Your February Horoscopes Are All About Indulgence & Romance

The second month in the year ushers in the first retrograde of 2020.


The season of love begins with a 1st quarter moon in Taurus inviting us to indulge in our creature comforts. On the 3rd, Mercury transitions into Pisces whisking us off into La La Land. Matters of romance get hot and spicy when Venus moves into Aries on the 7th. Watch out for a clash of egos leading up to the dramatic Full Moon in Leo on the 9th. Mars moving into Capricorn on the 16th reminds you to let your work speak for itself. On the same day, Mercury begins its first retrograde of 2020 which takes place in ethereal Pisces. Once the Sun moves into this mutable zodiac sign on the 18th, it'll be difficult to stay focused on the practical matters. However, the New Moon on the 23rd invites us to find the magic in the mundane.

Check out your cosmic blueprint for the month ahead below:


Laci Jordan/xoNecole

This time of the year begins to slow down for you as much of the inner planets move into Pisces. Your dream world is getting pretty weird when Mercury moves into this part of your sky on the 3rd. However, communication with the spirit world is all the more easy for you during this transit. On the 7th, Venus moves into your sign making you THE hot commodity.

Fortune and favor follows the bold and we all know you have no qualms about shooting your shot.

Around the Full Moon on the 9th, you may finally let your crush know you're interested or debut that creative project you've been working on behind the scenes. Your ruling planet, Mars, moves into Capricorn on the 16th, helping you get ahead in career matters. Just make sure you're not bulldozing your boss over on your way to the top of the ladder. On the same day, Mercury goes retrograde, helping you get clear about whether you're truly ready to part ways with something (or someone) for good. February comes to a close with the Sun and Moon snuggled up in Pisces on the 23rd, inviting you to choose the path of the peaceful warrior. Sometimes surrendering is our wisest course of action. *Cues the "Serenity Prayer"*


Laci Jordan/xoNecole

The month begins with a cozy quarter moon in your sign on the 1st, making it a good day to do your favorite thing—absolutely nothing (unless you're making time to stuff your face with pizza and wings). On the 3rd, Mercury moves into Pisces, helping you heal any rifts among your social circle. Bring on the good vibes! Your ruling planet, Venus, moves into wild ass Aries on the 7th. You could be attracting a fiery individual into your life or embodying the flame yourself. The Full Moon on the 9th is bringing the family drama to a head, giving you the clear to leave the nest or take some space to yourself. By the 3rd quarter moon on the 15th, the heat cools down, helping you make amends where necessary.

On the 16th, Mars moves into Capricorn getting you motivated toward your educational goals. What do you need to learn to develop yourself for your long-term goals? Now is the time to create your plan of action. The first Mercury Retrograde of the year begins on the same day, bringing back some old friends, and issues with them, from the past. It's up to you to decide if it's worth reconciling or leaving behind. This is also a good time to breathe some new life into an old vision of yours that is fading away. The month winds down with both the Sun and Moon in Pisces, restoring your hope in your connection to others and the purpose you're meant to serve in this life.


Laci Jordan/xoNecole

February kicks off with Mercury moving into Pisces on the 3rd, helping you make magic in your chosen career path. On the 7th, the planet of love and money moves into passionate Aries which could have you attracting someone within your social circle. If you've been thinking about promoting someone from the friend zone, now would be a good time to do so. The Full Moon on the 9th helps you clear the air in a dramatic, I mean…a grand, way that really catches someone's attention. Make the best use of social media to take your brand to the next level around this time.

Energetic Mars moves into disciplined Capricorn on the 16th which has you hyper-focused on getting in good standing with financial institutions. It's time to get the credit card spending in check, ma'am. During this transit, you could also be faced with some pent-up aggression, needing a healthy outlet for release. Spending time in nature is beneficial but if it's too cold outside, surround yourself with plenty of plants and crystals. On the same day, Mercury goes retro, giving you a chance to revisit an important conversation about your career progression. The month comes to a sweet close with both the Sun and the Moon coupled up on the 23rd extending a new opportunity to you that feels like a major achievement.


