Monday, May 27, 2013


Jackie Kennedy and Sandra Valls 
from Los Angeles, California

How long have you been together?  Both: We’ve been together for 11 years.

How did you get together/meet?
Jackie: We met at work back in 2002. Sandra had just moved to Los Angeles to pursue a comedy career and was also working as a greeter at a career college. I was the assistant director of admissions.

What was the initial attraction?
SandraI would see her walking to and from the elevator every day. She was always laughing and positive and beautiful and glowing and Wow! I would think, “I want a girlfriend just like her.” Jackie:  I was attracted to her because she was so funny and she was very attentive. She really wanted to get to know me. She was very present and was a great listener.

What would you say is the key to the success of your relationship?
Jackie: There are many keys. We work hard to have open, honest, productive communication. We work at active listening. It’s an ongoing process. We share the same beliefs about spirituality and we are very spiritual. We put God first in our family. Sandra: We enjoy a healthy sex life and we aren’t afraid to express it. We are still very much attracted to each other.  We have a lot of fun with each other and laugh a lot. We love to travel and are good travel buddies. Jackie: We love to sit at little cafes with each other and absorb each other like it’s the first time. Sandra: We practice forgiveness as best as we can. We respect each other and each other’s space. Jackie: We feel it’s very important to have a life of our own and pursue our own hobbies and interest as well as support the careers and interests of each other. We also have our “couple” circle of friends and our personal circle of friends. Sandra: And we don’t just love each other, we really like each other.

What do you most like about her? Jackie: I love Sandra’s heart. She has such a kind spirit. She’s very lovable, and also very loving. I like that she is passionate about everything. Being Latina, she has that fire – that life giving fire that makes everything “extra”. Whatever she does has “extra” on it. I. Sandra: I love that Jackie can twist anything and make it positive. No matter how bad the situation or how bad the person, she always finds the positive. I love how she treats people too. She is always kind no matter who you are. Also, I like how she takes care of herself and our family. She makes sure that we are comfortable and that we have what we need. Jackie: I also love that she’s a tomboy; I love that soft masculine energy. She’s also very protective and she protects my inner child, she protects my little girl. Sandra: I like that she’s always evolving and growing. And, I love that she always has my back. She’s a “ride or die” type of person. Jackie: I like that I can be myself. I don’t have to be in a box. I can be what the universe wants me to be. With Sandra, there are no limits. Sandra: I think that Jackie is sexy as hell. I love her sense of style. She’s a blessing.

Discuss how you deal with and face challenges that might come up in your relationship?

Jackie: We ask for a time out so we can come back and get some clarity before we sit down and discuss the issue.  When you are really angry and upset, many times it is from things coming from other situations, and not the issue that you are currently dealing with. When you lash out, it is usually about other things that have not been addressed. So we make sure that we don’t let those other things interfere and having a time out for clarity helps. Sandra: We have different styles. I like to talk things through immediately because I hate to feel disconnected from her. I hate to feel alienated. And, I am also a fixer and I want to resolve everything. The only issue that we clash over is how we raise our kids. We grew up very differently but we are learning to work through that too. But whatever the issue is, we get through it.

What role does spirituality play in your relationship?
Both: It plays a major role in our lives. We both put God first and share the same beliefs. We pray regularly for ourselves and others.

What role does sensuality play in your relationship? Sandra: Sensuality is more than sexuality, and it comes naturally with us. Also, we make a conscious effort to notice each other. We notice the small things and we make sure that we say thank you. It is the “noticing” that keeps us connected. Jackie: It is important that we connect because when we don’t, we get out of alignment.

How do you keep the flames alive? Sandra:  We are very attracted to each other because we’re constantly evolving - both individually and as a couple.  We take time out to have fun with each other and stay connected. We both make it a priority to take care of ourselves as well as the couple (us). That’s very attractive to me.Jackie: I feel that we were born together in a different lifetime because I feel so connected to Sandra. We keep changing and growing together. We also keep loving each other through the good and bad times. That’s attractive to me.

Sandra:  We make an effort to look good for each other. We like to dress up for each other. We also pay attention to each other. It is so easy to become complacent but we keep it fresh. Jackie: I am very sexual person and sex is very healing to me. Our sexual lives are very sacred because sex can be transformative. Sex is our birthright and we are totally uninhibited; we let ourselves go. I have to have sex because I give my body what it needs. Even with kids, we make time to enjoy each other. We have taken it (sex) to a different level; we dig deep into our goddess power.

Every relationship has relationship rules that support the union. What are you rules?
Jackie: Sandra is a night owl and I’m a morning person. I am a baby at night and she’s a baby in the morning. We respect our sleep personality! Our sleep is very important to us because sleep heals the body. Also, proper sleep helps us be productive so we make sure that we both get the proper rest. Another rule is that we must praise God and give thanks. That’s helps us manifest God in us. Sandra: Another rule is that we respect each other. Even when we are angry, we try not to raise our voices. And we never call each other names. We also respect each other styles when we are sick. For example, when I am sick I want to be doted on. But, she likes to be left alone. I had to learn that. Jackie: We respect when/how we work. We both work from home so we give each other respect so that we can focus. We don’t interrupt phone calls or demand attention from each other while we are working. Sandra: We share the chores. Jackie cooks and I clean. Many couples get in trouble because there is no balance. We make sure we share the responsibilities. And we talk about if we get out of balance. Jackie: Another rule is that we allow time for us to hang out with our friends. And, when we are with our friends, we don’t call each other a hundred times. We trust each other. Trust is first and foremost.

What advice would you give to other couples?
Both: Learn to like each other first. Love yourself and don’t forget about improving yourself. Find ways to keep it fresh and fun. Little signs of affection count a lot. Keep the sex alive. The more sex you have the more you want. Stay healthy and keep evolving with each other.  Jackie: People need to get back to the basics. It is about loving yourself and about loving God – from that, your relationship will flow and flow in divine order. Sandra: I would recommend that you really get to know yourself – know what you need and what you don’t need. I can’t believe how much crap I put up in my former relationships. You have to know in your heart when someone is worth it and when they are worth fighting.

Both of you are in very public careers? How do you deal with the groupies and how do you handle your careers: Jackie: I like the groupies because they put food on the table. Lol. I say “thank you” to the groupies and I find it quite flattering. And, I never feel disrespected because they are really kind to me and I totally understand the business Also, I am very careful about what I do. When she is out, she represents me. And when I am out, I represent her. We always remember that we represent each other. And, I would never do anything that does not support her and us. Sandra: We don’t air our dirty laundry. I don’t make jokes about anything that she doesn’t approve of. I respect her that way. Most of all, we trust each other and we tell each other everything. For example, if a fan does something during or after a show, I tell her.

