I can't remember the first time that I heard this particular quote by a man named Don Schrader but, ever since I did, it has been something that I have brought up to church folks (especially the super churchy ones) whenever the topic of sex comes up. He once said, "To hear many religious people talk, one would think that God created the torso, head, legs and arms, but the devil slapped on the genitals." Whew and I'm sayin'. I get so tired of so many religious folks acting like sex is something that shouldn't be discussed when one, we are sexual beings (our sexuality is a part of our spirituality) and two, the Bible has plenty to say on the topic. And, when it comes to the Word, if there is a recurring point and theme, it's that husbands and wives should be having lots and lots of sex . Period.
As far as the Scriptural basis for marital sex, probably the automatic go-to verse is Hebrews 13:4 (NKJV). It says, " Marriage is honorable among all, and the bed undefiled; but fornicators and adulterers God will judge ." There are layers to all of this, so let's just focus on what comes before the semicolon for now; even then, one word that is in it: undefiled. It's important that undefiled is taken into context. It doesn't mean that just because two people are married that they can just do… whatever . It means that the marriage bed is pure and pure means "free from anything of a different, inferior, or contaminating kind". So y'all, if you are married, it's important to always keep in mind that, when it comes to whatever you and your partner decide to do, it needs to be something that won't contaminate (harm) your relationship. This biblical instruction is not something that any one person can decide on their own; both parties have to come to a mutual decision on what those acts are.
Yet once you did come to some common sexual ground, your sex life really should be on and poppin' on a regular and consistent basis. If you'd like a few extra Scriptures to support why I emphatically say that, I've got five for you to ponder.
Bible Verses About Intimacy In Marriage
1. “Therefore, a man shall leave his father and his mother and shall become united and cleave to his wife, and they shall become one flesh. And the man and his wife were both naked and were not embarrassed or ashamed in each other’s presence.”—Genesis 2:24-25 (AMPC)
There's a reason why I chose to go with the word "erotic" over something that might seem more subdued like, perhaps, sensual in the title of this piece. Sensual speaks of being carnal, fleshly and having a "lack moral restraints".
Quite frankly, I think that is a big problem with Bible followers and how they process the topic of sex; they see it through the eyes of being sensual rather than being erotic—"arousing or satisfying sexual desire" and "sexual love". Personally, that's why I also think a lot of people who grew up in the Church struggle with the very clear instruction that is found in Genesis 2; they feel naked and ashamed because the Church has a tendency to focus more on sexual sin than the beauty of the gift of sex for married people.
If you add that to the fact that a lot of folks struggle with their body image …it's no wonder that many husbands and wives are biblically disobedient. Disobedient how? Well, the Word clearly states that a husband and his wife, whenever they are naked in each other's presence, they are not to be embarrassed (be uncomfortably self-conscious) or ashamed (unwilling or restrained because of fear of shame, ridicule, or disapproval).
Man, imagine how much the sex lives of couples all over the world would change for the better, if spouses got this point down alone? If they realized that God never intended for a husband and wife to be naked and ashamed when it comes to how they feel in each other's presence or when it comes to the act of sex itself. Talk about gettin'—and stayin'—free.
2. “Drink waters out of your own cistern [of a pure marriage relationship], and fresh running waters out of your own well. Should your offspring be dispersed abroad as water brooks in the streets? [Confine yourself to your own wife] let your children be for you alone, and not the children of strangers with you. Let your fountain [of human life] be blessed [with the rewards of fidelity], and rejoice in the wife of your youth. Let her be as the loving hind and pleasant doe [tender, gentle, attractive]—let her bosom satisfy you at all times, and always be transported with delight in her love. Why should you, my son, be infatuated with a loose woman, embrace the bosom of an outsider, and go astray?”—Proverbs 5:15-20 (AMPC)
I've shared the story before about a pastor and his wife who once got on the pulpit to talk about how they don't participate in oral sex while also sharing that they don't really get why anyone else would want to either. It was hilarious what the first lady's mother said in response, "Well, that's you and your house ." Indeed . Not to get super deep into theology or anything, but there are some religions (and Christian denominations) that denounce oral pleasure because they believe that sex is solely for the purpose of procreation (you know, thanks to the whole "be fruitful and multiply" thing—Genesis 1:26-28). Yeah, I don't get that, since Adam and Eve were given sexual instructions in the Garden of Eden but didn't conceive kids until after they were out of it (Genesis 4). And what about couples who don't want children or, for whatever the reason, can't have any?
