Can you believe we've made it to the last month of the year already?! Well, December has a few gifts in store for us before we start the new year.
On the 2nd, Jupiter begins its transit through Capricorn, teaching us the value of hard work and discipline. Mercury moves into optimistic Sagittarius on the 9th, getting us in the holiday spirit with a chatty Full Moon in Gemini following shortly behind on the 12th. Luck favors the bold around the 15th as Jupiter trines Uranus. The planet of love moves into Aquarius on the 20th, placing an emphasis on connecting with like-minded folks that strive to make an impact on the world. The Sun moves into Capricorn on the 21st, followed by the onset of eclipse season with a New Moon on the 26th. It's out with the old and in with the new just in time for the new year.
Check out what's in store for your zodiac sign below:
The month begins with expansive Jupiter moving into Capricorn where it will be transiting through your career sector for the next year. This time frame requires you to match your big faith with practical efforts that will ultimately have you reaping some major benefits around this time next year. On the 9th, Mercury moves into Sagittarius, putting you in a position to inspire others with the wisdom you have to share. This transit encourages you to go back to school or attend those seminars to flex your brainpower. Now that we're out of the retrograde, this is a perfect time to plan that international getaway as well.
The Full Moon on the 12th is supportive for finalizing and releasing any projects you've been working on behind the scenes. Use this time to also reassess your personal narrative. Around the 15th, good luck may be knocking on your door with a raise or career move that will put you on the map. On the 20th, Venus moves into Aquarius to help you attract the right people to meet your goals. The month winds down with a New Moon solar eclipse on the 26th, inviting you to release your fears about stepping into your personal power. You're a born leader, babe. It's time to show it to the world.
After transiting through Sagittarius for the past year, Jupiter moves into your sister sign on the 2nd, requiring you to get more serious when it comes to your spiritual development. Going back to school, attending seminars, or doing some in-depth research will benefit your quest for greater spiritual awareness. Opportunities to share your wisdom as a teacher will likely present themselves along the way. On the 9th, Mercury moves into truth-seeking (and telling) Sagittarius, making this a good time to book that therapy session or call up that person you consider as your soft place to land.
The Full Moon on the 12th encourages you to take a look at your finances which will require you to reassess your money mindset. Be mindful of the ways you sabotage your earning potential due to scarcity complex. Around the middle of the month, you're invited to embrace your inner genius and act upon the brilliant ideas that are flooding your beautiful mind. On the 20th, Venus moves into Aquarius, helping you attract the right people to help you advance professionally. If the seasonal depression is taking a toll on you, plan that getaway to somewhere warm and sunny. The month ends with a New Moon Solar eclipse on the 26th, inviting you to check in with your higher self to make sure you're still walking your path of purpose.
The month begins with Jupiter moving into Capricorn where it will be for the next year, inviting you to take the hero's journey through your psyche. It may not be the easiest energy to deal with but it will teach you the value of showing up to face some of your deepest fears pertaining to matters of intimacy and sexuality. On the 9th, Mercury moves into Sagittarius, stimulating your relationships with more passion, making it a great time to share that vibrant energy of yours with your loved ones. Your Full Moon takes place on the 12th and you're the center of attention (and the drama if you're more worried about being right than simply sharing your thoughts at the holiday gathering).
Around the 15th, a sudden revelation is the catalyst you need to transform your money mindset. Your dreams, along with guidance from your ancestors, are granting you with some amazing ideas to increase your abundance. You may even receive some financial support from an unexpected source. On the 20th, Venus moves into your sister sign and you could be meeting someone in an educational setting or while traveling. An opportunity to share your work could provide some extra holiday cash so don't be afraid to share your unconventional ideas. The New Moon Solar eclipse on the 26th encourages you to celebrate the transformation you're in the midst of—regardless of how tough it is. Remember, dahling, it takes pressure to make diamonds.
Over the next year, your close relationships will help you experience the most growth with Jupiter moving into Capricorn on the 2nd. During this transit, you and bae may be tying the knot (or you'll meet that special someone you can do life with). Favorable business connections are also likely under this influence. When Mercury moves into Sagittarius on the 9th, be mindful of what you discuss amongst your coworkers. Err on the side of caution when it comes to expressing your political or religious views. On the 12th, the Full Moon in Gemini helps you get clear on what (and who) needs to be let go before stepping into 2020.
Around the middle of the month, luck favors you thanks to all of your networking efforts. As the saying goes, "It's not what you know. It's who you know." On the 20th, Venus moves into Aquarius, making you a magnet for financial support; thus it's the perfect time to apply for that loan or line of credit. Towards the end of the month, most of the action takes place in Capricorn—your relationship house. They don't call this time of year engagement season for no reason. If romance isn't your top priority, expect for your clientele to expand or to start that new job just in time for the new year. On the 26th, the New Moon Solar eclipse encourages you to seek more balance within new and existing partnerships that will be a part of the legacy you're building together.
After Jupiter spent the last year expanding your creativity, its transit through Capricorn requires you to get more disciplined regarding your daily routines. Practice makes perfect, whether your aim is to transform your physical body, improve your health, or to simply tap into a better rhythm in your day-to-day activities. On the 9th, Mercury moves into Sagittarius to boost your confidence even more while also bringing opportunities for romance into your life. The Full Moon on the 12th makes you the center of attention amongst your friends but what's new to the most popular sign of the zodiac? If you're big into social media, you could go viral around this time.
Around the middle of the month, luck is on your side professionally. The long hours and hard work haven't gone unnoticed. Your inner genius will be activated at this time so make sure to jot down your ideas. On the 20th, Venus moves into Aquarius and partnerships (romantic and business) prosper when there's a like-minded vision that can be accomplished in unison. The Sun moves into Capricorn on the 21st, shortly followed by the New Moon eclipse on the 26th. It's time to examine any bad habits that affect your mental and physical health. Make sure to compartmentalize your inner critic, which has a sneaky way of distracting you from your purpose.
December begins with Jupiter moving into Capricorn where it'll transit through for the next year, inspiring you to reach new heights in your creativity and self-expression. If you're open to romance, this can also be a good time to start dating again. On the 9th, Mercury moves into Sagittarius, getting you in the spirit to spend time with your family. The Full Moon on the 12th calls for celebration of a long-awaited professional goal. On the same day, Chiron goes direct and you're feeling more empowered to march to the beat of your own drum. There are followers and there are leaders. Trust your abilities, and the temporary discomfort, that comes with paving a new lane.
Around the 15th, a sudden opportunity to share your creation or expertise may present itself. On the 20th, Venus moves into Aquarius and a fellow co-worker could finally shoot their shot (or vice versa). During this transit, you'll be more attracted to people that can keep up with your Mercurial mind. Volunteering at a local organization can also be a great way to meet someone. On the 21st, Capricorn season begins with a New Moon Solar eclipse following behind on the 26th. It's time to wrap up one project to make room for the new creations you're incubating this winter. Make sure to let your inner child out to play these last few days of the year before it's back to business in 2020!
The month kicks off with Jupiter moving into Capricorn, bringing your focus to family and home over the next year. You may be adding a new addition to your family, buying a home, or investing in real estate during this transit. On the 9th, Mercury spices up your communication, making you a joy to be around given the extra enthusiasm you're experiencing. Be a voice of encouragement to those around you! The Full Moon on the 12th helps you straighten out any immigration or travel affairs. If you're in school, it's finally time to wrap up the semester for a much-needed break (and vacation). A much-needed "aha" moment occurs around the 15th, regarding intimacy blocks that were developed in your childhood.
On the 20th, Venus invites you to do more of what you love whether that's getting back to that creative hobby or allowing yourself to indulge in your fav rom-coms. Capricorn season officially begins on the 21st, encouraging you to connect with your roots. The New Moon Solar eclipse on the 26th helps you break free from generational patterns that strip you of your personal autonomy. Once Mercury moves into Capricorn on the 28th, you're ready to move past the mental barriers that inhibit you from living life by your design.
Over the next year, Jupiter is helping you expand through learning and communication. Some of you may be going back to school or embracing the power of your voice through writing or vlogging. On the 9th, Mercury has you focused on your hustle, making this a good time to profit off of your area of expertise. The Full Moon on the 12th invites you to see some of your most traumatic experiences through a clearer lens. You have the power to transform your pain into something beautiful. Around the 15th, good news from a significant other or business partner has you feeling motivated to keep striving towards your goals.
