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Posted under: News Relationships

Millennial Love Stories: How This Couple Is Defying Stereotypical Ideas Of Age Difference

A conversation with Neffi and Danielle.

This piece is part of a 28-day series celebrating modern black love among millennials. It was created by Chuck Marcus and Michelle Nance, exclusively distributed by Blavity.

Her: Danielle Watson | 29 | Real Estate Agent

Her: Neffi Walker | 44 | Interior Decorator & Designer

Relationship Status: Engaged | 3 Weeks 

Danielle and Neffi met by stirring up a conversation on Instagram around the lack of effort on the behalf of men to romance and impress women. Danielle pointed out the fact that lesbians can win with what she refers to as the bare minimum, like getting a woman flowers, because men just don’t give it that much effort.

To Danielle’s surprise ,Neffi responded in a way intended to purposely evoke feelings, saying that women like flowers because they are delicate and sensual, just like women.

Quickly, the conversation moved from IG to reality when Neffi suggested that they see each other, and she didn’t mean over FaceTime. The two connected in person shortly after and a relationship was born like nothing else they’d ever experienced. Now, a year later, the couple is recently engaged and committed to loving each other more each day.

How did you know you were ready to commit after a year of being together?

Neffi: She had commitment issues when we first got together, she didn't’ really commit to anything or anyone prior to me. I let her be and she came to it on her own.

Danielle: I committed to her before I verbalized it. Before I decided to be in a relationship or anything like that, I already knew that I was hers because she created a safe space and love that wasn’t toxic. I couldn't’ communicate that I was committing to her because by communicating that I would have had to hold myself accountable for my actions and really be selfless. That’s the part I was struggling with. That came a few months after being in love and I realized the risk of losing her wasn’t worth it.

Neffi: I knew after our Paris trip, so maybe about 5 months in.

How does your age gap play a role in your relationship?

Neffi: It’s really interesting because I feel like I’m 29 and she’s 70 most days. She has an old spirit. She was loved and raised very well.

Danielle: And bad knees.

Neffi: Yeah, she’s sleeping by 9:00. She doesn’t operate how I did at 29, she’s calmer. I’m the one typically like hey let’s go out. It balances itself out. She’s an intellect as well so, mentally, we’re on the same vibe. It just works out; I didn’t think it would. When she first told me she was 28 I was like absolutely not. The thing is I’ve always had younger people try to holla at me, I have a 25 year old son. I got married when I was 20.

How do your children take this?

Neffi: They love her. My son is a grown man. I have three of them who are 25, 24 and 26. She’s a grown woman. By the time I was 24 I had three kids. They respect her as a person, she’s been a cop, she was in the military, she’s gone to school and lived life. I never flaunted a relationship in front of my kids so they never really know what I do they just know I’m a corny mom. So when I popped up with her and she was around so much and she’s an aggressive lesbian they knew something was a little odd. They asked me and I told them they were like you seem happy. I was like yeah I really like her. So they were like okay we will talk to her too. So they started a bond on their own. When I proposed all of them were in tears crying, all of them were happy about it. It works.

Danielle: The age gap mainly works because she provides grounding that I definitely didn’t have before. When it comes to relationships I’ve always been in toxic relationships. I’ve always been with women who did not understand what love was and how to approach love or give love. Everything was an argument, and that’s how they expressed love. When I wild out she knows how to calm me, she knows how to communicate. When I was dating younger women it was arguing non-stop because I’m not the best communicator either and there was no resolve ever.

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Chuck Marcus
Chuck Marcus

What are your sexual identities?

Danielle: Lesbian.

Neffi: Bi-sexual. I’m a very free spirited person so it’s not about the gender it’s always been about the feeling inside of whatever vessel it is. That’s how I’ve been my whole life.

What’s the hardest part about being a millennial in a relationship?

Danielle: I think being a millennial, growing up in the age of technology tainted my communication skills. I have a very short attention span. She has to draw me in a lot. I can be lazy to some regard and she has to pull me out of that a lot. I don’t think that being a millennial in a relationship has an impact on how I love.

Neffi: Definitely not how you love, but my issue with it is this instant gratification, I need everything right now way of living. Where I’m from, we strategically work towards a goal. For instance we were talking about planning a vacation, when she wants to plan a vacation if it’s Monday she wants to plan it for Friday.

Danielle: This is my thing, if someone asks me on Wednesday do I want to go for coffee Friday I don’t know because I don’t know how I’m going to feel Friday.

Neffi: That’s because she’s an Aquarius that has nothing to do with her being a millennial.

Danielle: My moods switch so often that planning is not the best for someone like me and when I do plan I get super bad anxiety that things won’t go as planned or that I actually have to follow things through.

Neffi: I put her friends in a group chat and they’re going to help her work on romance and planning and work on things that no one else made her do before. You want to tell them about our Valentine’s Day? She took me to an Anita Baker concert for Valentine's.

Danielle: She texts me the day before Valentine’s Day the concert flyer and is like look it’s her farewell concert, which gives me the idea that she would have wanted to go should she have gotten ticket. So I got tickets.

Neffi: But had she planned Valentine’s Day two weeks before and thought about what I really wanted we wouldn’t have been at an Anita Baker concert.

How do you balance life with children and your relationship?

Danielle: I’ve never dated someone with children and I’ve never been around children so there’s a certain level of patience that I lack. But, her kid is awesome and we have a great relationship. I am definitely working on this new parent role that I’ve stepped into but we have a nanny so we have a lot of help.

Neffi: And her dad is present and her dad loves Danielle so it works.

Danielle: If I stepped into the same situation and the father wasn’t super present and we didn’t have help from the nanny and it was 24/7, I think that would have been a culture shock and not necessarily have run me off, but it would have made our connection more difficult to get to.

If you could describe love in one word what would it be and why?

Neffi: Fluidity, you have to allow it run through you and allow it to absorb you but not overpower you. It’s a constant running motion. 

Danielle:  Love is security. I trust her with my pain, the pain of my past. I trust her in cultivating the positive parts of me and not allowing me to manifest in my negative spaces. I trust her to understand me and if she doesn’t I know that she’s going to try and all of that allows me to be secure with her. Every part of me is accepted and nourished by her.

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