This month I’m thinking all about Black love and joy and the ways they have entered my life in the moments when I needed them most. In her book All About Love, bell hooks says, “Individuals who want to believe that there is no fulfillment in love, that true love does not exist, cling to these assumptions because this despair is easier to face than the reality that love is a real fact of life but is absent from their lives.”
I was the person who began to question if true love existed. I was apprehensive, pessimistic, and borderline cynical about men and relationships. I frequently said things like: “Some men are trash”, “They don’t know what they want”, “They want to be friends with benefits and cannot commit.” If there was a breakup song by Doja Cat, Drake, Inyah, Adele, or Big Sean, I was listening to it.
This was already my mindset when Corona (aka the vid) struck. We were stuck in our houses. Everything shut down. How were we supposed to find love — let alone make new friends or go to new places — under these circumstances? I wanted to be wholly anti-men, but that would be counterproductive because I also wanted a great man.
In the fall, my friend posted that she was looking for single men and women who wanted to be in a serious relationship. I decided to text her and let her know I was interested. She eagerly messaged me back,
“Do you like nerdy guys?”
“Yes, I do.”
“I think I may have someone to introduce you to.”
She sent me a 3-page, digital application a few minutes later, asking for my dating preferences and references to vouch for my character.
Three weeks after that, I’m out of town for work and sitting in a hotel conference room (for a little privacy away from my coworkers) waiting to meet my friend, Autumn, and the man she matched me with for the first time. I didn’t know his name, only that it started with an M. At this point, I am nervous. My heart is beating fast, I’m double-checking my makeup, I should have facetimed a friend but I didn’t and it is too late for that so here I go. I click the Zoom link on October 28, 2020, feeling a sense of anticipation and like I may puke.
The matchmaker hops on the call. “Hello Faitth, we are just waiting on M. to arrive.” Soon after, the mystery man comes on the call. “Faitth I would like to introduce you to Marcel. Marcel, meet Faitth. Marcel and Faitth, I want you all — to learn more about each other — to play a quick game.”
I am sitting on Zoom feeling like my life could change forever. Autumn fires off a few questions about the other person and asks us to make our best guess about them. After the game, she lists a few reasons why she matched us. She states that we were matched because of our love for the community, our faith, and how well our personalities would complement one another.
Autumn assured me that while Marcel could benefit from external motivation, he is not a build-a-man; he is already a good man with great character and not someone I need to put together. (No “project” men allowed in her dating service.) Once she finished her intro spiel and told us what our references said about us, she told us the next step was for Marcel to call me first. If, for some reason, after a week we weren’t vibing, we could end this match and get back on the list to find a new match better suited for us.
There was no need for another match. Marcel called me about 10 minutes later. I was intrigued by his character, and I liked his tone of voice. Right away he was beginning to win me over. . . We dated long-distance during the next year, traveling back and forth to visit each other. Marcel was eager to close the gap and move on to the next phase of our relationship, so on October 16, 2021, he proposed to me — two days before my birthday.
One day while talking about wedding plans, I looked at my fiancé, “Babe, we should elope.” He gave me a small smile, “I know you’ve always wanted to elope, so let’s do it.”
Two months later, on a brisk morning, December 18, 2021, we stood on the rooftop of our new apartment and said “I do,” surrounded by our immediate family. My brother married us and prayed for our marriage; it was a dream come true. I didn’t need a big wedding, all I wanted was Marcel and I to start our life together. Our elopement was a day to remember and a reminder that love still abounds and to keep hope alive even when circumstances feel bleak.
In 14 months, my entire life changed. I’m living in the miracle of what I prayed for. I am no pastor, but I often wonder if some of us are on the edge of what God has next for us. Love is risky. The wait is not easy, but experiencing a healthy relationship is truly worth waiting for.
Sis, will you open your heart to something or someone new? How will you make room for love?