...when love is your light
Some of us can spend days, months, years and even decades looking for our life partner–and most of the time that life partner is right in front of our face. But often times fears, nervousness, and even other relationships, can block of view of the person that was meant for us all along.
And after years of following each other on twitter, laughing at one another's jokes and throwing flirty subs; Jody and Raven realized what had been in each other's face the entire time–each other. And with that realization came light.
How did you guys meet?
Jody: We met on twitter. We’ve been dating for almost a year and a half.
Raven: So one of my friends followed this random person named I hate U jody but it was like a lyric from TLC’s first album and like unless you like really love TLC no one really gives a fuck about the first album everybody cares about crazysexycool so I was like oh yes, love this, so I just followed her randomly back in ‘09 and we have literally just been internet friends since then.
Jody: Lowkey internet friends.
Raven: Yeah very passive, like oh I think this person is funny and evidently she thought I was funny too. But I always thought she was cute.
Jody: Well to jump to the future, we were in and out..well...I was in and out of relationships mostly throughout our internet friendship and she was in a long term relationship, and then we were finally single at the same time and I just started subtweeting her and she finally bit the bait.
Raven: As soon as I got out of my relationship and was ready to date again, I was texting my gay best friend like “OMG Veronica how do I approach this, I had to atleast let her know that I like her, like her for real.”
At what point did the subtweeting stop and the relationship begin?
Raven: I dmed her and gave her my number. We dated for 6 months and went on our first date in October and became official in April.
"My favorite thing to do after conflict is one of us will look at each other and ask “okay, are you ready to be friends?” I think it’s the cutest thing ever."
You guys live together, who relocated to live in who’s city?
Raven: I moved to Richmond from Atlanta. The city was a big culture shock. Very caucasian, less African American. Much less black and smaller than Atlanta so it took some getting used to. Us living together has been like one of the easiest transitions I've ever made probably because we both were in live in relationships before. We both know how to live with other people, that's hard for some people.
Jody: Yeah, this isn't my first rodeo.
Raven: Right, and we both have similar living styles. We both like a cold house, we both feel like cleaning up when we feel like cleaning up--it works.
"She's always there to support me and help me out. Thats very, very, very important."
Describe your relationship with each other. Things that you value? What draws you to each other?
Jody: Other than physical things, of course, it's her personality. She's excitable and fun and it plays a major role like if I can’t have fun with you then I don't see how we would work out. We can literally have fun going to the gas station, just having a blast for no reason and that's something that I value.
Raven: I like talking to people that I think are smart and that sounds like an asshole statement but her knowledge on the things she really cares about and other stuff..her opinions are generally well formed and rooted in not just opinion but also like she actually knows the shit she's talking about so its like “this is why I believe what I believe” so she's somebody that I can have an intelligent conversation with while on the other hand I can sing Britney Spears together and dance to our favorite song or favorite record.
If you could describe your partner in one word, what would it be? And why?
Jody: Ugly. Nah, easily excitable, her eyes get glossy when she's excited which can be often. She's just a joy, everything excites her. It's not hard to please her or have fun. It doesn’t matter what we're doing she's just always excited.
Raven: I would call Jody sunshine and I say this to her all the time. She is the light of the sun personified. She brings so much joy and brightness everywhere that she is.
How do you show/give affection in your relationship?
Raven: I am a very “omg I have a ton of feelings let me talk about them” and I also like to do things for people that I love so I like to buy things for Jody. The other day I surprised her with some deviled eggs with shrimp on them, like a random thing that would just make her feel like I care about seeing a smile on her face. One thing I’ve had to work on in this particular relationship is making sure that the way that I express affection actually matters to her. At one point I was buying her things on a regular basis and she was like “I don't really feel like you appreciate me” and I was like nigga I am dropping bread?! So I realized that the gifts didn't matter if other things were not happening. I do a lot more acts of service now or in the moment making sure I say “I appreciate you for this” or “I support you in this” just to make sure my feelings are being communicated in a way that she can internalize as love and not just as me doing some shit because I felt like doing some shit.
Jody: I honestly think I am just really touchy feely quality time type of person. I want to be up under you, I want to do stuff with you all of the time. Sometimes I do acts of service if I feel so inclined. Im working on buying more things that she likes as well. Mostly I just like spending more time and stuff. I work like 12 hour days so when I come home I'll be like “hey you wanna watch Netflix? Cuddle? Drink wine?” so she doesn't feel neglected or like I work too much.
We see you [Jody] are always talking about finances on twitter, can you speak to that and the role you play in the relationship surrounding that?
Jody: Well i'm glad you asked, so yeah I mostly handle the finances in the relationship. She's brought ideas to the table, like our joint bank account to pay the household bills, it was her idea to put money into the account every time we get paid so that we don't have to calculate it later or anything. We just put in our lump sum or whatever. So out of the joint account I pay all the bills and make sure it’s on time. I set up the autopay. Basically all she does is throw the money in and I pay the bills. Individually, I make her budgets for her because our money habits are different. I make her a set budget trying to get her to use her high yield savings account separately, trying to get her there.
