Renatia-Parys Aghaji – Never stop believing that there’s someone out there for you!


When I met John I felt I’d never meet anyone, that my time had passed and no one would want to be with me. When I met John that day, I saw him on webcam and thought he was good-looking but I didn’t think about having a relationship. I was intrigued because he was in China, so I started talking to him. We started talking because I’d been thinking of opening a business so he started giving me advice when I went to say goodbye he said: “God bless you, I’ll pray for you” I couldn’t believe it because he was a Christian like me and we talked more and I realised he wasn’t just saying it, he did charity work as well like I’ve done and just generally was a very nice person.

“Well you’re single and lonely and I’m single and lonely, how about we be single and lonely together? Do you think you could marry me?”

Then he told me he was sad because he was going to be 32 in three days and had no one to share his life with and I said I understood because I felt the same, so he said: “Well you’re single and lonely and I’m single and lonely, how about we be single and lonely together? Do you think you could marry me?” Even though I thought yes, I said: “No! Don’t be silly, I don’t even know you!” The weeks went by and John proved himself to be kind, trustworthy and everything I wanted so in January 2009 I agreed to date him and we set our wedding date for 24th October in March of that year.

We knew it would be tough because John had to get a visa and he’d been refused by the UK twice so we took a chance. We got him a 24 hour visa because he had to go through Germany to get back to Nigeria from China. I remember the day he got the flight and I was sick with worry for him because he had to meet someone who would take him to an asylum centre and it was the first time ever we didn’t speak in over 24 hours since we’d started dating but it worked out fine. He was posted to Dortmund so we married there in a church and even though the wedding wasn’t legal it still meant something to us and we were so happy.

Those days were tough but now we look back on them and smile. Even at the time I said to John “Let’s enjoy it all because it’s our story and one day we’ll tell our children and none of it will seem so bad.” John has done so well, he now speaks German (as well as Chinese, English and his own language Igbo), he’s started his own business importing and exporting and he was given his stay in August 2012, I remember how I cried that day and then the next year after a lot of fighting John was given a UK visitor’s visa. I was with him in Germany that day and we celebrated with champagne. It had taken us over a year and for him over five years to get that visa and he came to England for the first time that Christmas and spent it with my family, which was very special.

I met my husband online 21 October 2008 18:21 – I still have the transcript!

When I told John I was scared and he said to me: “I have never hurt you and I can never do it.” He never said he will never hurt me he told me he could never do it, like he didn’t have the ability even if he wanted to. Something about that made me feel very reassured, he’d done many things to show me I could trust him but something about what he said just told me I was safe with him.


Renatia and John on their wedding day


Throughout the twists and turns that we’ve faced during our time together we’ve had to be brave in many things. When we fought the Home Office for over a year so John could get a UK visit Visa, when we stood our ground against racism, such as the times we have been told that “people like us are not entitled to these things” or when we applied for our first flat and John’s caseworker told us only Germans were allowed to live there. And when the registrar did everything he could to delay our legal marriage for sixteen months. Yet we have fought these things and won

When you love someone there are no excuses, as you will move the world to make things possible.

When you love someone there no excuses
Love is the energy to bear all things with joy. The love John had for me was so great that he jumped on a plane to go to a country where he couldn’t speak the language or knew anyone but he didn’t care, the love made it worth it. I always say: “It’s not that it’s too far, it’s not too near, it’s not too heavy or too light, it’s not that it’s too difficult or easy, it’s not that you’re too tired or too poor, it’s that you don’t love enough. When you love someone there are no excuses, as you will move the world to make things possible.

You are the answer to someone’s prayers!
The things you take for granted and think of as nothing are the things that someone else is hoping, wishing and praying for in their ideal match. I couldn’t believe it when John told me he had prayed for someone just like me! It’s not about outer beauty. I accept that some people have more pleasing features than others but always remember someone may come for your outer beauty but they’ll stay for your inner beauty. If being beautiful was all it was about Hollywood would have the most lasting marriages in the world but it doesn’t, besides, beauty means different things to different people!

Be the spouse you want!
Like attracts like, we draw to ourselves people who are most like us and also it works practically too. If you want to meet a person that is very keen on fitness and looking after themselves, the chances are you’ll meet them in a gym or at a sporting event. If you start looking after yourself and getting fit you’ll be in an environment where you’re more likely to meet the type of person that you like but also if you are a patient person, you’re more likely to meet people who are patient as well and so on.

A man in love is on fire!
A man in love does crazy things to be with you, if he’s not calling or he’s not making the effort to get you, it’s not because he’s shy, he’s just not that into you! Relax, let him go and have the confidence to believe the next one will be the right one. Don’t waste time holding onto something that’s just not going to get better, you’ll always be able to meet someone else but you will never get that time back.

Never stop believing that there’s someone out there for you –never!