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Having a healthy relationship is a 24-hour job, but ideally, it’s a labor of love. It really does take two – and often, more than that to make it work — family, friends, other couples, counseling, and spiritual guidance all make a difference.

Author and “Tom Joyner Morning Show” commentator Jeff Johnson and I get very real and personal about what we are looking for in a relationship. Listen in and read an excerpt of our conversation.

In Part One Jeff breaks it down about how a real man wants his woman to shine! (Click Here to Play Audio)

Check out the second half of our interview: (Click Here to Play Audio)

DEYA: With men and women both being so career orientated, have you experienced more of a competitive nature, as opposed to a complimentary nature?

JEFF: Yeah, but that comes down to not knowing who you are. And if we are creating as partners, wherein lies the issues? Are we really creating a partnership, or are you trying to see who the biggest baller is? What we do collectively makes us both better off.

DEYA: I’m going to speak personally, but I know that this true for a lot of women. I want to get mines (life and career goals), not so much from the perspective of climbing the corporate ladder. I just want to fulfill my purpose – everything that God has put in me.

JEFF: But here is the thing: Do women honestly have these conversation with their men about that? Sisters so often are in that “Baby, I got your back; I’ma support you” kind of thing. Then, when it comes time for you to flex, dude will say, “What are you doing? You are suppose to be supporting me?” Why? Because there wasn’t a conversation in the beginning about how we can we support each other – because I’m trying to get mines, and I want you to get yours, and lets ride or die and get this thing together.

DEYA: Yeah, that’s hot.

JEFF: Yeah, that is really hot! And you know what’s crazy to me? We watch this for eight seasons on “The Cosby Show” with the Huxtables and never get it. You never saw Clair diminish herself in front of Cliff like that.

I know that so much of that was so unrealistic on certain levels, but why does it have to be? I know couples like that, and they may not be the power couple at the top of the medical and law game, but they are a working couple that are both on their grind. If partnership and friendship are not the foundation, then ultimately, competition is. We are competing for whose wrong the most; we are competing on who’s right the most.

DEYA: You know, you’re dropping science right now! This is good!

JEFF: We are competing about who’s going to submit first because we were never friends – so we can’t be partners. See, I don’t even know why you got me talking like this – you know this is not my field.

DEYA: Lord, have mercy … it’s good is what it is. It’s real talk!

JEFF: (Laughs)

Jeff’s book is titled: Everything I’m Not Made Me Everything I Am Discovering Your Personal Best.

Deya “Direct” Smith is a producer on “The Tom Joyner Morning Show” and host of Girlfriend FM, where Females Matter Most, as well as Beyond the Studio celebrity interviews on She is also a motivational speaker, actress and social commentator. She can be reached at