If there’s anyone in the world you should take advice from, it’s Oprah. And many people do. But the second best option would probably be the person closest to her, her partner Stedman Graham. Fortunately for us, he was recently willing to let the public in on the little secret that has helped keep their romance going for decades (34 years, to be exact).
Together For Over Three Decades
Oprah Winfrey certainly needs no introduction. Between her acting career, book club, and talk show, she is a household name who has garnered widespread respect and adoration. But if there’s anyone who seems to appreciate and adore Oprah more than her fans it’s Stedman Graham, who has been with Oprah for an impressive 34 years. The two first met back in 1986 at a charity event. Winfrey and the American author and businessman were actually once engaged in November 1992. However, they eventually decided that they would prefer to have a “spiritual union” instead.
Hollywood couples can be tricky. In this day and age, it seems like divorces are just as, if not more, common than engagements. Stars who seem to have been dating only for a few months are getting married, while other beloved couples famously married for 10 years are splitting up. Relationships are difficult to navigate, and all the more so when your relationship is under the scrutiny of the public eye.
Let’s be honest: A 34-year-relationship is almost completely unheard of when it comes to celebrities. But clearly, Oprah and Stedman are doing something right. Beginning with their decision to avoid the traditional route of a legal marriage, they demonstrate that it takes a lot more than a marriage certificate to make a romance work. So what is their secret?
Stedman Shares Their Secret
Stedman is currently promoting his new book, Identity Leadership: To Lead Others You Must First Lead Yourself. He recently appeared on The Ellen DeGeneres Show to discuss the book and, fortunately for us, his relationship with Oprah. He explained that he wants the best for her and is dedicated to her happiness.
For some people, dating a woman as powerful as Oprah may be intimidating. Egos can be fragile and it takes a certain level of comfort and confidence to be okay with your partner’s success sometimes overshadowing your own. However, that doesn’t seem to be an issue for Stedman, who went on to explain, “For me, I’ve been able to find my own happiness, and develop my own skills, my own talents, my own abilities — and I’m satisfied with that.”
Stedman added that the secret to their 34-year-long romance has been a combination of things. On the one hand, you want to find someone who is a good partner and who is able to “self-actualize their potential.” Pair that with being a person who is able to self-actualize your own potential, and you’re likely going to have a successful partnership.
A Different Way Of Being
Winfrey has previously opened up about her relationship with Stedman as well. While talking to Vogue in 2017, Winfrey explained that, although nobody believes it, it’s true that the two have rarely broached the topic of marriage. She admitted that the one time she did ask Stedman what he thinks would’ve happened had the two tied the knot. His response was, “We wouldn’t be together.” She further elaborated by adding, “because marriage requires a different way of being in this world.” She doesn’t believe that the traditional roles of husband and wife are ones she and Stedman could have found themselves fitting into, let alone thriving in.
We think it’s safe to say that Winfrey and Stedman’s way of doing things is working out just fine for them.
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