Besides, I'm assuming that church leadership knows what a cistern is. But, just for safe measure, it's defined as being "a reservoir, tank, or container for storing or holding water or other liquid" and "a reservoir or receptacle of some natural fluid of the body". I don't know about you, but I don't know anyone who is married to an Aquafina water bottle, so that leaves vaginas. And when it comes to the "let her bosom satisfy you" part? I also don't know any man who has gotten a woman pregnant by rubbing on her breasts and Scripture is clearly all about husbands enjoying their wife's breasts too (check out Live Science's " New Theory on Why Men Love Breasts " sometime).
Finally, if you add to all of this the fact that there are all sorts of benefits that come from fellatio and cunnilingus—you get why I write articles on here like " What?! Only 35 Percent Of Men Go Down? Say It Ain't So. ", " Are You Ready To Amp Up Your Oral Sex Game? Try This. " and " Do You Swallow? The Unexpected Health Benefits Of Sperm " without reservation, hesitation or apology.
Oral sex is a blessing. The Bible says so. Married folks, don't miss out.
3. “Behold, you are handsome, my beloved! Yes, pleasant! Also, our bed is green.”—Song of Solomon 1:16 (NKJV)
This, hands down, is one of my favorite verses in the Bible when it comes to cultivating sexual intimacy. While on the surface, it might not seem like much, take a moment to look deeper. First of all, the Bible was translated out of the Hebrew language and the Hebrew word for beloved is " yadid " (or yedid). It also means favorite and desired.
While many of us aren't—or won't be— virgins on our wedding night , something that we can definitely strive to be with our spouse is their sexual favorite. Something else that we can—and should—do is want to make them feel like we desire them. That we crave them. That we long for them. That they are able to ignite sexual urges within us that no one on this planet can.
There's more, though. Our bed is green . Green is a dope color. It's not just the color of nature (which is where Adam and Eve were created in), it also symbolizes health, harmony, safety, growth and fertility. The very first time that I read this verse, I was like, "If I ever get married, I'm getting some green bedding, fa sho." So married people, even if you only decide to go with a plant, consider also putting something green in your bedroom. It can serve as a reminder that your marriage bed is holistically healthy—emotionally, spiritually, sexually and otherwise.
4. “His left hand is under my head, and his right hand embraces me.”—Song of Solomon 2:6 (NKJV)
I don't know how many times and, on how many platforms, I have shared that, when it comes to the problems that husbands and wives bring to me, 90 percent of them are directly connected to sexual dissatisfaction on some level. Some are not having sex as much as they would like (see " Married Couples, What You May Need Is Sex. Every Day. For A Month. Straight. "). Others say that they never have time for sex (sex is not something you really have time for; you make time for it—see " 10 Simple Ways Married Couples Can Make More Time For Sex "). Others don't realize that things like boredom, not emotionally connecting throughout the day, and a lack of "landscaping" are doing all sorts of damage to their sexual relationship (see " 7 Things Married Couples Do To Damage Their Sex Lives & Don't Even Know It "). The reasons are endless. Yet, the one thing that all of the explanations have in common is, when a husband and wife are physically able to have sex and aren't, it's not healthy for a relationship. Not only that but, more times than not, the "unhealthiness" is going to manifest in other areas of the marriage too.
That's why I think that this verse of the Bible is important. It's mostly due to the word "embrace".
Embracing your spouse is not just about giving them a hug. It's also about receiving them gladly and eagerly, accepting them willingly and making yourself available to them. This one simple sentence speaks volumes to the fact that when you're married, it's important to make your spouse a top priority and to want them to feel desired in a physical and sexual way.
