The 90s is my favorite era of R&B (fight me, if you wanna). There's no time or space to get into all of the reasons why. For now, I'll provide a song example of why it's unmatched. As I was sitting down to write this piece, a song that came into my mind is the 1990 jam, "Show Me" by Howard Hewett. While the song certainly stands on its own, what I really like is the fact that his wife (at the time), Nia Peeples was in the video. His lead was his spouse. He used his visual to not only honor her but his marriage. To me, that is beyond dope infinity. And because I've always been aware of the fact that the video featured a husband and wife pairing, I always revered it with a kind of honor and, even sacredness, than a lot of other songs and visuals.
For many reasons, I see married sex the same way. When two people make the conscious choice and commitment to share the rest of their lives with one another, it just makes me respect their sex life on a whole 'nother level. That's why, as a marriage life coach, I am such an advocate for husbands and wives to participate in as much coitus as possible…as often as possible.
One time, while in a session with a couple, they asked me if there was "just one way to have sex". They weren't speaking of positions and technique. Nah, what they were referring to is should there be different ways to approach that type of intimacy with their partner. I found that to be a very insightful and profound question. While there are probably a dozen more ways than the eight that I'm about to share, I do think that in order for a husband and wife to feel truly fulfilled in their sexual intimacy with one another, there are the "kinds of sex" that need to happen on a consistent basis. If that doesn't make sense to you now, I'm hoping that it will by the time this piece is done. (Oh, and feel free to throw on some 90s R&B in the background, while you're reading, if you'd like.)
1. Morning Sex
I can't tell you how many married couples have sang the praises of morning sex to me before.
There is one husband, in particular, who cracks me up, every time I think about what he digs so much about it. "I'm telling you, if I'm able to get some head before the day starts, my wife can hit me up about wanting a new pair of shoes, her mom coming for dinner, or her maxing out a credit card and I'm basically going to be like, 'Yes Dear'."
What is it about morning sex that is so…refreshing? For one thing, since men, on average, have five erections that last 25 minutes each throughout the night, if they wake up with morning wood, sex is a fantastic release. Also, for both men and women, morning sex is an awesome way to de-stress, reconnect and also get an energy charge before the day begins. So, if you're married and you can't remember the last time you let your genitalia rather than an alarm clock awaken you, try and be more intentional about participating in a lil' bit of morning coitus. It beats the hell out of a cup of java. No doubt about it.
2. Quickie Sex
Whenever I think of quickie sex, necessity is what comes to mind. Although I'll be the first one to say that married sex serves a myriad of purposes (check out "10 Wonderful Reasons Why Consistent Sex In Marriage Is So Important"), let's not act like sometimes we just don't need to "get that thing off". Quickie sex isn't (always or necessarily) about being romantic or engaging in a lot of foreplay. Quickie sex is more in the lane of, "I'm horny and I need to handle this so that I can relax and/or focus and/or get on to the other stuff that I need to do."
Unfortunately, because some people think that all sex needs to look like something out of a chick flick, they don't allow themselves (or their partner) to enjoy quickies as often as they should. If you're one of those individuals, I'd encourage you to look at quickies from another angle. Shouldn't one of the benefits of being married be that sex is more convenient? Because your partner is easily accessible, you don't have to do a lot of planning and preparing. Plus, (hopefully) you both know how to get each other off, so pleasure is a surefire thing with them. Since this is the case, while brushing your teeth, sitting on the couch or preparing dinner, you can pull stuff down (or move it over), handle your business and go on with your day. To me, that is not a "problem"; that is a blessing, chile.
3. Scheduled Sex
While some people hate the idea of scheduling sex, I don't. In fact, whenever the topic comes up, what I usually say is all scheduling sex is about is prioritizing it. While it would be nice if all sex could be "random" and "spontaneous" (more on that in just a sec), the reality is that most of us have pretty tight to-do lists. So, if we don't make it a point to plan certain things out, they would never happen. Now, no one is saying that scheduled sex means that you've got to be as tight and rigid as Mrs. Elena Richardson (Reese Witherspoon) was in Little Fires Everywhere (in her house, sex only happened on Wednesdays and Saturdays; her poor husband). But if you and yours have so much going on that scheduling sex is gonna be better than having no sex at all, pull out your Google calendar and designate when your private parts can get some quality time in. 10-15 percent of all marriages are sexless ones. I'd venture to say a big part of the reason why is because couples aren't prioritizing their sex lives nearly as much as they need to or should.
4. Spontaneous Sex
Everything in life is about balance, right? While scheduled sex certainly serves its purpose, so does spontaneous sex. The thing that I like about this kind of copulation is, another word for spontaneous is, impulsive. To be impulsive is to participate in something that is almost involuntary. In a sexual context, it's like you want your partner so bad that you don't even think about where you are or if it's a good time or not to get some; you've got to have them and so you're gonna make it happen. If it's a public place, so be it. If it's in the middle of the day, it's all good. While life might not make it possible to be spontaneous in this way all of the time, partaking in this type of sex is a great way for your partner to feel loved and lusted (which is "a passionate or overmastering desire or craving"). It also can keep a married couple's sex life spicy and interesting.
