Oprah Winfrey opened up about her first impressions of longtime beau Stedman Graham and why they never married in the February 2020 issue of O, The Oprah Magazine, out on January 21.
On her first impression of Stedman and why she thought he was a ‘player’: “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. I figured he must be a player. So did all my producers. They warned me not to get involved with that Stedman guy. Aside from his appearance, they knew nothing about him.”
On saying yes to Stedman’s proposal and then realizing she didn’t want a marriage:“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. He and I agree that had we tied the marital knot, we would not still be together.”
On why their relationship works: “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 number one). And because we relish seeing the other fulfill and manifest their destiny and purpose. It’s what Gary Zukav defines as a spiritual partnership: partnership between equals for the purpose of spiritual growth. I know for sure it’s the ultimate flower on my mind.”