Toni, 53, describes Jay, 49, as “laid back, kind, not afraid trying new things and has a great work ethic. He’s much more conservative than I am. I am a wild child, hippy in many regards.”
Jay’s thoughts on Toni? “She’s smart, self-motivated, a good cook, straight forward, thoughtful.”
They’re yet another couple who met on interracialdatingcentral.com.
“I looked at his profile more than once but figured nothing would happen because of the distance; I never made a move,” Toni says. “One Sunday morning in September, he sent me a message. We met a month later and have been dating ever since.”
Since Toni lives in North Carolina and Jay lives in Georgia, their first real date took place when Toni was visiting Atlanta for her goddaughter’s 21st birthday. They had wine and appetizers at the hotel where she was staying, then went to Bikram yoga and the birthday dinner the next day.
Since October 2014, when they officially became a couple, Toni and Jay have found out they both like motorcycles, traveling and trying new things. “We want to travel across country in a RV,” Toni says.
One of the strongest values they have in common is that they both love their children dearly.
“I lost my only daughter at the age of 14 a year and a half ago,” Toni says. “My goddaughter has been a godsend for me. I spoil her and he laughs but he understands the love because he loves his son so much. Jay is a police officer so he may not be as sensitive or understanding to extenuating circumstances as I am but in his line of work he really can’t afford to. But we both believe in respect first and foremost.”
The long-distance relationship works for now because Toni lived in Atlanta for 14 years and still has a lot of friends and family in the area. Visiting often gives her the chance to see everyone, including Jay, in one trip, she says.
Since the relationship is relatively new, Toni and Jay are just taking things one day at a time. Toni is interviewing for jobs that will allow her to move back to Atlanta and says, “It’s a little difficult with full time work and full time grad school but I’m making the best of it.”
This isn’t the first interracial relationship for either of them, by the way. Toni’s first boyfriend ever was a British guy. Jay was married for 17 years to a black woman, with whom he has one son.
“We both come from families where our relationship is not a topic of conversation, not really anything novel and strange,” Toni says. “Date and love who wants to date and love you. Sharing an ethnicity or race doesn’t make the relationship a sure thing or any easier. It guarantees nothing.”
Words of wisdom from Toni:
The key is patience and not pushing your will. I am very driven and have a very good idea of what I want in many areas of my life. I believe in making things happen. With relationships you can’t. You have to fall back, observe and act accordingly. Don’t allow behaviors you don’t like to happen. Have discussions: early on we had a bump in the road about the role of police within the black community and African American men. We had to agree to disagree; our life experiences are very different. My sons are obviously black while his son’s appearance is somewhat ambiguous. It all goes back to respect.
Brings to mind a quote by John Burroughs: “For anything worth having one must pay the price; and the price is always work, patience, love, self-sacrifice …” No doubt, they’re willingly doing just that.
Wishing you all the best as you continue to do life together, Toni and Jay!