It's also a reminder that if this doesn't resonate with you, it's a good idea to do some deep soul searching as to why…because embracing your partner should be a given, not a special occasion occurrence in a marital union.
5. “The husband should give to his wife her conjugal rights (goodwill, kindness, and what is due her as his wife), and likewise the wife to her husband...Do not refuse and deprive and defraud each other [of your due marital rights], except perhaps by mutual consent for a time, so that you may devote yourselves unhindered to prayer. But afterwards resume marital relations, lest Satan tempt you [to sin] through your lack of restraint of sexual desire.”—I Corinthians 7:3&5 (AMPC)
There are a lot of great things about this particular Scripture. The very first sentence is a reminder that God expects married people to have sex; that it is a marital responsibility , of both a husband and a wife. From there, peep how the Bible states that not having sex (except for mutual reasons) is an act of deprivation and even defrauding your partner. To deprive is "to remove or withhold something from the enjoyment" and to defraud is "to cheat". According to the Word itself, consciously going without sex is a form of withholding enjoyment and cheating your partner out of something that they are supposed to get out of their marital relationship. Not only that but, when someone decides to do that, the Bible says that it gives Satan (dark forces), the ability to tempt you and/or your partner. Tempt means "to entice or allure to do something often regarded as unwise, wrong, or immoral".
I can't tell you how many times someone (usually it's a wife) has told me that they are ready to end their marriage either because their spouse had an emotional or physical affair. When I ask how long it's been since they've had sex and I get something like, "It's not a priority to me" or "I haven't been in the mood", and that's been the case for months on end, and then I refer the person to these verses in the Word, it's kind of crazy how they immediately get triggered. Again, sex is not just a want in a marriage; it's a need . It's a staple. As the Message Version of I Corinthians 6:16 states, " There's more to sex than mere skin on skin. Sex is as much spiritual mystery as physical fact. As written in Scripture, 'The two become one .'"
Sex is an act that spiritually makes two people one and, remember that in Genesis 2, the Bible says that a husband and wife are to embark upon the lifelong journey of "becoming one". So yes, every time that a married couple has sex, "oneness" transpires. Oneness means "a strong feeling of closeness or affinity; union" and "unity of thought, feeling, belief, aim, etc.; agreement; concord" and "sameness". No wonder, even God's Word not only recommends but instructs that married couples get it in as often as possible!
It's not just about physical pleasure (although that is indeed a part of it). It's also about doing what reminds them that they are to have a strong feeling of closeness to each other, that they are to get into a state of unity and agreement, that they are to get onto the same page, as much as possible. And sex? It's an act that helps to make all of this possible.
These are just five verses. Trust me, if there was more time and space, I could go on (and on and on and on). But I'm hoping that if you are a married Bible follower that you take these verses extremely seriously. And, if you're not, that maybe you'll see the Bible, as it relates to sex between a husband and wife, in a different light. As the Message Version of Hebrews 13:4 says, " Honor marriage, and guard the sacredness of sexual intimacy between wife and husband ." Marital intimacy is beyond dope. Make sure that you do.
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Different puzzle pieces are creating bigger pictures these days. 2024 will mark a milestone on a few different levels, including the release of my third book next June (yay!).
I am also a Professional Certified Coach. My main mission for attaining that particular goal is to use my formal credentials to help people navigate through the sometimes tumultuous waters, both on and offline, when it comes to information about marriage, sex and relationships that is oftentimes misinformation (because "coach" is a word that gets thrown around a lot, oftentimes quite poorly).
I am also still super devoted to helping to bring life into this world as a doula, marriage life coaching will always be my first love (next to writing, of course), a platform that advocates for good Black men is currently in the works and my keystrokes continue to be devoted to HEALTHY over HAPPY in the areas of holistic intimacy, spiritual evolution, purpose manifestation and self-love...because maturity teaches that it's impossible to be happy all of the time when it comes to reaching goals yet healthy is a choice that can be made on a daily basis (amen?).
