Opposites Attract: For Tenesia & Terence, The Second Time Was The Charm

Here's how a chance encounter evolved into Tenesia and Terence's modern-day love story.

How We Met

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.

After meeting by way of mutual friends at an HBCU homecoming almost ten years ago, Tenesia and Terence exchanged numbers only to go their separate ways and move on with their lives. It wasn't until randomly meeting again at a club years later when the two would realize that their encounter wasn't a coincidence, it was fate.

After months pursuing a long-distance relationship, the couple now share a home with a few fur babies in Raleigh, NC and according to Tenesia and Terence, their love story is just getting started. In a recent interview with xoNecole, the couple opened up about their first encounter, taking the first steps in their relationship and learning to cope when you and your partner speak different love languages.

While it's true that opposites attract, this fact can also cause a lot of friction in your relationship. Tenesia told xoNecole, "Terence and I are complete opposites in a lot of areas. And although that works to our advantage in so many ways, it can also cause challenges. I think the most challenging thing for me is acknowledging those differences and learning how to navigate around them, especially in communication."

The couple explained that although there have been times when their relationship has been challenging, there hasn't been a moment that it wasn't worth it.

To read more about how Tenesia and Terence's chance encounter slowly but surely evolved into a modern-day love story, scroll below!

How They Met

Terence: I first met Tenesia at North Carolina A&T University's Homecoming almost a decade ago. I was leaving a concert with my line brothers and one of my line brothers wanted to meet up with some friends he knew as we walked back to our car. He began introducing me to everyone and all I wanted to know is who's the cutie in the backseat. He got to Tenesia and we exchanged some words, I showed my charm (laughs) which led to us exchanging numbers and guess what? We never texted each other after that day—talk about dropping the ball.

Years went by without us ever talking until one random night at the club where we met for the first time all over again, or at least that's what Tenesia thought at first. I always knew who she was. I mean how could I forget her? Anyways, we went to exchange numbers again and noticed we already had each other's contacts in our phone. After feeling stupid and laughing it over, we took a white gummy bear shot together—I'll never forget—and the rest was history.

Tenesia: Our "how we met" story will always be one of my favorite stories to tell because it happened twice. It was fate (laughs).

First Impressions

Terence: My first impression of Tenesia was that she was a true free spirit that loved to have fun. She gave off an amazing vibe that made me feel like no one ever did. Plus, she was drop-dead gorgeous and to this day she is saved in my phone as "Gorg".

Tenesia: My first impression was, "Well, he's gorgeous!" But after talking that night, it just felt so natural and easy. I could tell he was super respectful and I immediately felt comfortable around him.


"We spent all night just talking and vibing on someone's dock at the beach. It was so good that we didn't realize we were out there until like 5am. It was a romantic's dream."

First Date

Terence: Tenesia will probably say our first date was at the state fair which was probably the first "planned" date but I always thought it was this night at the beach when we first started talking. I was in her town for the weekend and we, of course, met up. We spent all night just talking and vibing on someone's dock at the beach. It was so good that we didn't realize we were out there until like 5am. It was a romantic's dream.

Tenesia: Our first date was the North Carolina State Fair. I have always loved the fair so I was so excited! We took a picture at the cheesy little display they have when you walk in and rode pretty much every ride! Terence even convinced me to get on the Ferris wheel (which I am terrified of). I remember he played the game where you have to stand the glass bottle up straight using a ring connected to a string on a pole and he was so determined to win me the biggest prize. Now that we've been together for years, it makes perfect sense because Terence will keep working at something until he gets it right! He did end up winning me a huge bear and then he carried it around the rest of the night.

Making It Official

Terence: Tenesia's answer is probably funnier because she always believed she coerced me into being in a relationship with her after a couple's weekend mountain retreat. We were surrounding a bonfire and she basically said, "We're now together." And I was like, "Yeah, I guess so…" I didn't know that was going to be the weekend we made it official but she definitely did (laughs). We later confirmed we both wanted this relationship to be official during the car ride home but the night before was iffy.

Tenesia: I knew it was time to make it official when I went on a trip to the mountains with him and his friends. We had been dating a couple of months and I was just like, "I'm not letting this get away." I knew what I wanted and told him! It worked.

The “L” Word

Terence: Honestly, I cannot remember the first time I said I love you but I was definitely the first to say it for sure. Must be the Cancer in me...

Tenesia: This sounds so bad but I honestly can't remember the first time we said I love you! I know that I was feeling myself falling for him for so long before I ever said it though. And I'm 90% sure he said it first!

"Over time, I think I just knew Tenesia was the one. She became the only person I wanted to be around. She challenged me, encouraged me, and made me a better man. She loves me despite my flaws and I naturally wanted to create a future with her. We never second-guessed anything together, no matter how crazy it sounded."

The One 

Terence: I always believed that someone becomes the one versus just finding "the one". You can have an amazing spark with someone but you may not be compatible long-term. You have to teach each other and show them how you need to be loved. Over time, I think I just knew Tenesia was the one. She became the only person I wanted to be around. She challenged me, encouraged me, and made me a better man. She loves me despite my flaws and I naturally wanted to create a future with her. We never second-guessed anything together, no matter how crazy it sounded.

Tenesia: I knew Terence was the one before we were ever officially together. It was when we first started talking/dating... he came down to visit me and we went out with my friends. The night was super fun and after the bar closed we went for a walk on the beach. We ended up talking for hours and it just felt right. Like everything that I thought had gone wrong before, went wrong for a reason to eventually lead me to meeting him (again) and to that night. I even texted my friend after that night and told her that I knew Terence was it!

Trading Spaces

Terence: Tenesia decided to be a travel nurse within our first year of dating. I had the idea of her taking a contract in the city where I lived and just staying with me. It just made sense, we were always traveling to see each other plus why not save money by staying together.

Tenesia: We made ourselves official in November and moved in together that next May. I'm pretty sure I brought it up because I wanted us to be able to spend more time together. Plus, I was tired of driving back and forth!

Building Together

Terence: Well, first comes marriage and then (laughs)... is there some bling-bling in Tenesia's future? Stay tuned. We really want to build our Tenesia And Terence empire and become financially free. We also want to move to our dream location and settle down.

Tenesia: We just bought our first house together in June 2019 and are already talking about moving again in the near future! But running Instagram and our blog together and trying to build our brand is one of our main focuses as far as building together. We are always brainstorming new ideas to build our empire!


"We've learned that communication is key. We have different ways of communicating but we've both come to the understanding that we have to talk things out in order to get past them."

Overcoming Challenges

Terence: We rarely have a true confrontation with each other but when we do we just talk it out or realize it's not a big deal. The good thing about us is we can't stay mad at each other and always work it out.

Tenesia: We've learned that communication is key. We have different ways of communicating but we've both come to the understanding that we have to talk things out in order to get past them. We honestly don't argue often, but even in the little disagreements, we try to take a step back and understand where the other person is coming from.

Favorite Things

Terence: My favorite thing about Tenesia is the way she is never satisfied with being average and being complacent in life. She is always dreaming of life without limits and believing that both of us can achieve anything. She has a very unorthodox way of thinking.

Tenesia: My favorite thing about Terence is how thoughtful he is. From tiny things he says or does that lets me know he was listening when I thought he wasn't. Making sure I chug water after I've been drinking so I don't have a headache the next day. Or never coming home without calling me first to see if I need anything. He really is just the sweetest guy!

For more Tenesia & Terence, follow them on Instagram!

Featured image by Instagram/@TenesiaandTerence.

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
Sign up

Featured image by Shutterstock

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