you daily celebrate or acknowledge your love to each other? Brandy: Gestures – She likes when I cook. I also iron her clothes to give her time to do her in the morning.
Nikki: She does everything so I can just get up and just go. I make sure that Brandy is ok emotionally. I always make sure that she is in a good space. I am always available to listen. I can tune into her emotions.

What one word describes your love: Brandy: Promised. Nikki: The word is destiny.
In one word, how does she make you feel? Brandy: Significant. Nikki: Cherished.
(Interview conducted by SharRon Jamison)

Feel free to learn more about Nikki and Brandy at www.nikkiandbrandy.blogspot.com
Thank you, Nikki and Brandy, for sharing your love with us. We appreciate your time, energy and generosity in helping us CREATE LOVE!



Be sure to nurture YOUR LOVE at the Create Love! Conference on February 16th...More info.

Much love to you,
SharRon Jamison Co-Founder

 

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