What has your relationship taught you most about yourself?
Jackie:  I have learned that it is ok to be vulnerable and that has given me the ability to trust what I’m feeling in my gut. It’s taught me how to break down my walls and it also taught me that I don’t need to go from 5 to 150 in a matter of seconds…that I can stop, breathe, then respond and I will be heard.
Sandra:  Jackie has taught me that I can achieve all my dreams…anything in the world is possible and within reach. It’s not that wasn’t aware of this before, I just didn’t fully believe it.

If you could thank her for 1 thing, what will that be? Sandra: I would thank her for making me feel alive again. With her, I have blossomed. Jackie: I would thank her for being a vessel for me and for letting me live my truth.

What one word best describes your relationship? Jackie: Dynamicwe are a dynamic couple. We are joyful, spiritual, evolving and loving. We have a fabulous circle of friends. We are creative spirits and we have a mission. Together, we can move mountains. Sandra: Blessing – I feel blessed. She is everything that I always wanted and more. She is everything that I deserve, everything that people dream of. If I don’t get another wish, she is enough for me. She’s the biggest gift, my gift.                                                                                                                                                    
You can also find and/or contact Jackie and Sandra at the websites listed below: valls

Email Addresses:

(Interview conducted and written by SharRon Jamison)

We thank you for sharing your love with us at Create Love! Your story will encourage, inspire and uplift other couples.  We wish you continued success and happiness.

Create Love -- Founders
Imani Evans and SharRon Jamison

Friday, May 24, 2013

4 Things I Love To Hear

There are a few phrases that I really like to hear from people who claim to love me. The first phrase that I enjoy hearing is “I love you”.  For some reason, when people tell me that they love me I feel connected, cherished, and treasured.  It is not that I romanticize the 3 words, but the meaning that I assign to those 3 words touches me at my very core. Just hearing a sincere “I love you” releases positive energy throughout my body and adds an extra pep in my step. When said from a trusted loved one, “I love you” can really make my day.

Another statement I like to hear from people who claim to love and respect me is the phrase “You are important”. Just hearing that small phrase makes me feel that my needs, desires and wants are a priority in their lives too. And for some reason, when a person assures me that I am important to them, I feel that I can let my guard down. I don’t feel as if I have to be concerned about defending my ideas, opinions and perspectives. Just hearing “you are important” from a trusted loved one makes me feel accepted, open and most of all, relaxed.

“I apologize” is another phrase that touches my heart. I don’t know about you, but when I hear a heartfelt apology, I feel heard, understood and considered. For some reason, receiving a sincere apology has a
soothing and healing effect on my soul.  And just knowing that a person I love acknowledges that they intentionally or unintentionally offended, wounded, hurt or disrespected me ushers in forgiveness compassion, and reconnection. For me, “I apologize” opens my spirit and fills it with kindness, consideration and empathy for the person who initially hurts me.

The last phrase that I hold dear is “I promise”. When people say “I promise”, I feel a sense of comfort and security; I feel peace. Why? Because there is something to be said about a woman who honors her word and says what she means and means what she says.

If keeping promises are so important and so vital to the health of our relationships, why don’t we honor our word? Why has integrity become so rare? Why has the phrase “I promise” lost its veracity?
I don’t claim to know all of the reasons why keeping promises are becoming optional or mere afterthoughts. But I do have 2 views that I hope you will consider before you make another promise to yourself or to a loved one.

Thought #1: Keeping promises are becoming rare because people are failing to think about what they are committing to PRIOR to saying “I promise”. Just consider your own life. How many times have you made commitments without considering the time requirements, costs, sacrifices, compromises or emotional gymnastics required to follow-through on your promises?  If we are honest, we all can admit that we have said “I will”, when we knew that our answer should have been “I won’t”.  So here are some steps that will hopefully help you when you are considering making promises to yourself and to others.
  •  Always clarify what is being asked. Ask questions, ask for examples, ask for potential scenarios or ask the person to paint an emotional picture of the request if need be. But never agree to anything before you have a comprehensive understanding of the request.
  • If you can’t fulfill/honor the request, offer a solution or an alternative. Tell them what you can do vs. what they want you to do. Hold your ground even when/if they try to persuade, coerce or manipulate you.  The bottom line is this - don’t agree to something that you know you can’t fully fulfill or accept.
  • Once an alternative/agreement is accepted by both parties, re-state the promise to ensure that you both are on the same page. It may be even helpful to follow-up with an e-mail so that both of you are crystal clear about the agreement..
Keep in mind that promises are contracts, agreements and vows. If you are unwilling or unable to honor, comply or fulfill a promise, say so. Honor yourself and honor her with the truth.

Thought #2: Acknowledge when the promise can no longer be honored. And when appropriate, re-negotiate. Promises are not made to be broken, but they can be amended, especially when values and variables change. Why? Because as you develop, evolve or mature, promises that you made earlier in your life and/or in our relationship may no longer support you emotionally, intellectually, spiritually and/or physically. In fact, honoring promises that no longer respect and support you is counterproductive and destructive to your own personal evolution, spiritual journey and physical health. And, if you continue to follow old beliefs, behaviors and practices that are not consistent with who you are currently, your self-esteem and your ability to self-actualize could be jeopardized.

So here are some examples of promises that partners make to each other that may need to be amended, re-negotiated or withdrawn.
  • Honoring a promise to stay with a partner who is abusive, addicted and/or discouraging, is a not a good promise to keep.
  • Honoring a promise that requires self-surrender, self-sabotage, self-flagellation and self-degradation is not a promise to keep.
  • Honoring a promise to do anything that does not respect your growth, development, dignity, integrity, self-esteem, self-care, goals or personal vision is not a promise to keep.
  • Honoring a promise to stay in a monogamous relationship when monogamy no longer works or appeals to you is not a good promise to keep.

Remember, “I promise” is a powerful statement of commitment that should not be taken lightly. It is a phrase that has healing, bonding, maintaining and building power. When used with honesty, openness and integrity, it is a statement that breeds trust, respect, loyalty and vulnerability. So use “I promise” thoughtfully. Be precise, define the parameters, discuss expectations and amend when factors and feelings change. So when you give your word, your word will mean something.

“I love you”, “You are important”, “I apologize” and “I promise” – 4 phrases that can add life and healing to you and to your relationship. I hope you use all 4 thoughtfully, honestly, prayerfully and lovingly.

Blessings as you make promises that help you CREATE Love that your heart and mind desires and deserves!

