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We married in Dubai 3 years after meeting on Facebook –Nigerian couple resident in Kazakhstan

My younger brother called me when I was about to order a coffee and a bagel from Dunkin’ Donuts before my flight to the Middle East.

He’d been calling me ever since I’d bought the plane tickets. This time, he begged me to leave the airport and wait for my dad.

“He’ll get in the car right now and pick you up,” my brother said.

I’d already checked my four bags — I had to pay a $300 excess-baggage fee — and my brother was ruining my mood even more. We argued for a while and then I hung up. Nobody was going to stop me from going to Dubai, not my family, my friends, or even my pastor.

We planned our wedding during our WhatsApp conversations. It was not an arranged marriage. I’d chosen my future husband — who I’d met only on Facebook and WhatsApp — myself. It didn’t matter to us that we hadn’t seen each other in real life. He proposed in April 2021, a month after we started direct-messaging each other. We were in love.

We decided to meet in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, on November 25, 2021, because it was about halfway between the US and Kazakhstan, where Precious lived. We planned to stay in Dubai for three days, then have the wedding in Nigeria, where he grew up.

Most of the arrangements were done on WhatsApp. We chose our rings and the hotel for the honeymoon. I sent my dress measurements to his sister-in-law Chika to hand to a seamstress. I wanted my outfits to be custom-made in Nigeria.

Our story began in spring 2018. Precious randomly sent me a friend request on Facebook. He said he liked the scriptures and encouragement that I posted on my feed. We talked a bit about what it meant to be Christian, but that was it. It was never romantic. We got on with our lives and lost touch.

But three years later, he sent me a direct message out of the blue. I’d been wondering whether I’d ever find the right guy to settle down with. This time, Precious told me his feelings from the start. He said he loved me ever since the day we became Facebook friends.

We did a video chat because it was important to know he wasn’t a scam artist
He said he knew I was the right woman for him. But I don’t believe in marrying someone just because you want to get married. I wanted us to get to know each other.

He told me to download WhatsApp. We talked about our jobs — he taught English in Kazakhstan, and I’d written two books — and what we wanted from life. He was humorous and honest. He stood on his own feet. He had all the qualities I was looking for in a husband.

We did a video chat two weeks later. It was important for me to make sure he was real. There are a lot of scams out there. But he was who he said he was. He was handsome. It felt safe to speak with him. He really understood me.

Precious proposed during a video chat in April 2021. I said yes straight away. He sent me $2,000 in cash to buy a diamond engagement ring. I picked up the money from Western Union. I sent him a photo of the ring on my finger and the certificate of authenticity.

My family said Precious wanted to marry me only because he wanted a US visa
We spent the next six months making the arrangements for our wedding in Nigeria, where Precious grew up. There was a lot to organize because it was traditional in his tribe — the Igbo tribe — to get married in two ceremonies.

They couldn’t believe we were planning to get married without ever having met each other in person. They said Precious must be a scam artist.

My six brothers and sisters told me he wanted to marry me just to get a visa for the US. My pastor told me he’d watched a documentary about a woman who married someone she’d met on the internet. “It didn’t end well,” he said.

They tried their best to change my mind. But I wouldn’t listen. I hung up on my brother when I was about to get on my flight because I’d had enough.

I caught a direct flight to Qatar from Philadelphia. Then I got a connecting flight to Dubai and arrived on November 25, 2021. The plane was delayed. I was exhausted. I was pushing my luggage in a cart when I walked into the arrivals hall in Dubai. I looked around and thought, “Where is this guy?”

Then I saw him waiting for me. If I’d had any doubts, they were gone. We were attracted to each — but we’d known that all along. We hugged. But we didn’t kiss, not even on the cheek. We’d decided to wait until our wedding day.

We spent three days in Dubai, then traveled to Nigeria. Precious’ family members, who live in the south of the country, were so happy to see us. I tried on my two wedding dresses — a red dress made of silk and a traditional white gown. They fit perfectly.

We had the two ceremonies — one after the other — on December 9, 2021. Just once, in a fleeting moment, I thought, “Oh, my gosh, are you really doing this?” and, “If this is a mistake, you’ve got to live with it.” But I had faith. I knew that Precious was a decent, loving man.

Our first wedding anniversary is coming up — and my family has come around to the idea of our marriage. They’ve told me that they’re happy for us. We live in Kazakhstan where Precious still has the same job. Our beautiful daughter, Amiyah Elise, was born in September.

I haven’t really had the time to sit down and soak in what I’ve done. But I understand it enough to know that it was something that I had to do. I’ve always been a risk-taker. You have to take risks in life to get where you want to be.

Read the original article on Insider

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