Relationship Expert Dr. Stacii Jae Johnson Shares Tips On Maintaining Healthy Relationships
Dating in the modern world can be tricky, especially if individuals aren't given the proper tools to obtain and maintain a healthy, loving, and satisfying relationship.
With the limited information, many could find themselves either settling for less than they deserve or in a never-ending cycle of bad situationships and relationships. But that's where Dr. Stacii Jae Johnson comes in.
The best-selling author and relationship expert made it her life's mission to help women and couples dominate the relationship realm by asking the right questions and assisting others in figuring out their overall goals when it comes to love.
Dr. Johnson, who has been offering relationship advice for over two decades, has used personal experiences from her dating life to help what she says a "million women and couples create healthy love."
The public speaker's work is so influential that she's been featured in various well-known publications and is hosting the reality TV series OWN's Put a Ring on It.
In addition to Dr. Johnson's profound career, she is extending her services by collaborating with xoNecole, to create weekly 90-second video segments discussing specific topics to help individuals get and sustain healthy love.
Last week, in a video announcing the new collaboration, the 52-year-old opened up about what inspired her to help others find fulfilling relationships.
Dr. Johnson's inspiration behind helping women and couples find and create a well-rounded relationship
In the clip, Dr. Johnson revealed that her late mother prioritized always showing her and her brother "good love" despite the hardships.
"My mother passed away of cancer and going through her fifth divorce when she was 56 years old in 2005. Before she passed, more than anything, she said she wanted to show my brother and I, good love," she explained.
Later in the video, Dr. Johnson shared that her mother's gestures "resonated" with her because, at the time, she didn't fully comprehend how to love healthily because she lacked the tools to do it.
"That just resonated with me because I had zero tools to understand how do you make love work in a healthy way?" she said. "Since then, I've been teaching people how to create, cultivate and keep healthy romantic love."
Dr. Johnson's Tip for Preferences, Deal Breakers, and Nonstarters
Dr. Johnson's first tip was about the standards individuals set early in the relationship while discussing the topics of preferences, deal breakers, and nonstarters.
In the video, Dr. Johnson disclosed why it is essential that many choose their words wisely regarding these topics, especially preferences and nonstarters. The reason behind her explanation is that this stage could set up their potential relationship for failure.
"This week y'all, we're talking about deal breakers and nonstarters. If you find yourself in a relationship, honey, with somebody who you are asking and negotiating your deal breakers and your nonstarters, then shame on you,” she said. “Why are you even in a relationship with somebody like that in the first place?"
She continued, "What you should be negotiating is your preferences. So if you find yourself in a relationship and you are negotiating your nonstarters, y'all, those are nonstarters, get the words, get into it. You see what I'm saying. So then the relationship should have never been, right? But your preferences, that's another thing."
Dr. Johnson wrapped up the clip by saying that if an individual is still negotiating their nonstarters with a partner, their union will be doomed because they were never supposed to be with someone with qualities that fell in the nonstarters category.
For more of Dr. Johnson's work, tune in to OWN's Put a Ring On It Fridays at 9 p.m. ET and catch her weekly videos on xoNecole's social media pages.
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From Monogamy To Polyamory: 'I'm In An Asexual Poly Marriage With My Husband Of 7 Years'
Have you ever wondered what it's like to be asexual and in an open marriage? Relationship Coach Mikki Bey shared her first-hand experience with us as well as answered some of our burning questions.
Like a lot of people, Mikki met her now husband, Raheem Ali, online. As soon as they met, they instantly fell in love and got engaged on their first date. Just 90 days after they met, the couple tied the knot and have now been married for seven years. Raheem and Mikki aren’t your typical married couple, and despite being married for almost a decade, their marriage is anything but traditional. Mikki and Raheem have what she calls an "asexual polyamorous marriage."
Defining Her Sexuality
It wasn't until last summer that Mikki found the language to define her sexuality. "I didn't have the language for it until last summer," she explained to xoNecole. "Looking back, I just thought sex wasn't my thing. It was never enjoyable for me, and I'd go years without even noticing.”
