Charise Brown and her partner Rosa Torres started planning their wedding two weeks after their first date.
Brown never imagined that she would fall in love after a string of longterm relationships, losing twins in utero and then becoming a single mom to a newborn. When Torres came into her life, Brown said, she knew she was the missing component.
Seven months after their first date, they tied the knot.
“It’s cliché but when you know, you know,” said Brown. “Even though I was in longterm relationships before, I had never been in love before meeting her. I never knew what love was until she came along.”
Brown didn’t know that posting on Facebook about a pair of tickets she was selling for Power 99’s Powerhouse concert would lead her to Torres. Shortly after the two attended the concert — Brown with a previous partner and Torres with a friend — the two began sending messages back and forth that eventually led to a love affair.
“She was patient with me from the very beginning,” Brown recounted. “Once she found out that I was no longer with my partner, she began asking me out on dates. I shot down all of her requests; told her that I don’t date outside my race and wasn’t planning on it.”
Torres finally landed a date with Brown after the two made a bet on this year’s Super Bowl between the Philadelphia Eagles and New England Patriots. Brown proposed that Torres buy two copies of her book, “Pushing Through,” if the Patriots won; if the Eagles were victorious, the deal was a date.
And so Brown treated Torres to dinner after the Eagles made history.
“We started dating and I fell for her quickly,” Brown said. “It was a lot of firsts for me with this relationship: my first time interracially dating, dating someone with children and falling in love. She was patient with me and always finding ways to make me smile and not be down. She was that listening ear that I needed her to be, but I knew she was it for me.”
Despite concerns from family and friends about the expedited wedding, Brown said there was no need to wait: She had found her true partner in life. The couple exchanged vows Aug. 18 and mutually changed their last names to Brown-Torres. Between them are five children, ages 1 to 25.
And with a relationship full of firsts, Brown said, she knows this will be her last.
“God placed Rosa in my life when I needed her the most. She’s been there for me through every obstacle and she’s shown me a version of love that I never knew before.”