Monday, January 5, 2015

Happy Couple Highlight: Joy and Toy

Joy & Toy Nirvae

Honolulu, HI

I am always fascinated how relationships start. Where did you meet and what were the initial attractions? Toy: We met online originally. I wanted to find a female companion and so I created a profile on Downelink. Shortly after creating the profile my now wife but then stranger, instant messaged me and we exchanged contact info. From there we talked on the phone maybe once or twice and she surprised me at work. I was so shocked and thrown off that I pushed her away; I wasn’t ready. About 5 months later, as fate would have it, we randomly spotted each other at a night club and talked every single day thereafter. And as they say, “the rest is history.”

Joy: Since Charlotte NC is not the largest of cities, we were constantly “bumping” into each other on a few occasions; a job interview for a job that we both applied for (and she got by the way), Downelink which is an LGBTQ online social media site, and once more at a local club. My initial attraction was that I was definitely intrigued, she was extremely genuine, and that she had a very positive spirit unique from what I had ever experienced.

You have been together for 4 years. First, Congratulations. What advice would you give to other couples and why? Joy: Well, this will go out to couples and singles as well; two things: 1) Explore your heart and 2) Be open and patient when allowing your partner to explore their heart. No one is perfect. We as people have a tendency to “grow up” too fast and develop preconceived notions of how and what our lives should be. What we tend to forget is that you never stop growing and that includes your heart. Listen to your heart and listen what makes it happy and act swiftly on those feelings. Understand why your heart fears and experiences anguish in certain areas and work on healing those areas. Also understand that your partner may have more or less “heart therapy” to undergo so be open and patient and work as a team.

Toy: We understand that we are in a constant state of growing and becoming. Life is a verb and is constantly changing. We are not concerned with getting to a particular “place/time,” we are only focused on living our BEST LIVES NOW! And that is the same advice that I would give to other couples, “Happiness is a journey not a destination.”

What make you know that it was time to get married and how will being married change your relationship? Toy: When we decided to get married honestly it was something from within that said, “The time is now.” I wanted to add that extra value to our relationship and the desire burned from deep within and I could not extinguish the flame; it could not be overlooked. I just knew. Getting married has enhanced our lives individually as well as together. The woman I am with her would not have been the same woman without her.

Joy: Even though I entered the relationship with love and desire to grow with Toy I must admit that I was unsure what forever with someone and marriage really meant. As my love for her surpassed any level that I could ever imagine I knew that she was the one for me and finally grasped the significance behind the word marriage. From the day that I decided to propose I was no longer being led by my mind but my heart. And that is how marriage has changed our relationship; we are on a course for forever which allows our life dreams and imagination to be endless

Getting together is easy. Staying together is difficult. You have weathered many transitions and storms? How did you manage and what was the hardest part? Toy: Honestly, we have managed each storm by reminding ourselves of why we got together in the first place. The hardest yet simplest part is understanding, “Not every battle is meant to be fought or won.”
Joy: I’m going to steal my wife’s motto for this one but I believe as well that “Life is about Balance”. From getting together to staying together two individuals have to establish a balance as a partnership. I can say it was difficult for me because starting out, I carried a lot of baggage from my childhood and past relationships. From the start I had the worst case of commitment phobia and go figure my wife and I (girlfriend at the time) attempted to carry out a long distance relationship! That in itself was a failure and a triumph for me. The hardest part was struggling not to revert back to my old habits of being a loner and being content with not challenging myself emotionally. I was able to manage because my wife saw my potential to love wholeheartedly which inspired me to develop and share those emotions.

How do you deal with and face challenges (family acceptance, money differences, etc.) that might come up in your relationship? Joy: Good question, one that is usually the epitome of relationships, gay and heterosexual alike. Family acceptance is still a working conversation that we have. From the start, Toy and I both have had family members who chose not to fully accept us because we are lesbian and married. As a result of their actions we have both experienced grief but also guilt at the thought of removing these people from our lives. Why? The challenge has been understanding roles in our present day lives. If you do not presently play a positive role in my life then I do not allow room for toleration. Mother, father, aunt, uncle, cousin, friend, indifferent. Simple. You control the energy you keep around you. Be selective to who you give that energy to.

To address money differences, just as we work together in developing spiritual and emotional relationship goals, Toy and I share the same plans financially and work towards those together. The key is to have trust in one another, always keep your partner informed, and have a plan.

