Before diving into this particular topic, let me just say, right out of the gate, that I've been here before. While some people from the outside looking in may question how anyone can get to a point and place in their life where they would go so far as to love someone who ignores their relational needs , those of us who've experienced that type of dynamic can break it all the way down. Sometimes, we went into the relationship not sure what we needed (more on that in a bit). Sometimes, the person met the needs in the beginning and then started getting lazy (or entitled) as we became more attached . Sometimes, needs change over time. Some of us, we are prone to be either codependent AF or a big-time over-giver. Others feel like when you love someone, making sure the other person's needs are met, is more important. Unfortunately.
As you can see, there is no one-dimension, cut-and-dry kind of reason for why a lot of us fall into this kind of situation. And at the end of the day, it almost doesn't even matter. What does matter is you knowing that if you're in an actual relationship with someone who you profess to love and they profess to love you, something that should definitely come with that is your needs being met. If somewhere in your psyche, you know that and yet you can't figure out how you got to where you are, I've got some questions that could shed a bit of light.
1 . Do You Even Know What You Need?
One of my clients has some children who really struggle with emotional intelligence. I mean, eerily so. Although one is a preteen and the other is a teenager, it's like they don't understand any emotions past sad, happy and angry. The reason why that is so problematic is because, when you don't really understand that there are a ton of other emotions to experience, you will think that whatever experience happens in your life, you can only feel three ways about it — and that simply is not so (many mental health experts say there are around 27 different main emotions, by the way. You can read more about that here ). And just where am I going with that? Those of you who read enough of my content know that I will say " adulthood is surviving childhood " on loop because I wholeheartedly believe it. Well, just like it's important to know when you are (for example) feeling anxious, disgusted or excited, it's also imperative that you 1) know the difference between a want and a need and 2) can clearly articulate those things to other people.
If you never grew up understanding that a need isn't some fleeting whim or unrealistic expectation but that it's something that is required — or in the case of relationships, it's basically a deal-breaker — you can be out here thinking that expensive dates are a need when they are actually a want or that you don't need proactive care when you absolutely do. So, when it comes to the man who you love, take out some time to journal out what you need, in general, in a romantic relationship. Not what you need from him specifically; more like what you need overall ("overall" will help you to be more realistic). Because until you know, how is it fair to expect someone else to meet your needs? It's not.
2 . Did You Clearly Articulate Your Needs Early On?
A couple of years ago, I wrote the article, " The 'Pre-Commitment Interview' Every Dating Couple Should Have " for this platform. A part of the reason why is because, I continue to remain baffled by, the amount of people who think that love means someone should be able to read their mind.
Hell, if you don't always understand what is going on with you, why should you be out here expecting other people to figure it out? That's what therapy , not a relationship, is for.
And so, yeah, if you feel like your needs aren't being met right now, the next question to reflect on is if you ever stated them — because a lot of people don't. And let me tell you, the more couples that I work with, the more it is abundantly clear that most men are like, "Unless you say it, it doesn't exist." Meaning, they are not going to sit around, pining over whether you've shared your deepest and most profound emotions. To them, everything is pretty much fine — until you say otherwise.
It is really unfair to expect someone to meet what they know nothing about or to penalize them now for something that you should've stated from the jump. So, if your needs aren't being met in your relationship, the next question to ask yourself is, "Did I share my needs before going into this?" If not, that's on you. For now, anyway.
3 . Are Your Needs Realistic?
Even if Kevin Samuels is a trigger for you (and if so, to a large extent, I get it), an interview that is still interesting (in a cautionary tale kind of way) is " My Ex Still Pays My Bills: The Interview with @Blujasmine ". While in the midst of an interview not too long ago, someone asked me what one of my biggest relational pet peeves are. Hands down, something that tops the list is having a sense of entitlement. I can't stand it . And that interview featured a woman who is like a mascot for it. That's why I think the next point that needs to be addressed is if your needs are realistic or not. If you're dating someone who works two jobs, he may not have the time or means to go on a lot of high-end dates or buy you expensive things. If he's a parent (a good one, anyway), you're going to have to adjust to his child being his top priority. If you're in a long-distance relationship , you're probably going to have to make a lot of sacrifices when it comes to figuring out how to spend quality time together and moving the relationship forward.
That's why, it's so important to factor in the kind of relationship you're in and the type of guy that you're with when it comes to your needs too. Because the reality is, if you want over-the-top experiences on a consistent basis, a man who will constantly make you feel like you are #1 and/or someone who is available to you at the drop of a dime, he may need to make more money and/or not have many relational responsibilities and/or live in your city (and have more time on his hands). Because yes, while your needs are indeed valid no matter what, they can be super unrealistic when you don't factor certain circumstances into the equation.
4 . Are You Teaching Him How to Treat You?
Every time I turn another year (which I semi-recently did), there will be new mantras that come into my psyche. One that I am on repeat about right through here is "chase nothing". Case in point. In part, due to this platform, folks will hit me up often about becoming a client. What many of them will do is set up an appointment and then not keep it. What I used to do in times past is give them 2-3 times to get things right. Not anymore, though. I have no interest in my time being disrespected because when you work in a counseling lane, time literally is money — you are freeing up your schedule and when folks don't honor that, money is lost. Someone was asking me recently if toting this hard line is a gamble. Heck no. I would much rather have people learn how to respect other people's time and keep their word via the experience, so that they will hopefully learn how to treat others' time well than to keep frustrating myself with folks who have already shown that they don't take their word or my time very seriously.
Y'all, when they say that we teach people how to treat us, words cannot express how much truth there is in that. In the relational sense, once you state your needs, should your partner agree to meet them (because that is also key; some of us aren't getting our needs met because the guy heard them yet never said that he would meet them), it's OK to hold them to the standard that's been set.
For instance, if you say that you need him to plan dates ahead of time and he keeps popping up at your house to order pizza and watch television, it's cool if you want to hold off on getting together sometimes. Or, if you need more affection and less sex, it's totally understandable if you want to forego sexual activity for a while until he gets that intimacy isn't just about intercourse.
The key with this particular point is to not approach things from a place of punishment or being passive aggressive (passive aggressiveness is the worst). What I'm saying is if you state a need, he agrees to the need and yet keeps not meeting it, bring up that you feel like your needs are being ignored and no, it's not alright to just keep going along with the relationship as if the needs aren't essential. Either he's gonna catch on or keep depriving you. And either way, that's going to send a message about what you need to do next. Or at least...it should.
5 . Are You “Setting the Example”?
Wanna know one motto that can save you a helluva lot of trouble in a relationship? Be the kind of partner you want to have. Words cannot express, how many people will tell me that they are unhappy in their relationship because they aren't getting what they need (or want) and then, when I turn around and ask them 1) what their own partner needs and 2) if they are being intentional about meeting them, sometimes, all they give me is, a blank stare.
When it comes to men specifically, I can't tell you how often I hear, almost on loop, that what they need is someone who 1) shows gratitude and 2) is affirming. And yet, it's like a lot of women will be like, "No, you don't need those things. You need what I think you need." Lord.
If we're all doing this relationship thing right and well, we'll want to meet our partner's needs. A part of the reason why will be because they are loving us so right and well that we want them to feel as satisfied as we do. I will not change my stance that if you're in a mutual love relationship that your needs should definitely be met. However, if you're not making sure that you're meeting his needs to, that's pretty hypocritical. It also could explain some of the reason why you're in lack.
6 . Do You Love Yourself More?
Something that I don't personally think is conveyed, nearly enough is, a beautiful benefit of being in a relationship is you're able to be with someone who loves, honors and respects you enough that they want to meet your needs as you do the same thing for them. Not only that but you love yourself so much that if they are unwilling to meet your needs, you are willing to release them and go on with your life because you love, honor and respect yourself enough to do so.
A part of what gives us the strength to come to this kind of conclusion is when we're intentional about meeting our own needs instead of just waiting for some guy to come along and do it. What I mean by that is, a lot of us will deny giving our own selves what we require, thinking that it's someone else's job to do that. And since we've "appointed them" to that place, once they come along, we'll stay longer than we should, simply because we've programmed ourselves to think that them meeting our needs is far more of a priority than us meeting our needs.
It's not. Although I don't do the whole holidays thing , folks in my tribe know that my birthday is meant to be treated like one of the best days of the year. These days, my people honor the need that I have to feel that way, every year, pretty much without fail. However, there are some men in my past who sucked at celebrating my birthday. I mean, SUCKED at it. One even had the nerve to say that since his wasn't a big deal to him, that's why he didn't honor mine either. Boy, bye. If my own friends — people with their own tight schedules, relationships, etc. — can figure it out, someone who professes to be my significant other most definitely should.
I used to spend — or is it waste? — a lot of time debating/discussing this with him, thinking that I could convince him to change his mind. These days, I would never do that. My birthday is the same day every year, you've got 364 days to prepare, so if you don't, that's a choice. It's your right too. And in response, it's also mine to step away and clear the space for someone who will be happy to meet that need as I make sure that I celebrate me in the process. Feel me?
The lead quote? It is oh so very important. If you are living, you have needs. The ones who truly love you will want to meet them too. The ones who are in it to manipulate will say that you're being needy. Don't fall for that. So long as you factor in all of what I've just said, it's OK to 1) expect your needs to be met and 2) do some shifting if they aren't. No matter how much you love him. No matter how much he claims to love you — too. Because the reality is sometimes, even when it comes to love, what you need to do is release each other so that you can get your needs met — elsewhere.
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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