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 Sensodyne.
Our teeth are connected to so many things - our nutrition, our confidence, and our overall mood. We often take for granted how important healthy teeth are, until issues like tooth sensitivity or gum recession come to remind us. Like most things related to our bodies, prevention is the best medicine. Here are five things you can do immediately to improve your oral hygiene, prevent tooth sensitivity, and avoid dental issues down the road.
1) Go Easy On the Rough Brushing: Brushing your teeth is and always will be priority number one in the oral hygiene department. No surprises there! However, there is such a thing as applying too much pressure when brushing…and that can lead to problems over time. Use a toothbrush with soft bristles and brush in smooth, circular motions. It may seem counterintuitive, but a gentle approach to brushing is the most effective way to clean those pearly whites without wearing away enamel and exposing sensitive areas of the teeth.
2) Use A Desensitizing Toothpaste: As everyone knows, mouth pain can be highly uncomfortable; but tooth sensitivity is a whole different beast. Hot weather favorites like ice cream and popsicles have the ability to trigger tooth sensitivity, which might make you want to stay away from icy foods altogether. But as always, prevention is the best medicine here. Switching to a toothpaste like Sensodyne’s Sensitivity & Gum toothpaste specifically designed for sensitive teeth will help build a protective layer over sensitive areas of the tooth. Over time, those sharp sensations that occur with extremely cold foods will subside, and you’ll be back to treating yourself to your icy faves like this one!
3) Floss, Rinse, Brush. (And In That Order!): Have you ever heard the saying, “It’s not what you do, but how you do it”? Well, the same thing applies to taking care of your teeth. Even if you are flossing and brushing religiously, you could be missing out on some of the benefits simply because you aren’t doing so in the right order. Flossing is best to do before brushing because it removes food particles and plaque from places your toothbrush can’t reach. After a proper flossing sesh, it is important to rinse out your mouth with water after. Finally, you can whip out your toothbrush and get to brushing. Though many of us commonly rinse with water after brushing to remove excess toothpaste, it may not be the best thing for our teeth. That’s because fluoride, the active ingredient in toothpaste that protects your enamel, works best when it gets to sit on the teeth and continue working its magic. Rinsing with water after brushing doesn’t let the toothpaste go to work like it really can. Changing up your order may take some getting used to, but over time, you’ll see the difference.
4) Stay Hydrated: Upping your water supply is a no-fail way to level up your health overall, and your teeth are no exception to this rule. Drinking water not only helps maintain a healthy pH balance in your mouth, but it also washes away residue and acids that can cause enamel erosion. It also helps you steer clear of dry mouth, which is a gateway to bad breath. And who needs that?
5) Show Your Gums Some Love: When it comes to improving your smile, you may be laser-focused on getting your teeth whiter, straighter, and overall healthier. Rightfully so, as these are all attributes of a megawatt smile; but you certainly don’t want to leave gum health out of the equation. If you neglect your gums, you’ll start to notice the effects of plaque buildup, which can irritate the gums and cause gingivitis, the earliest stage of gum disease. Seeing blood while brushing and flossing is a tell-tale sign that your gums are suffering. You may also experience gum recession — a condition where the gum tissue surrounding your teeth pulls back, exposing more of your tooth. Brushing at least twice a day with a gum-protecting toothpaste like Sensodyne Sensitivity and Gum, coupled with regular dentist visits, will keep your gums shining as bright as those pearly whites.
Russell and Nina Westbrook are one of those low-key, unproblematic couples we don’t talk about enough. They met in college and got married in 2015. They also have a beautiful family with three kids. While Russell is an NBA star, Nina is a licensed family and marriage therapist and a mental health advocate.
She recently launched the podcast The Relationship Chronicles with Nina Westbrook, and in the latest episode, she had none other than her husband on as a guest. The college sweethearts dived into important topics from marriage to children and how they navigate it all.
One of the topics they touched on was dealing with resentment in your relationship. The former MVP highlighted the sacrifices his wife has had to make in order for him to pursue a career in the NBA, and that’s why it’s also important for him to support his wife whenever he can.
“For me is respecting and understanding what your partner do and the time it takes,” Russell said. “Not kind of downplaying what they do, understanding the time and energy and effort they're doing to make sure whether it’s their job or making sure home is taken care of, and understanding that, I think that is the challenge of not being resentful.”
Nina agreed and also shared her thoughts on resentment. According to her, one of the best things couples should do is have their own identity and passions outside of the relationship in an effort to be fulfilled.
“I also think that when you’re in a relationship, that’s why it’s so important that each individual kinda pursue their own passions and follow their own dreams as I feel like it only becomes or leads to resentment when one person is not feeling fulfilled in what they're doing in their lives,” she explained.
“And so, they will start to look at the other partner who’s happy or excelling or promoting or moving along in their journey, then they’re left feeling stuck like they sacrificed themselves, their happiness, their career, their future and have not pursued it in the name of the relationship or their partner. So, it’s so much easier to avoid those feelings of resentment when you’re each equally pursuing your passions.”
The couple has many passions that they work on together and separately. Outside of basketball and his family, Russell has become known for his eclectic style and started the fashion brand Honor The Gift. Nina has her podcast, and she also started the mental health website Bene. Together, they run the Why Not? Foundation, which works with kids in underserved communities.
“I’m a firm believer that one person can’t be everything to you, so you have to sort of seek out those different friendships or groups or hobbies or activities that help to fulfill you,” Nina concluded.
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Feature image by Jon Kopaloff/Getty Images for Religion of Sports