Amena, a university LGBT program coordinator, and Nikki, an art teacher and artist, has agreed to let Black Lesbian Love Lab tag along as they plan their wedding over the next year. Occasionally we’ll share photos and stories leading up to this Maryland couple’s special day. Below, they share how they met:
Nikki: As a teacher, kids make you forget, you get senile. I forgot I didn’t have a dating life for a long time. Then somehow it dawned on me, it’s getting kind of lonely. I was almost 40, and I didn’t expect to be on this Earth and not share my life with someone. So I went on the dating site Plenty of Fish. I had a couple flops, then met someone who I was supposed to go out to dinner with and she stood me up. I canceled my account. But the next day, I decided to get back on and Amena’s face popped up again. I had seen her picture before and it’s a mystery to me why I hadn’t contacted her before that. I looked at her face and really studied it like I was studying a canvass. She had a really genuine smile. I sent her one line and it was: That’s a sincere smile.
Amena: I had just got out of a relationship in June 2012 and told my friend:
“I’m done. I’m ok. I’m not done with relationships, but I don’t need to get married. I don’t need to have a lifetime partner.” I meant it sincerely.
I was having a really bad day when Nikki’s message popped up on the phone but she had no photo, no extensive profile and I don’t talk to people like this. When I got her message, I thought, “That’s nice.” So I responded, “Thank you.” Then Nikki comes back and asked me a question and I answered. We went back and forth for a couple weeks and I don’t normally entertain people without even talking on the phone. Then she said she’s coming to town on Labor Day and could we get together. At that point I still hadn’t seen a picture of her and she had seen all of mine.
I asked for her picture and she looked like my friend. She looked like a femme, she had a relaxer. I’m not into feminine women and I don’t date women that have relaxers. I thought, she looks nice, we could be buddies. We met at the Busboys and Poets [a popular Washington, D.C., restaurant] at 14 and V where we (eventually) got engaged. I’m looking for the person in the picture but I see Nikki—this person who has a football walk come up. This is not the person in the picture. She even brought her sister.
I thought she was nice or whatever but didn’t think she was going to be girlfriend material. Kim, Nikki’s sister and I talked, but Nikki at this point still hadn’t said anything. At that moment, I felt no chemistry. Afterwards Nikki walked me to my car and we talked for an hour. She invited me to dinner at her place in Fredericksburg, Va.
When I walked into her house, CNN was on and the Democratic National Convention was on. I thought, points for that. She was so nervous. She cooked spaghetti and we watched the convention. We were like kids on a first date. I had to tell her it was okay for her to put her arms around me. When I was leaving, she sat in my car and asked if she could kiss me and I said yes. We kissed and at that moment, it hit me like electricity and we’ve been together ever since.