Monday, April 15, 2013

HAPPY COUPLE HIGHLIGHT: Juanita and Stephanie

Juanita Davis and Stephanie “TY” Williams

How long have you been together?  2 years 5 months

How did you get together/meet? Juanita: I was actually dating someone when I was first introduced to
Stephanie about 13-15 years ago.  I said hello and kept it moving.  One day I was on a mutual friend’s (FB ) page and she looked familiar so I friended her.  I sometimes would leave her comments on a post.  Then one day (6 months after I friended her) she sent me a “private” message and the subject said “curious”.   From that day on, we have been together. She was transitioning from El Paso, Texas, back to Michigan so we would oovoo, text, call and finally we just needed to meet.  She came to visit for a weekend, it was heaven.  She came back the next month…heaven again….by the 3rd visit…I didn’t want her to leave and she didn’t. Stephanie: My Baby and I met about 15 years ago at a club.  We were both with someone at the time.  About three years ago she found me on Facebook and she requested me as a friend.

What was the initial attraction? Juanita: Her conversation….it was open and natural.  She wasn’t just saying things she thought I wanted to hear.  She told me things that probably would have made someone else run- like being in open relationships, being broken and needed to work on her. Oh, and she was beautiful! Stephanie: When she requested me as a friend,of course, I went to check her out.  I looked at her photos and found myself visiting them often.  What was attractive to me (and still is) was that she was (and still is) a voluptuous woman - confident and beautiful - and that is very sexy to me.  I did not comment on her photos because so many others did and I did not want to be just another one in the bunch  So I sent her a private message entitled “Just Curious”.   We messaged each other for hours.  It was so easy to talk to her and I felt at ease.  It was like she was embracing me and my past experiences with love and understanding.

Your relationship is still relatively new. What spiritual or emotional preparation did you do to get ready for love?  Stephanie: I never got a chance to do any preparation. I just got out of a relationship and I wasn’t looking for another one. I just wanted to get me together. What really reeled me in was our conversations on FB. Communicating with her felt good to me. I felt comforted by her. Juanita: I had been single for over 2 years and I was preparing myself to be in a relationship. I was working on me. I asked and prayed to God for some specifics, and I basically got what I asked for. I believe that I had to go through what I went through in my past relationships to prepare for Ty.

What would you say is the key to the success of your relationship? Juanita: It’s real!  We don’t
pretend to be this perfect couple; we are US 24/7.  Relationships are hard and we have some really good times and we have some really bad times.  We argue, we cry, we laugh, we get on each other’s nerves but we RESPECT and we LOVE each other unconditionally.  When we decided to be together we said if we don’t go in “for the lifetime” then let’s not.  Neither one of us is looking for greener grass just because we hit some rough patches.  Splitting up is not an option for us, so whatever we go through we come together, discuss it and work it out. Stephanie: Honesty, Understanding, Acceptance, Patience, Laughter, a little silliness & GOD.

Many couples struggle with acceptance. How did you accept her vs. wanting to change her? Stephanie:  Two things: Opening up completely and practicing compassion. She had been through a lot. Because of my growth and experience, I am able to understand and allow her to be who she is. Compassion because she had gone through some hard things with her family and friends. I am 52 years old, and I have been here longer so I understand that she has to go through what she needs to go through and I accept that. Juanita: If I want her to accept me, I had to accept her. It’s basically growth. You get to the point when you want to be with someone and you have to allow them to be who they are.

What is different about this relationship compared to your previous ones? Stephanie:  In my other relationships, I never gave all of me. I reserved some of me for my own safety. To even make the decision to give all of me was “God-sent”. Being vulnerable made us stronger, and we learned from each other. We feel like we have been together for 10 years because of what we have been through.  Juanita: Not to take away from any of my past relationships because I did love them, but Stephanie is the first one I wanted to marry.

Discuss how you deal with and face challenges that might come up in your relationship? Juanita: I’m a nip-it –in-the-bud person.  When something is bothering me, I confront it and get it out the way because if it marinates too long, you have one unhappy wife and that’s not a good look,  Depending on what the situation is, I sometimes need some alone time to let my anger die down. Then we can re-visit the conversation and resolve it, or agree to disagree and move on. Stephanie: We try not to let anything linger; we deal with it right away.  We say what is on our mind and go from there.

How do you resolve conflict? Juanita: We don’t have problems communicating.
When we argue, we argue. Sometimes I scream, but we always come back to the conversation. Ty initially had problems with that. . Stephanie: Juanita holds nothing back. She’s right – I had to get to that point. I don’t want it to be like 2 rams locking horns so she wins most of the disagreements. Lol. She has no filter; she has no problem letting me know what’s going on.

