How We Met is a series where xoNecole talks love and relationships with real-life couples. We learn how they met, how like turned into love, and how they make their love work.
Ladies, we all know the saying, "Actions speak louder than words." We can all agree that if a man says sweet nothings in your ear, we are prone to be smitten. But when you come across a man who talks the talk and walks the walk, that is a whole other ball game that we all want to play. Such is the case with Gary and Jamilah's love story. Six years ago, the then 20-year-old Jamilah Shabazz was just attending a birthday BBQ with a friend. Without realizing it, this BBQ would act as a turning point in her life. Yes, you guessed it: her future partner, Gary Mitchell, was the birthday boy in question. However, it wasn't until the universe had them cross paths again six years later for them to really give love a shot.
Courtesy of Jamilah Shabazz
When there is a real attraction between two people, it is important to seize the opportunity and not let it pass you by. Jamilah and Gary, now together for almost two years, felt something with each other they had never experienced before. This couple both valued adventure and having fun, but what made things click was the intent. Gary knew what he wanted when he saw Jamilah after all those years and made sure he put his best foot forward in showing Jamilah he was the right man for her. From supporting her dreams to flying her out for a vacation as their first date, Gary's plan to sweep Jamilah off her feet was a successful one. No gesture is too big or too small when it comes to true love.
In this installment of xoNecole's How We Met, these two entrepreneurs share the details on how they started, how it's going, and how they found true love in each other.
How They Met
Jamilah: We initially met six years ago. One of my childhood friends invited me to this BBQ. Come to find out it was Gary's birthday BBQ. Nothing really happened at the BBQ, but we did become Facebook friends. When we met, he was turning 23 or 24. So we weren't thinking about dating at that time.
Gary: Yeah, after the BBQ, we became Facebook friends and I asked for her number. We talked a little bit here and there, but it wasn't until six years later [and] we bumped into each other again when she was visiting LA [that things started]. We kept more in touch after that.
Gary: When I first saw her, I thought she was a bubbly type of person. I was thinking she was really nice and she was pretty chill. She was talking to a good friend of mine, so I walked over there to introduce myself. I will admit I initially thought she was a "good girl". But after talking to her, I realized she wasn't. She was friendly and had a nice voice when we were talking. I thought to myself, Maybe this could go somewhere.
Jamilah: I was so young, so I wasn't really thinking anything of him. I thought he was cute and sweet, but that's about it. It wasn't until years later, when we had the chance to hang out, that I started to learn more about his personality. We would have a really good time with each other and so I knew he was a good person overall.
Jamilah: It all started when I posted a meme on social media. The meme said, "I hate texting. Let's go on vacation next week." He responded and asked me where I wanted to go. I thought he was joking, so I just said, "I don't know," and he suggested that we could go to New York or Thailand. I couldn't even believe he said that. But he did all the planning. He had a Word document of all the activities we were going to do. I was like, "Wow, this dude is really about that action!" We actually went on a vacation together and that technically was our first date. We had so much fun. It was so magical.
Gary: I love to travel and I still love to travel, even with the pandemic. When I saw her meme, I thought it would be cool to have a travel buddy because it seemed that she liked to travel too. I was already trying to plan something for Labor Day weekend, so when she asked if I was serious, I really was (laughs). We settled on going to New York and we hung out there for an entire weekend. The first day we went to Central Park and this jazz boat ride. We also went to the Rose Mansion, Times Square, a bunch of restaurants, and had our first kiss on the Brooklyn Bridge.
Courtesy of Jamilah Shabazz
"I thought it would be cool to have a travel buddy because it seemed that she liked to travel too. I was already trying to plan something for Labor Day weekend, so when she asked if I was serious, I really was (laughs). We settled on going to New York and we hung out there for an entire weekend."
Making It Official
Gary: I believe I was the initiator in making us official. We continued to talk after our date and I was really into her. I had been out of a relationship for about a year and I was ready to get back into a committed relationship. Randomly, before all this happened, she mentioned that she wanted to move to LA. I already lived here [in LA], so I mentioned that if she was thinking about moving out here, that she could stay with me until she got off her feet. It wasn't until after our date that she asked about my offer again.
Jamilah: Right, I agree, I think Gary was the initiator. He offered for me to move in with him and his three male roommates and I accepted. When I moved in, it happened to be a week before this trip to St. Maarten his family was planning on taking. He invited me and I just thought that was so nice.
Jamilah: I would say that I have never felt like this with anyone else. I have never received this kind of support and so after everything I just knew it was love. [With] his consistency and always encouraging me to stay positive, I told myself I would love to have someone like him as a partner.
Gary: For me, it was the way she cared for me. I have never had anyone outside my family care for me the way she did. I just felt like we connect on so many different levels. We had a lot of similarities and, for me, when I am dating someone, I always want to date my best friend. She gave me that vibe and I thought she would make a great partner. She is like a ray of sunshine in my life.
Courtesy of Jamilah Shabazz
"For me, it was the way she cared for me. I have never had anyone outside my family care for me the way she did. We had a lot of similarities and, for me, when I am dating someone, I always want to date my best friend. She gave me that vibe and I thought she would make a great partner. She is like a ray of sunshine in my life."
Jamilah: For me, [my baggage] was self-sabotage. Thinking that something is too good to be true and there were times where I would look for problems. I just had [never] seen anything like this [relationship]. I would look for things that may tell me that something is going wrong. After a while, I had to realize that, with Gary, he showed me exactly who he said he was and it's not too good to be true.
Gary: I am a really busy person and used to being on my own. Time management and remembering that I have to make time for her was a challenge in the beginning. You have to continue to nurture your relationship and make sure she stays happy. Yes, she can make herself happy, but still being considerate in including her in my busy schedule [is something] I had to learn.
Jamilah: I think the most important lesson is to be happy with yourself first, before being happy in a relationship. Because in the beginning, when I moved out here [to LA], I didn't have a job or anything. I was struggling and I was thinking, How can I be a good girlfriend if I'm not happy with where I am right now? As time went on, the sooner I became happier with myself, the better the relationship was between us.
Gary: An important lesson I've learned about love is, even though it sounds cliche, love conquers all. In any kind of relationship, you are going to have your ups and downs. But as long as you remember the amount of love you have for that person, you can get through anything together. I think that is what I've learned most about love and how to know if it is real, true love.
Featured image courtesy of Jamilah Shabazz