Toy: We deal with issues that come our way head on. We are not afraid of confrontation. We do not sweep things under the rug, we call them out. Recent sessions with our therapist have given us the tools we need to properly communicate.
I know faith is important to both of you. How do you practice your faith as a couple and hat role does spirituality play in your relationship? Toy: When I think faith, I think of the devotion, confidence, and trust that we have for one another and our relationship as a whole. We are both very spiritual people and our mysticism is what has saved our relationship. We are on a voyage together to our divine places of nirvana.

Joy: Faith is very important to us because I believe it means that life is so much larger than just me, but at the same time, I have the ability to change life. I believe that we all have a purpose in life, often times multiple purposes. As a couple, Toy and I conspire together to reach our destinies in life. Our number one priority every day is to silence our minds from all of the noise that we create in society and receive positive energy from the universe. We have faith that one day we will create this peaceful environment to live in every second of everyday. Spiritually is a huge part of our lives and only recently as adults have we truly divulged in it by living the life of the Secret. I believe spirituality is what gives our heart its identity and guidance.

After 4 years, how do you keep the fires burning? What role does sensuality play in your relationship? Toy: Spontaneity keeps our fire burning. Nothing says sensual like a night of flirting, a day of dining together, the mystery of a new adventure, and just the opportunity to enjoy life together. Joy: Two words: Imagination and Spontaneity, being creative and having no boundaries and acting swiftly on those impulses. During the two years that Toy and I were in a long distance relationship we always attempted to make the most of our short visits with each other with extravagant, creative surprises and plans. I can say that I’ve always been somewhat spontaneous but my wife owns both categories and her imagination is what I love most about her. To this day, we continue to surprise each other, be spontaneous, and imagine all of the sweet things we would like to do and immediately plan and do them. What can I say, I have found my soulmate! We balance each other out so well to the point our sensuality overflows.

Every relationship develops Relationship Rules that support your union. What are your spoken and unspoken rules? And how did those rules form? Joy: How Toy and I have developed in our union is by being “Proactive” rather than “Reactive”. Recently we have consulted marriage counseling which has been an outstanding environment to express ourselves as well as sort out prior moments in our lives that may affect our marriage. One of our relationship rules is centered on “Effective Communication”. Although we communicate frequently, we both have realized that we can change the effect that we have on one another by altering our delivery of how we say things. For example: Toy may say “When you’re done with what you’re doing can you wash the dishes? opposed to “You need to wash the dishes”. That example may seem simple but how you say things can determine different reactions in people. Most of our rules are unspoken and unquestioned when it comes to respect, love and care for one another.

Toy: I have always felt that rules restrict creativity. You can’t be your true self with rules. Although rules help create order and unity, we’d much rather not have them. We just respect one another. We believe you should treat a person not how you want to be treated but how they want to be treated. This creates a proper balance of respect and understanding. But if you consider her washing the dishes before bed a rule, then go for it ;) lol
Every relationship challenges us in different way. What did you have to learn and un-learn to love her fully? Toy: I had to unlearn the fantasy and dreams that I had in my mind of how love should automatically be. I had to love her as she was and understand that with time, love, and growth all things are possible. And things can and will turn out better than you imagined.

Joy: As I touched on earlier, I had to un-learn my views on commitment and marriage. In all actuality, there was a laundry list of things that I did not believe was possible that had to un-learn: True Love, forever with one person, long distance relationships, just to name a few. Now sitting here thinking about it, the most important thing that I had to un-learn was that God did not hate me. Mankind may hate me, but is without question that I will always find love in the higher power that lives within me every day and in my beautiful wife LaToya.

What has your relationship taught you most about yourself? And her? Joy: My relationship has taught me how to nurture emotional and spiritual growth that I’ve neglected throughout my life. I have realized that regardless of the amount of degrees and knowledge that I have I will always be a student to life. What our relationship has taught me most about my wife Toy is that regardless of her intuitive nature and contrary to my belief, she is no mind-reader or angel but just a very patient, loving, caring, nurturing person who understood the secret of the soul. Toy: Life does not require a definition. Life is to be lived. We need to throw away all of the teachings of our past and love openheartedly, unconditionally.

What 1 word most captures her essence and your love?
Joy: Destiny
Toy: Unparalleled

What will be your legacy as a couple? Toy: “We came, we saw, we loved, we conquered.” Joy: Since we were fortunate enough to find each other in this lifetime that means we have twice the legacy to fulfill. As we explore the world our goal is to spread light, love, and positive energy to every path we cross. We are all people on a search to be better and happier. I think we are here to take that journey with you.

Please follow Joy and Toy at:
Instagram: @LovePrayEatAlways
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

 Create Love Founders

Imani Evans and SharRon Jamison

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