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 that the two would realize that their encounter wasn't a coincidence, it was fate.
After months of pursuing a long-distance relationship, the couple now shares 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).
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."
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."
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!
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!
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."
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.
Terence: My favorite thing about Tenesia is the way she is never satisfied with being average and 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.
Taylor "Pretty" Honore is a spiritually centered and equally provocative rapper from Baton Rouge, Louisiana with a love for people and storytelling. You can probably find me planting herbs in your local community garden, blasting "Back That Thang Up" from my mini speaker. Let's get to know each other: @prettyhonore.
This article is in partnership with Meta Elevate.
If you’ve been on the internet at all within the past decade, chances are the names Hey Fran Hey and Shameless Maya (aka Maya Washington) have come across your screen. These content creators have touched every platform on the web, spreading joy to help women everywhere live their best lives. From Fran’s healing natural remedies to Maya’s words of wisdom, both of these content creators have built a loyal following by sharing honest, useful, and vulnerable content. But in search of a life that lends to more creativity, freedom, and space, these digital mavens have moved from their bustling big cities (New York City and Los Angeles respectively) to more remote locations, taking their popular digital brands with them.
Content Creators Hey Fran Hey and Maya Washington Talk "Embracing The Pivot"www.youtube.com
In partnership with Meta Elevate — an online learning platform that provides Black, Hispanic, and Latinx-owned businesses access to 1:1 mentoring, digital skills training, and community — xoNecole teamed up with Franscheska Medina and Maya Washington on IG live recently for a candid conversation about how they’ve embraced the pivot by changing their surroundings to ultimately bring out the best in themselves and their work. Fran, a New York City native, moved from the Big Apple to Portland, Oregon a year ago. Feeling overstimulated by the hustle and bustle of city life, Fran headed to the Pacific Northwest in search of a more easeful life.
Her cross-country move is the backdrop for her new campaign with Meta Elevate— a perfectly-timed commercial that shows how you can level up from wherever you land with the support of free resources like Meta Elevate. Similarly, Maya packed up her life in Los Angeles and moved to Sweden, where she now resides with her husband and adorable daughter. Maya’s life is much more rural and farm-like than it had been in California, but she is thriving in this peaceful new setting while finding her groove as a new mom.
While Maya is steadily building and growing her digital brand as a self-proclaimed “mom coming out of early retirement,” Fran is redefining her own professional grind. “It’s been a year since I moved from New York City to Portland, Oregon,” says Fran. “I think the season I’m in is figuring out how to stay successful while also slowing down.” A slower-paced life has unlocked so many creative possibilities and opportunities for these ladies, and our conversation with them is a well-needed reminder that your success is not tied to your location…especially with the internet at your fingertips. Tapping into a community like Meta Elevate can help Black, Hispanic, and Latinx entrepreneurs and content creators stay connected to like minds and educated on new digital skills and tools that can help scale their businesses.
During a beautiful moment in the conversation, Fran gives Maya her flowers for being an innovator in the digital space. Back when “influencing” was in its infancy and creators were just trying to find their way, Fran says Maya was way ahead of her time. “I give Maya credit for being one of the pioneers in the digital space,” Fran said. “Maya is a one-person machine, and I always tell her she really changed the game on what ads, campaigns, and videos, in general, should look like.”
When asked what advice she’d give content creators, Maya says the key is having faith even when you don’t see the results just yet. “It’s so easy to look at what is, despite you pouring your heart into this thing that may not be giving you the returns that you thought,” she says. “Still operate from a place of love and authenticity. Have faith and do the work. A lot of people are positive thinkers, but that’s the thinking part. You also have to put your faith into work and do the work.”
Fran ultimately encourages content creators and budding entrepreneurs to take full advantage of Meta Elevate’s vast offerings to educate themselves on how to build and grow their businesses online. “It took me ten years to get to the point where I’m making ads at this level,” she says. “I didn’t have those resources in 2010. I love the partnership with Meta Elevate because they’re providing these resources for free. I just think of the people that wouldn’t be able to afford that education and information otherwise. So to amplify a company like this just feels right.”