What Relationship Rules or rules of engagement support your relationship: Juanita: Always kiss me good night and never go to bed angry. We are human so we may be still mad, but we will kissJ. Stephanie: My baby is strong-willed so I will be the one who gives in. So when she is going through it, I have to give her space. I don’t always follow that rule because I don’t want her to be mad at me, but I tryJJuanita: Breaking up is NOT an option; whatever we are going through, we fix it. Stephanie: I had to get her to understand that we are still new and that we are going through a learning curve. We are still learning each other so whatever we go through, it is not bad at all. It’s ok.

What role does spirituality play in your relationship? Juanita: Well, we have bedside church with Joel Osteen.  We have not found a church to physically go to but  we both have our relationship with GOD. We just haven’t found a church that feels good to us.  Definitely our faith plays a big part in this relationship and we feel this is definitely a match made in Heaven.  We have been in Atlanta at the same time, have the same friends but not once ran into each other after that initial meeting.  I think he was preparing me for her and vice versa. Stephanie: Spirituality is the reason we know we belong together so it plays a huge role in our relationship.  GOD definitely sent her to me because I vowed not to be in another relationship and just work on me.  It’s funny how your mind feels like it knows, but often enough, our hearts make the final decision.

What role does sensuality play in your relationship? StephanieIt definitely plays a role because when I watch her or look at her it still makes me smile because she is very sensual and sexy.  When she looks back at me with those eyes, I blush.  When I catch
her looking at me it’s so seductive.  I often act like I don’t see her looking - such a turn on” J Juanita: We love to have sex but we don’t need to do it every single day.   For me, it’s the way she looks at me, a subtle touch, cuddling, watching TV or doing nothing together.  Just being around her arouses all my senses. I still feel that same way about her as I did when I first got with that song goes…”When I first saw you, I said Oh MY…that’s my wife…..

What do you do daily to remind her of your love? Juanita: I just don’t tell her because actions speak louder than words. We text, sex text, leave notes around the house and in the car, etc. I am a touchy-feely person so we are always touching. Stephanie: We are different. I like to hear it, she likes to show it and that was difficult at first.  Initially she would send me a song to tell me something.  I love to buy her flowers and make my own arrangements.  Juanita: We show each other by both carrying the load in the relationship and in our home.
What do you most admire about her? Stephanie: She’s very strong and strong-willed and that is what I need. A strong woman makes me better. There have been times when I used someone as a crutch, but she calls me out on it. She pushes me to do things myself. She makes me better. Juanita: I admire so much about her. She has been through so much but she has never given up on love.

What advice would you give to other couples? Juanita: Honesty, Honesty, Honesty and
communication.  If those two attributes are not your foundation, the relationship will not last.  There should be nothing you can’t get through together (except infidelity) if you really truly love each other.  Don’t sweat the small stuff….it’s never big things that tear a relationship up, it’s the small things…deal with them and move on back to the love. Stephanie: Pray. Ask GOD about what to do and ask for direction. And if you feel she is GOD-sent, never, ever give up.  Never give away your gifts from GOD.  Juanita is my Gift. Juanita: Keep folks out of your business. We don’t share negativity with anyone. Why expose people to what is bad? People will choose comments and choose sides so we keep our business private. We share good times, but never bad.

What did you learn about her that was healing: Stephanie: That she was supportive, no matter what was going on and even if she was mad at me, I knew that she had me and we had each other. JuanitaShe is the first person that I have ever wanted to marry, and I knew that within two weeks of meeting her. She is my soul mate.

Define soul mate: Juanita: I cannot explain it, but it’s something that I feel in the pit of my stomach. She was the person I knew I wanted to spend my life with. Stephanie: My friend, my lover, my companion, someone I can be completely be free to be me with-and that is her.

What has your relationship taught you most about yourself?  Juanita: That it isn’t always about me, my feelings and what I want to do.  I had been single for a while and very much independent.  I had to learn how to “fit” her into my life.  I have a life partner and it’s ok to ask for help. I don’t always have to be the strong one (but I am still the PrincessJ). Stephanie: I was not going to get into another relationship; I wanted to work on me.  But, if you think you want to better yourself, you cannot do it alone.  Without her, I could not see me.  We have opened each other’s eyes and embraced our flaws with love, patience and understanding.

What one word describes your love/relationship? Juanita: Puzzle. We have a lot of pieces –good and bad– but we fit together perfectly. Stephanie: Tenacity. We keep evolving. We have gone through a lot with each other in a short amount of time. That usually would discourage her, but I told her that it is ok. Because when we get through this, we will learn each other and have the perfect relationship. We are still growing, building, and learning which will keep us together forever.

(Interview conducted by SharRon Jamison)

Many thanks to you Stephanie and Juanita for sharing your love with us at Create Love.  We wish you continued success as you Create Love in your lives.

Imani Evans
SharRon Jamison
Create Love Co-Founders

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