Laci Jordan/xoNecole

Wanderlust is likely getting the best of you around the 3rd when Mercury moves into mutable Pisces. It's time to plan for that Spring Break trip—preferably before Mercury goes retro on the 18th. No worries if you can't book that flight to Cabo before then! Check out these tips for navigating Mercury Retrograde. On the 7th, Venus moves into Aries and you could find yourself attracting someone in a position of authority. The Full Moon on the 9th coaxes you out of your shell to shine that beautiful light of yours.

As you reveal your most authentic self, you'll align with the eternal source of wealth.

On the 16th, Mars moves into hardworking Capricorn and you're getting serious about your #relationshipgoals. During this transit, the insufferable "let's just go with the flow" types will likely get blocked. Mercury begins its first retrograde of the year on the same day, giving you a chance to triple-check your travel plans, study for exams, or to just spend some time reconnecting with your Higher Self. On the 18th, the Sun enters Pisces, marking the last month of the astrological year. February comes to a close with a New Moon on the 23rd inviting you to take a journey inward to find the treasures that lie within the wisdom of your experiences. Just make sure you come back out to share those gems with the rest of us!


Laci Jordan/xoNecole

The month begins with a 1st quarter moon in Taurus. Use this energy to make that last final push towards that thing you need to check off your to-do list. On the 3rd, Mercury moves into Pisces which will have convos running deep as you prioritize your more intimate connections during this time. You'll need a soft space to land during this time, so make sure your support system is ready and available. The planet of love moves into fiesty Aries on the 7th and you could meet someone special at school, a seminar, or during your travels. When it comes to money-making ventures, think of ways that you can capitalize on selling information that you're an expert on. Your Full Moon takes place on the 9th and all eyes are on you! This is a good time to celebrate your growth of the seeds you planted six months ago at your New Moon.

Around the 15th, the energy gets chill with the 3rd quarter moon in Scorpio, inviting you to relax and reflect on the journey. On the 16th, Mars moves into Capricorn, getting your life all the way together. Discipline and routine are your best friends during this transit! This is also a supportive time to work towards those fitness goals. On the same day, Mercury begins its first retrograde of the year, making this a good time to call up your credit lender to work out a payment plan. During this transit, you may also be revisited by some old painful, emotional experiences. Trust that the feels will pass and you're a lot further along in your growth than your memories make it seem. On the 18th, the Sun enters Pisces and the New Moon follows shortly behind on the 23rd, reminding you of just how powerful you are for the wisdom you gained from some of your most challenging experiences.


Laci Jordan/xoNecole

Relationships take front and center at the beginning of the month when Mercury moves into Pisces, helping you smooth out any friction within your closest one-on-one connections. Once Venus moves into Aries on the 7th, you could feel like you're playing tug-of-war when it comes to matters of romance. Remember, it's not about being right. It's about being willing to learn and grow with someone (which does involve being wrong sometimes). On the 9th, the Full Moon illuminates a part of your subconscious that's been stifling the vibrancy of your expression.

What wounds do you need to resolve around your inner child to feel more safe in expressing this aspect of yourself?

On the 16th, driven Mars moves into Capricorn, helping you get more serious about your creative interests. It's time to turn those hobbies into new streams of income. When it comes to romance, you're desiring something more solid during this transit. Mercury begins its first retrograde of the year on the same day, making this a great time to revisit any business contracts and agreements that need some fine-tuning. On the 18th, the Sun enters Pisces heralding in the last season of the astrological year. The month winds down with a New Moon on the 23rd inviting you into a new professional or romantic partnership that is bound to bring more magic into your world.


Laci Jordan/xoNecole

The month begins with you focused on improving your health and well-being. Although structure is usually the way to go about this, Piscean energy makes it a little more difficult to stay focused so opting for more free-flowing activities like dancing or taking a walk can be just what you need to clear your mind and get your blood flow circulating. On the 7th, Venus moves into Aries, heating up your love life and helping you attract more of the Type A personalities (if that's your thing). When it comes to money moves, don't be afraid to take the lead! The Full Moon on the 9th invites you to celebrate life with your friends. This is also great energy for a big social media reveal of that project or new merchandise you're dropping.

