In the beginning:
Born and raised in the great city of New Orleans, Lousiana (#WhoDat) we both moved to Atlanta and were introduced to each other by a mutual friend during out freshman year at Georgia State University.
[JK]: After successfully escaping "the friend zone," (yes, there’s hope fellas), I pursued her and we were finally moved into a relationship. However, the fairy tale didn’t begin there. Our relationship consisted of four years (!) of the most on again - off again, hot and cold, sugar or salt grits thing ever. Our roller coaster ride ultimately led us to go our separate ways.
So we moved on with our lives, but kept the “friendship” going. We would listen to each other's stories about our new relationships and nod our heads in support of each other, while pretending that our connection wasn’t still there. It wasn’t until a few years after our split that I got my mind right and decided to give her “the call.”
[Rina]: Ohhhh “the call.” I thought to myself, "Should we rekindle those old flames or let them die out in the smoke of relationship's past?" We all have that decision to make when figuring out if we are truly ready to move forward with someone we have so much history with. I had to ask myself if I was ready for this type of love, for this type of commitment, for my best friend to become my one and only.
Thinking back, we needed that (extended) break to explore who we were as individuals. We moved to different cities, made new friends, and gained new perspectives on life. I truly believe that God was preparing us during our time apart, so that we could one day present our best selves to one another. After "the call," we reconnected and spent eight months in relationship bliss before he asked me if I would be his forever.
Life after saying "Yes":
The engagement period is very exciting but it has certainly added pressure to our relationship. We’re grateful to have grown deeper in love, but deep love is accompanied by deeper emotions. When we're happy, it’s "us against the world." When we're not in agreement, it’s a full on battlefield. When we are sad, it's totally "cry me a river," and so on.
Planning for the big day has also had its ups and downs. We’re thoroughly enjoying working side-by-side to bring our vision to reality. However, balancing wedding planning with our careers, social life, and making time for each other can definitely be overwhelming. This pre-marriage limbo period requires constant work and effort. The plus side is that we’ve grown closer during this time as we learn how to best support each other.
Lastly, we have a renewed focus on planning for life after the wedding bells. Finances, home ownership, kid(s), careers, etc are topics that have shifted from hypothetical date night convos to "you better have a plan in place" convos.
Thankfully, we have an amazing support group consisting of family, friends, mentors, and counselors who are invested in helping us set the foundation for forever.
In the end:
We’re happy, excited, nervous, still growing in love, and are thoroughly looking forward to saying, “I Do”!
Thanks for letting us share our story!
JK & Marina
P.S. - Honestly, we #JustCantWaitToBeKings!