...when love is your perfect match
Just like it is sheer luck and destiny to meet the love of your life in a grocery store or in the club, meeting the love of your life on an online dating site or app requires even more luck. It can take a lot of left swipes to find someone you are attracted to, and even more left swipes to find someone you actually want to speak to. And then there are those very rare times, that on the first swipe and on the first conversation, you find the love of your life. For Samantha and Tonya, that moment happened three years ago. And after three dates, and three hundred laughs until you lean over and cry later, they knew, that whether it was luck, destiny or right person right time–they were the one for one another.
How did you guys meet?
Samantha: We met on okcupid online, we were actually just each others first like, and the only person that we went on a date on the website, so it worked out.
How long have you guys been married? And how long did you guys date?
Samantha: Going on 3 years in February. Before we got married we were together for 2 years.
What drew you to each other?
Samantha: I think after our first date I realized that she's a good match for me, cause I’m a very introverted person and she's very extroverted. Like super talkative, so it was never that awkward moment where I was kinda looking around. I felt super comfortable and I felt like I found my person.
Tonya: For me I just thought she was fly and really cute. She was everything opposite of me, super scientific, really analytical mind, kinda quiet and it was intriguing to me.
"It really is an honor to be loved by this amazing womxn, sometimes I feel like I have to think about what did I do to deserve so much good and I think it has taught me how to be patient with myself but also remember that I do deserve amazing things like that. It feels powerful, it feels strong..."
When did you guys know you wanted to be together?
Tonya: For me it was after our 3rd date that we had. She planned like a whole day outing- we went and played games at the arcade, go-kart racing, it was just a really fun, thoughtful day that she planned out. She was really just trying to have fun and enjoy and laugh. I was like wow okay, this is kinda nice.
Samantha: I would have to say the same, we went out to this small miniature golf place. Something clicked, it's hard to put into words but it just felt like she was a really good time and she actually enjoyed being with me and she liked who I was as a person and that was huge for me.
If you could describe your partner with one word, what would it be and why?
Tonya + Samantha: hmm.. You have to come back to us, thats a good question.
Describe your relationship
Tonya: I would say that our relationship is really safe for me, it feels like home. It feels like my heart has a safe place to be. I look forward to coming home and seeing her everyday. That's how I would describe it–safe.
Samantha: I would describe our relationship as, it's very fun. Half the time we end up in different places that we never thought we would be. Meeting a person thats one person removed from a celebrity or we just end up in these crazy settings where we meet a lot of great people that we never thought we would meet. We just have so much fun together, we laugh all the time. Half the time at the end of the day were in tears laughing at somebody saying something, it's just fun.
Do you feel like heteronormativity creeps up in your relationship?
Tonya: You know I gotta say, I think sometimes when you’re in a same sex relationship and you have this idea of roles, and for me I think its like a baby lesbian thing to do, where you kinda have these expectations and she’s a fem and I’m not, I gotta say it took for me at-least, for us to get married for that to be unlearned for me about who I was in the relationship and just try to figure out how to just be. At the end of the day the roles don't matter because we're just two people that fell in love. It’s interesting because I grew up with older brothers, I’m the youngest of four, so I never had to take out the trash cause the boys did that. But when I got with Sam I was adamant like I’m not touching the trash, I don't do that. So I think things like that for me were out of habit and that's just how it was my whole life so why would I start doing that now, she actually took out the trash today.
Samantha: I never really acknowledged those gender roles in a heterosexual relationship. Growing up my mom was a single parent to 3 kids and she did it all, and when she got remarried it was kind of like our step dad was an addition to her life. He didn't take on masculine roles, it was just like “you need any help?” and my mom would say yes or no. That kind of transitioned into our relationship and marriage, its kinda like whoever gets there first really kinda takes care of things. Financially were definitely on the same page, we pay our bills together.
"I feel like I constantly need to be touching her or close to her in some way..."
Tonya: Yeah a lot of those things we do together, there are no big purchases unless we talk about it, we traveling anywhere we talk about it, any money that's spent we discuss it. Just because that's been how its always been. Very open and we talk about everything.
Samantha: We’ve always said if one of us hits it big, no one is going to be a stay at home wife.
What makes you feel valued in your relationship?
Samantha: I would say I feel valued because my wife is always willing to listen to me. As a teacher, kids get on my nerves, parents get on my nerves, teachers, principal gets on my nerves. She just listens and that's a big part of who I am, I like it when I listen to other people I like to be listened to, it makes me feel valued and like im a person. She’ll be honest and ask if I want to just vent or want advice. I really appreciate the process that she goes through to make sure I'm my best.
Tonya: I feel valued, my love language is actions, so when Samantha does small things for me like put water in my bag, or move my sunglasses so I wont forget them, just small little things like that lets me know that she's thinking about me and my needs and what I need to just be okay. Something small to someone else is such a big gesture to me and I feel valued in that because I know what it feels like to be disregarded in a relationship and I’ve felt that before and the fact that she's taking time out of what she's doing to consider what I might need is huge.
How do you show/give love in your relationship?
Samantha: For me, I would say I'm 50/50, I like physical love and affection but my love language is action so if she brings home dinner after a long day of work or if she does laundry or any little thing like that makes me happy.
Tonya: I am super affectionate, I think it overwhelms Samantha when I think about it because I feel like I’m always hugging, trying to hold hands with her, um, I feel like I constantly need to be touching her or close to her in some way. It's kind of like I crave it because she's gone all day so when I see her I enjoy the physical touch and intimacy in that.
"I would say that our relationship is really safe for me, it feels like home. It feels like my heart has a safe place to be. I look forward to coming home and seeing her everyday. That's how I would describe it–safe."
Now we're going to double back to that question of if you could describe your partner in one word what would it be?
Tonya: I would have to say critical, and I mean that in the best sense of the word. Nothing that she does is by happenstance, she really quietly thinks through just about everything before she does it. Nothing is by accident, everything is planned out. She’s very meticulous with small details, and she zeros in on those small details in a really fine and finite way. She process all outcomes of a move before she does it and will get opinions and you know think through it before she makes her own decisions so I would have to say critical.
Samantha: I would say you are the text book east coast Caribbean womxn.
Tonya: That's not one word.
Samantha: You are a huge extrovert, you have that east coast accent that's just so strong in the mouth. Just your culture in general it's so very different, your way of being is very outgoing and very loud and that attracts a lot of people to you and I love that about you. Everything that the east coast embodies you have, and as a Caribbean womxn, a black Caribbean womxn, you just have this different swag compared to other American black womxn and it's just an interesting mix.
How does it feel to be loved by her?
Samantha: It’s a rollercoaster, it feels like a ride. Like when you’re up, you are definitely up and when you have those down times you’re in it together, there is somebody sitting next to you on that rollercoaster with you, they're not pushing you down the hill, they're in it with you. Our good times are really good. I remember more times of us laughing together than having and argument.
Tonya: It really is an honor to be loved by this amazing womxn, sometimes I feel like I have to think about what did I do to deserve so much good and I think it has taught me how to be patient with myself but also remember that I do deserve amazing things like that. It feels powerful, it feels strong, I feel like I am protected and supported and needed and wanted and that is what any person would want.
Have you found your perfect match yet? Tell us about it.
Written by: Jay Hardy (@KaliforniJAY)