Black Immigrant Daily News
Nicola and Darren Riley have defied the odds by taking their high school romance to the next level.
The 26 year olds whose relationship blossomed while being enrolled at The Lodge School, recently celebrated their third wedding anniversary while welcoming their second child into the world.
…a lot of young people, ladies especially, find it hard to give a man anything and they think a man is always to give them everything and that’s the problem there.
“We met while at school, The Lodge School. He came there for sixth form.”
“We were together five years before we were married and we celebrated our third anniversary on January 4, 2023,” an elated Nicola told Loop Lifestyle.
Remembering the events that led up to her wedding day, she revealed that the two stepped away from tradition by “coming to an agreement” instead of the common marriage proposal.
“We came to an agreement that we wanted to get married. It was a discussion and then we set a date. We stepped away from tradition.”
She also revealed that January 4 was significant to the couple not only because it was their wedding anniversary, but her husband’s birthday as well.
“I always wanted to get married in December but he said we can do something different because my parents and my brother both got married in December. Luckily, his birthday fell on the Saturday of the following month.”
“I thought it would’ve been the perfect birthday gift!”
Darren Riley, Nicola Riley and their two children Nylah Riley and Nasir Riley.
Nicola, however, wants young couples to know that marriage isn’t always 50/50.
“Everyone’s experience isn’t the same and you should never live life comparing it to others. A marriage takes two persons to make it work. It doesn’t always mean meeting that person half way. On days where one could only give 40 per cent of themselves it’s okay for the next person to give 60 per cent, at the end of the day it still equals to 100 per cent.
“I find that a lot of young people, ladies especially, find it hard to give a man anything and they think a man is always to give them everything and that’s the problem there.”
“But really it’s like the seasons, you have summer where everything is all fine and dandy but within that period of warmth, you can have storms. But storms don’t last forever, they too will pass. It may leave some damages but you work together to repair those damages,” she further explained.
With their two-year-old son Nasir Riley and four-month daughter Nylah Riley in mind, Nicola stressed it is important for parents to set an example for their children.
“We try to live our lives so that our children can have good role models as they grow. We try to teach our children from young right from wrong. We allow them to be independent, being able to express themselves through speech and play. Everything we do is so they can have a better life than we had. Not saying our lives were bad you know, but we want to afford them opportunities that we didn’t have growing up. Somedays it can feel like everything is falling apart and you don’t know what you are doing but everyday is another lesson but through it all we figure it out.”
She added: “We also have family that supports us and we can call on in our times of need.”