Jeannie Mai Jenkins Praises the 'Shift' That Happened in Her Relationship with Jeezy Once They Got Married
While chatting with PEOPLE at her Owl's Brew Boozy Tea Party at The Wheelhouse in Los Angeles on Friday evening, the 42-year-old The Real host opened up about the "shift" she and her husband felt in their relationship following their March wedding.
Noting that she is "so grateful" for how the pair's bond evolved after their nuptials, Mai Jenkins tells PEOPLE, "That shift marked a moment that I've never felt before in my life."
"It marked a moment of deep, sacred, invested commitment to this person. It was different than anything I've ever experienced because I am older. I know what I want. I know what I need," she continues. "And even more than that, I'm willing. I'm willing to make the compromises and the changes in myself, in my choices to see what I could squeeze out of this love that's available for me."
"When you have somebody that loves you so much, especially in the beginning of our relationship, it's important to savor that person's hopes and their dreams. And all too often we either kind of take it for granted or we start prioritizing differently," adds Mai Jenkins. "And so you lose that person's excitement. And I don't want to do that to him and he wouldn't want to do that to me."
On March 27, Mai Jenkins wed musician Jeezy, 43 — born Jay Wayne Jenkins — during an intimate ceremony at their Atlanta home.
While the COVID-19 pandemic spoiled their original plan to get married overseas, Mai Jenkins told the fashion magazine that they still wanted to have a small ceremony with loved ones to celebrate the moment. The couple also confirmed they provided COVID-19 tests for everyone in attendance.
"We were really looking forward to having all of our friends and family there to celebrate," she shared previously. "But we had to change all of our wedding plans due to COVID. After Jeezy's mother unexpectedly passed, we quickly learned that life is too short. And at the end of the day, Jeezy and I really just wanted to become husband and wife."
"So we decided to turn our original wedding into a mini-mony, where we exchanged our vows in front of our immediate family and a few close friends," she explained.
The couple began quietly dating in late 2018 after meeting on the set of Mai Jenkins' daytime talk show, but they didn't go public with their romance until August 2019. At the time, the California native joined the Grammy nominee as he hosted the inaugural SnoBall Gala in Atlanta.
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Mai Jenkins and Jeezy then got engaged in March 2020. The "Put On" artist initially intended to pop the question during a Vietnam getaway, but the COVID-19 pandemic resulted in him bringing Vietnam to the Dancing with the Stars alum with a romantic quarantine date night.
"We both went through enough in our life to connect on the understanding that love should feel safe, honest, and pure," Mai Jenkins told PEOPLE in November 2019. "Immediately, that was a magnetic attraction. We are very attracted to each other's passions to serve. So because we have a mutual joy of having purpose, we're going to find a way to do that together."
Alongside Jeezy, another love that Mai Jenkins currently has in her life is her partnership with Owl's Brew as a Chief Brand Officer, focusing on brand strategy and innovation. The company sells tea-based, spiked and sparkling beverages.
RELATED VIDEO: Jeannie Mai and Jeezy Launch Charity Wedding Registry in Support of Stop Asian Hate Movement
According to the Holey Moley correspondent, the partnership is a perfect match for her as tea has always been an important part of her life. "I know tea well," she shares. "Growing up Chinese and Vietnamese, tea is a staple in our family. It was what I used to get rid of my anxiety, how to clear my skin, how to gain weight or lose weight, and how to study better."
"And so, to see tea now as a party beverage that you crack open and use to celebrate with people, this is an extension of what my culture has taught it to be," she continues. "We want Owl's Brew to be a concept that invites women to sit together, to elevate yourselves, to feel good about yourself, take care of yourself and to celebrate female founders."
The partnership comes about at a perfect time as well, with more people now heading out and spending time with loved ones as COVID-19 restrictions continue to lift. "People want to get out and we should also be smarter about what we consume," Mai Jenkins tells PEOPLE.
"Just because you're thirsty it doesn't mean you have to take what's sitting on the shelf. Not only that, but 96 percent of the beverage world is controlled by men. Men are more primarily the founders and the CEOs and have more access in the beverage world," she adds. "Why do they decide how much we drink, because women drink as much as men."
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