Life coach, fitness expert and actress AJ Johnson (Adrienne Joi if you didn’t know) recently visited Claudia Jordan’s new Fox Soul talk show, Out Loud With Claudia Jordan, and she talked about everything, from turning to life coaching when acting was no longer fulfilling, to having people say her muscular frame is too “masculine.” What was most interesting though was when she talked about her love life, revealing that after taking her work to Africa, she met a Ghanaian man who has been pretty serious about her from the jump. She says he’s dark chocolate, tall, younger (“I think I attract younger men because of my energy”), and she sees marriage with him.
When asked about the guy who makes her happy, Johnson opened up about the differences between him and the men she was used to here in America.
“This is what I’ll say. I’ve learned that American men ‘kick it.’ African men court. African men commit,” she said. “That difference alone for me took me from ‘kicking it’ with somebody to feeling chosen.”
She said the way he’s approached dating has been very different for her, and they have many differences, but so far, a year in, it’s been “amazing.”
“He’s a very special friend and we’re taking our time and we’re growing,” she said. “I’ve never dated this way before and it’s amazing. Courting is, we know that we’re dating, and now it’s time to really see what we have in common and can we grow together. To me, as Americans, as African-American women, what I’m used to is, you grow in the relationship and then say you’re together. Well, the commitment came first and now we’re moving into a year of working through it and talking. There’s a lot of differences, culturally, language, food, but we’re both committed to exploring the difference.”
“I’ve never felt so chosen,” she added. “That’s the word! Because I’m the one that’s going, ‘You know what? I can’t. I’m done.’ I’m the one being like, ‘Again, I’m done.’ And he’s like, ‘You can’t be done. You have to work.’ He’s the one fighting for it.”
Jordan spoke on how important it is to feel “chosen,” especially since finding love in Los Angeles can be very “difficult.” However, Johnson says no matter whether she’s been in LA or the Midwest or South, she’s found dating in the States to be shallow.
“I found that in the country, I don’t care where I went, Chicago, Atlanta, I was more recognized for my career than my soul. I was more approached based on recognition and celebrity more than what my God life was like that day,” she said. “So it was really, really nice to meet someone, and the first 10 minutes he said, ‘I did my research and I would love to explore who you are more. I’d like to commit to you.’ I was like, I’m from New Jersey, what does that mean?”
She feels that what they have is solid, because there relationship, unlike her relationships of the past, has a solid foundation. Not only that, he looks out for her in spiritually fulfilling ways.
“I’ll tell you what’s also different. To me, the expression of love is different,” she said. “I am used to the snuggly, physical, intimate love, and that’s growing, but what I really feel loved by is that he pays attention to my passions and what I want to do. He loves the fact that I’m deep into philanthropy and my spirit’s very giving, so he’s helped me build a lot of philanthropic platforms in Ghana.”
“Even though it’s been a year, and I know people who are engaged after a year or moving in inside of a year, we’re just now like, ‘What’s your birthday again?’ she added. “We’re just at the space where we’re now saying, I’ve known you for a year so that’s solid. I’ve known you for a year so I know this about you. I’ve known you for a year so I can trust that now. So I love it because it feels like it’s more of a foundation. A lot of my relationships were built on quicksand. This is cement. I feel so much safer to be my complete self.”
Check out her thoughts on her relationship below, starting at the nine-minute mark: