In sweet Black love news…
A couple whose Put A Ring On It journey ended with an engagement is dishing on their time on OWN.
Joya and Jasha dazzled watchers this season with their love story that culminated with Jasha popping the question.
Before that, they were tested by Dr. Stacii Jae Johnson who helped them embark on a social experiment that allowed them to decide if they were ready for the ring by dating other people.
Naturally, the process was intense but instead of deciding to part ways, the couple grew closer and “let things flow” amid the relationship expert’s advice on communication.
Below Joya and Jasha tell BOSSIP about the highs and lows of reality TV, their super sweet engagement, and a viral reunion moment involving a seemingly Kevin Samuels-influenced “high-value man.”
How hard was it for you to expose your relationship highs and lows on reality TV?
Joya: It was extremely difficult, and to be honest, I was a little bit against it in the beginning. I was kind of like, I didn’t really want to, but at the same time, we had these real issues, these real crossroads that we were at and I really wanted to either get past it or move on. I felt like we were really at that place. To put it all out there, I figured even if it doesn’t end well for me, if somebody else is where I am in their relationship, maybe they can learn something through our journey.
Put A Ring On It watchers have resonated with your new mantra to “surrender, allow, be.” Let’s talk about you actually getting to that point because I think for a lot of women, we want to do that, but we feel like time isn’t on our side.
How did you get to a point where you felt like it was okay to surrender?
Joya: It was actually after my one-on-one session with Dr. Stacii because prior to that one-on-one session with her, I really didn’t even understand that I was in that forceful control energy. I just thought I was stating what I wanted and that just started out of, I didn’t really see it as being controlling or forceful. I thought it was just me being very upfront and hey, this is what I want. Where do you stand?
But once I had my one-on-one session with Dr. Stacii, she actually pointed out that we as women, have to get out of the energy of control and surrender, allow, be. So it was really Dr. Stacii. But once she pointed that out to me, then I realized like, “Oh, I don’t have to control everything or force life to happen.” If I would just be the love I want to attract and surrender to allowing my relationship to just flow and go in the direction where God wants it to go versus where Joya wants it to go, then the beauty is in the journey. It’s just allowing life to give me the gifts that it wants to give me.
Absolutely. So besides her telling you to just allow and be, what’s some of the best advice she’s given you that’s really helped your relationship progress?
Joya: One of the tools that she shared with us is for our communication. She said that when we are having conversations, especially if it’s like a discussion where we’re just going back and forth, one of the tools she shared was to repeat back to your partner like, “Hey, this is what I’m hearing. Did I get that right? Is that correct?” So that you’re not making assumptions and everybody is very clear on what the other person is saying without any discommunication in between.
That was a great tool. We still use that to this day where if we’re having a discussion and he’s saying something, instead of me just responding, I’ll actually ask him, “Hey, this is what I got from what you just said. This is what I’m hearing. Did I hear that right? Am I hearing that correctly or is there something that you want to add? Or did I get that right?” That communication tool that she gave us has been such a way for us to communicate more effectively in our relationship and it’s working and I love it.
That’s a really good tip, actually. I’ve never really thought of that. Jasha, for you, now Dr. Stacii can be a little tough. Was there ever any moment where you were hesitant to listen to what she said?
Jasha: I would say no. I gave her a chance as far as… Because at first, initially, I was like, “Okay, is she going to beat up on the men?” Is she going to be favoritism? I know she helped lot of women and she’s very successful in that area. But when I heard some of the things she was talking about as far as flow and being a love you want to attract, that resonated with me because I’ve been saying that type of stuff to Joya for a long time and I’ve been working on my journey in meditation. I believe in the law of attraction and being that type of energy. And so I was like, “Okay, she’s speaking my language.” So everything she was saying was definitely right up my alley as far as how I’ve been working on myself last couple years. And me and Joya connected and we’ve been exploring those tips as far as being connected to each other, honoring each other, being respectful.
Absolutely. So speaking of being respectful, let’s talk about this reunion. You go through the process, you know your partner’s gone on these dates, you go to the reunion and you have to sit back and relive all of this. For both of you, what was it like to sit back and watch these dates play out again?
Joya: I’ll go first actually on that. So when we are going through the process, we actually didn’t get to see each other’s dates until the reunion because that was actually filmed beforehand. So I saw Jasha and Brittany’s date and I was like, “Girl, I did not see all of that session.” There is no way I saw all of that because the first date he went on with her, I wasn’t there. And I’m like, “Girl, you were doing a lot.” And I actually said that to her at the reunion too. I was like, “Girl, you were doing a lot. That was a lot.” So it almost like a shock when I saw it the first time, like, “What in the world? I did not know all of that was happening.” And looking at her and just seeing what I saw, it was like, “Wow. I didn’t even know it was that much going on.” But once I saw it was definitely shocking in that moment.