6. Hotel Sex
Not too long ago, I watched All Def Digital's Squad Cast talk about why they prefer to have sex at home over having sex in a hotel room (it's at the 1:25:07 mark). To be fair, a lot of them are touring comedians, so they spend a lot of time in hotels (even KevOnStage said that hotels have lost their allure because of it). But as someone who used to have quite a bit of hotel sex (back when I was having sex) and also as someone who puts married couples in hotels, free of charge, from time to time, I am a HUGE FAN of hotel sex. Hotels provide a change of scenery. If it's a quality one, the beds tend to feel amazing. And, you can oftentimes find little "perks" to make you feel pampered (like room service, couples' massages or jacuzzi tubs). While I do think it's healthy for couples to plan romantic trips at least once a year, sometimes budgets and other life demands make that a close to impossible feat to pull off. But something that almost every husband and wife can do is spend at least one night in a hotel room. I personally haven't met one couple who doesn't come back from hotel sex feeling renewed. If you've never done it, at least try it. I'd be shocked if you didn't like—no, absolutely love—it!
7. Comfort Sex
I remember once going to a bridal shower and someone asking everyone to offer up sex advice for the bride-to-be. When it came time for a senior elder's (of a church) wife to speak, she said, "Don't deny your husband unless you're deathly ill." When some of the women turned up their nose at her response, she simply said, "I've been married almost 50 years. A lot of you are divorced." (Geeze.) While I'm definitely not the woman who thinks that people should have sex when they don't feel like it, I do think it's important for married people to treat sex like it's a staple in their relationship and not just a…hobby.
However, the reason why I'm even bringing all of this up is because I think it's important to remind some wives that when you don't feel like doing it, oftentimes it's how you refuse your husband that can potentially put a wedge between the two of you. It's so important to remember that a lot of men feel totally vulnerable when trying to initiate sex, so when they are turned down in a flippant or cold way, that can cause them to feel rejected—not just physically but as if all of them is being dismissed.
It's not talked about enough that sometimes husbands want to be with their wives, not because they are "horny" so much as they want to feel loved, accepted and yes, comforted. Listen, I am all about Black love and it's hard for Black men and women out here. If there's one place where any spouse should feel soothed, consoled and reassured, it's within their marriage. Sometimes that comes in the form of being as close to their partner as possible. Comfort sex isn't talked about, nearly as much as it should be. It's needed though. A lot.
7. Reconciliation Sex
Reconcile is a dope word. One of my favorite definitions of it is "to bring into agreement or harmony; make compatible or consistent". While I'm not a huge fan of the phrase "make love" (because, as I oftentimes say, sex should celebrate love not create it), I do think that choosing to love someone, each and every day of your life, (hopefully) for the rest of your life, requires extreme time, effort and energy. Because a marriage consists of two flawed human beings, there are going to be times when husbands and wives are not "walking in agreement", when they aren't exactly in harmony with each other. Sometimes, one of the best ways to get back in sync with each other is to partake in what I call "reconciliation sex".
While, on the surface, that might seem like make-up sex, it's not 100 percent the same thing. Oftentimes, make-up sex is relied upon as a diversion or a coping mechanism when couples don't know how to properly communicate and/or resolve their issues. Reconciliation sex is more like…what a couple does to reward themselves once they have figured out how to get back on the same page about something. It is a physical act that affirms and confirms that they are back in agreement and harmony again. Because sex is such a beautiful, powerful and intimate thing, when two people feel like they have mentally and emotionally reunited, it can do wonders for the relationship to acknowledge that by engaging in physical intimacy. Hot, steamy, sexy, "nasty", totally mind-blowing sexual intimacy.
8. "Holy" Sex
I picked this GIF on purpose. It's from the 1940s classic filmCabin in the Sky starring Lena Horne, Ethel Waters, Louis Armstrong, Duke Ellington, Eddie Anderson and a host of others. If you've never seen it before, the love that Petunia (played by Waters) had for her husband, Little Joe (played by Anderson) was nothing short of spiritual and supernatural. That woman prayed for that man to break his bad habits as if her very life depended on it. It's a cinematic reminder that marriage has a sacred component to it; and so does married sex.
That's why, to me, whenever two people are married, I most definitely believe that sex is an act of worship. What I mean by that is there is a reverence in the act that is very special within a marital union. It's because of that that articles on our site like "Ashley Graham & Her Husband Say Prayer Is The Ultimate Form Of Foreplay" make complete and total sense to me and lyrics like "You're the blessing that I never thought I would get/And to the Lord I humbly bow my head" from Usher's "Here I Stand" seem like they would be the perfect kind of background music for a sex session.
If you're someone who believes that marriage is a spiritual union, then surely you must believe that the Most High is a part of it. To me, "holy sex" is about remembering the foundation and Source of your love. It's about approaching intimacy in a spirit of pure sacredness and gratitude. It's about acknowledging that, so long as your spirits are in sync, your bond is close to invincible.
Hmph. Let me tell it, if there's any "kind of sex" that a husband and wife should have the most often, this one would definitely top the list. Let the Church say, "Amen", y'all. Now what kind of sex are you and yours gonna have tonight?
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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 email@example.com. 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 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