Today’s article concludes our spotlight a new couple, Trini and Jay. Trini was so kind as to speak with me about her 26-year marriage to Jay. In this piece, Ms. Trini shares her insight on relationships, expectations and offers some advice for our readers. I hope you enjoy the piece! Thank you, Ms. Trini, for your participation.
Is this a new dynamic for you?
Oh no, when I came to the US, I knew that I was probably not going to marry a black man. I lived in Blackistan until I was eighteen and then I was out of there. After that, I lived in diverse spaces; I really benefited from that. I was always open to dating men from all races and ethnic groups: Asian, Indian and Latino men, but primarily white men. I even had a dream about marrying a non-black man when I was around nine. Odd but I honestly believe this was the path I was meant to take.
I did date black men along with other men until I was in my mid-20s. I didn’t find that those black men were culturally compatible with marriage. I watched and listened to men, and when they showed who they were, I believed them. I decided to go where I was celebrated not tolerated. I would encourage all of the women reading to live the life that they want. Don’t live for others’ approval. I personally did not want to go through all of the trouble to keep the black male gaze. So many men of other races have told me in private discussions about their love and appreciation for black women. The commentaries of these non-black men were all awe and appreciation of us.
What are some of the expectations you had before your relationship?
When I broke up with the previous boyfriend and left him, I decided not to live with anyone and play wife – been there, done that did not want to be there – again. I wanted the benefits of marriage. I wanted to be married. I truly believe that a marriage license helps people to think through things more deeply and approach their relationship with greater intentionality.
Look for someone with similar values. We are only two years apart, so that helped us to connect a lot. We have pretty similar mindsets and come from the same generation.
Looking back on some of those expectations, how have they changed now?
My expectations have stayed rather consistent. I found that there is unspoken security in marriage. If you have the right guy, there is an emotional sacredness. You let him in more closely. Other people wouldn’t be in those spaces, getting so close to you.
What are some of the things you do to keep your relationship growing?
We really think it is important to invest in our relationship. We like to try new things and do things together. As you know, we are big cruisers, so we want to see as much of the world as we can. We love to laugh. It’s just as they say: laughter is the best medicine in life.
We love to discover more of ourselves each day. Jay learned that I have a soft spot for animals, so now we have two cats, I’d have more if he’d let me. I love that he is a sensitive guy. He gets really moved by romantic movies, so we watch them all the time. We really take the time to keep the intimacy alive and communicate with each other. I try to take the time to listen to him because as anyone who knows me knows, I love chatting, but Jay is a great listener.
Do you have any advice for our readers?
I have learned so much from the white men around me and my friends in the business world. It’s so important to be strategic. People took me under their wing, and I learned so much from it. You need to be in places with people you can learn from. It is life-limiting to stay rooted in any one place or group. In fact, I think it’s pretty unhealthy. Have fun but go to white male spaces (as you would any other space) to work with them and learn from them. Develop key friendships and alliances. Be mindful and don’t put yourself in places that you can’t come back from and undo.
For me, I really like being independent, so I decided to work for myself. I liked doing the sales, so I decided to pursue that. I truly believe that you get what you put into things. Don’t be afraid to put in the work and do what it takes to get the life that you want. For us, we had to be strategic and carefully note the priorities in our lives. For instance, we missed parties because we have a business. It is our priority. It’s tough sometimes, but we are managing to create the life that we want.
In closing, I want to say whether one believes in ‘GOD’ or not, what I know for sure is nothing we do as human beings EVER goes void into the universe, nothing, right or wrong, good or bad. In some way, shape or form, what we feel, think and do, does find a way to manifest itself in our lives. I would say, think about what you say and do and simply treat yourself well first. Our minds and bodies respond to all the stimuli we expose it to. Never give up learning, stay sharp. Our minds are the one thing that really can’t be ‘taken’ away from us.
Thank you so much for reading this article. If you are interested in participating in this series or know someone who might be willing to collaborate, please share a message below or connect with Christelyn Karazin.