Watch the full conversation with the link above, and join the Meta Elevate community to connect with fellow businesses and creatives that are #OnTheRiseTogether.
Featured image courtesy of Shameless Maya and Hey Fran Hey
Marsai Martin Gets Real About Her Decision To Undergo Surgery To Remove A 'Grapefruit-Sized' Ovarian Cyst
Actress Marsai Martin is showcasing the importance of advocating for one's health after recently opening up about her ovarian cyst surgery. For context, the 18-year-old revealed in a now-deleted Instagram story last December that she underwent a medical procedure to remove the large ovarian cyst that gave her "constant pain" for years, especially during her menstrual cycle.
According to Mayo Clinic, an ovarian cyst is described as a sac "usually filled with fluid" in an individual's ovary or near it. Although it is relatively common, with one in ten women diagnosed with a cyst, many experience little to no symptoms because it usually goes away. Those with pain and discomfort often have a large ovarian cyst, which was the case for Martin.
During a discussion with Women's Health magazine, Martin opened up about her menstrual cycle and when she started noticing the symptoms. The black-ish star told the publication she started her period at 11 but didn't experience any unusual pains until she was 14.
Coincidentally this event occurred a little after she was diagnosed by a medical professional with an ovarian cyst "the size of a small grapefruit."
Martin's Symptoms With A Large Ovarian Cyst:
In light of her diagnosis, Martin didn't think much of it because, at the time, her doctor told her that cysts usually disappear on their own. Over the years, as she got her menstrual cycle, Martin had extreme pain and severe nausea.
Even though she often combated the cramps with medication such as Aleve and naproxen, per doctor's orders, Martin shared that the pain would eventually progress so much that she couldn't keep "food or water" in her system.
Martin also revealed that these symptoms negatively impacted her daily routine, such as work and participating in social activities. The star further explained that she thought these signs were typical and didn't go to the hospital because of what her mother, Carol Martin, previously mentioned and warned her about while discussing the history of her own menstrual cycles.
Martin's Health Took a Toll At Age 17:
All this came to a head when Martin was 17 years old. The Little star decided to go to the hospital because the pain became unbearable.
"But one day, when I was 17, I just couldn't take it anymore. I had extreme cramps, and I was so nauseous, I wasn't able to eat or drink," she said. Martin added that the pain and nausea had limited her mobility.
"It felt like I couldn't move. The slightest sip of water would make me projectile vomit. I had lower back pain, dizziness, migraines, and tender breasts, and on top of that. The pain had been constant from the moment I woke up, and it was so unbearable that I finally went to the ER around 8 p.m.," the star stated.
During her hospitalization, Martin was informed that she was dehydrated and that the pain she was going through was because of the large cyst. Despite already being well aware of the ovarian cyst, which was "9.5 centimeters in diameter," due to her diagnosis years before, Martin shared she didn't know that it was the primary cause of her pain.
Following her stay, Martin's physician would refer her to a gynecologist, who gave her various options to resolve the issue. The list included taking birth control pills to shrink the cyst or having surgery to remove it completely. Martin disclosed after taking two weeks to weigh her options following her 18th birthday, she ultimately decided to undergo the procedure and scheduled it for December 2022.
Although Martin was initially afraid about the operation because she was uncertain how her body would react, all of that disappeared after the surgery. Martin would go on to express that it was one of her best decisions ever.
Following the procedure, even though Martin experienced some pain post-surgery, it ceased as the days passed, and she started moving around. Since the operation, Martin shared that her menstrual cycles have drastically improved.
Martin On Why She Shared Her Story:
Near the end of the interview, Martin explained that one of the main reasons she's been very vocal about her experience with her ovarian cyst by sharing it online is because she doesn't want others to remain silent about their health struggles and wants them to get a "second opinion."
"I hope my story will encourage other women to not accept a life of pain, to get a second opinion. Pain is not normal," she said. "I want other women to talk about their pain, and to keep speaking out until they're taken seriously. And to the women out there suffering silently right now: You owe it to yourself to speak up."
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Featured image by Paras Griffin/Getty Images for Paramount+