We Met On Tinder, Had A 5-Year LDR, Then Got Married During Covid

Long-distance gave us space and time to grow individually, which created a strong foundation for our relationship.

As Told To

As Told To is a recurring segment on xoNecole where real women are given a platform to tell their stories in first-person narrative as told to a writer.

This is The Keshinros' story, as told to Charmin Michelle.

So, my husband and I met on Tinder.


We were both working in Peru but in different cities. Me, as a chiropractor, fresh off of a three-month stay in Ghana, seeking a new start by relocating to the country. I never saw black people (well, maybe one every four to five months) in Peru so I think this drove me to join Tinder—totally hopeful that I would somehow, someway find other black people. My husband, Ola, is a professional basketball player, landing in my town for a basketball tournament. After connecting on the app, we missed an opportunity to actually meet in person. But as luck would have it, his team was invited to a second tournament in my town two weeks later. After he arrived for the second time, we had our first date where we talked for hours and hours at a coffee shop. This date was different, nothing like I had been used to in the past. Shortly after, he left for Spain—9000 miles away.

But even far apart, neither of us could shake each other. So, we decided to see what was between us.


I was born Dominica (Caribbean), but also raised in Miami. Ola is born American but raised in Nigeria. As we began dating, we quickly learned that although we are from different sides of the world, our cultures are so similar (of course because everything began in Africa).

My village in Dominica had no more than 200 people that lived there, so for as long as I can remember, I was a big fish in small pond. I always dreamt big, throwing myself into my education, something I considered as my way to a better life. My family eventually migrated to Miami, which was definitely a culture shock to say the least. I ultimately adjusted, and have lived in the states since.

As for Ola, he is super family-oriented. Like me, he was also partly raised by his grandmother who instilled in him values of honesty and integrity. His first love was soccer but after a growth spurt at age 16, he gave it up and transitioned to basketball. He moved back to the U.S. for college at 18. He's the better cook and a true team player. I'm the small town girl, that's very outgoing and active in my community. Our qualities caused us to naturally gravitate toward each other's energies, which is why our love blossomed.

Back to our dating story, after meeting overseas, our friendship organically evolved over time and we decided to enter an exclusive, long-distance relationship—which lasted for five years (our entire relationship).

And yes, ladies, it was tough at times.

There were times where I traveled to Spain (or wherever he was located at the time), and he would be traded to a new team during the trip. We've spent countless holidays unsure of what was next. We would go months and months of no physical touch. It was very hard. But it was also rewarding.

Wait, did, sis say "rewarding?" Yes, girl. Because it was.

It may sound crazy, but for us, long-distance was great. The first year was tough, sure, but within that time, we built so much trust, which is important. Of course, communication was key, but the long distance? The long distance allowed us space and time to grow individually—thus creating a strong foundation.

And for me, the more I learned to love myself, the better partner I became.

We got engaged May 2019 in Santorini, Greece, with plans for a Summer 2020 wedding. Ola was on his last go-round with overseas basketball, and I was settled in New York. But then...COVID. Because of the pandemic, he was summoned to come home five months earlier than expected, which as we all know, no one was mentally prepared to be locked up in the house for months at a time—especially New York, who was completely shutdown. But it was all a blessing in disguise because our quarantine has been amazing; it's been super fun. We've cooked, we've binge-watched shows, learned about investments. We even joined TikTok haha.

And now, oddly, thanks to the Rona, this is the longest time we have ever spent together in our entire relationship.


You know, as a mental health advocate, I've learned the importance of knowing and appreciating where you are in life—and even appreciating the unknown. My husband used to always randomly say to me, "I appreciate you," which is what made him stand out to me. But in order to have my magical love story, in order to get to that other side, I had to be open to an unknown situation.

Ladies, you should absolutely be open to a long-distance relationship if distance is not a deal-breaker for you. And even if it is, you should still at least consider. It's not as scary as it may seem. Long-distance relationships can be the most fulfilling type of relationship there is.

And my advice to anyone that is considering one is this:

Only share this journey with the right person. Ladies, this life is not for everyone. And honestly, I'm not sure a long-distance relationship would be for me, had it been with anyone other than Ola. My husband and I are on the same page, we are truly best friends. We both know how important our relationship is to the other, and we admire, and most of all, respect that.

Communicate. Communication is the strongest form of love you can show to your partner. It's not possible to do this successfully, or in good health, without it.

Build up the woman you are. Love yourself before any person on this earth. It will reflect in your sustainable and key relationships.

Trust. Ladies, you know how we are, but refrain from any of that. If they've never given you a reason not to, trust your partner completely.


Today, Ola and I are happily married, taking on this pandemic and doing life, together. We recently wed, in what we consider our mini wedding (we decided to postpone our destination wedding in Mexico, mainly because we have family members who live in other countries, including both of our moms). In the meantime, we wanted something simple, minimal yet beautiful, special, and memorable. We (really, I) picked Central Park because it represented me perfectly. I love the outdoors, nature, and water. We hired an officiant and a photographer for an hour. There was very little planning. Only our immediate family that lives in NY attended (my sister and niece, his sister and dad). There was no reception--we found a nice Italian restaurant near Central Park and we had lunch.

And we were dressed simply as well, him ASOS and me, FashionNova (did not wear white because I already have a white dress from the original wedding day).

It was perfect.

Our love story may be different from what most expect, but its ours. Ultimately, with the pandemic, and with currently living within the same city, we don't know what the future holds. But we do know that having four thousand miles between us, is a test we, without a doubt, can handle.

The Keshinros' big wedding may have been canceled but their marriage is not. They recently wed, and they're inviting you to join them on their journey by subscribing to their YouTube page. You can also follow their black love on Instagram at @ola.nes.