SharRon Jamison

Monday, May 20, 2013


Nita Catchings and Laurin Nabors 
from Houston, Texas

How long have been together:  We have been together for nine years. We started dating on March 23, 2004, and we had a commitment ceremony on August 22, 2010.

How did you meet: Nita: We actually met at college.  We were very young – I was 20 years old and she was just 22.  After previously dating women, I began to date a guy at college to be more accepted by my family.  He cheated and lied and didn’t value me as a woman, but I tried to make the best of it to appease my mother.  I attended a church on campus and eventually joined the choir as a way to pass time.  One of my friends mentioned there was a lesbian who was the lead musician for the campus choir, but I had absolutely no idea of who she was.  Once I discovered her name, I took the liberty of finding her name on a copy of the church directory.  I called her and we talked briefly but I didn’t give her my name.  I was hesitant to give her my name because I was afraid that gay rumors would resurface if in fact she was not gay.  However, I did give her my phone number and when she returned my call I was not in my dorm room and my voicemail stated my full name. That’s how she found out who I was. Lol! 

Laurin: Initially when she called, I told her I couldn’t talk at the time and it was because I was with my girlfriend who no one knew about.  I was excited to find out who she was because I was fairly new coming out and was intrigued by the phone call.  My girlfriend at the time was at least 13 years older than me and we didn’t have much in common, so my mind started wondering elsewhere.  Once I called Nita back and got her voicemail (which disclosed her full name, lol) I was surprised to say the least. 

What was your first impression: Laurin: My mind started racing because I knew that she was pretty and around my own age, but she was a little sassy.  I toiled with the decision on returning her phone call once I found out her name because she was in the campus choir.  I was the music director of the choir and she was a problem child. Lol. She wouldn’t pay attention when I was teaching the (singing) parts and she would talk during choir rehearsal.  With me being the music director for the campus choir, I did not want to mix business with pleasure.  But, I was so excited about the possibilities of her, and I decided to call her back and to say the least - we talked for hours on end.  At first, we were just friends and I was there to comfort her during her troubling relationship with her boyfriend.  I was there when she needed me and I would always tell her that she deserved more.

What really grabbed your attention about her: Nita: She was cute and very easy to talk to.  The first night we spoke on the phone, we talked through the entire night.  I remember because it was my 21  st birthday and she was the first person to tell me “happy birthday”.  We connected immediately and after 1 week of speaking to each other, I knew she was special and I wanted to get to know her even more. She is so amazing, patient, and loving! Laurin: I am really reserved and focused but she was so against the grain.  She was fun and adventurous.  She was a little sassy but that was something I found attractive.  When I look at what she has become, I feel like wow.  She was beautiful then, but she is so polished and mature now. I am so impressed by the woman she has become.

How do you face challenges, crises and conflicts in your relationship? Laurin: We faced a lot early on in our relationship and that has really equipped us to deal with a variety of challenges. In a two year span, we had 2 major crises.  One was when I was deployed to Iraq in 2004. Our relationship was not even a year old, but for some reason I knew that I could trust her. Nita: When she was deployed, I was so concerned for her safety because I saw reports of people dying but I couldn’t tell anyone.  My family was upset that I was gay so I had no one to talk to about it.  But she knew I was there for her.

Being so new in the relationship, what made you know that she worth waiting for? Laurin: I knew that I could trust her. Even though our relationship was new, I gave her power of attorney rights when I was deployed. I was never concerned about her spending all of my money, being unfaithful or anything.  She was always there for me.  She would send me boxes and anything else I needed. I would sit in long lines on the base just to talk with her and she was ALWAYS there for me.  She made herself available to me when I needed her the most.  Nita: It didn’t matter when she called or if I had class, I was there. I wanted her to know that I was there for her and that I loved her.  I would also send her cards and boxes. Whatever she wanted or needed, I would send because I knew that she was the best thing that ever happened to me. I always say that God gave her “extra” because she is so sweet and genuine. Sometimes I feel that I don’t deserve her.  Laurin: It meant a lot that she was there while I was deployed and I know that she is still there for me today.  We always make time for each other.  And, I always make sure that I am available to her and she does the same for me. Nita:  When Laurin came home, I was still in college. We didn’t want to be apart so she gave up a good job in St. Louis just to be with me while I finished college. She has always been so giving; she is my rock.

Nita: The second crisis came when my mother died unexpectedly at the age of 47. She was not sick or anything. When I found out that she died, I was in shock and I couldn’t drive the 2 hours to get home. Laurin had to drive me home and she was there for me.  She gave me so much love and support – she was/is such a great support system. After my Mom died, Mother’s Day was hard and I couldn’t even send cards and gifts to my aunt or my grandmother.  For years, Laurin sent both of them gifts and cards for me because I couldn’t handle it emotionally.  She was just there for me and she always gave me encouragement. This year was the first year that I could send cards myself. 

Every relationship has Relationship Rules that support the connection. What are your rules?  Laurin: We don’t hold grudges. We are always quick to resolve issues and make up. Nita: I tend to hold grudges a little longer than she does but I am learning to forgive quicker.  I am also learning that I can initiate the apology and not wait for her to do it.  I used to think that saying sorry would make me appear weak, but now I realize that it takes a strong person to apologize.  Laurin: We have a rule that we always greet each other when we come home.  Nita would always greet me, but I had to learn to greet her even if I have to stop what I am doing because that is important to her. Nita: Even though we are together, we know that it is important to say good morning, thank you and please.  Another rule is that we always talk things through no matter what it is or even if it is embarrassing.  If I have to hide my face to tell her something, I will. We communicate about everything.

What role does spirituality play in your relationship? Laurin: It plays a big role. I am a preacher’s kid and I grew up in the church.  I hold onto a lot of things that I was taught in church.  I value Christian principles like faith.  Faith goes hand in hand with being positive, and I am a very positive person. We also believe in being people of integrity and paying it forward.  We have always acknowledged that God is the head of our household.  We refuse to allow the beliefs of others to identify our relationship as an abomination to God.  God has given us confirmation that it was his divine design to be each others’ soul mates.  Nita: Laurin helped me with that. I got into a negative mode because so many bad things had happen to me. I would sometimes ask God why certain things happened to me.  But Laurin helped me with my faith and she continues to encourage me.  Most of the time, I am a realist but she helps me see things differently.

How do you define sensuality and what role does sensuality play in your relationship:  Nita: Laurin: I love that Nita is always available because her presence comforts me. Talking to her always makes me better. Sensuality is orgasmic.  It is the warm loving feeling of each other’s touch and mental stimulation of words expressing our deep feelings for each other.  I loved to be hugged, held, rubbed, touched and cuddled.  I like to be kissed and I love that she always acknowledges that I am present.  

