What is love? Liz and Tarik
“It was very celestial, I think if we didn’t bump into each other that day, that we would have ended up meeting again. I felt like I was being led to her and there was peacefulness about it. It’s as though we were being drawn together by forces bigger than ourselves.”
Liz and Tarik live together near Chapel Hill in North Carolina with their eleven-year-old daughter; they have been together for twenty years and married for nineteen. Tarik grew up on Long Island before moving to New York City to pursue his career in music. Liz grew up in Greensboro, North Carolina and moved to New York City after college. It was there, whilst working in a restaurant at the bottom of the Empire State Building that their fated journey began.
I couldn’t wait to speak to Liz and Tarik about what makes a successful relationship and see what love means to them.
Tarik described that their relationship was full of “Serendipity moments” and it began by them sharing the same place of work. After a few months of dating they decided to part ways, Tarik explained: “a lot of people say that it isn’t the right time and that it is just an excuse, but for us, it really wasn’t the right time.” They decided to stay friends at work but eventually moved on to new jobs and lost touch.
Three years later, as Tarik was walking into a music studio in the city to go to a rehearsal, out walked Liz, she was leaving a rehearsal. Fate had crossed their paths again and this time Tarik wasn’t going to let her go, he said, “We sat talking and I was excited, I still remembered her phone number, we stayed in touch and a few months later went on our first date on 19th February 1999.” Liz went to see Tarik perform at a gig, he saw her walk in with her long coat and thought “wow, she is here to see me!” Liz recalled, “I was happy to be back in touch again.”
Six months later they became engaged. Tarik explained, “one day I was sitting in bed half asleep in my apartment and I thought I could just buy her a ring if I want and I did want to, so I went to buy one.” Tarik continued, “It was very celestial, I think if we didn’t bump into each other that day, that we would have ended up meeting again. I felt like I was being led to her and there was peacefulness about it. It’s as though we were being drawn together by forces bigger than ourselves.”
Tarik planned on proposing at his grandfather’s birthday party in July 1999, around all his family and friends. After collecting the ring he met Liz after work and they walked a few blocks around the city, he had the ring in his pocket, he couldn’t wait. Somewhere around 66th and 8th Avenue he got down on his knee and asked her to marry him!
Liz explained, “Being with Tarik is like being home, so often we call each other at the same time and there are times when we walk into each other as we turn corners. We took a trip up to Cold Spring, New York when we were dating, on that trip I caught myself laughing and I found that I felt completely myself, more myself with him that on my own.”
They were married the following year in a small church in the town where her grandmother lived and her father was raised.
Emmaleen: Can you tell us a loving story from your relationship?
Tarik: “Before we were married we played that board game, Newlyweds with a group of our friends. The idea of the game being that you have to answer questions about each other to see how well you know each other, the host asked Liz, ‘What is Tarik’s favourite thing to eat and when?’ she answered, ‘pizza whilst watching Monday night football,’ it was correct; we got all eight questions right!”
What is the key to a happy relationship?
Liz: “There isn’t one key, but many, it’s important to keep your bond together. I feel so lucky, I have a kind, honest, sweet caring person, I don’t know if it’s luck or if it’s because we both have the same desires and outlook for our relationship. As we age together it changes, but it changes for the better. There needs to be trust and respect for each other, living out how we were raised, to treat people how we would want to be treated. It can be so easy to take the one you love for granted, step back and make sure you don’t.”
Tarik: “Communication, talking and sharing thoughts. Connection, doing things that keep you connected.”
What is Love?
Liz: “Unity and being unified”
Tarik: “For me it is a connection. When Liz and I feel a deep connection, we are so unified; we have the same thoughts at the same time. Love stems from the power of connection together. Obviously, there is the physical way to connect, but it’s not just that, there is morning cuddles, holding hands, going for dinner and listening to each other. Where connection is strong, there is love.”
So, what is their advice to anyone looking for love?
Tarik: “My first thought digs deep. If you look at yourself and say the connection is easy, effortless and peaceful, where it feels like home, it is where you should go. You hear a lot of people being just friends and that there is nothing more to it, but do not ignore that, you are friends for a reason. It’s a sign that there is more there.”
Liz: “If you are looking for love to fill you, it isn’t a healthy place to start and you should work on the person in the mirror. Take care of yourself; if you are looking for someone to fix you, it’s not usually successful. Sharing your life with your best friend is the goal.”
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