Did you [Jody] go to school for finance?
Jody: I went to school for math and business, so yeah.
Raven: I also went to school for business but the finance part did not rub off on me.
Since you both have a business background has it been talked about to open a business together in the future?
Jody: We’ve talked about it and it's something that could possibly be in the works but were not seriously sitting down and talking about it but definitely a possibility.
You guys are already comfortable living together and sharing finances–what is the next step? Marriage? Kids?
Jody: Yeah we would like kids.
Raven: Its something very important to us, I was recently going through my insurance wondering if it's covered.
"Every day it feels like coming home, you have somewhere to be safe, you have somewhere to be your whole self and even if your whole self is in pieces on the floor or you are all put together, either way whatever you have to offer is accepted and loved and sheltered and taken care of.”
Money can often become a big issue in relationships. How do you handle conflict in your relationship if there is any?
Raven: There is [conflict between us] but were steadily working at getting better at it [handling it] and that's probably my favorite thing about us as a couple. Like that conscious choosing to work at what's uncomfortable to be better so we can work together better overall. Jody is a quiet person, “like oh were in the middle of conflict let's shut this down and when were ready to discuss it, we’ll discuss it” and I'm like “the only way through it, to the end is through it so let's talk right now” so i'm forced as a fire sign to be more reflective.
Jody: Normally, I would shut down, but that’s been a problem in all my relationships, until this one where I've been forced to not do that. The reason I say “forced” is because if I want this relationship to continue on the path, stay in this relationship, her stay with me, then I have to talk and speak up because she's not going to put up with that. I know it's not going to make her feel good and I don't want to make her feel bad. I try sometimes, I’m getting a little better. If I shut down I’ll sit for a moment then go outside and apologize to talk. Instead of it being a day later it'll be like 2 hours later.
Raven: We love progress. Same day progress. My favorite thing to do after conflict is one of us will look at each other and ask “okay, are you ready to be friends?” I think it’s the cutest thing ever.
Both of you highlight mental health on your social media pages. Can you speak on how you support/feel supported when it comes to mental health.
Raven: So last winter (2018), it was our second winter together and our first winter she didn't have the same issues with seasonal depression. We had just moved into our apartment and then it hit her really hard and I didn't know what it was and she didn't communicate it to me for a while. I was in my group chats and therapy like “I moved to this new city and the person I moved for is falling out of love with me.” it made my anxiety terrible and it was like the craziest, most heartbreaking thing and then she named what it actually was and explained that it had nothing to do with me and I immediately went into fixer mode like what can I do to change this? I made myself miserable again because I thought I could just sprinkle fairy dust on it and it would just go away. It was just really a steep learning curve and I had to realize its a “I'm going to hold your hand or support you” and you can lean on me but I can't do anything to move past it or move out of it any faster than you can. I think it's gotten a lot better for me as a partner because I know that I read about it, I research, I think about things we can do together in our household routines and stuff to make sure that she has what she needs to be set up for success. I said on twitter that you can feel really powerless as a person who wants to see their person smiling and happy and like feeling positive in general about life and like I said she's sunshine. Even in those moments when she's quiet or depressed she's still Jody.
Jody: I guess when I go through depressive episodes it's hard to think about someone else, but it's important for me not to be a dick to her and not to be an asshole because I know that she's here to help and everything. Just because you're going through something doesn't give you the right to treat someone that way, so I always remember like even though I am going through something, remember to be kind to her still. She is very helpful when I just can't get out of bed or can't do things, she's always there to support me and help me out. Thats very, very, very important.
"We can literally have fun going to the gas station, just having a blast for no reason and that's something that I value."
How does it feel to be loved by her?
Jody: It feels like waking up at 9am on a Saturday morning in 1996 in your pajamas with the footsies on them and you’re eating cereal in front of the TV with no bills to pay. It just feels innocent and joyful and fun. That's what it feels like. It feels like watching my favorite cartoons every morning but paying bills though...but when I’m with you I forget that I have to pay the bills.
Raven: In the most un-narcissistic way possible, I'm going to quote myself, I think I said this on twitter, it feels like, “you know how you visit home as an adult and it's like oh i'm at my mama house again and everything is right in the world? I don't know but when I wake up beside her in the morning and we just make eye contact and smile at each other it's like oh shit this is the most perfect feeling in the whole world. Every day it feels like coming home, you have somewhere to be safe, you have somewhere to be your whole self and even if your whole self is in pieces on the floor or you are all put together, either way whatever you have to offer is accepted and loved and sheltered and taken care of.” That's what it feels like.
Tell us about a moment where her love for you became your light.
Written by: Jay Hardy (@KaliforniJAY)