On the 16th, Mars moves into goal-oriented Capricorn and during this transit you'll be running a tight ship on the home front. This is a good time to work on any long overdue organizational projects. If you've been thinking about long-term investments, it's time to get out there and start hunting for properties. Also, be mindful of pent-up aggression toward your family members, particularly a masculine figure, during this time. On the same day, Mercury goes retrograde, making it a good time to check in with your doctor for your annual exam with your gynecologist. On the 18th, Pisces season officially begins and the month comes to a close with a magical New Moon on the 23rd inviting you to prioritize more emotional healing and balance in your life.


Laci Jordan/xoNecole

February begins with a first quarter moon in Taurus on the 1st, creating a little tension between your growing need for space and the demands of others. Opt for a quiet night in and tell everyone else they can wait. On the 3rd, Mercury moves into Pisces, granting you the Midas touch when it comes to your creative projects. You've also got the gift of gab when it comes to wooing anyone that you're romantically interested in. On the 7th, Venus moves into Aries and a sexy workplace romance could be developing. If you want to avoid that drama, opt for the gym or some kind of fitness environment if you're open to meeting someone.

On the 9th, the Full Moon calls for a celebration of a long-awaited career achievement. Mars, the warrior, moves into bossy Capricorn on the 16th and you may be anxious to make a move. A short, weekend getaway would be perfect during this transit. Just make sure to run through your Mercury Retrograde checklist before you hit the road! On the same day, Mercury dips backwards through Pisces to help you make some edits to that creative project you've been toiling away at. On the 18th, the Sun officially enters Pisces and a New Moon follows shortly behind on the 23rd inviting you to embrace more pleasure, adventure, and magic.


Laci Jordan/xoNecole

Home and family matters are your top priorities at the beginning of the month once Mercury moves into Pisces on the 3rd. Conversations about renovating, renting, or buying property are likely. If you're in an established connection, you and your partner could be talking about adding a new addition to your household. On the 7th, Venus moves into Aries and dating gets fun for you again. You'll be attracting the more adventurous, take-charge types but just be mindful of a clash of the egos especially as we build up to the Full Moon in Leo on the 9th. We all know how much you love a friendly debate but certain conversations just shouldn't be had on the first date, okay, Saggie? Instead of being overly opinionated with your romantic interest, how about blogging about it instead?

On the 16th, Mars moves into disciplined Capricorn, helping you take a slow and steady approach to building wealth for yourself. Now that the holiday season is behind us, it's time to get serious about your financial goals for the year ahead. On the same day, Mercury goes retrograde giving you a chance to revisit a conversation about that house you're interested in closing on or that contractor you want to hire to renovate your kitchen. Pay attention to the details if you're signing any contract during this time. Pisces season officially begins on the 18th when the Sun enters the mutable zodiac sign represented by the fish and the month comes to a close with a sweet New Moon inviting you to plant your roots in something new.


Laci Jordan/xoNecole

The 1st quarter moon in your sister sign, Taurus, has you feeling pretty productive right out of the gate in February, especially when it comes to materializing all of those genius creative ideas of yours. On the 3rd, Mercury moves into Pisces which will bring an element of sensitivity to your thoughts and communication over the next month. This is a good time to smooth out tension with siblings and to also show your softer side to the world, especially if you're an artist! On the 7th, home and family takes center stage once Venus moves into Aries. Be mindful of short tempers and unnecessary battles with roommates or the landlord.

The Full Moon on the 9th hits you in a vulnerable spot but you'll bravely accept the wake-up call headed your way. On a more practical level, you could be paying off some debt that's been hanging around for a while now. On the 16th, Mars moves into your sign, getting you energized and ready to take charge of your goals. You can be the most productive during this transit so make the most of it. Bear in mind that Mercury does go retro on the same day but for you it's no biggie—get your car maintenanced, back up your hard drive, and maybe take a short social media hiatus if you need it. On the 18th, the Sun moves into Pisces for the next month and it will be meeting the New Moon in the sky on the 23rd, inviting you to set the intentions for a new way of expressing your deepest, most sentimental emotions.