If you have any PERSONAL QUESTIONS (please do not contact me with any story pitches; that is an *editorial* need), feel free to reach out at firstname.lastname@example.org. A sistah will certainly do what she can. ;)
Exclusive: Gabrielle Union On Radical Transparency, Being Diagnosed With Perimenopause And Embracing What’s Next
Whenever Gabrielle Union graces the movie screen, she immediately commands attention. From her unforgettable scenes in films like Bring It On and Two Can Play That Game to her most recent film, in which she stars and produces Netflix’s The Perfect Find , there’s no denying that she is that girl.
Off-screen, she uses that power for good by sharing her trials and tribulations with other women in hopes of helping those who may be going through the same things or preventing them from experiencing them altogether. Recently, the Flawless by Gabrielle Union founder partnered with Clearblue to speak at the launch of their Menopause Stage Indicator, where she also shared her experience with being perimenopausal.
In a xoNecole exclusive, the iconic actress opens up about embracing this season of her life, new projects, and overall being a “bad motherfucker.” Gabrielle reveals that she was 37 years old when she was diagnosed with perimenopause and is still going through it at 51 years old. Mayo Clinic says perimenopause “refers to the time during which your body makes the natural transition to menopause , marking the end of the reproductive years.”
“I haven't crossed over the next phase just yet, but I think part of it is when you hear any form of menopause, you automatically think of your mother or grandmother. It feels like an old-person thing, but for me, I was 37 and like not understanding what that really meant for me. And I don't think we focus so much on the word menopause without understanding that perimenopause is just the time before menopause,” she tells us.
Photo by Brian Thomas
"But you can experience a lot of the same things during that period that people talk about, that they experienced during menopause. So you could get a hot flash, you could get the weight gain, the hair loss, depression , anxiety , like all of it, mental health challenges , all of that can come, you know, at any stage of the menopausal journey and like for me, I've been in perimenopause like 13, 14 years. When you know, most doctors are like, ‘Oh, but it's usually about ten years, and I'm like, ‘Uhh, I’m still going (laughs).’”
Conversations about perimenopause, fibroids, and all the things that are associated with women’s bodies have often been considered taboo and thus not discussed publicly. However, times are changing, and thanks to the Gabrielle’s and the Tia Mowry ’s, more women are having an authentic discourse about women’s health. These open discussions lead to the creation of more safe spaces and support for one another.
“I want to be in community with folks. I don't ever want to feel like I'm on an island about anything. So, if I can help create community where we are lacking, I want to be a part of that,” she says. “So, it's like there's no harm in talking about it. You know what I mean? Like, I was a bad motherfucker before perimenopause. I’m a bad motherfucker now, and I'll be a bad motherfucker after menopause. Know what I’m saying? None of that has to change. How I’m a bad motherfucker, I welcome that part of the change. I'm just getting better and stronger and more intelligent, more wise, more patient, more compassionate, more empathetic. All of that is very, very welcomed, and none of it should be scary.”
The Being Mary Jane star hasn’t been shy about her stance on therapy . If you don’t know, here’s a hint: she’s all for it, and she encourages others to try it as well. She likens therapy to dating by suggesting that you keep looking for the right therapist to match your needs. Two other essential keys to her growth are radical transparency and radical acceptance (though she admits she is still working on the latter).
"I was a bad motherfucker before perimenopause. I’m a bad motherfucker now, and I'll be a bad motherfucker after menopause. Know what I’m saying? None of that has to change. How I’m a bad motherfucker, I welcome that part of the change."
Gabrielle Union and Kaavia Union-Wade
Photo by Monica Schipper/Getty Images
“I hope that a.) you recognize that you're not alone. Seek out help and know that it's okay to be honest about what the hell is happening in your life. That's the only way that you know you can get help, and that's also the only other way that people know that you are in need if there's something going on,” she says, “because we have all these big, very wild, high expectations of people, but if they don't know what they're actually dealing with, they're always going to be failing, and you will always be disappointed. So how about just tell the truth, be transparent, and let people know where you are. So they can be of service, they can be compassionate.”
