No #JollofWars to see here. Just pure Ghanaian – Nigerian love! Meet newlyweds Jason and Chidera. Emmanuel Jason Asiedu is an I.T. analyst and Chidera Peters is a digital content creator and Programs Coordinator for an online business school. Jason is from Ghana and Chidera is from Nigeria but they travelled across the world to find each other.
How and when did you both meet?
Jason: We first met on a dating app, Hinge. I remember thinking she was quite cute, and once we started chatting the conversation flowed effortlessly . Our first in person meeting was in Portsmouth. She was wearing all black (her favorite color but she’ll deny it) and my first impression was that she was confident and in control.
Chidera: We met on a dating app called Hinge, the fact that he was a twin caught my attention. I think I liked his picture first and then the conversation ensued from there. After a few weeks of chatting, we finally met in person and I remember thinking “aww such a cute good guy lol!”
How did you know you had found “the one?”
J: For me it wasn’t about finding “the one”. It was about choosing someone that I would build a life with. I saw things in Dera that I felt were qualities I needed in a life partner. Once I decided, I was fully committed to make it work!
C: Well, I was actually in search of ‘the one” and Jason didn’t seem to fit most of my criteria for this imaginary person. For starters he is Ghanaian, never did I think I would end up with a Non-Nigerian but life comes at you real fast yeah? Lol. I think I knew he was the one when my feelings kept increasing overtime especially after I had done everything to shake the feelings off including having unnecessary fights. There was a particular time we had a major fight and almost broke up, but Jason revealed a very vulnerable side of him and in that moment, I just knew he was the one and this was it.
Tell us about the proposal
C: So the proposal wasn’t much of a surprise as I knew it was coming, the only thing I didn’t know was the exact day or time. We had been dating for a while and had spoken about marriage and even a proposal. Before the proposal we had already started pre-marital counseling so it wasn’t a matter of will he propose, but rather when. I travelled down to Ghana for the first time in October and met his family. Jason proposed a few days after in his parents house with our favorite song playing in the background and his brother recording the moment. It was a pretty intimate moment for us. Also, Jason was super nervous, my guy was shaking lol, I guess being on one knee and asking for a life commitment will do that to you! Of course I said yes and the rest is history
What kind of challenges, if any, have you had to face, and how did that impact the way you love?
J: I’ve had major challenges with speaking her love language, words of affirmation. Even when we first started dating, I wasn’t used to long calls. I hated them in fact. But, as time went on, my capacity for that grew and I was looking forward to sometimes 2-hour long calls at the end of each day. I also had to intentionally learn how to affirm her and express my love to her in words. I’m still learning but we’re much better off than when we started.
C: For me, the major challenge was our difference in personality. Jason takes his time and I mean really takes his time. I have learned to be patient and give him the time he needs to process his thoughts or feelings. The hardest bit has been trying not to interrupt him while he is still processing lol. My capacity for patience has greatly improved. The other challenge was being vulnerable. I had trust issues so opening up to Jason wasn’t the easiest, I was used to being independent and handling things on my own. It took a lot of effort on my part to be at my lowest with him and share my deepest fears. Lastly, another challenge I had to handle was Jason’s love language of physical touch. You’d think I’d love physical contact but half the time I crave my own space and just want to be on my own. This attitude often made Jason feel like I didn’t love or care for him. As a result, I had to make conscious efforts to hug him, cuddle on the couch, and touch his hands. I have now become the most touchy feely person but I promise I wasn’t this way from the beginning.
What does the term “Black Love” mean to you? How does it affect how you relate to each other?
J: To me, Black love means being intentional about making Dera feel loved, and putting her first. Until I got into a relationship it was normal to do things centered around me and what I want. I’ve learnt since to consider how she feels and to factor in her opinion and thoughts in everything I do. Love is sacrificial, but it’s beautiful.
C: To me, Black love means having a safe space to express yourself and share your deepest fears knowing you won’t be judged. Jason and I are very intentional about creating that environment where we can tell each other anything. We might not always get the reaction we want from each other but the important thing is that we have that environment where we can be completely honest with each other.
You found each other in an unconventional way and are living happily ever after. What secret do you think has made your relationship different from others?
J: I think these days meeting online would be considered conventional, maybe just not in the African setting . Is there really a secret? I’m not sure but for my wife and I, we always made sure to put God first. We were also very intentional about reading up on relationship materials and learning how to love each other better every day. It takes patience and commitment and we never stop learning, but I’m glad I found someone who wouldn’t stop loving me no matter what the situation.
C: If it’s a secret, am I supposed to reveal it? Anyway, what makes our relationship different is the intentionality behind it. We make deliberate efforts to understand each other better, for example we are constantly reading and applying the knowledge gained to our relationship. Also, forgiveness and a commitment to the bond we share keeps us going.