Partners: Miya Binta and Alexandria Childs
How long have you been together?
Miya: Alex and I are celebrating our fifth year together.
Miya: We met courtesy of a mutual friend. We talked uninterrupted that evening for a couple of hours; scheduled a date for the next day and have been a couple ever since.
We give thanks to Spirit first and foremost, and to Shaman High Priestess Cherie Lyon for having the insight to introduce us at the most opportune time.
What was revealed during the conversation that validated that she was “relationship material”? What did she say or what didn’t she say? Alex: It wasn’t anything she said it was her personality and beautiful smile. I could feel the love and kindness coming from inside of her. I knew then she was the right one for me. There was no way she was going to leave that evening without my phone number. I also knew I wanted to be with her for the rest of my life. She was exactly what I wanted. It was like Spirit was saying “I’m giving you exactly what you want, love her and make her life easier”. And that’s what I try to do every day. Miya: Our romance story is so symbolic. When I meet her in 2008 it was post-“The Secret”. I created my perfect mate list of 27 characteristics that I wanted in a partner and Alex met 26 items all the way down to her socks. She was the manifestation of the list. I dreamed about her – how she looked, how she smelled. When I hugged her, my head fit perfectly on her shoulder. I knew she was the one.
Since you did not have a history or lengthy courtship before living together, how did you learn each other and learn how to live with each other? Alex: You have to really know yourself – strengths and weaknesses- and accept them. There were a lot of things that I had to learn about Miya, and there were a lot of things that Miya had to learn about me. We had to learn to live together. In our relationship, we don’t have roles. Whoever can get it done, does it. We don’t let pride get in the way. I am grateful for Miya. I learned that she is a grown woman who knows how to use a hammer and nail and get her nails done. Miya: Alex is definitely a keeper. When she first came to my home, she said that the energy feels great; it was peaceful and she knew that she could live here. So for us it was two things: 1) We decided we were willing to do the work required to blend two households and 2) we were open to Spirit to guide and change us. Of course it took some work, but we learned to share space and to share it peacefully.
What was the initial attraction?
Alex : I was initially attracted to Miya’s intellect, stature, her luscious lips and my ability to wrap my armsMiya: I was absolutely delighted that I had finally attracted a 6 foot tall woman who was proportionate in height and weight. I found Alex to be direct, yet not overbearing. Neither of us are voracious talkers, but we found common ground to make the initial connection.
Since you both are not big talkers, what other ways have you learned to communicate effectively? Alex: I am a touchy-feelly person. I am always caressing, hugging and touching Miya. I love touching her. So we do talk, but we are ok not talking. We are ok just being together sometimes in separate rooms. Miya: We do talk, but there is a lot of non-verbal communication. Sometimes I wink at her, rub her head, and hit her on the butt. We sometimes send texts even when we are in the same house. We know each other very well so we know when we need to talk about something. It is an intuitive thing.
What would you say is the key to the success of your relationship?
Alex: The key to our relationship is really communication and conscious listening to each other. We have a mutual respect for one another and a fantastic sense of humor. We laugh often at ourselves, and at each other. Miya: One key question or mantra in our relationship is “do you want to be happy or do you want to be right?” That simple question often reframes the entire conversation or would be disagreement. Alex: At the end of the day, we love each other and each is willing to do the work necessary to keep the relationship healthy. Miya: We have agreed to reevaluate our relationship each year to ensure that it is working well for each of us.
Hearing is an ability, but listening is a skill. How do you ensure that you are both “consciously listening” to each other? Alex: When we started, I wasn’t a skilled listener. I wanted her to talk faster and hurry up so we could move on. Miya is not like that. Things have to resonate with her and I can’t rush her to resolution. It took therapy for me to learn to listen to her consciously. Miya: I had to train Alex to listen to me. I had to get her tuned in and focused on channel Miya. I had to also help her settle down so she would not drift off during our conversations. But Alex was willing. She was open and willing to get in therapy and work on it.
During your annual review when topics surface, how do you address them?
Miya: We will say “this is something that bothered us last year”. We re-valuate whether prior solutions areAlex: During our contract renewal we also ask ‘”Are you getting what you need?”
