Journalist Nekesa Moody found love in a hopeless place. After marrying early and getting divorced in her 20s, she found herself longing for commitment but unable to find a relationship that would last. She began to believe that marriage really wasn’t for her, and then she met her husband Malik. They began dating on an off again, and she thought she was fooling herself when she began to feel like he was truly the one for her. They fell for each other and they haven’t looked back since. After finding love when she’d given up on it, Nekesa felt her story could inspire other women who may find themselves in an equally hopeless place. She wrote an essay in best-selling author Gil Robertson’s new anthology Where Did Our Love Go: Love and Relationships in the African American Community, We sat down with the happy couple, who tied the knot in 2009, to hear a little more about their story.
ESSENCE.COM: Nekesa, in your essay you talk about the importance of the timing of love in your life. Tell us how you knew Malik was the man for you when you met him?
NEKESA MOODY: Once we started dating, I thought to myself, wow this man and I really connect. He’s almost perfect for me. What I loved about Malik, and what I think keeps us going, is that he’s my best friend first and foremost. I want to talk to him about silly things. I want to talk to him about work or Kanye’s new album. We talk about all that stuff. It was kind of bewildering to me, and I thought, wow, God put this person in front of me and it doesn’t look like it’s going to work out. But I had to come to a point where I had to be happy whether I had a man or not. It was at that time that everything clicked together and Malik decided it was going to be us.
ESSENCE.COM: What’s the glue that holds your marriage together?
MALIK SINGLETON: I enjoy the good times so much that I really miss it when we’re having the bad times. I just find myself trying to do whatever I can to get back there. I quite often find myself, caving in. The things we’re mad about may be important but they’re nothing in comparison to the good stuff that’s between us. We work together to get back to our normal, everyday happiness. When there’s a problem, it’s us as a team versus the problem, not us versus one another.
NEKESA: Malik has taught me is to get over things faster and not hold grudges. I really try to let things go. For us, one of the keys is also laughter. We have a really good time together and that’s a really big part of our marriage. We like to spend as many moments together as possible, but we don’t have to spend every moment together.
ESSENCE.COM: What are some tricks that use to keep things exciting within your marriage?
MALIK: We try to travel a lot. We also try to do things that neither of us have ever done before. We like to have new experiences together. We’ll say, “Don’t go do that yet without me.” Even if it’s learning something new together.
NEKESA: We have bikes we ride together. We walk together. We really try and be active together even though we could just be sitting on the couch together eating. We’re together, that’s what matters. The Google Calendar is our thing because I get invited a lot of events and we use it to keep track of our nights together.
To read Nekesa’s essay and more amazing pieces from those who are single, married and divorced, pick up a copy of Gil Robertson’s new anthology Where Did Our Love Go: Love and Relationships in the African American Community.