She said Yes!!! Since Day 1 I knew you were the one. No Greater feeling… #TrueLove @Ciara

A video posted by Russell Wilson (@dangerusswilson) on

Here at Clutch, we haven’t exactly been shy about the fact that, like many women, we’ve been rooting for Ciara and Russell Wilson since day one. And even though every choice this pair has made has been scrutinized, from how soon Russell seemed to step in as a father figure in baby Future’s life to the couple’s decision to remain celibate, their love has not only withstood constant criticism from the public but the heavy weight of relationship baggage. Most of us can’t relate to having the entire world concerned with who we cuddle up with at night, but we all know what it’s like to come to the table with a little — or a lot — of baggage, and Ciara and Russell remind us not all baggage is bad and their can be second chances in love.

Two days ago, Ciara posted an adorable picture of her beach proposal from Russell while the two were vacationing in the Seychelles.

I Feel Complete. ❤️

A photo posted by Ciara (@ciara) on

It was a picturesque moment many women hope for and some assume they’ll never have just because they’ve made a few missteps in their past. While naysayers have criticized the public interest in this pair, saying the only reason Black women are so tangentially invested in this relationship is because it gives hope to “baby mamas,” I say if that is indeed the case, what’s wrong with that? While I don’t think it’s healthy to aspire to bring a baby into the world under unstable circumstances, like a broken relationship for instance, I also don’t believe in shunning women and making them feel like their single motherhood is a scarlet letter that makes them forever undesirable as a partner. Further, dating as a single mother can be a very heavy burden to bear; not only do you have to worry about your chemistry with this person, you also have to make sure they’re a match for your child. It’s a wonderful thing to see that, particularly in the case of Ciara and Russell, she seems to have found a man who not only adores her son but is willing to be an even better male influence than Future’s own father. That’s something to celebrate and there’s nothing wrong with holding out hope that you can also find a man who will accept you and your child and the messiness of a sticky paternity battle.

But Ciara isn’t the only half of this duo coming into this marriage with some “stuff.” In the midst of baby-mama shaming and questioning her parenting, people seem to forget Russell Wilson is a divorcé. From January 2012 to April 2014 was married to Ashton Meem. In other words, his slate isn’t exactly clean either — and that’s okay. Like single parents, divorced individuals also have to bear the stigma of a failed relationship and, for many, once they’ve been down that road and things took a left turn, they don’t want to go back down it. It’s a beautiful thing to see Russell heal from the dissolution of his first marriage and be able to keep his heart open to the possibility of new love, which he has seemingly found with Ciara. There can be hope for new and even better love after divorce, especially if you take the time to ask yourself what you can learn from your failed marriage. It appears Russell asked those questions and possibly figured out how to be a better partner the second time around, while also learning how to adapt to the needs of a woman and her child.

Aside from their bank accounts, Russell and Ciara aren’t all that different from many of us hoping for a second chance at love and fighting the urge to throw in the towel because the past has left a sour taste in our mouths or someone incorrectly told us we’re now damaged goods because of those circumstances. I say let those experiences fuel your knowledge of how to be a better partner and discern No one comes into a relationship without scars, some are just a little easier to hide.

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