When Whakarongotai and Damien Nikora’s marriage ended a few months ago, they decided to help each other get back into the dating game.
The couple, who have two children, Nazareth, 20, and Opal, 18, met in Hamilton when they were young Mormons.
When their marriage ended after 21 years, there was no animosity, no fighting, only love and respect for each other. Though they’ve gone their separate ways, they both still describe each other as best friends.
So they decided to publicly announce their split by helping each other find love again, taking to social media to sing each other’s praises in long love letters about each other called “Why you should date my ex”.
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Damien, who is a professional photographer, said it had been an amazing marriage with a wonderful woman he had a lot of love and respect for.
“If you get the chance to date her, Lucky Man,” he said in his Facebook post.
“Saying she’s is kind is an understatement to the fullest. She expects nothing in return she keeps things simple no complications of any type. In the time we have been apart she has blossomed into an amazing open minded, thoughtful women [sic] with a broaden perspective on what the power of positivity self belief and courage has to offer her and those around her.”
Damien said Whakarongotai was in “self discovery mode”.
“I admire the way she is putting herself out there and being courageous and vulnerable all at the same time. A super special time for any man to step in and encourage her growth,” he said.
Whakarongotai, who is a naturopath, said on on her Facebook page the post was their way of going public about their separation.
She believed Damien would be “snapped up in a heartbeat”.
“If he was a stranger on Tinder, I’d super swipe up,” she said.
Damien was generous with his time, talents and positive vibes, was a creator who appreciated beauty, and had a “crazy cool” sense of humour, she said.
“Now…no one is perfect, we all have our strengths and weaknesses, I’m talking truth about his pros and if you want to experience the whole package I’ll let you discover the rest.”
Whakarongotai goes on to say they were “young, naive Mormons” who both got lucky when they married.
“I love that our marriage has come to completion in such a beautiful way (of course theres been heartache along the way) but I love that we are celebrating each other and I love that we will always be friends.
“I love that my experience of being his wife has left me a better person … with very high standards for the next person I choose to hold my heart.”