Kerri and Neicha remember December 31, 2013 as one of the best days of their lives. It was not just the beginning of a New Year, it was also the beginning of their married lives. Three months after they realized they had fallen in love with each other, Kerri and Neicha became lawfully wedded wives. It may seem like they were moving way too quickly, but for these two life coaches, their wedding was right on time. Below Kerri shares how she met and fell in love with her wife, Neicha:
Black Lesbian Love Lab (BL3): How did you two meet?
Kerri Smith-Osei: We met on Myspace a million years ago … OK, over more than 10 years ago to be more technical (remember Myspace … ha-ha!). Neicha friended me back then and we communicated as friends for all of those years.
Then fast forward to the later part of 2013, it was then that everything SHIFTED. We had become close friends over the years before we pursued a relationship. We were clueless we would actually end up together. We were both scared of losing our friendship should a relationship be a disaster … It happened very organically with us.
Our conversations changed over time, the way we looked at each other (literally) started changing. And, honestly the best way we know how to describe it is, “we didn’t see each other until we saw each other” — we had gone to the beach (my favorite place) like we normally did from time to time and it was that fateful day that we both felt a little spark, but didn’t immediately say anything. It was sort of odd. We didn’t know what to make of it.
We didn’t talk about it at first, but that FEELING seemed to grow and VERY quickly. It grew to the point that we just couldn’t ignore it. We would stare at each other and then get all shy. Then, finally we had a conversation about what was happening and how undeniable it seemed to be…….then we decided to take the plunge. And, the rest, as they say, is OURstory!
BL3: Tell us about your first date. Who asked the other out and where did you go?
Kerri: The word “date” feels so formal and it’s really hard to pinpoint the “first time,” but, if we had to choose an actual day it was yes, another day at the beach and it was me who asked her to go. There were no BIG plans in store, simply let’s go and just be and enjoy each other. Sort of reminiscent of our life … We just go with the flow and enjoy each other.
“We Knew We Wanted a Forever Kind of Love”
BL3: When did you know that you were in love and wanted to make a commitment?
Kerri: We knew we were in love pretty quickly. There was no hard and fast timeline for us of how long we should wait to make a lifelong commitment.
Life is just too short and we had already been in relationships that we once thought were “the one” so after looking at what was most important to us, we went from being in a “relationship” to getting married within a short period of time.
Again, because we had all this history, we already knew the most important things about each other and we had similar relationship and life goals, which was and continues to be so important. Many people like the idea of love or falling in love but never stop to think that unless you continue to put in the work daily and are prepared to do that consistently no matter what life throws at you, that “love” can fade. We knew we wanted a forever kind of love that could withstand any test and so we pursued that once we said the words out loud.
BL3: Why was it important to you to get married?
Kerri: It was important for us to get married because we both knew that was an end goal for both us. It was also important that we were legal in every way possible so we had equal rights. We wanted to start a family, make financial investments together and plan for our future and getting married legally would afford us the right to do all of those things without worry that one of us would be denied any benefits. Plus, Neicha has some health challenges and we wanted to make sure that I would not be denied access to her for medical reasons, hospital stays, etc., and that I could make pertinent medical decisions should anything happen. Finally, we just didn’t see a point in waiting no matter what anyone else thought. We wanted to be married and so we got married.