Gabrielle’s transparency is what makes her so relatable, and has so many people root for her. Whether through her TV and film projects, her memoirs, or her social media, the actress has a knack for making you feel like she’s your homegirl. Scrolling through her Instagram, you see the special moments with her family, exciting new business ventures , and jaw-dropping fashion moments. Throughout her life and career, we’ve seen her evolve in a multitude of ways. From producing films to starting a haircare line to marriage and motherhood , her journey is a story of courage and triumph. And right now, in this season, she’s asking, “What’s next?”
“This is a season of discovery and change. In a billion ways,” says the NAACP Image Award winner. “The notion of like, ‘Oh, so and so changed. They got brand new.’ I want you to be brand new. I want me to be brand new. I want us to be always constantly growing, evolving. Having more clarity, moving with different purpose, like, and all of that is for me very, very welcomed."
"I want you to be brand new. I want me to be brand new. I want us to be always constantly growing, evolving. Having more clarity, moving with different purpose, like, and all of that is for me very, very welcomed."
She continues, “So I'm just trying to figure out what's next. You know what I mean? I'm jumping into what's next. I'm excited going into what's next and new. I'm just sort of embracing all of what life has to offer.”
Look out for Gabrielle in the upcoming indie film Riff Raff , which is a crime comedy starring her and Jennifer Coolidge, and she will also produce The Idea of You , which stars Anne Hathaway.
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How We Met is a series where xoNecole talks love and relationships with real-life couples. We learn how they met, how like turned into love, and how they make their love work.
Have you ever heard the saying, “You can't have it all?” Do you think there’s any truth to it? The more I resonate with the thought, I realize it just depends on what one considers “all.” In this “How We Met” story, I chatted with two individuals who have reached an unusual level of success but, for years, celebrated it alone. Now, they have a beautiful marriage centered around faith, family, and legacy.
But the journey to getting there required them to be uniquely intentional, submit fully to God, and practice an amount of vulnerability that I think most people would find uncomfortable – especially on the first date.
Santia Barnes, known more commonly as @Trackbaby001 on Instagram, earned the highest-paid contract ever for a woman in American football. Also, she is the first female athlete to have her own shoe company. With a combined social audience of 3 million followers, she’s established herself as a mega-influencer in the health/fitness and lifestyle space. But surprisingly, in our 48-minute phone call, we only discussed this for roughly 60 seconds. Instead, I had a beautiful conversation with Santia and her husband Isaac, a successful tech entrepreneur , about their dream-like partnership.
His company was one of the fastest growing in his county for two years, and he is the only Black entrepreneur to win a federal aviation award for being a government contractor. Plus, he previously won a $13.4 billion contract with the Air Force and Space Force (cues, "he got money" in my best Quinta Brunson voice). But seriously, both of them have such an amazing story alone – yet they made it even better by finding each other. It almost sounds too good to be true, right? Well, Santia felt the same way. In fact, on their first date, they actually tried to disqualify each other. Here’s how it went.
Let’s start from the beginning. How did you two meet?
Isaac: Well, firstly, we connected through the divine grace of God. But we met on Bumble and talked there, and she gave me such a hard time (laughs). But we built a connection online and then took it offline to the phone and eventually in person. Since that meeting, we’ve been stuck like glue.
Santia: Yes, we met on Bumble. But I’ve gotta add to that. I was pretty much done with love, relationships, and especially online dating. But it was right around Valentine's Day, and I felt like God was telling me to try just one more time. So, I created my profile and made it very blunt; I was super clear about what I wanted. I started swiping for a few days and eventually came across his profile, and I noticed our profiles were very similar.
I felt like it was rare for a man to be that intentional. Also, I like that he was attractive and an entrepreneur. I felt like he could understand my life. It took him a couple of days to swipe back, though, and I was little in my feelings. I was literally going to delete the app when he DM’d me . So, it was really the grace of God.
Tell me about your first date. What was the chemistry like?
Isaac: She was late (laughs). But we went to Seasons 52, which made sense because I’m vegan, and she likes to eat healthy. So I made reservations, but again, she was late. Eventually, she got there, and when she did, I saw the entire room shift. It was the weirdest thing. I’ve never seen that in real life. It was like the whole restaurant was looking at us. So we got a table, and immediately, it felt like our energy flowed together so smoothly.