What has your relationship taught you about you? Laurin: Being with Nita has made me more confident because she constantly encourages me to excel past my comfort zone.  She always says I am intelligent, sweet and other wonderful things that I don’t give myself credit for.  For example, I am a behind the scenes type of person, but Nita taught me to be more up-front.  She taught me to be less passive and to be stronger. I have accomplished more in life with Nita’s encouragement than I would have accomplished on my own. Nita: She taught me that I do deserve wonderful things in life. She taught me that I have talents that I wasn’t aware of and that I am beautiful inside and out. She reminds me that I am a blessing to others, especially at my job.  She taught me that my experiences have helped me to be better and stronger and that everything happens for a reason.  Laurin taught me that I can accomplish just about anything I put my mind to.

If you could thank her for 1 thing, what will that be: NitaI would thank her for loving me totally. She loves me with all of my insecurities, shortcomings, mistakes, etc.  She loves me for who I am.  She can always see the good in me and she is very delicate with my heart.  Laurin: I would say thank Nita for trusting me. In our relationship, I am more dominant and I present and plan a lot of things for our family. Nita never shuts me out. She is very trusting and is always open to hearing my ideas. Her trust has opened the door for many things in our relationship. Trust plays a huge role and that reinforces our love. I would thank her for her trust. Nita: I totally trust her because I know that she will always take care of everything and she will always make sure everything is planned out. She makes the most money but she always reminds me that everything is ours and that my perspective and opinion matter. I take care of things too in our relationship and she trusts me also. Most of all, I trust Laurin with my heart. Laurin: I never want Nita to feel that she doesn’t count; she does. My role in our relationship is not a dictatorship at all. I always remind her that I could not succeed in my career without her support and trust.

What 1 word describes/characterizes your relationship: Laurin: Indescribable. The way we love each other is so complete and so complex that it is hard to put our relationship in words. There are many factors that make our relationship wonderful and that makes it too hard to define. Nita: God-sent. I feel that God has just smiled on our relationship. She is my soul mate and my best friend. I feel like the stars aligned when I met her. I never knew a love like ours could ever exist. She loves me unconditionally and there are no limitations in our love for each other.

You two have practically grown up together and have experienced so much as a couple. What advice would you give to other couples: Nita: In order to make a relationship work, you have to have two people who really want it to work. If you have one who wants it 100% and another who wants it 85%, it will not work. Both people have to be totally committed. Laurin:  Remember that trust is important. Early on in our relationship, Nita proved that she was a person who could be trusted. She backed her words with actions and having trust and honesty made our communication open and easy. Nita: Communication is important. You have to be willing to talk and make every attempt to understand each other’s perspective.  You have to be willing to compromise. Laurin: We always keep our business to ourselves. We don’t argue in public and we don’t tell people what is going on in our relationship.  We work it out together.  Nita: Always help, encourage, and motivate each other. Laurin: And laugh. We laugh with each other and at each other.  Humor and having fun is important.

(Interviewed by Aunt SharRon, thanks Nita and Laurin for honoring me with the title “Auntie”.)

We thank you for sharing your love with us at Create Love! Your story will encourage, inspire and uplift other couples.  We wish you continued success and happiness.

Saturday, May 18, 2013

A Femme's View On Studs

As a self-proclaimed femme lesbian, I adore masculine identified women.  First let me state my disclaimers: 1) I do not believe that labels
define us, nor should they box us into dating only one type of woman.  I think if you are femme and you like other femmes, or if you are a stud and you like other studs, more power to you (in my 60's voice), and if you have no label and feel free to date whomever you choose--I support you! 2) The opinions stated in this article are mine and mine alone.  I am simply expressing my thoughts on this subject and they are not to represent the philosophy of any group of lesbians.  Now that I have put all of my politically-conscious sisters at ease, I would love to share my thoughts with you in hopes that you might share yours with me too.

Stud/Butch/AG/ whatever name you call it, I certainly find myself attracted to that energy.  However I do not limit myself.  I have been in a relationship with another femme woman, and I loved her.  I would even go as far as to say that I was the more masculine energy in that relationship. For those of you who know me, you can stop giggling now! :-) It is true! I am, what I acknowledge to be, an aggressive-femme.  I also believe that gender expression is far more fluid than we lend it credence. For that matter gender identity, a gender role and sexual orientation are not the same thing.  Let's explore this for more clarity:

GENDER IDENTITY: "Gender identity is defined as a personal conception of oneself as male or female (or rarely, both or neither). This concept is intimately related to the concept of gender role, which is defined as the outward manifestations of personality that reflect the gender identity. Gender identity, in nearly all instances, is self-identified, as a result of a combination of inherent and extrinsic or environmental factors..."  Quoted from

GENDER ROLE: "A gender role is a set of social and behavioral norms that are generally considered appropriate for either a man or a woman in a social or interpersonal relationship. There are differences of opinion as to which observed differences in behavior and personality between genders are entirely due to innate personality of the person and which are due to cultural or social factors, and are therefore the product of socialization, or to what extent gender differences are due to biological and physiological differences. Gender roles differ according to cultural-historical context, and while most cultures express two genders, some express more..." Quoted from Wikipedia 

SEXUAL ORIENTATION:  "Sexual orientation refers to an enduring pattern of emotional, romantic, and/or sexual attractions to men, women, or both sexes. Sexual orientation also refers to a person’s sense of identity based on those attractions, related behaviors, and membership in a community of others who share those attractions. Research over several decades has demonstrated that sexual orientation ranges along a continuum, from exclusive attraction to the other sex to exclusive attraction to the same sex. However, sexual orientation is usually discussed in terms of three categories: heterosexual (having emotional, romantic, or sexual attractions to members of the other sex), gay/lesbian (having emotional, romantic, or sexual attractions to members of one’s own sex), and bisexual (having emotional, romantic, or sexual attractions to both men and women). This range of behaviors and attractions has been described in various cultures and nations throughout the world." Quoted from the American Psychological Association

Now that we've got the conversational clarity needed for a quality discussion, let's get back
to my attraction to the masculine identified woman.  I have often been asked what the attraction is all about for me.  I think it varies from woman to woman, but in general I am attracted to the duality of them.  I am attracted to the feminine presence with a masculine demeanor and energy.  I am a lesbian, so I love that the physical body is a woman, but the persona has the balance of a male.  It might also surprise some of you to know that while I am an advocate/activist/womanist, I am still traditional in many ways.  I like the chivalry of masculine identified women (I know--I just heard my feminist card being ripped from my's okay).  But true feminism, to me, is about having the freedom to choose what is best for me as an individual woman; It is about choosing from an empowered place versus one of dependency and survival.  Rest assured, I am empowered, powerful and I am many things--but dependent has never been one of them.

Conversely, I am NOT attracted to some things about masculine identified women. Of course, I am acutely aware that generalizations cannot be applied to ALL women.  However this is more about my personal experience in dating studs over the past 18 years.  In my experience, there seem to be SOME butch/stud/AG/boi women who over-identify with some of the more misogynistic aspects of masculinity.  They seem to emulate these sexist aspects, maybe, as a way of separating them from what it means to be a woman...I am not sure.

I have found myself perplexed at the idea of combating sexism and hyper-masculinity in women, toward other women.  I often see things like the objectification of women's bodies, violence as an expression of masculinity, hyper-sexual behavior around other studs to appear more masculine, and verbally degrading women as an expression of dominance.  I'd really like to say that these are isolated incidents, but I have been in far too many conversations with other women who have the same experiences.  For that matter, I have provided counseling to far too many women to offer this up as an isolated occurrence.  

I don't believe that my attraction to chivalry and gender balance requires a sacrifice of respect and dignity.  If it does, then it is a trade off that I am unwilling to make.  I don't have the answers, but I am beginning to explore the subject.  Hopefully, you will share your experiences and thoughts with me on this issue.

Now, back to the love; Fortunately, I have also encountered some very evolved masculine identified women who do not subscribe to this misogynistic behavior. Studs are beautiful to me in so many ways.  They are the personification of yin-yang and it thrills me to engage a self-aware, spiritually evolved, masculine woman.  I hope you will join Create Love as we continue this celebration and dialogue with studs, live and in-person! (details below)  In the meantime, I honor you as you embark on a journey to CREATE LOVE.

Nya Akoma (Take Heart),
Imani Evans, MA

Join us on March 14, 2015 - Here for more information

Monday, May 13, 2013


Candace Hardnett and Erika Majors 
Savannah, Georgia

How long have you been togetherCandace: We have been together as a couple since Dec. 21st 2007. However, we have been best friends since 2005.

How did you get together/meet?  Candace: We met at an affirming church of which we were both members at the time in San Diego, CA. We went through ministry training together at that church and were accountability partners and best friends.

What is an accountability partner?  Erika: We were accountable to each other spiritually. We kept each other accountable in our walk with Christ, in our decision making and in our ministries. We were vulnerable with each other and always had the others best interest at heart.

What was the initial attraction? Erika: There was no particular initial attraction; it was a two-year friendship that blossomed into an attraction. Our relationship has been based on the love that I had for her already through our friendship. Plus, it didn’t hurt that she was cute.
Candace: My initial attraction was her love for God and her commitment to ministry. As my best friend she helped to shape me as a Christian. She was always honest, sincere, and fun. She was also intriguing.

What made her intriguing: Candace: At first Erika was a really big mentor for me. When I met her, I was really green in the ministry and had not been to church since I was in elementary school. Erika was a huge factor in me learning about Christ. Erika: What I found most intriguing was her journey back to Christ and her dedication to learning about Christ and her calling. When she came back to church she hadn’t picked up the Bible for many years, but in a few months, she read and understood the Bible like a theologian.  Now she’s my pastor.

What would you say is the key to the success of your relationship? Candace: The key to the success of our relationship is that we are both firmly rooted in our faith and we lean on someone bigger than
ourselves when things become rough.  Erika: We have made a commitment to stay together, through good and bad, thick and thin. We both believe in building one another and growing together. We are committed to love.

How do you support/solidify your commitment? Erika: I realize that Candace is a gift to me from God, one that I should, and do cherish. She is perfectly given to me, even though she is not perfect. I often remind myself that she is my gift and that whatever I do to her, I do those same things to myself. By respecting Candace as my gift I am ultimately respecting myself. Candace: We understand that we are in it for the long haul and we don’t make breaking up an option. Giving up on us is not an option.
Discuss how you deal with and face challenges that might come up in your relationship? Erika: We deal with challenges through open communication and a commitment to come to a resolution. Candace: We try to be great listeners. We practice active listening, repeating to one another what we have heard the other say and trying to understand each other’s feelings in order to come to a resolution.

Every relationship has unspoken and spoken rules. What are some of your relationship rules that support your union? Erika: When we have differences, we stop the behavior and move to resolution. An unspoken rule-we give each other space when we need it. We don’t force each other to talk; we respect each other in heated times. Candace: When there is a purchasing decision, we wait 24 hours before purchasing. If you still want if after 24 hours, you get it. That way there is little impulsive buying. I learned that from Erika. Erika: We stay in our lane. We know our strengths and our weaknesses. For example, she is better at dishes so she washes the dishes. I am better at deep cleaning and so I do the rest of the cleaning. We know our strengths and it prevents us for getting on each other’s nervesJ.

What role does spirituality play in your relationship? Candace: A huge role. Our relationship is centered on our spirituality, it always has been. Even as friends we were spiritually connected, and it has carried forth through our relationship.

How do you nurture that part of your relationship? Erika: I can’t really describe our spiritual connection. It is much deeper than just praying and reading the Bible together. We feel each other. My spirit is so connected to Candace that I can feel her spirit and I can tell what’s going on with her even when I am not around.

What role does sensuality play in your relationship? Candace: Equally, sensuality plays a huge role.
Continuing to learn one another and to grow means growth in all areas. As humans we are sensual creatures that evolve, grow, and thrive through healthy interaction. Erika: For me sensuality is very important. A healthy sex life with Candace garners the foundation for the bonds that are established in our relationship.

For you, what is the difference between sensuality and sexuality: Candace: Sensuality expands further than sexuality. You can express sex with any willing partner. Sensuality is experienced when you are connected on every human level – spiritual and emotional. Physical connection is almost secondary.

How do you keep your sexual lives alive: Candace: It has a lot to do with communication. We discuss our individual needs and seek to satisfy one another. We take the opportunity to learn one another’s likes and dislikes and are always willing to try new things. Erika: We really have learned to speak each other’s love language and that is what makes us feel more sexual. When we feel loved and appreciated it makes loving more enjoyable and keeps our sex life from getting stale.

What is your love language and how does she speak it fluently? Erika: Words of Affirmation. Right now, Candace purposely practices giving me words of affirmation.  She tells me face to face, she puts messages on face book, post-it notes, text messages, etc. Every day I look forward to hearing what she will say next. Candace: Touch is my primary love language. She’s excellent at cuddling even when she is tired.  We are usually busy during the day but we get an opportunity to slow down at night. She knows my love language and she will hold me no matter the time.

