Skylar Marshai manifested her perfect partner. Before meeting the man of her dreams, the 23-year-old journaled about her ideal companion. “I literally said when my next person comes he’s going to be selfless and understanding,” she tells R29Unbothered on Dear, Black Love. Two months later, a handsome stranger dm’d her.
“I was just scrolling on Instagram and I remember seeing the linen fit with a high pony,” Temi Ibisanmi says about their first (digital) encounter. “Your hair was just gone with the wind, and I was like, just wow. This is literally art right here.” The lovestruck 25-year-old wasted no time reaching out. He messaged her that day, and the rest is history.
Early on in their relationship, Ibisanmi and Marshai discovered a shared interest in traveling. They both love exploring cities, and decided to do so together to see how their relationship would fare overseas. Their first adventure was to Puerto Rico.
“I think it was dope because we were able to see ‘okay’ this is how we look in a completely new space,” says Marshai. “That was definitely a milestone for us,” Ibisanmi adds, “we love each other virtually, we love each other physically in our homes, how do we love each other when we’re abroad?”
They quickly learned that their relationship can withstand anything. As a dark-skinned man, Ibisanmi’s experience traveling is often different from Marshai's. This was apparent during their trip to Italy where he endured many microaggressions like unwelcome stares. He was not sure if it was a big deal, but Marshai noticed it too and validated his concerns.
“It’s important to affirm your Blackness the way you do mine all the time,” she says, recalling the incident.
From the look on Ibisanmi’s face, it’s clear he feels safe with Marshai. Their relationship was built on communication and support, but that did not come easily. The couple shared their hardships as well, mentioning a point where their bickering was so cumbersome that they almost broke up. Instead of ending things, they found a therapist.
“It’s been a blessing to know that you seek to understand me, and vice versa,” says Marshai. Ibisanmi adds that he’s happy they went because it solidified their bond.
What started as an Instagram correspondence turned into the relationship of their dreams. One that Marshai wished for specifically.
“The prayer was, please God give everything I deserved,” she says, “and then you showed up!”
To hear more about Skylar and Temi, watch their video, and then check out @r29unbothered for more stories about Black love.