Jasha, how was it for you?
Jasha: And for me, I was like, “Okay, wait a minute.” I know she’s a flirt. She likes to flirt and just very outgoing. But when I seen that for the first time, I was like, “Hold on. Now that’s some… Girl.” That’s a little bit too much talking about Scorpios and everything like that.
Yoga swings and such…
Jasha: Yeah. I’m like, “Hold on. What’s going on here?” Y’all playing a little too [much]… That’s little out of bounds. But I know that’s her personality. But just seeing it for the first time, I was like, “Hey, you doing a little bit too much flirting there. They tip-toeing the line. You ain’t cross the line but you tipping.
Let’s talk about this viral moment from the reunion when there was a certain “high-value man” who had a little clash with you, Joya, talking about settling with single moms. Social media ate him up, Egypt ate him up and you clearly were not feeling what he was saying.
Jasha, I would love for you to weigh from a man’s perspective. When Jacoby was making these comments about a “high-value man” and “settling with a single mom,” what was going through your mind?
Jasha: First, I was like, “This guy’s for real? Like, really?” He’s sitting here saying this out of his mouth. There’s nothing wrong with your preference, but your delivery is trash and your energy of entitlement sounds like you’re superior. You act like you’re better than someone because of that. And I was just shocked that he was saying the things he was saying and he was basically trying to talk about my woman, judging her for her past and saying that she’s not high value or she’s not successful.
That belief system was not correct. There’s no problem with saying, “Hey, I prefer this.” Or just saying, “Hey, I’m in a space in my life where I’m not…” But being open to it, if you’re closed off to something you don’t know and you never know where love’s going to come from. But when he was going back and forth and saying, “I don’t have to do this and that,” that’s fine. But you don’t have to tell anybody your high value because if you’re high value, you don’t need to say anything. So that’s my perspective on it.
Joya, what was going through your mind?
Joya: It was one of those awkward moments where he didn’t know why I didn’t want another date with him. So in that moment, that was me explaining why I didn’t want another date with him. And I don’t feel like I was expecting an apology, but I also wasn’t expecting him to double down. Only on the disrespect for a second time. It was like, that was your opportunity to clear it up and say what you felt. Or maybe you didn’t mean to say it that way and meant to say it a different way, but that was his opportunity to properly deliver it if it was delivered wrong the first time. The fact that he doubled out on it and said, “No, I meant what I said.” I was like, “Oh, okay, so you did mean that and you meant it in a way that you wanted to hurt me, you wanted to disrespect me because you’re doing it for a second time.”
In that moment I was, again, shocked. Like, “I cannot believe you’re sitting here saying that because that is not only disrespectful to me, it’s disrespectful to your own mother and it’s disrespectful to other women that have children. And for you to disrespect a whole demographic of women, to me that’s insane. What are you thinking and what are you doing right now?” Because, and that’s why I brought up the fact that his mother was a single mother. Because I’m saying in that moment, by you doubling down on what you’re saying, you’re also disrespecting her. How do you feel comfortable and confident as a high value man to disrespect your mother in this moment? How does that even happen?
And the thing is, what I wanted people to understand from my perspective is exactly what Jasha said, nothing is wrong with preference. When he was explaining that it wasn’t his preference because he had a bad experience in the past, I understood that and I had nothing against that. That was like, “Okay, you had a past experience that wasn’t flattering to you. That’s okay, nothing wrong with that.” But to take it a step further and say because of your experience now every single mother is in a box and you’re too good for them. No, that to me was just completely out of line and unnecessary.
And my thing was, I had a similar just perspective because you don’t know what you don’t know. It’s not ideal situation. You never really see yourself… I couldn’t see myself being with a woman with a child and to initially see yourself, but then you never know where love can come from. And then you say, “Oh well, it’s about the person that you’re with.” And as we’re getting older, we’re in our thirties. Most people, most women at a certain point at least have a kid. Most men in their forties are going to have kids at some point. So when you’re younger, I guess he’s probably his early thirties, that mindset is where he is at. He’s just got to grow and mature. Yeah, you have the right to date whoever you want to. But as you get older, you look for different things in life. So if you’re a high-value man, it makes sense. You can do it. You know what I’m saying? If not, you’re being closed off to potential women out here who could be the one for you.
Listen, like you said, it’s his preference, but luckily we know that you all’s preference is each other because you’re engaged and we saw the super sweet proposal.
