Monday, October 29, 2012

SHARE YOUR LOVE: Happy Couple Highlight VI

Beautiful Couple: Toni and Arlene Washington

How long have you been together: 3 years
How did you meet: Toni: We met through a mutual friend. Arlene just moved to Sacramento and it was her first night out and I was just looking to meet someone to hang out with.  We met at BJs brewery on a Friday night for drinks. We talked and I was told by her friend that she "didn't do women" and I was cool with that.  I told our mutual friend that I just wanted someone to go to concerts, museums, and {do}…. grown folk stuff that my kids didn't want to do.

What did you think/feel when you first saw her? Arlene: I noticed that she was easy to talk to. We had great conversation and laughed for hours. She made me feel safe. She was sweet and innocent. She gave me eye contact, and the icing on the cake was when she asked to hold my hand.

Toni: I was smitten by Arlene’s beauty. She greeted me with a hug and a kiss on the cheek. She was professional, strong and confident. After 7 hours of conversation, I knew that I wanted her to be mine. We drank quite a few beers and being the studly stud that I am, I began to think, "How strictly-dickly is she?"  So I asked, "Can I hold your hand?" She reached for me and has never let go.

Arlene:  I had just moved to Sacramento and I was quick to let her know that I did not want nor need anything from her.  I had a job. But after talking with her for seven hours, I knew she was different.

Toni: We met on a Friday evening; I didn't call her until Monday even though she called me on Saturday and Sunday. I already knew that I loved her and wanted to be with her. On Monday I called her and said, "If you're seeing anyone you need to tell them you're with me".  She said "OK".  That night I asked her to come lay with me, no sex just intimacy and she did.  
On Tuesday she moved in and we have been UNBREAKABLE since.

What helps you be unbreakable? Communication- We talk about everything under the sun even those uncomfortable {subjects}. Balance- We are total opposites in just about everything but we complement each other and we agree to disagree. We are different but there is still harmony. Compromise-You got to give a little to get a little. Friendship-We are best friends.

Discuss how you deal with and face challenges that might come up in your relationship? We allow each other to process the situation. We talk and we LISTEN. Because we are so opposite, we can usually find a middle ground and a settling point.  We pray for patience and the RIGHT words.

Arlene: We are also each other’s emergency generators. When one of us is tired, the other just kicks in. We also know how to re-energize each other when we see we’re tired or need a little boost. We are open with each other. WE don’t hide anything from each other. How can you have you transparency if you are blocking or hiding thoughts, feelings and emotions?

Toni: Arlene was heaven sent. When I met her I was 44with 4 kids.  My partner had died of colon cancer and I had been on my own.  I told her that me and my kids were a package deal and she was ok with it. I feel Vera, my ex-partner, sent me signs to confirm that Arlene was the one and that is why I know that she is heaven sent. That is why I know that she is my soul mate.

What have you taught your children about your relationship? Children are blank canvases and they become what you are. They learn what you teach them. You can’t raise open-minded children in a close-minded home. As long as they are getting their needs met, that’s all that matters. They love us.

Arlene: I have 2 older children from a former relationship, and I also have 2 grandchildren. It was a shock when they found out that their Mom with was a woman. But we talked it through. Open communication is important. We realize that we are all we have. I realize that it is just a blessing to have a partner, our kids, and our home. We have everything that we need.

Toni, what is the biggest misconception that people have about masculine identified women? That we are expected to always be in control. Daddies get tired too. Arlene just allows me to be free. She is so loving. She is so encouraging. She pushes me and inspires me. I think it is sexy as heck for a femme to be CONFIDENT enough to body-slam me and take what she wants. Sometimes, it is good to be slammed on the bed, skip the foreplay and not have to think or ask about sex; just get it in!!

Arlene, you are a powerhouse too. How does your power co-exist peacefully with Toni’s power? We are able to co-exist because I am her equal.  She did fall in love with a woman who knows what she likes, what to do with it and doesn’t always feel the need to get her permission first.  With that being said I do respect her as the head of the house.  I have to be strong or I won’t be able to love her through anything.

What role does spiritually play in your relationship? Toni: It is the foundation for ALL we do.  Our family is very involved in our church. I am a Deacon and Arlene is the Director of Hospitality.  We have 4 kids living at home and two grown daughters. ALL are active in church. Our sons are ushers and our daughters are greeters. They also help on the Hospitality team.  It was a REQUIREMENT for me.  I need a partner that I could worship with and pray with and I got her.
Arlene:  Spirituality is the foundation individually and collectively.   We are both on a spiritual journey and we’re taking our family with us.

What role does sensuality and mutual attraction play in your relationship?
 Arlene: No more and no less than what it should....we are fortunate to be very attracted to each other so intimacy and sensuality comes naturally, authentically and effortlessly.  Every woman hopes for someone to come along and tap into all that you have to offer......which in both of our cases is ALOT!!!!! I have finally found the ONE. I am proud of it and don’t take it for granted.

What special things do you do daily to remind her of your love? Arlene: We always eat off of 1 plate. I love feeding her. I LOVE rubbing her head while watching TV- anything that involves us touching.
Toni: I write poetry, erotic passages and simple things for her. I text her on the way to work. I leave notes on the windshield. I buy cards.

What are three virtues/things that support your love and your relationship?
Arlene: 1) Being real and authentic. When you are transparent, you are easier to love. It is ok to agree to disagree. It is ok to be yourself. For example, I can be emotional and insecure. I don’t mind admitting that. 2) Open Communication. Talk about everything especially the uncomfortable things.  It’s the first step to making it better It is okay. 3) Keep the connection with God. You need God for everything.  When God is in your relationship and you want to make it work, you will make it.

Toni: 1) Prayer. Be careful what you pray for, you might just get it. Pray with conviction, good intention and be specific. 2) Love genuinely. People are different. They have different needs. Try to make adjustments and be willing to change. Problems occur in relationships, and sometimes the problem is you. Identify your issues. When you look at self, sometimes it is not so pretty. 3) Always kiss, say good night and say I love you.

What do you like most about each other?
Toni: I love Arlene’s unconditional loyalty. I am OCD, anal, mean and I have a bad tempter. But she loves me. She’s not afraid to say “Baby, can we look at this a different way?”  She is good at managing conflict.

Arlene:  I have never had anyone make me feel the way Toni does.   She not only makes me feel like I’m the luckiest girl but like I’m the “only” girl in the world.  That is priceless!!!  Toni knows how to cater to my physical and emotional needs like no one has ever done.  She makes me feel pretty.

What tips would you give to other lesbian couples? The only tip we would give is......As long as you like the person you see when you look in the mirror....and you walk with need to worry about anything live large and love hard!!

(Interview conducted by SharRon Jamison)

Thank you, Toni and Arlene, 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,

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