Soon after June 2016, I knew I wanted to be with Florence. However, I wanted to observe a little more. I had made a decision with myself that my next relationship must be my last one so I needed a good sense of clarity before moving forward. Getting to know Florence was a beautiful journey. From my point of view, I saw a woman who truly loved the lord not only with words but with her entire life. Florence was arguably the most committed person I had ever met. Her discipline and open-spirited nature were very attractive. Above all, I saw how she exhibited her temperament. I met Florence at a conflict-stricken moment in my life and she was honestly my safe haven.
She became an honest friend who was not afraid to rebuke my mistakes yet did it in a way where you recognize her unfailing respect and unjudgemental nature. Due to her tremendous influence in my life, I nicknamed her “Gem”. After noticing all these character traits, I desired to take our relationship to the next level but I wanted to ensure that I did so in a manner that will give her the honor and the respect she deserves. At that phase in our friendship, I was very aware that Florence was not an ordinary woman, therefore, I had to man up to match her level of class.
Due to her nature, I did not feel comfortable with being seen publicly with her without first speaking to her mother and pastor about my intentions and the status of our relationship. The thought sounded scary to me at first, but I was convinced it was the honorable thing to do so I stuck with my gut and intent.
On October 8, 2016, I followed through with my commitment to meet with Florence’s mother and her pastor to announce to them my intentions to court her. Prior to those meetings, we went on our first date to the Kennesaw Mountains after having breakfast. We hiked to the peak of the mountain and took pictures of strangers along the way (with their permission). When we got to the top of the mountain, we marveled at the views of the Atlanta skyline and the landscapes below. We took time to reminisced on how far we have advanced with our friendship then I used it as an opportunity to officially ask Florence to court me.
After that day we have been on several other outings which have included NBA games, Ferris wheel riding, skating, horseback riding, hiking trips, trampolining and plenty of dinner and lunch dates. All of which, brought the best out of us as individuals and as a collaborative unit.