Debo is a 26 year old Londoner who works in banking and has her own YouTube channel where she chats about lots of struggles women face today and shares some lessons God has taught her along her journey.
She recently got engaged to Alidor, a.k.a A-Star, and is here to give us an honest insight into what being in a relationship is really like!
Debo, thank you for chatting to us about your relationship! First of all I know we all want to know how you and your fiancé first met?
It was in 2015, after a gospel concert. Lots of people who had been to the concert went to Nando’s after and I went with my friend. He was sat behind me and my friend pointed out that “the rapper Astar is behind us” but I didn’t think anything of it and I didn’t really know who he was.
But actually he noticed me and thanks to a bit of stalking on social media he realised that he actually worked at the same place as my sister. He saw her at work in a prayer meeting and took his chance to find out more about me. We started speaking a little but it wasn’t until 2016 that it really became anything.
That’s so cool how God got you both in the same place at the perfect time! What was it that made you sure he was the right person for you?
I started praying for my husband since 2014 which was when God laid it upon my heart to do so, I wrote down in my journal that I would meet my husband that year, but when I looked I realised I had actually written the date as 2016. And as I was crossing it out, I felt God say no, 2016. So from that point I knew that 2016 was going to be a significant year, but I was annoyed that it seemed so far off.
But God continued to tell me to pray for my future husband, and things concerning him, so I did. Then in 2016 for valentine’s day I posted a video on my youtube channel about singleness and I asked God for a very specific sign, which was for the person that I was going to marry me to message me saying that they had been encouraged by that exact video.
This was an unusual request, but I asked it because my following on youtube is mainly young girls and women so it would have been very unlikely a for guy to reach out to me concerning it. But I wanted a sign that specific so that I would know it was definitely the person God wanted me to be with.
About a day after I put out the video Ali directly messaged me about how encouraged he was by it.
Then, not long after that we had our first date. As I was getting ready I started to put makeup on and I felt God tell me not to wear any. I was like are you serious?! You want me to go on my first date with no make up? But actually afterwards, Ali messaged me and he commented on the fact that I hadn’t worn any and that he thought I was beautiful. He respected the fact that I know my worth and that my identity does not lie in makeup.
Oh wow! So before you and Alidor met, did you already have a certain criteria of what you were looking for in a man?
Yes. Ghanaian. Tall, dark-skinned, built, and with a beard! LOL! Very specific, and I was so convinced that I would actually marry someone like that.
Of course I wanted him to be a Christian, but I thought that was for God to sort out his salvation and I could pick the physical side of things. I was quite focused on what I wanted outwardly but Alidor isn’t anything like that and I love him just the way he is.
God totally exceeded my expectations and now I’m actually glad that God didn’t give me what I thought I wanted.
Lol that was very specific! It’s good that you were open to the better plan God had for you. Before you both decided to start officially dating were there any key things that you needed to know about each other?
Definitely. Things like, where do you see yourself in life? Where do you see yourself in terms of God’s plan for you? Just because someone is a Christian that doesn’t mean they won’t have totally different views to you.
It was important to us to morally agree on biblical standards so that we could walk in agreement together. The bible even tells us the importance of this:
Can two people walk together without agreeing on the direction? Amos 3:3
Knowing that you both have a desire for marriage is so important too, we knew that we had the same goals for our relationship and that we would both want children in the future. If we weren’t on the same page with these sorts of things then our relationship could face real difficulties in the future.
That is so true and such good advice! The start of a relationship can often be a time of learning a lot about yourself, as well as the other person. Is being in a relationship exactly what you dreamt it would be?
No. It’s totally not what I imagined. I actually feel like so many people are deceived by social media about what a relationship is actually like.
The biggest shock for me was how God used my relationship with Ali to show me that He (God) is the only one who can truly satisfy my heart. I expected Ali to make me feel good and I was really frustrated when I didn’t feel completely fulfilled by him. But he is just a man and so there are always going to be parts of me that only God can ever fill.
I also learnt how selfish and wicked my heart really is. You have to learn to forgive and show each other grace, even when you don’t want to. Relationships aren’t Instagram pictures, they are hard work and effort. Sometimes I would get annoyed when people would comment “#goals” on our pictures because they don’t understand the other side – the battle of overcoming issues in a relationship.
People want the picture of the relationship without the hard work that goes into it. I had to learn to forgive Ali for things, but equally I had to humble myself and acknowledge that I needed forgiveness too. Relationships are about what two people can give together, not what someone can take. It’s learning that I am third. First comes God, then comes Alidor, then comes me.
That’s obviously been an amazing period of growth for you both. As a couple, how do you make sure you keep Jesus at the centre of your relationship?
We both understand that we are so flawed, without Jesus it wouldn’t work. He has to be at the centre of our relationship for the sake of ourselves. Sometimes it can be hard and so we have decided to be intentional about certain things, so we pray together daily and we speak about Him in our lives. I think that when Jesus is part of your lives you just naturally speak about him, the same way you would even with a friend.
Yeah definitely, it’s important for us to know before entering a relationship that a man does not replace God in any way and he’s still the most important thing in our lives. Having said that, lots of women really struggle with singleness and want to meet “BAE” immediately. But is there anything that you miss about being single?
My time with God. It’s only inevitable that once you are in a relationship your time with God isn’t the same and you just naturally don’t have as much time to yourself. Like when I was single me and God were so close. I spoke to him all the time. And my love for God hasn’t changed, it isn’t that we aren’t as close, but my attention is divided and I have to intentionally make time to spend with both Ali and God.
It isn’t a wicked thing to be divided but it is something that you have to accept and learn to manage. Your routine suddenly changes and you have to accommodate someone else. Like tomorrow, I am going to go on a date with God and read and pray and just be with God, because Ali is only human and I have things that I need God to help me with, even with things like being a good wife and showing me how to love Ali.
Since being in a serious relationship, has your view on what love actually is, changed?
Definitely. Love means so many things. Before when I thought of love, I was thinking of romantic things. Now that doesn’t mean love at all. Love is forgiveneess, grace, service. What the bible says is actually so true:
“Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance.” 1 Corinthians 13 : 4-7
Even during times when you don’t like each other you still have to choose to love each other. It’s a choice that you make daily. Romance is just a benefit of being in a loving relationship, but it is not actually love. To even be able to love someone you have to be humble, because you’re saying that I will love you even when you offend me. I have offended Ali so many times, but he still chooses to love who I am.
That’s a great perspective to have on love! Lastly, how did he pop the question?!
Well… he actually was planning it for a little while before it happened. He went to Dubai and bought the ring there, and when he came back he gave me a keyring as my present which I was really offended at. Like how can you go all the way to Dubai and only bring me back a keyring?!
So then a little while later he said he had planned a date night for us on a weekend. And on that morning a lady knocks on my door and says she has come to give me a massage, which was such a nice surprise and then Ali said he was going to take me to lunch at this Italian cafe I love near my house.
After that he went home to get ready for our date night and when I got back to mine, three dresses were lying out on my bed with a note saying that I should pick one to wear tonight. And because he is naturally a spontaneous and romantic person I had no idea he was going to propose. I thought he was just seriously making up for the keyring fiasco!
Later he picked me up in a car and we ended up at the sky garden where we walked around and he was telling me how much he loved me and that he wanted to ask me a question and then suddenly he was down on one knee and asked me to marry him!
At first I was like “are you joking?” I was so shocked. Then obviously I said yes and my sisters jumped out of the bushes! And then so did a photographer and we had photos taken.
It was a really surreal moment. My sisters then left to go to a friends party and it was just us again. I thought that we were going to go for dinner after, but actually he took me somewhere else and I was walking inside I could hear a saxophone playing my favourite song and all my family and close friends were there.
Everyone was in on the surprise. I cried so much it was amazing!!
Well that sure made up for the keyring!
Thank you so much for chatting to us and sharing some insight into your relationship. We wish you and Alidor all the best in your marriage!