What has your relationship taught you most about yourself? Erika: That who I thought I was, I wasn’t. I had a list of requirements for a partner, but as I grow in this relationship, and grow within myself, a lot of that stuff doesn’t mean as much as it did.

For example: One of my mottos used to be reciprocity – Bring to the table what you want from the table, and then we can have a feast.  I learned that reciprocity has nothing to do with love. Love is an action; it is a commitment. What I thought was required, reciprocity, wasn’t. I realized that love trumps all. I used to say that my partner had to give me this or I have to have that, etc. I don’t feel that way anymore because it’s my duty to love Candace regardless.

Candace: I have learned the value of relationships. Relationships should not be disposable, when you enter them they should be built to last and endure. Prior to this relationship I had not sought value, but rather the quick and easy. I’ve learned that a valuable relationship takes time.

Why time: Because you don’t really know the value of something until it has endured. It is like a car. If it is built to last, it may be old but it will still run. A relationship is going to take time; time to prove that it will last through the tests of time. Just like a classic car if something is broken, you don’t throw it all away. You fix that component and get back on the road.

What do you most admire about her? Erika: I admire her intellect. I call her sponge brain because she
soaks up everything. She is also tenacious. When she sets her mind to achieve something, she doesn’t stop until it is done, attained and complete. She also does everything with excellence because she knows that she serves an excellent God. Even if she does something at the last moment, I can trust that it will be excellent. Candace:  She is down to earth. She can “read” somebody without making someone feel bad. She will leave them feeling convicted but not degraded. She’s genuine and has a good heart and she is always willing to help others. She is also able to take my flaws and turn them into something good. I admire her for being able to put up with me. She trusts and respects me, and never discourages me.

If you could thank her for one thing, what would that be? Erika: I would thank her for loving me. Sometime ago she told me that she hasn’t loved anybody as much as she loved me since her grandmother. Her grandmother was her everything – her mother, father, friend, teacher, pastor, etc. I am honored to sit in the same place with her grandmother – I don’t take that lightly. Candace: If I could thank her for one thing, I would say thank you for trusting me enough to be with me. She has trusted me to be her accountability partner, her friend and her partner regardless of what anybody said. She trusted and trusts me enough to be her pastor and that says a lot. When she met me, I was a hot mess. But she trusted me and I thank her for that.

What one word describes or characterizes your love: Erika: Love! God is love and God was in the beginning and center of our relationship; God is the foundation of our relationship. It is the God in us that lifts each other up. Candace: Indescribable. There are really no words to truly express our love. It has surpassed that of ordinary and has exceeded far beyond to simply indescribable. I love our connection and could not imagine life without her.

What advice would you give to other couples?
We would advise other couples to remember that love is not a feeling, it is an action. It is a commitment, it is a challenge, it’s not going to always be easy but it is definitely worth it.

You can also find Candace and Erika at:
 Our business:

We thank you for sharing your love with us at Create Love! Your story will encourage, inspire and uplift other couples.  We wish you continued success and happiness.

Create Love for Women Who Love Women - Founders
Imani Evans & SharRon Jamison

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Want Me? Earn Me!

If you are a Scandal lover, last week you probably heard Olivia Pope say “If you want me, earn me”. I, like many of you, had to catch my breath and clutch my pearls. For some reason, her statement resonated with me and made me consider why relationships fail, falter or flounder. I am not sure if I totally believe that a person or a person’s love can always be earned, but I do believe that we can treat our partners and ourselves in a way that is deserving of love, or “earnable”. Yes, I know that I earnable is not a word. But I do believe that we can behave in ways that warrant affection, gain trust, produce acceptance, ensure empathy, enlist support, merit loyalty and engenders consideration. In some ways, maybe we can “earn” love or/and partners.

But how do we “earn” our partner and earn our partner’s love? I am not sure if I know the answer to that question. But I do know that there are three important ways to start “earning” love, and the first person’s love you need to earn is your own.  So here we go…..

The first tip: Value yourself, and then validate your value. In other words, respect and treasure who you are. Then behave in ways that support/demonstrate that you are worthy of respect and that you should always be held in high regard. Why is that important? Because so many times we don’t fully cherish ourselves.  Many times we don’t take care of our bodies; we don’t exercise, eat right, get enough sleep, or participate in other activities that keep us physically healthy. Some of us don’t take care of our spirits. We allow toxic people in our lives, negative people in our homes, and pessimistic people in our inner circles and haters in beds. We sometimes fail to mediate and/or spend time alone to recharge, reflect and reassess our lives, decisions and our future. And, some of us don’t challenge our minds. We don’t expose ourselves to new people, new surrounding or new perspectives. We don’t seek out people who are smarter, wiser or more accomplished. We fail to ask questions, challenge convention or detour from our routines. If we are honest with ourselves, we will all admit that we don’t always value ourselves like we should. But the good news is that we can change and make better choices.

After you care for yourself, value yourself, like the queen that you are, it is validation time. How do you validate your value? By acting with what I call “with expectancy”.  Acting “with expectancy” means that show that you deserve trust by first proving that you are trustworthy. Acting “with expectancy” means that you demand respect by first sharing and enforcing your personal boundaries that support you physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually.  Acting “with expectancy” means that you demonstrate that you deserve honesty by first walking and acting with integrity.  Acting “with expectancy” means that you show that you are accountable by first honoring your own promises and obligations. Acting “with expectancy” is not an option; it is a personal imperative.

It is a personal imperative because in life there are 3 important ways that help people know who you truly are:  education, demonstration and validation. So always remember to share who you are, show who you are and then validate, or if you want a “s” word, substantiate who you. And then, expect and accept NOTHING less from others and from yourself.

The Second Tip: Find out what to do, then do it.  Everybody has a core set of needs and desires. If you want to unlock a woman’s heart, earn her, find out what her needs and desires are and try to consistently address them. In other words, learn her love language and speak it fluently and emphatically. Determine what makes her tick and then do it!

You would think that addressing your partner’s needs would be pretty intuitive, right? Wrong. Many of us know what our partners’ needs are but sometimes we fail to acknowledge them or we don’t attempt to meet them. It is not always intentional, but for many reasons, we stop paying close attention or stop doing the things that initially made the relationship desirable, fulfilling and fun. For example, if you met her at church, don’t expect her stop going to satisfy you. If you met her at a basketball game, don’t expect her to stop attending games to always accompany you to a museum. If you showered her with words of affirmation, don’t think you can stop without suffering some repercussions, especially if Words of Affirmation is her love language. As the saying goes, “what you did to get her, you better continue to do to keep her”. That’s good ole’ relationship wisdom.