Congratulations! Jasha, how important was it to make this proposal extra special for your lady?
Jasha: It was very important, the details. Our journey, man, she called me a little romantic. I’m a romantic. We both love romance. I love to show my love. And I thought about one of the things that’s important to her in her life. And I know that being a cheerleader and danced her whole life, she was a dancer, went to a dance art school. And a picnic, she was getting beat on the head about not doing a picnic. I said, “You know what? I’m going to set her up because she going to think that it’s just a regular picnic date.” She had no idea that I was going to propose. So it was very simple but at the same time, I wanted to make an impact and memorable so she will never forget it.
Yes. And Joya, let’s talk about the memorable moment for you, Joya. What was going through your mind when you saw him get down on one knee?
Joya: It was all happening so fast because like he said, I thought it was just a picnic and Dr. Stacii went along with him. She told me, she’s like, “You have one more assignment before the big decision day and your assignment is to go out with Jasha and you guys talk about your relationship one more time before you decide what you want to do.” So that’s what I thought it was. I thought we were just out there talking again about our relationship and the big day was going to be a different day. That’s what they told me.
So I was definitely surprised because I’m thinking, “Okay, we’re just out here to kind of recap our relationship.” And I’m also thinking to myself, “He’s not going to propose at this picnic table. There is no way that I’m about to get engaged at a picnic table.” I just didn’t see it. Jasha is very extravagant in the way he does things for me. So I definitely was like, “It’s not going to be at the picnic table.” So when I saw the dancers come out I’m looking at them. Then at the end of the dance they got down on one knee. So I’m watching them get down on one knee and then he got down on one knee. Once they got down, I was like, “What is happening? Oh my God.”
You got her good, Jasha.
Joya: It surprised me. So he got down and I was just overflooded with emotion and I was crying. I had the ugly cry, girl. The whole ugly cry and I was just like, “Wow, this moment is actually here. It’s happening.” And I was in total shock, disbelief, surprised, and just overwhelmed with joy and happiness and every other positive emotion that you can think of in that moment.
It was beautiful. I felt like we were in a movie when we brought in the dancers. I was like, “This is The Notebook.” I was watching the dancers and I’m thinking to myself like, “Oh my God, I used to be an NFL cheerleader and this is reminding me of my childhood and growing up and dancing.” And I’m thinking to myself how much I miss it and how much I love it. And Jasha knows that about me, that’s why he picked that because it really touched my heart and resonated with me. But then when they got on one knee and he got on one knee, it was just so beautiful.
Jasha: It also tied into… Our song in Mexico was WizKid, “You Don’t Need No Other Nobody.” And that was our song. And they did a song, they couldn’t play that song but they did play a song that sounded very similar to afrobeats. It meant a lot. It was very sentimental.
I love it and I love seeing this beautiful Black love story. So lastly for both of you, what do you hope people learn from watching you guys on Put a Ring on It?
Joya: So I would say, I feel like the message is love wins no matter what. When you work on yourself, which Jasha and I both have done that separately. Before we met each other, he had worked on himself a lot. Well, we’re both into meditation, so that was a common ground that we had. But he had his spiritual journey, I had my spiritual journey and we were both whole people, not halves coming in trying to make each other whole.
We came into the relationship as two whole people. And when you come in that way, all you can do is add to the other person’s life. And what we want to show through our journey is that we’re not perfect. Nobody’s perfect, but when you come into a relationship with your heart open and as a whole person ready to share your life with somebody else and they’re willing to do the same thing, it’s beautiful. Love works, love wins and I hope people learned.
Also, good communication with your partner. That’s one of our very, very strong points that I feel like people saw through this season with us. We talked about everything in very good detail because that is a strong part of a happy, healthy relationship, it’s the communication. Jasha and I can talk about anything, even the hard and difficult conversations and hear each other out. And nobody gets upset. Nobody takes offense. We’re very open and honest communicators and I hope people learn that through our journey.
Jasha: Well said. Definitely I feel like the key takeaway is that our intention is where we wanted to show Black love and intimacy on a deeper level to show that two people, two Black individuals can grow together, can learn to separate the ego. For me, I was wanting to show that as Black men, we can handle ourselves in a way, we can show love and not have the attachment as far as somebody doing anything wrong to you or just taking it personal and basically being to show that we love each other. We love love. Like she said, love wins at the end of the day. We are regular people and I feel like everybody can do this as far as in a relationship and balancing the masculine, the feminine. As a man you can be masculine, but also the same time have feminine empathy and love and nurturing as well. Be masculine as you need to be and you can be a leader as well.