Laci Jordan/xoNecole

Family tension could be stirring around the 1st quarter moon in Taurus at the beginning of the month. Choose your battles wisely. On the 3rd, Mercury moves into Pisces bringing the convo to money (magick). You're super in tune with the cosmic flow of abundance, so light up your prosperity candle or send up a prayer to your ancestors for some financial assistance. Love matters get hot and spicy when Venus moves into Aries where she's not so comfortable being. And for you, this placement can result in a bunch of unnecessary arguments with bae. However, if you're single, there should be a few VERY competitive suitors trying to get your attention on dating apps and social media. The Full Moon on the 9th calls for a celebration with a significant person in your life.

On the 16th, Mars moves into Capricorn helping you work through some unresolved feelings about your personal power. You're a lot more in control than you have previously thought. What will it take for you to embrace a sense of authority and ownership over the trajectory of your life? On the same day, Mercury goes retro for the first time this year, giving you a chance to revisit your budget, or any of those prosperity manifestations, to see what the progress is looking like. This is also a sensitive time in which you may be reminded of some experiences in which your self-esteem wasn't at its best. Remember, self-love is the best love. On the 18th, the Sun enters Pisces and cozies up with the New Moon on the 23rd, inviting you to embark on a new path to establish wealth that is in alignment with purpose.


Laci Jordan/xoNecole

The month begins with Mercury moving into your sign, making your world all the more mystical and magical than it already is. While everyone else around you will feel like they're in the twilight zone, you'll be the anchor that shows us how to navigate the non-material plane. On the 7th, Venus moves into Aries and you'll attract more wealth by highlighting the qualities that make you a unique individual. It's OK to toot your horn from time to time, babe. The Full Moon on the 9th could reveal a hidden enemy that's jealous of all of the attention you're getting. But like they say, "If you don't have haters, you must not be doing something right."

This energy can also help you recognize how you're being own worst enemy by sabotaging the success (and maybe even the fame) you're meant to experience.

On the 16th, Mars moves into Capricorn, helping you get serious about those big hopes and dreams of yours. It's time to get backed up with right support from an army that has a similar mission as you. What legacy can you and your tribe create together? On the same day, Mercury goes retrograde and you'll likely be revisited by people from the past the most. Forgiveness is always your best bet but allowing someone access to you in the same way is up to your discretion. Your birthday season officially begins on the 18th with the month ending on a sweet note with a beautiful New Moon on the 23rd inviting you to make a wish about the magic you want to experience in your life in the year to come.

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Feature Photo by Laci Jordan/xoNecole

ACLU By ACLUSponsored

Over the past four years, we grew accustomed to a regular barrage of blatant, segregationist-style racism from the White House. Donald Trump tweeted that “the Squad," four Democratic Congresswomen who are Black, Latinx, and South Asian, should “go back" to the “corrupt" countries they came from; that same year, he called Elizabeth Warren “Pocahontas," mocking her belief that she might be descended from Native American ancestors.

But as outrageous as the racist comments Trump regularly spewed were, the racially unjust governmental actions his administration took and, in the case of COVID-19, didn't take, impacted millions more — especially Black and Brown people.

To begin to heal and move toward real racial justice, we must address not only the harms of the past four years, but also the harms tracing back to this country's origins. Racism has played an active role in the creation of our systems of education, health care, ownership, and employment, and virtually every other facet of life since this nation's founding.

Our history has shown us that it's not enough to take racist policies off the books if we are going to achieve true justice. Those past policies have structured our society and created deeply-rooted patterns and practices that can only be disrupted and reformed with new policies of similar strength and efficacy. In short, a systemic problem requires a systemic solution. To combat systemic racism, we must pursue systemic equality.

What is Systemic Racism?

A system is a collection of elements that are organized for a common purpose. Racism in America is a system that combines economic, political, and social components. That system specifically disempowers and disenfranchises Black people, while maintaining and expanding implicit and explicit advantages for white people, leading to better opportunities in jobs, education, and housing, and discrimination in the criminal legal system. For example, the country's voting systems empower white voters at the expense of voters of color, resulting in an unequal system of governance in which those communities have little voice and representation, even in policies that directly impact them.

