Jasmine Spears and Xavier “Zay” Grimes are two entrepreneurs from Atlanta who have been dating since 2019. Spears is a mother and the owner of a Georgia state-licensed cosmetology and barbering school called Shearz Institute and Grimes is the owner of 2865 Penthouse Lounge and a retail plaza. The couple recently brought their love to the big screen with OWN TV’s reality show, “Put A Ring On It,” where they were counseled by relationship coach Stacii Jae Johnson.
Spears and Grimes opened up to rolling out about where they first met, how they kept their relationship alive during the pandemic, and what the show taught them about their relationship.
How did you first meet?
Spears: Well he slid into my [direct messages]. For my birthday I went to the Gervonta Davis fight in Atlanta at the Phillips Arena and we had some mutual friends that were kind of in the same space. So, he came down here to see a mutual friend that happened to just be standing right next to him and so he [direct messaged] me and was like, “D—, you look better in person.” So, it was like a really expensive room, so I was like, “Wait a minute.” We didn’t see each other at the fight, but we started communicating from there. That’s how it kicked off.
How did you strengthen your relationship during the pandemic?
Spears: It was rough because in the same breath, we were both entrepreneurs dealing with the pandemic, but he didn’t stay in the house at all.
Grimes: At all.
Spears: He was like, “Look, they’re not giving me nothing for free to sit in this house. I’m working so.”
Grimes: Business [was] open.
Spears: Yeah. So literally, like we worked the whole pandemic. So you know that bonding time that most couples had sitting in the house; no such thing. We also traveled a lot during the pandemic. So, that was another thing. We changed the scenery.
How did relationship coach Stacii Jae Johnson make things better?
Spears: It had to be her. Dr. Stacy is not your normal cookie-cutter, “I’m gonna tell you what she wants to hear,” or “Let’s pin it all on the man.” She is none of that. I told her [personally], “It had to be you.” Because it takes a certain type of person to relate especially to a Black man. Especially with her being a woman, she broke Zay down. She got him all the way together.
Grimes: You too.
Are there any relationship tips you want to share that you learned?
Spears: Well for me, accountability. We’re all human, but accountability, forgiveness, and then also getting out of your own head. [I learned to] stop bringing past situations, past drama, and past baggage to the current person that did not do any of those things.
Grimes: Mine was learning to communicate. As well as stay and stop being so mean.