The month begins with a mystical Full Moon in Pisces inviting us to surrender our plans to align with those of the Divine. Your popularity is getting you places when Venus enters Leo, making you a recipient for good fortune and generosity from others. On the 9th, Mars goes retrograde encouraging you to slow down a bit to reassess how you've been expending your energy. The New Moon is a great time to implement a healthier approach to managing stress and anxiety.
When the Sun joins Mercury in Libra, the focus is on revising contracts and balancing relationships—whether that be with another person, your work, and even yourself. On the 27th, Mercury enters Scorpio, encouraging you to nurture the connections you'd like to develop more intimacy with. At the end of the month, Saturn joins Jupiter direct, helping you honor your limits moving forward.
Check out what your horoscopes have in store for the month of September.
AriesAriesLaci Jordan for xoNecole
September begins with a transcendent Full Moon helping you embrace the chapter that is closing in your life with grace. When Venus enters Leo, you're encouraged to invite more play into your life. What activities and hobbies is your inner child yearning to explore? Your ruling planet, Mars, begins its retrograde on the 9th, inviting you to get a little selfish as you prioritize more time for pursuing what you're passionate about. On the 17th, the New Moon supports you in establishing healthier habits, making this the perfect time to develop mind-body awareness.
The Sun meets up with Mercury on the 22nd, drawing your focus to contracts, clients, and your significant other during the next month. Renegotiating the terms of agreement and discussing potential business moves with your partner are encouraged at this time. Towards the end of the month, Jupiter and Saturn are both direct, helping you move forward in your career endeavors with a more grounded perspective of your limitations. Remember, babe—it's not about the destination, it's about the journey. You might as well enjoy yourself along the way.
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We enter September with a revealing Full Moon gifting you with foresight into your future and the people you need to surround yourself with to bring your vision to reality. Remember—teamwork makes the dream work! When Venus enters Leo, you may be feeling some pressure to relocate or make some adjustments to your current living environment. Be mindful of family being more demanding of your time or even a little dramatic over the next few weeks. During Mars retrograde, you're challenged to develop a little more patience and compassion—not only for others but yourself as well.
Your creative genius is at a peak when Jupiter and Uranus meet up around the 12th, giving you the leading edge when it comes to expanding your business and establishing more wealth. The New Moon is the perfect time to plant the seeds for your next creative project, leading you to an abundant harvest. On the 22nd, the Sun and Mercury bring your focus to creating more balance in your daily routine. Getting the bag is important but so is your health. Towards the end of the month, you're encouraged to renegotiate contracts and establish better boundaries within a close relationship. On the 29th, Saturn joins Jupiter, empowering you to advocate for your growth by trusting your inner guide and committing to your goals.
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September kicks off with a sensitive Full Moon encouraging you to establish better energetic boundaries between yourself and your career as you rise to new heights. When Mercury enters Libra, it's time to balance out your life with some fun. Hit up your girls for a happy hour, go on a date, or do something creative (and completely unproductive). Social media is a powerful money-making tool for you once Venus enters Leo. Your presence is even more dynamic than usual, which could attract some new opportunities your way.
On the 9th, Mars goes retro, giving you a chance to reevaluate any recent tension between you and some folks in your social circle. Don't feel bad for choosing to focus on yourself to avoid the drama.The New Moon is a good time to clean and organize your home. What do you need to get rid of or bring into your sanctuary to put your mind at ease? Towards the end of the month, Mercury shifts gears, bringing your focus to your sexual and reproductive health, making it a perfect time to schedule your annual screening. When Saturn links up with Jupiter direct on the 29th, you're embracing the power of your sexual energy and the ability it has to transform, and heal, your life.
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September kicks off with a magical Full Moon shining in the spotlight. Release that novel, launch that workshop, or start that mentorship program. You are wise beyond your years and people are eager to receive the wealth of information that you have to share. Family matters may get a little tense when Mercury enters Libra. Don't feel guilty about asserting some boundaries. It's not your job to take care of everyone. When Mars goes retro, you'll be feeling some pressure when it comes to climbing up the ranks in your chosen career. Exerting too much energy may be futile, so try to strategize a way to work smarter, not harder.
When Jupiter enters Capricorn, promising business partnerships and opportunities are on the table. The New Moon on the 17th is a great time to start learning a new skill that can help you establish a more solid financial foundation for your future. On the 22nd, the Sun enters Libra, bringing your focus to beautifying your living environment and harmonizing with the people you live with. This is also a supportive time to browse the market for your next home or to invest in a property to gain some passive income. Love matters get steamy when Mercury moves into Scorpio. Be mindful of overly-suspicious, and borderline obsessive, thoughts about your romantic interest. The month wraps up with Saturn going direct and you potentially taking a relationship to the next level. Do I hear wedding bells in the air?