Feature image courtesy of BSM Photography.

We all know what it is to love, be loved, or be in love – or at least we think we do. But what would you say if I were to tell you that so much of the love that you thought you’d been in was actually a little thing called limerence? No, it doesn’t sound as romantic – and it’s not – unless you’re into the whole Obsessed-type of love. But one might say at least one side of that dynamic might be…thrilling.

Keep reading...Show less
The daily empowerment fix you need.
Make things inbox official.

Idris Elba and Sabrina Dhowre Elba are gearing up for the second season of their podcast Coupledom where they interview partners in business and/or romance. The stunning couple has been married for three years but they have been together for a total of six years. During that time, they have developed many partnerships but quickly learned that working together isn’t all that it’s cracked up to be.

Keep reading...Show less

Before she was Amira Unplugged, rapper, singer, and a Becoming a Popstar contestant on MTV, she was Amira Daughtery, a twenty-five year-old Georgian, with aspirations of becoming a lawyer. “I thought my career path was going to lead me to law because that’s the way I thought I would help people,” Amira tells xoNecole. “[But] I always came back to music.”

A music lover since childhood, Amira grew up in an artistic household where passion for music was emphasized. “My dad has always been my huge inspiration for music because he’s a musician himself and is so passionate about the history of music.” Amira’s also dealt with deafness in one ear since she was a toddler, a condition which she says only makes her more “intentional” about the music she makes, to ensure that what she hears inside her head can translate the way she wants it to for audiences.

“The loss of hearing means a person can’t experience music in the conventional way,” she says. “I’ve always responded to bigger, bolder anthemic songs because I can feel them [the vibrations] in my body, and I want to be sure my music does this for deaf/HOH people and everyone.”

A Black woman wearing a black hijab and black and gold dress stands in between two men who are both wearing black pants and colorful jackets and necklaces

Amira Unplugged and other contestants on Becoming a Popstar

Amira Unplugged / MTV

In order to lift people’s spirits at the beginning of the pandemic, Amira began posting videos on TikTok of herself singing and using sign language so her music could reach her deaf fans as well. She was surprised by how quickly she was able to amass a large audience. It was through her videos that she caught the attention of a talent scout for MTV’s new music competition show for rising TikTok singers, Becoming a Popstar. After a three-month process, Amira was one of those picked to be a contestant on the show.

Becoming a Popstar, as Amira describes, is different from other music competition shows we’ve all come to know over the years. “Well, first of all, it’s all original music. There’s not a single cover,” she says. “We have to write these songs in like a day or two and then meet with our producers, meet with our directors. Every week, we are producing a full project for people to vote on and decide if they’d listen to it on the radio.”

To make sure her deaf/HOH audiences can feel her songs, she makes sure to “add more bass, guitar, and violin in unique patterns.” She also incorporates “higher pitch sounds with like chimes, bells, and piccolo,” because, she says, they’re easier to feel. “But it’s less about the kind of instrument and more about how I arrange the pattern of the song. Everything I do is to create an atmosphere, a sensation, to make my music a multi-sensory experience.”

She says that working alongside the judges–pop stars Joe Jonas and Becky G, and choreographer Sean Bankhead – has helped expand her artistry. “Joe was really more about the vocal quality and the timber and Becky was really about the passion of [the song] and being convinced this was something you believed in,” she says. “And what was really great about [our choreographer] Sean is that obviously he’s a choreographer to the stars – Lil Nas X, Normani – but he didn’t only focus on choreo, he focused on stage presence, he focused on the overall message of the song. And I think all those critiques week to week helped us hone in on what we wanted to be saying with our next song.”

As her star rises, it’s been both her Muslim faith and her friends, whom she calls “The Glasses Gang” (“because none of us can see!”), that continue to ground her. “The Muslim and the Muslima community have really gone hard [supporting me] and all these people have come together and I truly appreciate them,” Amira says. “I have just been flooded with DMs and emails and texts from [young muslim kids] people who have just been so inspired,” she says. “People who have said they have never seen anything like this, that I embody a lot of the style that they wanted to see and that the message hit them, which is really the most important thing to me.”

A Black woman wears a long, salmon pink hijab, black outfit and pink boots, smiling down at the camera with her arm outstretched to it.

Amira Unplugged

Amira Unplugged / MTV

Throughout the show’s production, she was able to continue to uphold her faith practices with the help of the crew, such as making sure her food was halal, having time to pray, dressing modestly, and working with female choreographers. “If people can accept this, can learn, and can grow, and bring more people into the fold of this industry, then I’m making a real difference,” she says.

Though she didn’t win the competition, this is only the beginning for Amira. Whether it’s on Becoming a Popstar or her videos online, Amira has made it clear she has no plans on going anywhere but up. “I’m so excited that I’ve gotten this opportunity because this is really, truly what I think I’m meant to do.”

Today is Malcolm X’s birthday. As an icon of Black liberation movements, his words are often rallying cries and guideposts in struggle. In 2020, after the officers who executed Breonna Taylor were not charged with her murder, my timeline was flooded with people reposting Malcolm’s famous quote: “The most disrespected person in America is the Black woman. The most unprotected person in America is the Black woman. The most neglected person in America is the Black woman.”

Keep reading...Show less

As her fame continues to rise, Tiffany Haddish has remained a positive light for her fans with her infectious smile and relatable story. Since Girls Trip, fans have witnessed the comedian become a modern-day Cinderella due to the many opportunities that have come her way and the recognition she began to receive.

Keep reading...Show less
Exclusive Interviews

Exclusive: Jay Ellis Shares ‘Full-Circle’ Moment With His Parents & His Self-Care Ritual

Staying grounded is one of the actor's biggest priorities.

Latest Posts