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By: Rebecca S. Jones

HOUSTON – Maya Angelou once said, “Love recognizes no barriers. It jumps hurdles, leaps fences, penetrates walls to arrive at its destination full of hope.” The epitome of this thought manifested itself in the lives of Mickey and Chinitha Allen in what we have labeled as the, “Black Love Konnection”. Love in this story traveled through Dallas, San Diego, CA and Chicago, IL to find its hopeful destination in Houston.

            Mickey Allen grew up in between Dallas and San Diego, CA, where his mother Jessie Herbert and younger brother and sister lives. However, majority of his upbringing was performed by his grandparents, the late M.T. Williams and L.T. “Madea” Williams in Dallas. Chinitha is a native of Chicago, IL. During her youth, she excelled academically and was always in the top of her graduating class. After graduating high school, she attended Chicago State University. At an early age, she experienced the loss of her father, Lincus Harris, III due to throat cancer. Once her mother, Cynthia Sawyer passed away from breast cancer in 2010, she decided to relocate to Houston for a fresh start.

The Black Love Konnection: There’s a meeting in my Chat Room…

Through the eyes of Mickey Allen

“When we met online it was like two people passing each other. I saw her picture and over a period of time we started talking and it formed into a relationship. It took a couple of years before we actually got the chance to see one another. By me living in Dallas and her in Houston, through the grace of God we were able to finally see each other. The next thing you know, everything else is history.”

Through the eyes of Chinitha Allen

“We met online five years ago in a mutual group on Facebook and became friends and started interacting one-on-one and eventually left the group that we were in. We chatted online for two years before we met face to face on October 9, 2015. I drove to Dallas and we went to the State Fair and that’s how it all started. Afterwards, we started dating and he would visit every other weekend. I drove there on a couple of occasions, until he decided that he didn’t want me on the road anymore. So that’s how we built our relationship until he decided that he wanted to relocate once his lease was up.”

In July of 2016, Mickey made Houston his home and the couple began planning their marriage. It was during this time that they realized, “it was the two of them against the world.” Some of Chinitha’s family members felt as though things were moving fast, notwithstanding the fact that she had been building a relationship with Mickey over years. I think it’s careful to denote here that, there was a time when there was a stigma attached to online dating. In 2005, when online dating habits were first studied by the Pew Research Center it gathered that, most Americans had little exposure to online dating” and “tended to view it as a subpar way of meeting people.” This view was primarily exemplified in the objections of some of Chinitha’s relatives in regards to certain aspects of their relationship. Nonetheless findings a decade later showed that, “online dating has grown progressively more positive.”

According to Pew, studies have shown a dramatic increase in various age groups of people active on at least one dating app. It also found that at least one-in-ten Americans are now using one online dating platform’s. Some may argue that it is a very low percentage however, considering most dating sites didn’t exist a couple of decades ago, the numbers are substantial. Furthermore, research reflected that Mickey and Chinitha are not alone in their quests for love. Pew indicated that the share of 45- to 54-year-olds, which used online dating, rose from 8% in 2013 to 13% in 2015. Needless to state, Chinitha and Mickey were in that number as they became friends online in 2013 and officially met in 2015. Ultimately Mickey and Chinitha decided to marry at the Justice of the Peace with her Aunt Bonnie Stewart and her god-daughter there as witnesses.

Marriage: A Work in Progress

On December 27, 2016, when the Allen’s decided to unite in holy matrimony neither Mickey (49), nor Chinitha (45) had been married before. While Chinitha had previously been engaged she maintains that, she is glad that it didn’t work out when she was younger, because she knows that it would have ended up in divorce. “At this age, I am in it to win it and I don’t care what type of difficulties we face, we are going to keep it moving,” she said.

Still newlyweds, the Allen’s agree that they are taking it one day at a time. They both feel that communicating online, texting and talking to one another privileged the two of them to get know each other a lot better than traditional meetings, because their attraction was not just based on the physical appearance alone. Chinitha stressed that the, “anticipation made it more exciting and when we saw each other it was like we had known one another forever and we were comfortable around each other.”

Chinitha is an only child, but comes from a large family and has always been the outgoing type. Mickey has a laid-back personality and the pair is still learning to coexist. Mickey said, “It’s different when you live in different states and cities and then come together with someone; you have to learn how to compromise and get on one accord – it’s a work in progress.” “We have had our ups and downs for a minute, but when things are meant to be, they happen,” he concluded.

Tie that Binds:

Though Mickey and Chinitha are from varying backgrounds with different interests, they have chosen to combine their passions and share their world with one another. Mickey is a “homebody” who enjoys watching movies, and is a “diehard Dallas Cowboy fan”. Chinitha never really paid much attention to football, but has been learning much of the sport from her husband. She revealed that she has slowed down a lot, from her partying days and instead prefers quiet evenings alone enjoying Netflix with her husband.

When asked about the tie that binds for them, in unison they replied, “Eating”. Chinitha said, “He loves to cook and I love to eat… He spoils and caters to me in that area and that’s what really made me fall in love with him quickly.” She continued, “I didn’t do a lot of cooking growing up, although I know how to – but to find a man that loves to cook just put the icing on everything for me.” In reflecting back on their first momentous occasion she shared, “When I went to Dallas he waited on me hand and feet and was a true gentleman, from the very beginning he pampered me and hasn’t stopped doing that.”

Today the Allen’s fulfill their religious commitments at New Faith Church and are in the process of purchasing their first home together. Together they have two sons, Corey Sawyer and Cedric Turner.