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Your intuition and your emotions are a little more sensitive than usual, thanks to the Full Moon at the beginning of the month. Use discernment to gauge whether there's more than meets the eye or if you're just being a little paranoid. When Venus enters your sign on the 6th, you're a magnet for good fortune and a lot of attention, making this a good time to revamp your appearance in some way. During Mars retro, you're invited to connect with the power of your spiritual allies to help you move the proverbial mountains in your life. The New Moon on the 17th is a supportive time for monetizing any talents you've been sleeping on. Your gifts are meant to be used in service for yourself and others.
On the 22nd, Mercury meets up with the Sun, helping you boost your social media presence and your influence over others. Use your power wisely. Be mindful of family tension when Mercury enters Scorpio. Secrets may be revealed that result in you questioning someone's motives. If you're signing a lease or buying a home around this time, pay close attention to the fine print! By the end of the month, Jupiter and Saturn link up to help you get more serious about your health and that bad habit that needs to be kicked to the curb. Remember, babe—it's mind over matter and you've got what it takes to come out on top (and looking good AF when you do).
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Your birthday month begins with a mystical Full Moon inviting you to align with some powerful allies that you can make magic with. Don't be surprised if you've outgrown some connections that no longer seem to fit in your life. Let them go with love and continue on with your glow up. When Mercury enters Libra, you're focused on securing the bag and possibly a contract that can help you achieve your financial goals. Love matters are a little more quiet this month when Venus enters Leo. You could be attracting lots of affection and gifts from some unexpected sources. During Mars retro, you'll be feeling motivated to find healthy outlets for your anger. Opt for busting a nut instead of busting somebody over the head.
It's time to make a wish and blow out the candles on your New Moon. Set an intention for something you'd like to see come to fruition by the Full Moon in Virgo during Pisces season. On the 22nd, the Sun enters Libra, placing a spotlight on those hidden gifts of yours. Don't be shy, boo! It's time to shine and monetize! This is also a favorable time for renegotiating outdated contracts as well. When Mercury enters Scorpio, you may find that everyone wants to tell you their secrets. Uphold your integrity and keep your lips sealed. There could even be a project that you're working on behind the scenes as you await the perfect opportunity to reveal it to the world. By the end of the month, Jupiter and Saturn are meeting up to help you take a more practical approach to your creative endeavors that will assure your success and establish your legacy for many years to come.
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If you've been having a hard time breaking that stubborn habit, the Full Moon on the 2nd helps you experience the clarity and breakthrough needed to make a shift in your lifestyle. When Mercury enters your sign, you're encouraged to find a more balanced approach to managing that busy schedule of yours. Reach out to someone in your social circle that has the expertise you need so you can delegate that heavy load of responsibilities. Enhancing your online presence is also supported while Venus is in Leo. During Mars retro, you're invited to check in with yourself and your ever-changing needs. Are your relationships still serving you in a way that is mutually beneficial?
The New Moon on the 17th encourages you to reflect and rest. What mental baggage do you need to drop so you can start living your life with less judgement? Your birthday season officially begins on the 22nd, motivating you to assert yourself and your needs in a way that assures your ultimate fulfillment. Towards the end of the month, Jupiter and Saturn are linking up, making this a supportive time to move forward with those home renovations, a relocation, or property investments that can help you establish wealth for you and the generations to come.
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Romance takes front and center stage at the beginning of the month. This Full Moon has you inspired to express your love through a song, a poem, or even some weird interpretative dance routine that your lover can't resist. This energy is super fertile for you, so if you're ready for a baby, now's the time to shoot your shot. When Mercury enters Libra, you'll be balancing out the scales of karma which could result in some endings. Trust that whatever, or whoever, is exiting your life is meant to do so at this time. When Venus enters Leo, you're feeling the pressure to make some changes in your career. Be mindful of butting heads with an authority figure as this may be the very thing that blocks your blessings.
During Mars retrograde, you may find yourself having difficulty expressing your anger. Don't internalize but don't project either. Exercise and meditation will be your best friends during this transit. On the 17th, the New Moon encourages you to expand your social network and strategize new ways to enhance your presence online. When the Sun enters Libra, it's time to prioritize rest in preparation for your birthday season. You're invited to stay low and build when Mercury moves into your sign on the 27th. The month wraps up with Jupiter and Saturn challenging you to be more communicative about your personal boundaries instead of assuming people are just as psychic as you are.
