The guy who wasn’t on her “list”.

I seriously have found the most amazing partner in the world in Chea. I was set on marrying a black man that burned incense and listened to Lauryn Hill and Dwele into the late hours of the night like myself.

Instead, Chea came into my life with every topical difference possible. He had no idea who half of my favorite artists were, but he was always open to learn. I’m from the inner city and he’s from the inner country.

We couldn’t have been more different, but our souls have always been aligned and that is what spoke to our hearts.

We first met while standing outside of a concert hall at Ohio State University. We were introduced by mutual friends, spoke briefly, and kept it moving.

We later ended up working for the same Insurance company in the call center. For the next four years, we built a really solid friendship. I moved to New York to further my ballet career, and he would call me every night just to make sure I got home safely. Then he came to visit me one weekend and that’s when we both realized our relationship was evolving into a more romantic one.

Even though we’ve been together for seven years now and also have a beautiful daughter together, we only recently officiated our union. We believe marriage happens a long time before the ring.

This past October, we had two weddings; A Cambodian ceremony and a traditional American one as well. Although we’re different, we’ve always shared the same values, desires, and love for our daughter. My advice to anyone looking for love, marriage, or to build a family with someone is to be as true to yourself as possible.

Marriage doesn’t make people more faithful, loving, or attentive. Who you date is exactly who you will marry. And relationships should be built on honesty. Chea and I were friends first and have always been completely open with each other about everything. We plan to spend the rest of our lives making this world a better place.