Discuss how you deal with and face challenges that might come up in your relationship? Miya: It depends entirely on what the challenge is. There are several ways that we deal with each unique situation. In some instances, we can talk it out straight away. At other times, the topic might be so volatile that one of us requests a timeout and we walk away to regain our perspective. When a situation arises that we don’t know how to handle, we pray and ask for direction and guidance.
Conflict is tricky and many times Imani and I work with clients only to discover that the real conflict has never been identified and addressed. How do you ensure that the real issue is the real issue? Miya: It is intuitive. We depend a lot on Spirit. I can look at her and tell when she’s bothered and sometimes I have to press her. We have enough maturity and intuition that we don’ accept the BS answers. To peel back the layers: 1) Be intentional by asking poignant questions 2) Use a direct approach to address issues. Alex: It also takes trust. When you are pulling back layers, there needs to be trust when there is pain and emotions involved. I have to know that I can say “you hurt my feelings” and know that Miya will listen. She does and I know that I can always confide in her. She has never thrown anything up in my face. I feel I can tell her anything.
What role does spirituality play in your relationship? Miya: Spiritually plays a major role. Alex and I pray together. We attend the same church (Shout out to Victory for the World Church St. Mountain, GA) and both embrace the same spiritual principles. We maintain a very simple, holistic life recognizing that God is at the center directing and orchestrating our daily steps.
What role does sensuality play in your relationship?
Miya: We both appreciate the gift of touch and a sense of closeness. During one of our chats, I shared with Alex “we’re always touching and close” and she responded “yes, because I’m always touching you”. That was a huge revelation that she needed me to be more intentionally reciprocal. Alex: As an artist, I am very visual and I compliment Miya on a regular basis with respect to her appearance, attire, hair, etc. These compliments create an atmosphere of sensuality and intimacy that we both thrive on.
Miya, I loved that you said you had a huge revelation about touching. How far in the relationship did you understand her need for physical closeness? Miya: Mid-way in our relationship. Alex is like an octopus; she is always touching. I am not as emotive, but I had to learn that. I have to remind myself to be more reciprocal.
What advice would you give to other couples? Alex: Mind your own business and keep others out of your relationship. You don’t need “advice” from well- meaning friends. If you need counsel, invest in a professional counselor. Miya: Keep the romance alive. Never take your partner for granted. Schedule dates as frequent as your schedule permits. It doesn’t have to be a whirlwind weekend in New York. It can be as simple as packing a basket and going to the local park. Make time for each other.
What has your relationship taught you most about yourself?
Alex: I have learned the importance of listening and remaining present. I have also grown to a place of feeling safe to trust my emotional self to Miya.
Miya: I share much of the same sentiments. Because Alex is my friend and confidante, I have grown in my freedom to share intimate details of my past life with her. I have allowed myself to be vulnerable in this relationship with little reservation.
What do you most admire about her and why? Complete this sentence. I admire her because ___ and it makes me feel __________________________.
Alex: She is a great steward of her money. She is very frugal, a coupon clipper. She is not a frivolous spender…. Makes me feel safe. I know that I can trust her with our money. I feel I can trust her with my life. Even if we were not together, I would still trust her with my life. She has my back. Miya: She is the consummate professional. She’s so talented. I admire the perfectionism that she exhibits in her craft….Makes me feel proud. She does great work. She’s fair and honest. She is so good at what she does. I feel so confidant in her abilities.
If you had to say thank you to her for 1 important gift, what would that be? Alex: I would thank her for loving me because she doesn’t have to. She loves me because she wants to and I am grateful for that. Miya: I would thank her for her spiritual awareness. I am grateful that she prays for me and that she spiritually covers me. That she has me in her heart. I have had women love me, but never one to pray for me and lay hands on me. That’s huge.
What one word describes/characterize your relationship? Miya: Expansive. We are at a time in our life when it is all about us. And we are both so open and our relationship can go wherever it takes us. We are open to Spirit. We are ever-evolving. Alex: Easy. Miya feels like a breath of fresh air, like a nice breeze on a summer day.
(Interviewed by SharRon Jamison)
Thank you, Miya and Alexandria for sharing your love with us at Create Love. We wish you many, many more years of happiness and success.