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The Full Moon at the beginning of the month has you focused on home and family. Be mindful of brewing tension with your kinfolk or roommates. Sometimes it's best to take the high road instead of trying to get your point across to someone that's not open to hearing you out. When Venus enters Leo, opportunities to travel abroad and make some extra cash can present themselves to you. On the 9th, Mars goes retro, inviting you to validate your inner child and some of the frustrations you're feeling. Maybe you've been working a little too hard and need some time to play.
The New Moon could find you receiving a promotion or rising up within the ranks of your chosen career. A good leader doesn't just boss folks around. They're also willing to be of service to others. Embrace this approach to assure your success. On the 22nd, Mercury and the Sun meet up, making this a good time to connect with friends and share your goals with people that can help you achieve your dreams. By the end of the month, Jupiter and Saturn are helping you achieve financial gain through a healthy balance of curiosity and discipline.
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The month kicks off with a healing Full Moon helping you resolve some communication barriers between you and others. When you allow yourself to be more vulnerable, you can experience more meaningful interactions with others. When Venus enters Leo, you're feeling more courageous when it comes to nurturing more emotionally intimate connections. It's time to put the tough bravado aside to receive the support you pretend you don't want. During Mars retro, you'll need to learn healthier ways to express any frustrations you have with family members or roommates. If your living circumstances are undesirable, take accountability for what you need to do to change things.
The New Moon on the 17th supports your interest in expanding your knowledge, making this a good time to apply to school or enroll in that workshop that can take your skills to the next level. On the 22nd, Mercury and the Sun link up bringing your focus to career. You could be experiencing a major achievement that deserves some celebration. Gon' head and pop that fancy bottle of wine open in honor of the moves you're making. When Mercury enters Scorpio, a friend may come to you bearing a secret. Honor the code and keep your mouth shut to avoid any drama later down the line. The month wraps up with Jupiter and Saturn meeting up in your sign, helping you recognize just how far you've come and also how much further you need to go. Remember—it's not about the destination, it's about the journey. You might as well enjoy the ride.
AquariusAquariusLaci Jordan for xoNecole
September kicks off with a magical Full Moon that could have you in the spotlight sharing your gifts with the world (and making some extra coin, too). When Mercury enters Libra, you're making plans for that next stamp on your passport to shake the COVID cabin fever. Your relationships are your greatest teachers this month when Venus enters Leo. Don't be afraid to ask for more or seek your sustenance through new connections that generously provide you with the support that you desire. On the 9th, Mars goes retrograde and you may find it difficult to express your anger in a productive way. Getting to the root of your rage will help you avoid projecting onto others.
The New Moon invites you to explore the voice of your inner critic. You may be surprised to find out that the source isn't even you. Schedule a session with your therapist to help you discover who the culprit is if you don't already know. When the Sun enters Libra, you could find yourself going back to school or in the position of a teacher to others. Brush up on your expertise so you feel more confident in your presentation. Use more discretion when Mercury enters Scorpio on the 27th. Everyone ain't gotta know your business when it comes to the career moves you're making. The month wraps up with Jupiter and Saturn, helping you establish a better relationship between rest and work. Rome wasn't built overnight, babe. It's OK to take your time.
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The spotlight is on you with the Full Moon in your sign on the 2nd. Don't be shy, babe. It's time to share your magic with the world. When Venus enters Leo, you're focused on loving that beautiful physical vessel of yours. Pamper yourself with a lavish self-care routine, get back into working out, and feed your body with the sustenance you need to thrive. On the 9th, Mars goes retro encouraging you to reel in the impulsive spending so you can achieve some of those financial goals you have, whether that's paying off debt or saving money for a major purchase later this year.
The New Moon on the 17th invites you to set the intention for your ideal business partnership or client relationship. It's also a good time to consider what traits you desire in a committed romantic connection. Does your current love interest have what it takes to go the long haul with you? On the 22nd, Mercury meets up with the Sun, helping you get clear about the emotional baggage you need to release to come into more balance. It's time to let go of the outdated narrative where you give so much of yourself to the detriment of your own well-being. When Mercury shifts into Scorpio, you could find yourself teaching others about spiritual topics you're well-versed in. This is also a good time to take a secluded getaway by yourself or with someone you want to become more intimate with. The month comes to a close with Jupiter and Saturn, helping you get clear about your boundaries with people in your social circle. A much-needed reality check will help you determine who you should (or shouldn't) be investing your energy into.
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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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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