Ryan Jackson and Ryan Gardner (Anthony Tilghman/The Washington Informer)

Falling In Love Without Boundaries

They say the higher the walls built around your heart, the harder you fall when someone tears them down, and that is the very crux of what brought Ryan Gardner’s world, and devotion in sync with her loving fiance’, Ryan Jackson.

Adoringly known as, “The Ryans,” the couple crossed paths in 2013, and now almost ten years later, are engaged, and raising two young sons together in Prince George’s County, Maryland.

“To be honest, we [didn’t think] it was even going to go this far. We were friends. [We eventually] went out of town together, and then it was a wrap from there. We didn’t go into this thing thinking, “Oh yeah, she is about to be the love of my life,” or anything. It just happened, and here we are.”  said Ryan Gardner.

The millennial generation’s knack for virtual connection was the link that bridged the two lovebirds together. They knew of each other locally, for women the name Ryan is not a common occurrence, which made it fairly easy for them to find each other’s twitter accounts by way of mutual friends.

The social media platform created an opportunity for a pure friendship to develop, but it was a personal trip to Ocean City, Maryland, that kept them anchored to each other. That trip bonded the two beyond a friendship, and they returned home spending almost every day together thereafter.

“She says she fell in love with me first. We kind of knew around the same time, maybe three months in, that we were going to be together,” said Ryan Gardner.  “As far as kids, I already had a child from a previous relationship [who] was four [years old child at the time].  Once we started going, [it became where] he [my son] was all she [knew] as well.”

Ryan Jackson recalls the mystical period when she realized her partner was romantically the match for her.  Roughly a month into their courtship the two became inseparable and were constantly communicating over the phone for the few moments they had to physically part.

“You were a vibe, babe,” said Ryan Jackson as she looked over at her partner.

It was Ryan Jackson’s genuine support that uplifted that vibe for Ryan Gardner, as motherhood made it difficult to maintain a safe emotional space for Ryan Gardner, as she was just 19, and a single parent when she had her first child.

However, having her second child in a nurturing, and safe relationship, has afforded a more nourishing, and softer experience for herself, and her children.  Ryan gleams while explaining that the support, and affection of her partner has changed her for the better towards people, not just her children.

“I started breaking my walls a little bit. [I thought] maybe this is the one, and if I have more kids, it would be with her.  It was still too soon to know,” said Ryan.  “The fact that she was able to break me down, because a lot of people get intimidated [by me], I [felt she] was my one.”

Ryan Jackson, who did not previously have children, has equally learned so much about parenthood, and truly loves the journey she is on with her new family.

“As long as you remember that a relationship is forever evolving,” says Ryan Jackson. “You have to adapt to the new person that they are becoming, as well as yourself.  It is up to your partner, and yourself to get onto one page, and continue to date. If that spice is gone, it is a wrap.”

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Lindiwe Vilakazi reports health news for The Washington Informer, a multimedia news organization serving African Americans in the metro Washington, D.C., area. Lindiwe was a contributing editor at Acumen...

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