The Japa Love Series: Finding Love across borders

Written by Japa Abroad

June 24, 2021

You can always find love, don’t let anyone tell you otherwise, this is a story to inspire and encourage you on your journey to love….

Let us know if you have a beautiful story to share, send us an email to feature:

The real names for this publication have been changed to protect the identity of those involved. Let’s call our guest Amarachi aka Amy.

  1. There’s a lot of talk about People of Colour finding it difficult to get a partner…do you share that bias? 

I think it is difficult to find a partner of color or someone who is from the same tribe or country or culture as you, not because there aren’t a lot of Nigerians in the UK but a lot of people come here and their way of living changes and uhmm, some of the things they want for themselves also changes and so it is difficult to find people who still have the same value system or belief system or perspective to life as yours. Some people come here and get involved in a lot of stuff just because they don’t want to get back to Nigeria. When people hear that I have a British passport, they immediately want to date me or they want to be friends with me. Some people even propose to pay me to get married to them. The idea of marrying me for the passport so they would pay me, and so it makes it difficult to really know who is dating you because they like you or because of your passport.  One of the problems I have also faced is that some people still carry that Nigerian mentality that the woman should do everything from cooking to cleaning. My last relationship lasted for 3 weeks. We broke up because I wouldn’t cook stew for him in my house, even though he was coming to visit me, I did not have what he wanted and he walked out because I wouldn’t do that. Mind you, this person is a doctor and software engineer working in one of the biggest private hospitals in the UK so he is enlightened but that culture thing is just not it all. Then, we have the other people who have kids with white people and still want you to accept the fact that they have a child because they had to do what they had to do to stay back in the UK. Lol. So most people, my age for example, have children or a child with someone, so you have to know if that is something you can manage or something you can deal with especially if you like the person. These are some of the difficult situations I have personally experienced and a lot of people have experienced too but there is so much more.

  1. Did you ever try any online dating platforms?

Yes, I have tried online dating. It’s actually really all I know, moving back to the UK especially during the lockdown, that was the only way to meet people at the time. I used Tinder, it was like the easiest because I know a lot of people there, a lot of blacks are there. I met some people, I had good experiences and bad experiences. 

  1. Knowing that you lived in China and now in the UK, are the cultural differences more pronounced in one country over the other with respect to the dating scene?

I did not try or bother dating while I was in China for two reasons. One, I have always been drawn to Nigerians or black people generally not because I am racist but because I know it is difficult to integrate two different cultures, especially if they are black, white or Asian. It’s quite difficult, I thought about the integration process. Will his family like me? Will I like his family? I was a lecturer and so the people I was seeing frequently were my students and I wasn’t going to date them. Lol. There were also Igbo men/black people who are tradesmen in China and I couldn’t date them because I am from an education-forward family. My dad is a professor, my sister is a Ph.D. holder, my mum is a chief nurse and teaches in a nursing hospital. I have a master’s degree and so I can’t date someone who didn’t go to school, I couldn’t see it happening, if you know what I mean.

  1. What was the journey like to finding your partner? How did you meet?

It was after I told myself that I wasn’t going to do relationships anymore. I decided that I was going to be single for the rest of my life not because I wanted to be lonely or anything but because I was tired of being taken advantage of, having to second-guess myself, bad experiences but of course they always say you have to kiss a lot of bad frogs before you find the right one, I don’t know in my case it seemed so. I had once been involved with someone who told me he had a baby mama. I did not know they were actually married and that actually took me off. It took me a long time to forgive myself for being ignorant. I felt dirty on the inside because I was with someone’s husband and so I had a lot of fear trying again but after some months, I said let me try again. I think it was a journey to loving myself again or giving myself another chance to participate in the world so I downloaded tinder again because that’s what I know how to use. I met my partner, we clicked from the very beginning. It was like we had known each other before but of course we had not. Of course there are a lot of differences between us but he felt like home, he felt very familiar and this was like 2-3 days into a conversation. However, because I was still on that journey to heal, I did a lot of back-and-forth with myself by ensuring if I wanted to do this with him. The way he looks at me, the way he is soft and gentle and kind and intentional…there is a lot of peace around him, he has a genuine admiration for me. He always speaks to me in a positive attitude. There is this lightness that he had around me. The first day he came to see me…one of the first things I noticed was the way he hugged me. If I don’t tell you, that’s the way I like to be hugged, you will never know {inserts blushing emoji} Everything he did was kind of tailored to me. It was so easy. It’s the easiest experience I have ever had in my whole life till today. Our relationship kind of felt like a plug and play, it was already pre-installed, we just met each other and clicked, that’s the journey, so far, and it’s been incredible.

  1. How did you know he is the one?

I have peace of mind, I feel safe. 

  1. Did you change your relationship status on Facebook? Lol

No, I did not change my relationship status on Facebook, I barely use Facebook. Even though I am not the kind of person to necessarily post my relationship online, I do not hide the fact that I am seeing someone, I would even talk about it. I might post one or two pictures of the person but with this one I went the other way round- I’ve  never posted anything about him, the only people that know are my close friends and family. Even my parents don’t know so they don’t start asking when you guys are going to get married. It’s just a cocoon of intimate relationship literally.

  1. What’s the sweetest thing you love about him? 

What I love about him is his ability to empathize and understand me especially as I have been through a lot in trying to love myself the way I know I can. I don’t have to explain so much to him. He just figures things out. He always has this way of understanding feelings, processing it and knowing the right things to say and do.The security of having someone who has your back; supporting whatever visions, goals and plans you have. He is also the same way as regards to wanting a support system and peace of mind around. He reminds me of what I always felt love should be. 

  1. Do your goals and visions align? Faith, future plans etc

With regards to vision and what we want for ourselves, the kind of person I want to be, the kind of person he wants a wife to be like, aligns. I want to be someone who loves her husband and serves her husband. He wants that. He also wants someone who has her freedom, who is independent but also dependent, that’s the kind of person I am, that’s the kind of person I had always wanted to be to my husband…so yes there’s an alignment. 

Faith-wise, we align in the sense that I have always been a person who didn’t like the idea of religion but of spiritual relationship. He is of the same belief and mindset. He serves as my therapist in the sense that a lot of questions I had always had in life and about spirituality, being a human being, existence and Christianity and all that stuff, he seemed to have been prepared to answer those questions for me and yes we do align in that area. 

For future plans, everything just aligns. I want to be someone who has her own stuff and can work from home, so I can take care of my family. He is the kind of person who wants to work and bring home the money. He does not like to go out, he is a home buddy so that is also good. Anything that makes me happy, he is all for it.

  1. What’s the weirdest relationship advice you’ve ever been given?

Dont post your relationship on social media because somebody will see that you’re happy and start planning something against you. That they will take my happiness to dibia. Lol

  1. What advice do you have for POC looking to get into relationships?

Keep trying. Know how to compartmentalize your feelings, assumptions and reality. 

You May Also Like…


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *