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.
Anybody who's ever told you love at first sight was a myth was a damn lie and you can tell them Jasmine and Alex Sweet said it.
The couple initially met during their junior year of college and a decade and almost three years of marriage later, Jasmine and Alex are out here proving that Black love is alive and well in these streets and we love to see it. The duo, who make it their mission to honeymoon at least once a year, recently sat down with xoNecole and broke down the beginnings of their modern-day love story and explained that the secret to a successful long-term commitment is coming to the table as a whole ass person.
"Alex and I have always been pretty complete individuals. We didn't complete each other necessarily. We enhanced one another, and that's what made our situation unique," Jasmine shared. "We both worked really hard at who we were and appreciate each other for it. I think that's why we weren't afraid of the commitment. It was like, 'I got this because we got this!'"
"Alex and I have always been pretty complete individuals. We didn't complete each other necessarily. We enhanced one another, and that's what made our situation unique."
Despite spending months apart while chasing their dreams, the couple says that because they were focused on both their commitment to themselves and one another, they were able to pass every test with flying colors. "We were individually taking care of business to set ourselves up for each other. We weren't in a rush to get married. We were in a rush to prepare ourselves for life in general––job transitions, friends and family woes, but we were committed to each other. It was a soul tie that even we haven't been able to explain."
We talked more with Jasmine and Alex about falling in love at first sight, becoming the best version of themselves for one another, and how they've made the last two years feel like a never-ending honeymoon.
Here's what we learned:
How They Met
Jasmine: We met in college at the University of Memphis. I was pledging Alpha Kappa Alpha and he was pledging Alpha Phi Alpha in 2009. They crossed before my line did, and I saw him at a university talent show. I was hosting the event when I saw him in the crowd. I'd been pretty active on campus in different leadership roles and had never seen him before.
Later, I found out he ran track! Athletes don't get out much! As he and his line brothers were strolling around the talent show, I told my line sisters, "I want the one no one knows!" (laughs) I'd been in college for three years and was convinced my husband was nowhere to be found until I saw Alex! Little did I know, he was from Memphis and well-known! But that didn't change my mind about him!
Alex: We met in college, officially at a restaurant near the campus of the U of M. The story of how we exchanged information, as well as our first dance, is a legendary story.
Jasmine: I loved him from the start! Alex is the epitome of his last name––SWEET! I honestly don't know how I got so lucky. He was suave and sweet at the same time and that intrigued me. Well-spoken! Gentle! Honest! Funny! Sooooo loving.
Alex: When I first saw her, I instantly knew she was the flyest lady I have ever seen. I just wanted to be in her presence at all times, and still do.
Jasmine: No, It was love at first sight! Ha! Something in my soul felt it.
Alex: Instant. From that day, 10 years ago, the only thing I wanted to do was to be with her. I started seeing her in my dreams for the future. I knew my life was going to change forever, she was going to be in it. Crazy when I think about it, but that's how falling in love felt to me.
"From that day, 10 years ago, the only thing I wanted to do was to be with her. I started seeing her in my dreams for the future. I knew my life was going to change forever, she was going to be in it. Crazy when I think about it, but that's how falling in love felt to me."
Jasmine: My memory fails me [about our first date]. When it comes to us because we lived so much life together and grown up together. Our first phone conversation was on Christmas Eve. He'd had my phone number for two weeks, and hadn't called. I was over him! Then, he called while he was building his little brother's toys for Christmas. I melted over the phone.
We talked all night until the sun came up. I was home in Jackson for Christmas break, but when I got back to the University of Memphis campus, I invited him over. He came and there we were talking all night again. He was it for me.
Making It Official
Jasmine: It didn't take us very long to make things official. I remember the day he asked me to be his girlfriend. It was February 5, 2010. He actually gave a formal speech about how he didn't want to play any games. As cliche as it sounds, he was dead serious. I was shocked that he named everything that he loved about me and how he wanted to grow with me. He was 19 and I was 20. How could this be? Where had he been the first three years of college? I often felt like he was too good to be true, but he was real and it felt so good. Alex is a calm-spirited individual who is so loyal, and if he gives you his word, he means it.
"It didn't take us very long to make things official. I remember the day he asked me to be his girlfriend. It was February 5, 2010. He actually gave a formal speech about how he didn't want to play any games. As cliche as it sounds, he was dead serious. I was shocked that he named everything that he loved about me and how he wanted to grow with me. He was 19 and I was 20."
Alex: This a true black college love story. Two individuals in their respected organizations meet at a college party and share a moment on the dance floor together. Nothing is said, he leaves only to find her later. I was the initiator. I wanted her to know from that point on, it's Alex and Jasmine. We dated. We still date. We went to the parties together in college holding hands. We still go out holding hands into the lounge, movies, or just through the mall.
Jasmine: I hate being away from Alex. 10 years later and I die a little inside at the thought of him not being here. I lost my dad a few years ago. He and my mom were married for 42 years. I sometimes just stare at Alex and think about what our long-term lives look like. Then, I say a little prayer and just surrender thoughts of forever with him. That's love.
Alex: Once a person changes the way you look on the world and life, and realizing in every moment you want that person in the picture, you know [they are the one]––at least I did.
"I lost my dad a few years ago. He and my mom were married for 42 years. I sometimes just stare at Alex and think about what our long-term lives look like. Then, I say a little prayer and just surrender thoughts of forever with him. That's love."
The Sweetest Thing
Jasmine: I love that Alex has a vibrant spirit. There isn't a dull day in my house. I come home to music thumping through the house every day. He's laughing and joyful.
Alex: Jasmine has an energy that fills the room. She makes me feel like the most important person in the world. I also love how she allows me to make her feel like the Queen she is. A perfect balance.
Jasmine: Love is the best adventure of our lifetime and you have to love fearlessly. He is my person and I'll go to war for him at all costs.
Alex: This team we have [is] the best team I could ask for in this game of life. True love will have you doing whatever it takes to live the best life with each other.
Jasmine: We've encountered a particular issue that I won't speak of that challenged our love, but it was such a strong one that it challenged us in a way that we loved even harder. We welcome challenges because we learned how to let the Devil know who's in charge. Our marriage counselors, Rob and Robin have taught us techniques to recognize when we're letting external forces control the narrative. Now, we ward them out immediately. Don't come for our house.
"We welcome challenges because we learned how to let the Devil know who's in charge. Our marriage counselors, Rob and Robin have taught us techniques to recognize when we're letting external forces control the narrative. Now, we ward them out immediately. Don't come for our house."
Alex: Patience and understanding. We have to remind ourselves, we are only human. And at the end of the day, we have to understand we may think differently of a lot of things, we share the same goal of loving each other to the best of our ability.
For more Jasmine and Alex, follow them on Instagram!
Featured image by @jasminesweet.
Taylor "Pretty" Honore is a spiritually centered and equally provocative rapper from Baton Rouge, Louisiana with a love for people and storytelling. You can probably find me planting herbs in your local community garden, blasting "Back That Thang Up" from my mini speaker. Let's get to know each other: @prettyhonore.
How Content Creators Hey Fran Hey And Shameless Maya Embraced The Pivot
This article is in partnership with Meta Elevate.
If you’ve been on the internet at all within the past decade, chances are the names Hey Fran Hey and Shameless Maya (aka Maya Washington) have come across your screen. These content creators have touched every platform on the web, spreading joy to help women everywhere live their best lives. From Fran’s healing natural remedies to Maya’s words of wisdom, both of these content creators have built a loyal following by sharing honest, useful, and vulnerable content. But in search of a life that lends to more creativity, freedom, and space, these digital mavens have moved from their bustling big cities (New York City and Los Angeles respectively) to more remote locations, taking their popular digital brands with them.
Content Creators Hey Fran Hey and Maya Washington Talk "Embracing The Pivot"www.youtube.com
In partnership with Meta Elevate — an online learning platform that provides Black, Hispanic, and Latinx-owned businesses access to 1:1 mentoring, digital skills training, and community — xoNecole teamed up with Franscheska Medina and Maya Washington on IG live recently for a candid conversation about how they’ve embraced the pivot by changing their surroundings to ultimately bring out the best in themselves and their work. Fran, a New York City native, moved from the Big Apple to Portland, Oregon a year ago. Feeling overstimulated by the hustle and bustle of city life, Fran headed to the Pacific Northwest in search of a more easeful life.
Her cross-country move is the backdrop for her new campaign with Meta Elevate— a perfectly-timed commercial that shows how you can level up from wherever you land with the support of free resources like Meta Elevate. Similarly, Maya packed up her life in Los Angeles and moved to Sweden, where she now resides with her husband and adorable daughter. Maya’s life is much more rural and farm-like than it had been in California, but she is thriving in this peaceful new setting while finding her groove as a new mom.
While Maya is steadily building and growing her digital brand as a self-proclaimed “mom coming out of early retirement,” Fran is redefining her own professional grind. “It’s been a year since I moved from New York City to Portland, Oregon,” says Fran. “I think the season I’m in is figuring out how to stay successful while also slowing down.” A slower-paced life has unlocked so many creative possibilities and opportunities for these ladies, and our conversation with them is a well-needed reminder that your success is not tied to your location…especially with the internet at your fingertips. Tapping into a community like Meta Elevate can help Black, Hispanic, and Latinx entrepreneurs and content creators stay connected to like minds and educated on new digital skills and tools that can help scale their businesses.
During a beautiful moment in the conversation, Fran gives Maya her flowers for being an innovator in the digital space. Back when “influencing” was in its infancy and creators were just trying to find their way, Fran says Maya was way ahead of her time. “I give Maya credit for being one of the pioneers in the digital space,” Fran said. “Maya is a one-person machine, and I always tell her she really changed the game on what ads, campaigns, and videos, in general, should look like.”
When asked what advice she’d give content creators, Maya says the key is having faith even when you don’t see the results just yet. “It’s so easy to look at what is, despite you pouring your heart into this thing that may not be giving you the returns that you thought,” she says. “Still operate from a place of love and authenticity. Have faith and do the work. A lot of people are positive thinkers, but that’s the thinking part. You also have to put your faith into work and do the work.”
Fran ultimately encourages content creators and budding entrepreneurs to take full advantage of Meta Elevate’s vast offerings to educate themselves on how to build and grow their businesses online. “It took me ten years to get to the point where I’m making ads at this level,” she says. “I didn’t have those resources in 2010. I love the partnership with Meta Elevate because they’re providing these resources for free. I just think of the people that wouldn’t be able to afford that education and information otherwise. So to amplify a company like this just feels right.”
Watch the full conversation with the link above, and join the Meta Elevate community to connect with fellow businesses and creatives that are #OnTheRiseTogether.
Featured image courtesy of Shameless Maya and Hey Fran Hey
Teyana Taylor Says Husband Iman Shumpert Pursued Her For 3 Years Before She Was Open To Dating Him
Teyana Taylor is the culture's BFF. She has built a platform from simply knowing and being herself, a rarity in the entertainment industry, and we eat it up. We met her in 2007 when she appeared on the fourth season of My Super Sweet Sixteen, the popular MTV reality series which focused on the lavish birthday parties of affluent teenagers. She was signed to Pharrell at the time, which eventually ended after she asked to be released to be an independent artist.
Since, she has made moves across the entertainment industry, whether showing the world that we all need to go to the gym in Kanye's "Fade" video or winning Season 7's The Masked Singer.
She even welcomed a new love, husband Iman Shumpert, but even that came in the most Teyana Taylor fashion.
On a recent visit to Jimmy Kimmel Live! to promote her new movie,A Thousand and One, she discussed how the two met, ultimately revealing that sis was not into a quick hookup. After Kimmel showed her a photo from a celebrity basketball game, she said, "That was the very picture and the very moment that my husband fell in love with me. He [was] like, 'who is that girl, her defense is on point,'--you know he was a defensive player. And he fell in love with the kid."
Kimmel asked her if the falling was mutual, to which she responded, "You know what's crazy? It took me like three years to even like, finally give in. So even though he was feeling me this day, he didn't get me that day. I was actually in a relationship at the time and it was Luda Day weekend and he walked up to me and was like, 'You should eff with me, you need me in your life.' And he just kept trying and trying and trying."
And listen ladies, I know we've all seen Iman so I know you guys are wondering why she may have been on one that day, but we also know that doesn't mean there is never a possibility. Eventually, he wore her down after the two went through their own breakups.
"Later down the line, I was dealing with a breakup, he was dealing with a breakup...we just kind of became friends, BUT--see there's always a 'but,' guys -- I had a styling company and I wanted to shoot him, and he was like my first client and he gave me my first chance or whatever, and there was this one time where he had to take off his shirt...GIRL."
And as they say, the rest is sis-make-him-court-you history.
The pair began dating in 2013, and Shumpert popped the question in 2015 during their baby shower at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Cleveland, Ohio. They officially tied the knot in 2016 and have since welcomed two daughters, Junie (whose real name is Iman Shumpert Jr.) and Rue Rose.
They landed their own reality TV series in 2018 Teyana & Iman, which they then followed up with their E! show, We Got Love Teyana & Iman, in 2021. Taylor told VH1 in 2018, "When a female catches butterflies, you know it's real. Because up to that moment, I didn't like him on that level. When you catch butterflies, it's almost like do you run away from it and get scared and miss out on love? Or do you just follow your gut?"
Well, it's clear what her answer is. But what about you: do you believe in love's timing?
Watch the full clip below:
Teyana Taylor on Teaching Beyoncé the Chicken Noodle Soup Dance & Falling in Love with Iman Shumpert
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Featured image by Robin Marchant/Getty Images for Roger Dubuis