Also remember that relationship behaviors, skills and rules are not transferable. Don’t get me wrong. Relationship skills and behaviors are important, but HOW the relationship skills and behaviors are implemented must be customized to the individual, and must be tailored to the specific relationship. Here’s the truth - we are different partners with different people. In one relationship, you may be controlling. In another relationship, you may be a team player. If one relationship, you may be sexually frigid. In another relationship, you may feel sexually attracted and liberated. Circumstances and variables greatly influence how we show up in relationships. And different situations and different periods in our life greatly influence how we receive and express love.

So if you want to “earn” her love, find out what makes her tick and identify ways to make sure she keeps on ticking. Make her needs a priority too. Don’t sacrifice your needs, but work together to find ways to ensure that you both get most of what you want most of the time.

The final tip: Stay attractive so that you will attract.  This is a hard topic, but let’s be honest. Some people get complacent in their relationships. Why? Because too much safety, comfort and security cause some of us to regress. It causes some of us to become careless, lax and easily satisfied. And for most of us, a woman who is not growing is not physically, intellectually, spiritually or sexually attractive. In many ways, when our partner stops growing or striving it feels as if she is not trying to earn her own respect, let alone ours. It might sound harsh but I ask you to consider your own lives and your own previous partners. Did you stay attracted and/or interested when you partner did the same thing, the same way, at the same time and with the same intensity? If I was a betting woman, I would say that your attraction and interest declined and the decrease had a negative impact on your relationship.

So commit to on-going and life-long growth. Keep learning, listening and laughing.  Establish goals, make a bucket list, and live your passion.  Nothing is sexier than a woman knowing her divine mission and going after her dreams. And just so we are clear, being physically healthy can be a dream. Going back to school can be a dream. Feeding the hungry can feel the dream. When you are moving, growing and challenging yourself, you gradually become more attractive. When you become stagnant, unproductive and unmotivated, you are not “earning” anything but frustration, disinterest, failure and apathy.  And, all of those are relationship killers.

Let’s be clear - we all have struggles that prevent us from showing up as our best selves (i.e. death, depression, disease, disaster, etc.). But even in those hard times, when we show our partners that we are resilient, tenacious, powerful, resourceful, and durable we are and remain attractive. I have even seen many partners fall deeper in love with each other during crises. Why? Because inner strength and vulnerability are attractive. Both are “earnable” traits because they reveal YOU, the persevering you.

What will earn your love, commitment and your dedication? Do you know? What will earn your partner’s love and commitment? Do you know? If you don’t know, it is time to find out.

“If you want me, earn me”. What a challenge! What an opportunity to CREATE Love that your soul craves and desires. So remember and consider these 3 tips: 1)Value yourself, and then validate your value 2) Find out what to do, then do it 3) Stay attractive so that you will attract.  If you keep those 3 tips in mind, you will not only “earn” her love, but more importantly, you will “earn” your own.

Blessings as you continue to CREATE Love in your life!
SharRon Jamison

Monday, May 6, 2013


Denise L. Hill and Dawnn M. Brumfield

 How long have you been together?  Five years, Aug. 12th

How did you get together/meet? Dawnn: I served as an intern at her church; that was the initial contact---although it was very distant because she was away in school.  A few years later we both attended a mission trip in Ghana, West Africa.  We started a friendship, it developed to love and we never looked back.

What was the initial attraction? Dawnn: Denise definitely made me laugh. I can be pretty serious and so it always makes me smile to think of something that she has done or said to bring a smile to my face.  I also was very attracted to how she took care of me when I was sick in Africa.  Her compassion for the people was very endearing.  She was brought to tears a few times while walking or riding through the villages.  I thought that was very sexy J . Denise: My initial attraction to Dawnn was her love for people and her deep need to connect deeper than just the surface. Her compassion towards others and selflessness drew me even closer.

Who made the first move? Dawnn: While in Africa, she took a risk and jumped over the bed and kissed me. I was tentative at first. It was like the Katy Perry song “I Kissed a Girl and I Liked it”. It was a scary thing to step out on faith but 5 years later we are still here.

Denise, what made you take a risk? Denise: After spending two weeks together in Africa, I got to know her. Prior to Africa, I spent years wrestling with God about my sexuality. In a time of discernment, God showed me this woman and I day dreamed about her. For 2 days Dawnn stepped away from the group and I realized that I missed her deeply.

Dawnn: In the moment (of the kiss), I felt a spark. I felt absolutely safe and I still feel safe with Denise. She is very protective of me because I lead with my heart. I depend on her to protect that part of me.

What would you say is the key to the success of your relationship? Denise: Love, Communication, Honesty, Time and Patience. Dawnn: Although it took time to get to this point I think the key to the success of the relationship is our ability to talk through the difficult stuff.  In the beginning I think we made a lot of assumptions about each other, how we think, feel or would respond.  Two years into the relationship we hit a critical point when we were at a crossroads about the relationship and we had to decide to talk ‘for real, for real.’  Even though it was hard conversation, it was necessary conversation.  Once we got through the initial talk it has been easier to keep talking.    

Why were you at a crossroads? Dawnn: We were at a crossroads because there were many elements
and dynamics of change in our lives. Previously we both worked and lived in a group home (management positions) and we had never lived together; combining life, money, habits was difficult. Denise: I felt a shift in the relationship.  I knew it was important to make a change. An opportunity to move to Atlanta and build our lives together came and we took it.  But, we had never lived together before.  It was hard. Dawnn: It was a rough year. When we moved Denise had a job; she was laid off soon after we arrived.  I was a chaplain intern---with very little pay. Within that year, we got very distracted. There was a lot of conflict because we both were growing, changing.  We didn’t know how to express our needs and emotions. That’s when we hit the crossroads. We asked ourselves – do we have what it takes or do we end it and part ways. Denise: During that year, my mom was also diagnosed with leukemia. Also, different aspects of our relationship were shifting – emotionally, spiritually, physically and financially. After my mom’s transition, Dawnn and I packed up the house and moved back to Chicago. I was concerned because Chicago has always been a rocky place for me; I am never comfortable there. But I put my trust in God’s hands and I trusted my partner.  It’s been a year since we’ve returned.  It’s been a process but we trust each other.

Discuss how you deal with and face challenges that might come up in your relationship? Dawnn: We’ve had some challenges that involve us (what couple doesn’t) and some that involve other people but certainly affect our relationship.  It was established early in the relationship that we would ‘ride the waves together’.  That meant that no matter what we would rely on God and the love we have for each other to get through the tough stuff.  Sure, we’ve run into some ‘hurricanes,’ ‘tidal waves,’ and even a ‘tsunami’ and ‘typhoon’ but we’re still here.  At times we’re treading water but we never let go of the others hand. Denise: For me, I am best known to introvert my feelings, take time to sort them out and come back to conversation with my partner and have effective transformative conversation which helps us both gain understanding of our perspectives, differences, etc.