You know how first dates can be awkward? This was exactly the opposite. She grilled me, and I grilled her. We asked some of the deepest questions ever. It was like we were trying to disqualify each other. After dinner, I walked her back to her car because she was recently injured. And in that moment, God talked to me. I knew that this is what it is.
Santia: We talked for like three hours on that date. I remember in the conversation, I said, “Not to be weird, but your energy makes me feel very calm.” That was a big green flag for me. I also remember him walking me back to my car and not trying anything but genuinely just caring for my leg. I was like, this is different. It was an A+ date.
"We asked some of the deepest questions ever. It was like we were trying to disqualify each other. After dinner, I walked her back to her car because she was recently injured. And in that moment, God talked to me. I knew that this is what it is."
Photo courtesy of Santia and Issac Barnes
So, what are some of these intense disqualifying questions y’all asked?
Isaac: We asked everything. We talked about our thoughts on kids, marriage, church, gender roles , family, past relationships, and trauma.
Santia: Yeah, we asked everything they tell you not to. But that’s how I knew he was the one; he didn’t get uncomfortable.
Okay, so if you were still dating, walk me through that next step. What was that conversation like when you two decided to take it to the next level?
Isaac: I had a business trip I had to go to in Orlando, and because of my connection with the Creator I knew she needed to go on this trip with me. She was overcoming tearing her ACL and just needed a break. So we took a road trip together. We drove from Atlanta to Orlando in the car for 8 hours, and we just did the work. We got into childhood trauma and aspirations. It got deep –
Santia: Like, I cried. I discovered stuff about myself I haven’t talked about with anyone else.
Isaac: In that moment, I developed a deeper sense of trust in her because of her vulnerability . And after that trip, I just knew. She still had some concerns, but I was good (laughs).
Santia: Yeah, because I felt like something had to be wrong. Like, I remember calling my mom and she tried to help me just embrace it. Eventually, I actually asked him, “ What are we ?” And he literally said, “You’re going to be my wife.” And I still was like, are you going to ask me to be your girlfriend though, and he did – and I said yeah. (laughs). But that was only like a month in. It was very quick.
It seems like communication has been a core part of your relationship. What are some important lessons you’ve learned about yourselves individually through loving each other?
Isaac: That’s hard to answer just for this week. A lot of our stuff is self-discovery. But I’ll say, I learned how skeptical I was that this is possible. Also, I learned that all of what I went through is crafting me to be who I am today. Through this relationship, I’ve learned to embrace my 100% authentic self. Her love matters more to me than anything else, and that’s my #1 priority.
So if she accepts me how I am, who is the world to tell me I can’t be this way? She has allowed me to see myself more than any other human, and because of that, I have to shower her with as much love as possible.
Santia: I don’t even know where to start. He’s taught me a lot since day one. He made me more confident in who I am. As an influencer, you don’t always know who is there for the right reasons. But he’s made me feel 100% more confident in standing on who I am. He’s also taught me so much about business. He taught me how to open up more, not feel shame in who I am, and how to set boundaries and stick to them.
And Issac has melted every fear, doubt, and insecurity I’ve had about relationships. I could keep going, but overall, he has a really amazing way of teaching me in a loving way. Having someone that sees and understands me – and not just the social media me – but Santia Barnes, the individual, has been beautiful, and I’ve never experienced it until now.
"Issac has melted every fear, doubt, and insecurity I’ve had about relationships. Having someone that sees and understands me – and not just the social media me – but Santia Barnes, the individual, has been beautiful, and I’ve never experienced it until now."
Photo courtesy of Santia and Issac Barnes
How do you guys navigate past struggles, baggage to work toward your relationships?
Issac: On our honeymoon, I vowed that I would come into this relationship with a clear understanding of what’s holding me back so I can be my best self going through our marriage. For example, on our first day over there, we both wrote down all of the negative anchor thoughts we had around money and finances, and we literally went through every thought.
