Oprah Winfrey and Stedman Graham may be the ultimate couple that has stood the test of time. Together for more than three decades, the pair have never married – even though Stedman did get down on one knee and proposed early in the 1990s.
The reason why? Well, we’ll let Oprah tell it.
“For years, there were hundreds of tabloid stories, weekly, on whether we would marry. In 1993, the moment after I said yes to his proposal, I had doubts,” she told Entertainment Weekly. “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.”
Back in 2015, she revealed to Shonda Rhimes about the exact moment she first realized she didn’t want to get married.
“The moment he asked me to marry him, I was like ‘Oh, God! Now I actually have to get married?'” she shared. “But what I realized is, I don’t want to be married.”
Oprah and Graham agreed to postpone the wedding and then never spoke of it again. The pair have been linked together since 1986 after Oprah first thought Graham was a “player” type and that he was “too handsome”. Through it all, Oprah and Stedman both knew that the concept of marriage doesn’t define them, but the love they have for one another.
“He and I agree that had we tied the marital knot, we would not still be together,” she said “Our relationship works because he created an identity beyond being ‘Oprah’s man’. And because we share all the values that matter (integrity being No. 1). And because we relish seeing the other fulfill and manifest their destiny and purpose.”