Mikki always thought she was broken because she had no interest in sex. Mikki noticed after her friends came to visit and started discussing their sexual fantasies that she realized something was different about her. “At that point, I knew something was definitely different about me since I do not have sexual fantasies at all. It was truly news to me that people are at work thinking about sex! That was not my experience.” This led to Mikki researching asexuality, which she soon realized fit her to a T. “It felt like breathing new air when I was able to call it by name," said Mikki.
"Looking back, I just thought sex wasn't my thing. It was never enjoyable for me, and I'd go years without even noticing it."
Asexuality refers to people who experience little or no sexual attraction, experience attraction without acting on it sexually, or experience sexual attraction differently based on other factors. Like most things, asexuality falls on a spectrum and encompasses many other identities. It's important to remember, however, that attraction and action are not always synonymous: some asexuals may reject the idea of sexual contact, but others may be sex-neutral and engage in sexual activity.
It's possible that some asexuals will have sex with someone else despite not having a libido or masturbating, but others will have sex with a partner because it brings a sense of connection.
From a Traditional Marriage to Kitchen Table Polyamory
Although Mikki never really had a high sex drive, it wasn’t until after the birth of her son, that she noticed her sex drive took a real nosedive. “I never had a high sex drive, but about a year after my son was born, I realized I had zero desire. My husband has a high sex drive, and I knew that it would not be sustainable to not have sex in our marriage at that time.”
She was determined to find an alternative to divorce and stumbled upon a polyamory conversation on Clubhouse. Upon doing her own research, she brought up the idea to their husband, who was receptive. “It’s so interesting to me that people weigh sex so heavily in relationships when even if you are having a ton of sex, it’s still a very small percentage of the relationship activity," Mikki shared.
They chose polyamory because Mikki still wanted to be married, but she also wanted to make sure that Raheem was getting his individual needs and desires met, even if that meant meeting them with someone else. “I think that we have been programmed to think that our spouses need to be our 'everything.' We do not operate like that. There is no one way that fits all when it comes to relationships, despite what society may try to tell you. Their path to doing this thing called life together may be different from yours, but they found what works for them. We have chosen to design a marriage that works for us,” Mikki explained.
"We have chosen to design a marriage that works for us. We both consent to each of us having everything from casual sex partners to lifetime partners if it should go there. We believe love is abundant and do not limit ourselves or each other on how we express it."
She continued, “We both consent to each of us having everything from casual sexual partners to lifetime partners if it should get there. We believe love is abundant and do not limit ourselves or each other on how we express it. Our dynamic is parallel with kitchen table poly aspirations.”
Kitchen table polyamory (KTP) is a polyamorous relationship in which all participants are on friendly terms enough to share a meal at the kitchen table. Basically, it means you have some form of relationship with your partner’s other partner, whether as a group or individually. A lot of times, KTP relationships are highly personal and rooted in mutual respect, communication, and friendship.
Intimacy in an Asexual Polyamorous Marriage
Mikki says she and her husband, Raheem, still share intimate moments despite being in a polyamorous marriage. “Our intimacy is emotional, intellectual, spiritual, and physical, although non-sexual. We are intentional about date nights weekly, surprising and delighting each other daily, and most of all, we communicate our needs regularly. In my opinion, our intimacy is top-tier! I give my husband full-body massages, mani-pedis and make sure I am giving him small physical touches/kisses throughout the day. He is also very intentional about showing me his love and affection.”
Raheem and Mikki now use their lives as examples for others. On their website, thepolycouplenextdoor.com, they coach people interested in learning how to be consensually non-monogamous. “We are both relationship coaches. I specialized in emotional regulation, and Raheem specializes in communication and conflict resolution. The same tools we use in our marriage help our clients succeed in polyamory."
Mikki advises people who may be asexual or seeking non-monogamy to communicate their needs openly and to consider seeking sex therapy or intimacy coaching. Building a strong relationship with a non-sexual partner requires both empathy and compassion.
For more of Mikki, follow her on Instagram @getmikkibey. Follow the couple's platform on Instagram @thepolycouplenextdoor.
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