How soon in the relationship did you have the “ride the waves together” conversation? Denise:
We came to that decision after about 2 months in our relationship. At the time I was Florence, Italy, and Dawnn was in Nashville studying at Vanderbilt. Communication was difficult because of the time differences. We were going through a rough spot. But we decided that whatever happens, we will make it. Dawnn: Denise was my first relationship with a woman. I was very afraid because of my role in the ministry. But Denise committed to walk with me through it and I felt comforted by her saying that.

Dawnn, you say that you and Denise made a covenant each other. Why do you use the word covenant? Agreements and promises are broken all of the time. Covenant is what God had with the people of Israel. I am a very intentional and loyal person and a covenant is a weighty word. For me, it’s deeper than an agreement and a promise, and agreements and promises are often broken without much thought.

What role does spirituality play in your relationship? Denise: Spirituality plays a big role in our relationship. Much of who I am is a discerner/prophetess, I can sense and feel how energy around me can shift, I can sense how my spirit can positively/negatively affect my relationship if I’m not centered with my spirit.

Dawnn: Spirituality is a very important part of our relationship.  It was also a very intricate part of the early foundation and continued strength of the relationship.  I am ordained clergy and serve in full-time ministry.  At first I was very concerned about how my love for God, commitment to the people and service in the church might conflict with this very deep love I share with Denise.  It was very rough in the beginning because I really believed that God ordained and, in fact, purposed us together.  However, I was also very aware of ‘the church folk’ and how people interpret scripture AND judge people who identify as same-gender loving so I was very afraid. Denise and I were both raised in the church and have very deep, reflective personal relationship with God.  We pray for each other.  We pray with each other.  Some of our most intimate moments have been in worship---at church or even at home or in the car.  As a pastor I trust Denise to cover me as I cover others.  I trust her to tell me what she sees.  She is a discerner; I trust that gift in her.

What role does sensuality play in your relationship? Denise: It is important to me to know both mine and my partner’s places of sensuality. For me it was hard to release control, but taking time to explore my own intimate areas with my partner helps me to build our sense of sensuality together.

Dawnn: Sensual mutuality is very important.  It is very difficult to have a healthy relationship if both partners are not being satisfied.  Although we’ve been together for 5 years we had to learn to ‘dance’ with one
another in a way that required extreme vulnerability.  I had a lot of body issues and they were (are) difficult to overcome.  In many ways, my insecurities and fears really affected our relationship.  We had (have) to talk---yes, even in the moment---so that the other would know what to do---and, in some cases, what NOT to do.  This extends beyond the bedroom.  People often use sensuality and sex interchangeably.  The two are very different.  Sensuality speaks to gratification of our senses, too.  We also like to be spontaneous: impromptu dates or mini-vacation, cook together, text messages, buy cards or leave notes.  Each of these adds to the growth of the relationship and a deeper, more intense sensual connection.

What has your relationship taught you most about yourself? Dawnn:  My relationship with Denise has taught me a lot about my inner strength; it has given me insight about my capacity to love, my insecurities and how they affect my relationships (and not just with Denise) and it has deepened my level of faith.  In the beginning I wasn’t so sure that I had the strength to endure the ridicule, disdain or disregard for me and who I love.  She told me then that I was stronger than I thought.  That has proven to be true.  I also experienced a love that grows every day.  Even in the midst of our challenges---from the outside and within---I love more deeply than I thought I could.  Listening (I mean really listening) to Denise talk about what she sees in me and how sometimes it conflicts with how I present was helpful as I continue to grow.  We spend so much time wearing masks and hiding our vulnerabilities, idiosyncrasies and flaws that when someone holds a mirror to our face and challenges us to look inside it is startling…and, at times, very scary but liberating.  This relationship taught me to do that.  My relationship with God has grown as a direct result of this relationship.  When I was up crying, worrying about how (or if) my relationship with God was changed because of my love for Denise, talking, praying to God was the ONLY thing that got me through.  I journal and on those pages (to God) I yielded my complete heart.  I asked God to confirm that I was still loved and God did just that.  My relationship with my family deepened---even in the parts they don’t understand.  My open-ness about the relationship has been used as education for my family and some of my friends and colleagues.  That was God’s gift to me.  There is nothing held back in my relationship with God. The deepened faith and communication taught me that God can handle my early confusion, anger, sadness and complete AWE for this love I am experiencing.  Denise:  That love is deeper than just the words from my lips, it takes time, trust, commitment, attentiveness, patience, do-over’s, make- ups, break- ups and more but being receptive to Love has been the most  rewarding thing in this relationship for me.

 What do you most admire about her and why? Dawnn: I most admire Denise’s desire to live life and experience every part of it. I was never a risk taker and have always lived my life in a safe space. She encourages me to be more spontaneous and she inspires me to try things that I have never done before. I am grateful that she has poured that quality in me. Denise: I admire her ability to love unconditionally. I believe and know that my parents loved me but she has taught me how to love and how to be loved. She has made it clear what love is and how to reciprocate. That is her spiritual gift and that is what draws me to her and draws me closer to God.

If you could thank her for 1 thing, what would that be? Dawnn: I will tell Denise thank you for loving
me. She loves me without expectations. She loves me for me – not the daughter, pastor, big sister, just Dawnn. She loved me until I could totally love myself. I am thankful for that. Denise: I thank her for her time. In this day and age, people don’t give time. Time is an investment that shows me her commitment.

What one word characterizes/describes your relationship: Dawnn: Transformation. I met her when she was 22; I was 30.  Who she was then---and now and who I was then---and now -has been a complete transformation. Our relationship has also been a transformation. Denise: Journey. I viewed relationships as a destination vs. something you go through. I no longer have that perspective.

What advice would you give to other couples?  Denise: To share openly and honestly, so that you and your partner’s needs are communicated effectively. Dawnn: I would definitely say talk often, be honest, extend grace and learn to listen.  It is also important to establish whether you even ‘like’ the person.  It’s very easy to get caught up ‘in-love’ or ‘in lust’ and neglect to build a friendship with each other.  It is important to know that even when the deal goes down (i.e., income changes, illness, death, etc.) that you’ve established a friendship that will stand strong.  I actually like Denise…a lot.  It helps me love her more and more every day.

(Interviewed conducted by SharRon Jamison)

We thank you for sharing your love with us at Create Love! Your story will encourage, inspire and uplift other couples.  We wish you continued success and happiness.

Create Love for Women Who Love Women - Founders
Imani Evans & SharRon Jamison