Black, Millennial Couples Talk About What Love Is: Mika & Craig
We’re rounding out the last couple of days of Black History Month so I wanted to take this time to celebrate a concept that I believe we need more of…Black, millennial love. Yea, not just Black love, but love among the twenty-somethings and the thirty-somethings. “They” say less of us really know what love is and that less of us are getting married and staying in committed relationships. Unfortunately, these sentiments are not entirely false. There are several factors that contribute to this, but I don’t want to use this space to explore those notions. Instead, I wanted to showcase, highlight, and put on front street a Black., millennial couple that’s defying the stats. I chatted with Craig and Mika and here’s what they had to say…
JS: How long have you two been together?
Craig: Since 2012, 7 years.
JS: How did you meet?
Mika: Initially we met at his fraternity brother’s birthday dinner. Craig brought a date to the dinner actually. We didn’t exchange numbers or anything like that. I noticed that he was hella cute and really charming. I was digging him but I knew he had a date so I didn’t want to approach him at first. Fast forward, we ended up meeting again at a mutual friends’ party. We actually got other people’s numbers that night instead of each others. After the party, he slid in my DM’s on Twitter and we’ve been inseparable ever since.
JS: Speaking of DMs, dating nowadays occurs online more than it has in the past. More people are using apps like Bumble, Tinder, or even sliding in other people’s DMs to express interest. With that said, what’s your opinion on the millennial dating scene considering the strong presence that social media has in our lives?
Craig: Dating in the millennial age is definitely a lot different. It’s even harder to sift through the bullsh*t because you can portray an image online of what you want other people to think. However, it does make it more convenient, I guess it helps people who are more introverted than others. Like for instance, those that don’t want to go to somewhere like the club to find somebody, you can still have the option to date online. You can create an account and put yourself out there, not that you’re pimping yourself, but you’re at least letting people know that you’re available. It’s good in the accessibility aspect and gives people the opportunity to connect. But, like I said, it can also cause people to portray a false image, which makes it that much harder to date.
Mika: I wouldn’t even know how to date nowadays because people are so crazy. Just like you said, people can portray a different persona, act one way online and then be completely different in person.
JS: Finish the statement “Love is ______”.
Mika: Love is WORK.
Craig: But when you’re in a good relationship, it doesn’t feel like work
Mika: And it comes naturally and easily...it’s something that you wanna do.
Craig: It’s like when people say “when you work in a field that you’re passionate about it doesn’t feel like work”...same thing with our relationship. Like, you should be happy to come home to your partner, you should say I get to come home to bae or I get to go out and do this or I get to make these memories. You should definitely have friendship as the foundation of the relationship, something more than the physical aspect and more than the sexual aspect.
Mika: You need real chemistry. Because looks fade and money is just a materialistic thing. If you have a true connection with a person, that’s what matters most.
JS: Ya’ll talked about work, dedication, real chemistry, and friendship. Specifically, how do these things show up in your relationship?
Mika: I think the biggest wake up call for us was when my mom passed away. I was like are you in this or are you not because life is about to hit us. I saw that he was down through the thick and thin, through the happiness, and the sadness.
Craig: It was the biggest “shit hit the fan” moment for us. Seeing somebody down...it was a lot for both of us. Watching her lose her mom and having to handle all of the arrangements...and at the time, her being 19 having to all of the sudden take care of a house and finances...watching her work an hourly job at Ingles and being super young. Me, I’m just coming out of college and still trying to do my own thing...it was just a big transitional moment for us both. I believe God doesn’t make any mistakes. He put both of us there during that time period to strengthen each other.
Another thing that was a big adjustment for me. Although I’m the youngest out of 5 kids, I grew up as an only child because my siblings are much older than me. With that, I’m very much on my own speed...I give energy to where I want to give energy and at the end of the day, if I didn’t want to do something then I won’t do it. I wasn’t really trying to compromise on anything. I had to get over that in order to make our relationship work.
JS: Why does Black love matter?
Mika: Black love matters because it’s not represented enough...you don’t see it enough. They show us hood love. Growing up, when you think of a Disney princess, there’s never been one that married a Black man.
Craig: Another example, Will Smith is a AAA Hollywood star and they wouldn’t cast him in a movie about love with a Black lead...it had to be a Hispanic woman. They didn’t want to see a movie about Black and White interracial love, but they figured that it would be okay to cast two minorities as the lead actors. They also figured that having two Black people as the lead characters wouldn’t sell. (if you haven’t figured it out by now, we’re talking about the movie Hitch lol) I mean, now there is more representation of Black love out there now however, while growing up, there wasn’t a lot of that.
Mika: Especially for people who didn’t grow up with two parents in the house, they didn’t get to see a good representation of what Black love is, and then when you turn on the TV, you don’t get to see it there either. So I think that’s why it’s really important.
Craig: Or even on social media, there’s so much glorification of rappers having a ton of hoes, Instagram models, and women telling n*ggas they don’t give a f*ck about ‘em and they just want a check. There’s so much focus on the wrong kinda love. It’s been so sensationalized that that’s what people aspire to as opposed to being in true, Black love. There’s not enough people that model that.
JS: What do you believe lies in the future for you all’s relationship?
Craig: Marriage, for sure.
Mika and Craig are engaged and currently working on wedding plans.
JS: One piece of advice that you want to give to other couples?
Craig: Just don’t give up. Coming into a relationship I was very jaded on love. I pretty much had my heart broken by every girl that I’ve ever been in love with and had my trust betrayed in some type of way. I was really on some f*ck females type of sh*t, I’m just gonna do me. You know how n*ggas be.
When you’re dating somebody, don’t be so quick to cut them off over every little thing. I think a lot of times, people want the “perfect” situation and you have to realize that no one's perfect. You have to realize what your deal breakers are...what you’re willing to accept and what you need to work on. You know like the 80/20 rule, if 80% of that n*gga is your perfect man, you can work on the rest of the 20%.
Mika: It takes compromise. You have to be willing to compromise in order to have a successful relationship. Sometimes you have to put your feelings aside to make sure the other person is happy. But on the other hand, also make sure that you’re not sacrificing all of who you are just to be with somebody. While compromising, you still have to be able to be yourself.
Thanks for reading!
Keep up with the couple and their story over on YouTube!