Systemic Equality is a Systemic Solution

In the years ahead, the ACLU will pursue administrative and legislative campaigns targeting the Biden-Harris administration and Congress. We will leverage legal advocacy to dismantle systemic barriers, and will work with our affiliates to change policies nearer to the communities most harmed by these legacies. The goal is to build a nation where every person can achieve their highest potential, unhampered by structural and institutional racism.

To begin, in 2021, we believe the Biden administration and Congress should take the following crucial steps to advance systemic equality:

Voting Rights

The administration must issue an executive order creating a Justice Department lead staff position on voting rights violations in every U.S. Attorney office. We are seeing a flood of unlawful restrictions on voting across the country, and at every level of state and local government. This nationwide problem requires nationwide investigatory and enforcement resources. Even if it requires new training and approval protocols, a new voting rights enforcement program with the participation of all 93 U.S. Attorney offices is the best way to help ensure nationwide enforcement of voting rights laws.

These assistant U.S. attorneys should begin by ensuring that every American in the custody of the Bureau of Prisons who is eligible to vote can vote, and monitor the Census and redistricting process to fight the dilution of voting power in communities of color.

We are also calling on Congress to pass the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act to finally create a fair and equal national voting system, the cause for which John Lewis devoted his life.

Student Debt

Black borrowers pay more than other students for the same degrees, and graduate with an average of $7,400 more in debt than their white peers. In the years following graduation, the debt gap more than triples. Nearly half of Black borrowers will default within 12 years. In other words, for Black Americans, the American dream costs more. Last week, Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Sen. Elizabeth Warren, along with House Reps. Ayanna Pressley, Maxine Waters, and others, called on President Biden to cancel up to $50,000 in federal student loan debt per borrower.

We couldn't agree more. By forgiving $50,000 of student debt, President Biden can unleash pent up economic potential in Black communities, while relieving them of a burden that forestalls so many hopes and dreams. Black women in particular will benefit from this executive action, as they are proportionately the most indebted group of all Americans.

Postal Banking

In both low and high income majority-Black communities, traditional bank branches are 50 percent more likely to close than in white communities. The result is that nearly 50 percent of Black Americans are unbanked or underbanked, and many pay more than $2,000 in fees associated with subprime financial institutions. Over their lifetime, those fees can add up to as much as two years of annual income for the average Black family.

The U.S. Postal Service can and should meet this crisis by providing competitive, low-cost financial services to help advance economic equality. We call on President Biden to appoint new members to the Postal Board of Governors so that the Post Office can do the work of providing essential services to every American.

Fair Housing

Across the country, millions of people are living in communities of concentrated poverty, including 26 percent of all Black children. The Biden administration should again implement the 2015 Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing rule, which required localities that receive federal funds for housing to investigate and address barriers to fair housing and patterns or practices that promote bias. In 1980, the average Black person lived in a neighborhood that was 62 percent Black and 31 percent white. By 2010, the average Black person's neighborhood was 48 percent Black and 34 percent white. Reinstating the Obama-era Fair Housing Rule will combat this ongoing segregation and set us on a path to true integration.

Congress should also pass the American Housing and Economic Mobility Act, or a similar measure, to finally redress the legacy of redlining and break down the walls of segregation once and for all.

Broadband Access

To realize broadband's potential to benefit our democracy and connect us to one another, all people in the United States must have equal access and broadband must be made affordable for the most vulnerable. Yet today, 15 percent of American households with school-age children do not have subscriptions to any form of broadband, including one-quarter of Black households (an additional 23 percent of African Americans are “smartphone-only" internet users, meaning they lack traditional home broadband service but do own a smartphone, which is insufficient to attend class, do homework, or apply for a job). The Biden administration, Federal Communications Commission, and Congress must develop and implement plans to increase funding for broadband to expand universal access.

Enhanced, Refundable Child Tax Credits

The United States faces a crisis of child poverty. Seventeen percent of all American children are impoverished — a rate higher than not just peer nations like Canada and the U.K., but Mexico and Russia as well. Currently, more than 50 percent of Black and Latinx children in the U.S. do not qualify for the full benefit, compared to 23 percent of white children, and nearly one in five Black children do not receive any credit at all.

To combat this crisis, President Biden and Congress should enhance the child tax credit and make it fully refundable. If we enhance the child tax credit, we can cut child poverty by 40 percent and instantly lift over 50 percent of Black children out of poverty.


We cannot repair harms that we have not fully diagnosed. We must commit to a thorough examination of the impact of the legacy of chattel slavery on racial inequality today. In 2021, Congress must pass H.R. 40, which would establish a commission to study reparations and make recommendations for Black Americans.

The Long View

For the past century, the ACLU has fought for racial justice in legislatures and in courts, including through several landmark Supreme Court cases. While the court has not always ruled in favor of racial justice, incremental wins throughout history have helped to chip away at different forms of racism such as school segregation ( Brown v. Board), racial bias in the criminal legal system (Powell v. Alabama, i.e. the Scottsboro Boys), and marriage inequality (Loving v. Virginia). While these landmark victories initiated necessary reforms, they were only a starting point.

Systemic racism continues to pervade the lives of Black people through voter suppression, lack of financial services, housing discrimination, and other areas. More than anything, doing this work has taught the ACLU that we must fight on every front in order to overcome our country's legacies of racism. That is what our Systemic Equality agenda is all about.

In the weeks ahead, we will both expand on our views of why these campaigns are crucial to systemic equality and signal the path this country must take. We will also dive into our work to build organizing, advocacy, and legal power in the South — a region with a unique history of racial oppression and violence alongside a rich history of antiracist organizing and advocacy. We are committed to four principles throughout this campaign: reconciliation, access, prosperity, and empowerment. We hope that our actions can meet our ambition to, as Dr. King said, lead this nation to live out the true meaning of its creed.

What you can do:
Take the pledge: Systemic Equality Agenda
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Featured image by Shutterstock

"Black men, we're in constant warfare. Every day is a fight outside of my house, so why would I want to come home to more fighting when that is the very place where I should be resting? There are loved ones who I don't speak to as much anymore because they aren't peaceful people. A huge part of the reason why I am happier without my ex is she was rarely a source of peace. The older I get, the more I realize that peace really is the foundation of everything; especially relationships, because how can I nurture anything if I'm in a constant state of influx and chaos? Guys don't care how fine a woman is or how great the sex may be if she's not peaceful because there is nothing more valuable than peace. If the closest person to me is not a source of it, that can ultimately play a role in all kinds of disruption and destruction. No man wants that."

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When Ngozi Opara Sea started Heatfree Hair almost a decade ago, curly and kinky extensions weren't the norm on the market as they seem to be today, especially if you wanted those textures in quality human hair. Beauty supply stores mainly sold synthetic curly hair, and there was a surge of renewal for women who were just beginning to embrace natural styles, taking to YouTube to experiment with new techniques and styles.

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This article is in partnership with Staples.

As a Black woman slaying in business, you're more than likely focused on the bottom line: Serving your customers and making sure the bag doesn't stop coming in. Well, there's obviously more to running a business than just making boss moves, but as the CEO or founder, you might not have the time, energy, or resources to fill in the blanks.

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No one is excited about paying taxes, but for the most part, they're unavoidable for the working woman. Yet, not everyone has to pay quarterly taxes. You may have to get acquainted with quarterly taxes depending on how you earn money and who signs your paychecks. Not only is it essential to know if you should pay quarterly tax payments, but you need to know what your tax liability is and the deadline to submit your taxes — unless you want the IRS visiting.

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In xoNecole's Our First Year series, we take an in-depth look at love and relationships between couples with an emphasis on what their first year of marriage was like.

It was a cold winter night in Chicago, more than a year ago. Your girl was scrolling through the fifty-eleven million options on Netflix to find something interesting to watch. I spotted this new show, The Circle, and have not looked away since. Produced by Studio Lambert and Motion Content Group, it premiered in January 2020 and has become my new favorite type of game show. Hosted by Michelle Buteau, The Circle is about contestants who are isolated in their own apartments and can only communicate with others via an online social media platform.

