In O Mag's February issue, Oprah Winfrey is opening up in her "What I Know For Sure" column about her decades-long relationship with Stedman Graham. The 65-year-old discusses why she said yes to his proposal but never officially got married. She starts off by explaining why she doesn't make a big deal about Valentine's Day.
Oprah doesn't make a big deal out of Valentine's Day
"I was Miss Black Tennessee. Many of the other girls were receiving flowers and gifts from their beaux. My boyfriend at the time, Bubba -- yes, real name -- sent me nothing," Winfrey said. "I felt bad about that and complained to another contestant. She laid this wisdom on me: 'Girl, if your man has put a flower on your mind, you won't need no flowers in a vase!'"
Oprah and Graham met in 1986
It was in 1986 when she kept seeing the same man around and they finally met at a mutual friends' home. "We left together, and I asked if he wanted to get a beer. (Yes, I drank a lot of beer then and wore cowboy boots every day.) He said he didn't drink. (Still doesn't—not one sip of nothin' alcoholic since I've known him). I thought he was nice enough, but I wasn't that impressed. He was polite, yes, and kind. The sort of guy who sits with an ailing friend. Tall and handsome, for sure. But actually too handsome, I thought, to be interested in me," she said.
Oprah "figured he must be a player," noting that even her producers told her "not to get involved with that Stedman guy." She was cautious during their friendship and it wasn't until months later when he broke-up with his girlfriend that things started getting serious. This is what she had to say about marriage...
Oprah realized she didn't want a marriage
"For years, there were hundreds of tabloid stories, weekly, on whether we would marry. In 1993, the moment after I said yes to his proposal, I had doubts. I realized I didn't actually want a marriage. I wanted to be asked. I wanted to know he felt I was worthy of being his missus, but I didn't want the sacrifices, the compromises, the day-in-day-out commitment required to make a marriage work. My life with the show was my priority, and we both knew it." Luckily for Oprah, Stedman agreed.
"Our relationship works because he created an identity beyond being 'Oprah's man' (he teaches Identity Leadership around the world and has written multiple books on the subject). And because we share all the values that matter (integrity being No. 1). And because we relish seeing the other fulfill and manifest their destiny and purpose," the media-mogul concluded. We are so happy for Oprah and Stedman that they have found a way to make their relationship thrive for both of them!