Here at ESSENCE, we’ve been celebrating the beauty of Black love since our inception. From our pages to our stages, we’ve always honored and explored the inner-workings of Black love, and in doing so, we’ve had the unique honor of getting to hear and share some amazing love stories. When you ask a couple how they met, fell in love and decided to spend forever together, the answers you receive are often both moving and insightful. This month, in honor of Valentine’s Day, we’re digging deeper and asking couples to sit down and retell their love stories—from their own unique individual perspectives.
Week one we caught up with married pastors Gabrielle and Andrew Wilkes
to find out how they use their love to empower others and last week, newlyweds Sara Elise and Amber Drew
shared the powerful reason why they asked their wedding guest not to use the word “marriage” during their wedding celebration. Today we explore marriage as a journey with happily married lovebirds Dave and Jehan Giles.
Dave, an artist, producer and graphic designer, and Jehan, a doula, artist and educator, have been happily married for five years.
They met 10 years ago at an Alpha party after being introduced by a mutual friend. They started off as best friends and their love grew into something beautiful, which is why they’re the first to admit that falling in love is a process and it involves understanding what you
“We always say we were friends who decided to get married,” explains Jehan. “He was persistent and he was consistent and I never felt like I had to hide any parts of myself or dig for any parts of him.”
For them, love is both nurturing and protective.
“Black love is a safe space,” Jehan continues. “When we exit our home and we exit our family the communities and the world that we have to exist in and navigate do not create safety for Black folks.”
Her husband agrees.
“It’s about the shared experiences that we all endure and we all understand Blackness to encompass, and having somebody to ride that wave with you,” he adds.
Watch for more of their story above.