On season 2 of The Circle, the world fell in love with DeLeesa, the contestant who would eventually be crowned winner of the cash prize. She won the game by playing as a single dad named Trevor, who is actually her husband. As a true fan of the series, I figured it was only right to sit down with DeLeesa and Trevor to get the deets on how marriage has been for them IRL. So, let me take y'all back into time real quick, to the beginning of their love story.

It was 2007, and DeLeesa was starting her first day of school as a college freshman. She was getting adjusted to her new dorm and was introduced to her new resident assistant, *drum roll please* Trevor St. Agathe. They quickly became friends and Trevor helped DeLeesa find different activities around campus. After a year, they decided to take things to the next level.

Now, 14 years and two beautiful children later, the married couple have been focusing on doing whatever it takes to create the best life for their children. Since college, the power of commitment and open communication is what has kept DeLeesa and Trevor by each other's side.

One thing that we can all learn from The Circle and social media in general is that everything is not what it seems. When I connected with the couple, DeLeesa wanted to get the story straight about her and Trevor's love story. "I feel like people look at couples on social media and they think that things are perfect when that's not true. We went through stuff, too. We just figured out how to overcome it and move together as a unit."

In this installment of xoNecole's Our First Year, Deleesa and Trevor share how marriage is about work, navigating through the ups and downs, and prioritizing family. Here's their story:

How We Met

DeLeesa: I got to school early because I was starting [college] a semester late. I met him, we became friends, and I developed a little crush on him. One day, we were hanging out in his room and he just didn't want me to leave (laughs). So we were messing around for about a year. Exactly one year later, I told Trevor that I am not going to keep doing this unless he becomes my man. If he didn't make me his girl, then we were done. (Laughs)

Trevor: I tried to ride it out as long as I could (laughs). At the time, I was thinking, since I'm still in college, I shouldn't be tied down. But I knew that if I didn't make it official, she was going to leave. So, she was right, and we took it to the next level.

First Impressions

Trevor: I thought she was absolutely beautiful. She was pretty and the new girl on campus. So I knew she was going to get lots of attention. But I didn't want to be on that with her, so I continued to just be a stand-up guy. At first, it was the normal student-and-RA relationship. She would ask me what activities she could do on campus and I gave her a few suggestions. For a few days, we continued to hang out and I started to realize the chemistry we had between us.

DeLeesa: When I first met Trevor, I wasn't even thinking about going that [relationship] route with him. I was new to the school and I just wanted to be his friend. But because we shared bathrooms in the dorm, this man would just walk around in his towel sometimes. I couldn't help but notice him more after that. I just thought 'He is fine!' (Laughs) He was so nice and he never pressured me into anything, but, he knew what he was doing.

Favorite Things

DeLeesa: I love that he has unconditional love for me. I feel like that no matter what I do or no matter how mad he gets, he is still always going to be by my side for anything that I need. We have been together for a long time. Even though we had breaks in between, he has always been there for me.

Trevor: It's not just one thing for me, but I can sum it up: DeLeesa is everything that I wish I was. She is very much not afraid of what other people think and she is very determined to go after what she wants. She has that go-getter mentality and it is so attractive to me.

"DeLeesa is everything that I wish I was. She is very much not afraid of what other people think and she is very determined to go after what she wants. She has that go-getter mentality and it is so attractive to me."

Wedding Day

Trevor: On our wedding day, I was crying like a baby when I finally saw her. That is my fondest memory of that day: seeing my wife-to-be from a distance and instant water works. (Laughs)

DeLeesa: I really enjoyed our first dance. Our wedding was pretty big, and I planned the whole thing. I was very hands-on and it was hard for me to just have a moment and be present. But when we had our first dance, that was our time to just be with each other and not worry about anything else. It really hit me that we were married at that point.

The One

DeLeesa: Well, the thing with Trevor and I is that we broke up a lot. We reached nine years of being on and off. By that time, we said to each other that this would be the last time we were going to break up. We were going to try our best to do everything that we could to stay together. And if we didn't work out, we were going to go our separate ways. For me, I really wanted us to work because I did see him as my future husband and my children's father. So it was the conversation we had to not break up that was my "you are the one for me" moment.