On the 20th, Venus moves into Aquarius which has you in homebody mode, preferring to spend time with your loved ones in the comfort of your own space discussing the latest trending topics. The Sun officially moves into Capricorn on the 21st with a New Moon Solar eclipse taking place on the 26th. You're encouraged to be mindful of the voice you're projecting out into the world. Your words have more power than you know. Mercury moving into this same part of your chart on the 28th emphasizes the importance of how you communicate which has the potential to place you in a position of greater influence.
After spending the past year in your sign, Jupiter moves into Capricorn to expand your finances and enhance your self-esteem. On the 9th, Mercury moves into your sign, making this a busy time for you. Stay on top of your text messages, emails, and DMs so you don't miss out on those important invitations. The Full Moon on the 12th finalizes a chapter within a key relationship or business agreement so you can make space for something better. Around the 15th, unexpected money may be gifted to you from some work you completed a while ago.
Venus moves into Aquarius on the 20th, making you a magnet for attention on your social media platforms. Online dating is also favorable during this transit as well. If you're not interested in romance, this could be a great time to feel a sense of community amongst your followers or subscribers. Towards the end of the month, most of the action takes place in Capricorn with a New Moon Solar eclipse on the 26th encouraging you to sift through your scarcity complex so you can finally reap the abundance that has your name on it. On the 28th, Mercury helps you get focused on building more long-term security for yourself and your loved ones.
The month begins with Jupiter moving into your sign for the next year, which should be a bit of a reprieve with the pressure of Saturn in your sign. You'll still be required to bust your ass but the rewards will be that much sweeter over the months to come as this transit stretches you in ways your favorite lover could never. On the 9th, Mercury intensifies your dreams while also helping you burn through karmic baggage that needs to be laid to rest before 2020. The Full Moon on the 12th may reveal a hidden enemy in the workspace. Don't fret though. Clearly, you've got something worth hating on.
A sweet, romantic surprise may await you around the 15th. Either that or your creative genius will inspire the next R&B sensation within yourself. On the 20th, Venus helps you attract financial opportunities and connections that are in alignment with your purpose. During this time, a mental connection is top priority for you when it comes to love. The month winds down with the Sun entering your sign (happy birthday!) and a New Moon Solar eclipse inviting you to shed the layers of the old you to embrace the new form that is to come in the new year.
December kicks off with Jupiter moving into Capricorn, helping you to expand spiritually over the next year through a more disciplined approach than you may be used to. On the 9th, Mercury has you excited to connect with new and old friends alike during the holiday season. There could even be discussions about how you all can collaborate towards a joint effort or cause. The Full Moon on the 12th invites your inner child out to play. It's time to reveal that creative project or indulge in some wining and dining. Embrace pleasure and allow yourself to get whisked away in adventure, whether it's a short vacay or trying out that wine bar that's been on your list for a while.
Your ancestors may be trying to get through to you around the 15th. Pay attention to your dreams and any synchronicities that remind you of their presence. On the 20th, Venus moves into your sign and all eyes are on you. This is one of the most favorable times of the year for you to receive all of the blessings and abundance you so rightfully deserve. The Sun moves into Capricorn on the 21st and is shortly followed by the New Moon Solar eclipse on the 26th. What are you being called to release? What lessons have you mastered at this point? Karmic closure is available to you as long as you're willing to surrender to the process and embrace the void that will soon be filled with new life.
After spending the last year in Sagittarius, Jupiter moves into Capricorn on the 2nd, helping you expand your social network and online presence. This transit won't be easy but it will provide you with long-lasting results as long as you stay committed to the vision. On the 9th, Mercury lights the fire beneath your ass, motivating you to boss up professionally. Your superiors are loving your optimistic, go-getter attitude, which makes you a prime candidate for a raise or promotion. The Full Moon on the 12th brings some family drama to the surface for resolution. This could also indicate a time in which you change residence as well.
Around the 15th, you could receive some good news that allows you to share your work on a larger scale. Venus, planet of love and money, draws in some assistance from an unexpected source. Pay close attention to your dreams as they provide insight into beliefs that are blocking your flow of abundance. On the 21st, the Sun moves into Capricorn followed by a New Moon Solar eclipse on the 26th. It's time to ditch the self-sabotaging agenda that keeps you stuck in unfulfilling friendships. Moving into 2020, you'll be connecting with your real tribe that's down to support you and your dreams 100%.
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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 xoNecoleexclusive, 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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Feature image by Mike Lawrie/Getty Images
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