I found 50 financial aspirations, and every time I read something that I didn’t agree with, I wrote it down. And we talked about where these negative thoughts came from, going back to childhood.
Santia: We do that all the time. If anything comes up, we talk about it, try to get to the core of it, dissect it, and we solve it.
Okay, seriously do ya’ll argue at all (laughs)?
Santia: I mean, if we feel something, we say it.
Isaac : The way we got there is that we established early on that if we’re going to do this we have to be on the same team. We have a championship we’re trying to win, and that’s a family legacy . If something is going on, I’m gonna treat it like my teammate is going through it, and we’ll work through it. But it’s impossible not to have any challenges.
Santia: We don’t have to yell, scream, or be disrespectful though. We can talk in a calm voice and disagree. As long as we know that we’re on the same team, we’re good. I always know we’re not purposely trying to hurt each other, and I know that he's my partner. Looking at it from that lens changes things. We’ve only had two real arguments . It was early on, and when we dissected those too, we realized that back then, we didn’t know each other the way we do now. We weren’t sure we were on the same team (laughs).
Do you guys have any rituals or daily practices that help keep your relationship strong?
Isaac: To cement our process, we listen to our spiritual practice. We practice Sabbath every Friday evening until Saturday evening. So that means no work, no outside communication, we’re just in each other’s skin for 24 hours and experience the world together. Then we recap our week, things we’re grateful for from each other and from God, things that bother us, and then we process it right there. We do that every week.
Santia: We also go over a Bible verse and dissect it together. We have a lot of processes because when you have a plan, you can’t really fail.
Isaac: And the Bible verse always relates. It’s crazy. (laughs)
Photo courtesy of Santia and Issac Barnes
What are your love languages?
Santia: Mine is acts of service, gifts, and words of affirmation
Isaac: Mine is physical touch, acts of service, and words of affirmation.
Are there any challenges you guys had to work through?
Santia: This is my first time living with a man. So things that guys do – like not flushing the toilet, putting dishes in the sink when I’m washing the dishes, and stuff. Honestly. I was really scared about that because I love my space. But surprisingly, I adjusted very quickly. We both work from home and have our own offices, too. So it just kinda works out.
Isaac: For me, it was going from being a single man to adjusting to her needs. For example, she likes flowers. To me, that meant I occasionally bought her flowers. But to her, that means, nah, I want them multiple times a month. Date nights meant occasionally to me; she wants them weekly. It’s just about making sure our needs and expectations are articulated correctly. We come from different worlds, so it’s important to do that.
Finally, I’ll close with how did you know it was love?
Santia: We took a trip to NOLA – another road trip. I cried again and just remembered thinking there’s no one like him. I was like, God, if he’s not my person, this is a cruel joke. But more blatantly, like three months into us dating, I was so conflicted because I was like, I’m falling, and I don’t want to be hurt again.
I remember I had a dream where I was in this dark room and there was this figure there, and I knew it was God, and in that dream, I feel like he told me clear as day that Isaac was my person. Plus, my Mom hates everyone I’ve ever dated, but she was like he’s gonna be my son-in-law. I had so many confirmations that I eventually just let go.
Isaac: It was multiple moments. I really got confirmation on the first date , but I became sure in one moment. I was sitting in my office, and she came in, and we were talking about her making history. So I started showing her some of my awards, too, and at that point, she still didn’t know what I did. And she was like, why don’t people know about this, and I showed her my Facebook page – where I had made a small post with a few likes (laughs). And she was like, do you know how many young Black children don’t know this is possible? It was different.
I felt like a hypocrite because I do everything for the next generation. So, she allowed me to see myself in that totality and still hold me accountable. The only person who had done that for me was my Dad and [he] passed away a few days before my 18th birthday. So after that, that did it for me. Then we went to the DR for my brother's anniversary, and she met my family and I saw how well she blended with my family, and I just knew.
Santia and Isaac are continuing to grow their individual businesses and love journey. Through that process, they have created an intentional dating platform on Instagram called @dateintentional1 .
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Featured image courtesy of Santia and Issac Barnes