Trevor: It was something that I always knew. Young Trevor would say, "If I had to get married, this is who I want to marry." When I knew it was time to take things more seriously with her, it was after we had that conversation. Another confirmation that DeLeesa was the one was when we had to move to Canada from New York. I thought to myself that this woman must really love me to pack up and move to another country for me. This woman trusts me so much and she is my forever.

"The thing with Trevor and I is that we broke up a lot. We reached 9 years of being on and off. By that time, we said to each other that this would be the last time we were going to break up. We were going to try our best to do everything that we could to stay together."

Biggest Fears

Trevor: The questions that popped into my head were, "Can I do it?"; "Can I be a good husband to her?"; or "Was I truly husband material?" You can't take a test for that or study to get those answers. You have to just do it, apply your morals and values, and do the best you can. What has helped me with this is continuing to reaffirm how we feel about one another—affirmations that let me know that she is happy and I am doing a good job. Marriage isn't that much different from what we have already been doing this entire time. We just wear rings.

DeLeesa: My biggest fear [is related to the fact that] I am a very independent person, [so] if I do not like something, I can be out, quick! So with me, I questioned if I could stay put and fight through the bad times within a marriage. I would question if it is worth sticking it out since this is a lifelong commitment. What has helped me get through that is reminding myself that I can still be independent within my own marriage. I can still do things on my own and still share my life with someone I really care about.

Early Challenges

DeLeesa: I feel like I have been really good at keeping my relationship with my friends balanced with my partnership with Trevor. So when we first got married, my personal challenge was me trying to juggle between being a good wife and still making time for my girls. I really didn't want to lose sight of who I was in the process of marriage.

Trevor: My work at the time forced me to travel a lot. So when you are in that honeymoon phase, it's important to have quality time together. It was hard with my job to enjoy life together as a married couple in the beginning. Yes, we have been together for a long time. But this was different. Not being around my wife as much as I wanted to was really hard for me and the both of us. Our communication started slacking and we definitely struggled during that time.

Love Lessons

Trevor: There's two lessons that I have. One lesson is that I am a husband first. I have spent a lot of time not being a husband so it can be easy for me or anyone to continue to behave that way. But my wife always has to come first, no matter what is going on in life. When you're married, you have to reinforce that. My second lesson that has helped in our marriage is making sure I do things in order to make her life easier. It can be the simplest thing, but for me, it is a huge priority.

DeLeesa: My biggest lesson is being able to learn from each other. For example, if he is doing simple things to make life easier for me, I am learning from him how to show up for him to make him happy. It can be easy to just receive everything he is putting forth, but it has to be give and take for us.

"I am a husband first. I have spent a lot of time not being a husband so it can be easy for me or anyone to continue to behave that way. But my wife always has to come first, no matter what is going on in life. When you're married, you have to reinforce that."

Common Goal

Trevor: To do everything in our power to ensure that our girls have the best possible life. Everything that we do at this point is for them. Before children, I may have moved slower working toward certain things, but there is definitely an added fire on how we approach things because of them.

DeLeesa: I agree. The number one goal is to be the best parents we can be. We want to set up generational wealth and we want them to be culturally aware. We want them to grow up and be proud of everything we have done for them.

Best Advice

DeLeesa: My advice would be don't go looking for advice, honestly. A lot of people are going to have an opinion about your life and sometimes that may not be the best for you. People can have different intentions and may give you the wrong advice. So I feel that if you need to vent, then yes, have someone to confide in. But don't take their word as facts. Try to figure out your marriage for yourself. Stick to your intuition and what you want to do, no matter if you are being judged for it.

Trevor: The things that matter are to be patient, listen close, choose to be happy, and love hard. I also think when people come to terms with the fact that marriage is work, then it is more possible for people. There are honestly more things to be happy about with the person that you marry. You have to keep all the things that you love about that person at the forefront to get you through. Once you do that, you will be fine.

Follow Deleesa and Trevor on Instagram @leesaunique and @trev_saint and their family page @itsthesaints.

Featured image via Instagram/Leesaunique

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