While they’ve been a couple for over thirty years, you don’t often see or hear about Oprah’s relationship with her beau, Stedman Graham. 

Now, we know that there is a reason for that. 

Opening up to PEOPLE, the media mogul admits that when it comes to their longterm courtship–especially in the digital age–the 64-year-old likes to avoid the inevitable spectacle that could arise from one of their public appearances. 

“I stopped making as many public appearances with Stedman because I realized that every time there’s a new photograph, there’s a new story,” she told the magazine. Winfrey and Graham last appeared together in public at the 75th annual Golden Globe Awards in January.

They first met at a 1986 charity event, and press rumors of proposals or a marriage have surrounded them ever since. But the Mississippi native says that there is a reason the conventional fairytale wedding and happily ever after wouldn’t work for them. 

“Nobody believes it, but it’s true,” Winfrey told Vogue in September. “The only time I brought it up was when I said to Stedman, ‘What would have happened if we had actually gotten married?’ And the answer is: ‘We wouldn’t be together.’ We would not have stayed together because marriage requires a different way of being in this world.”

She added, “His interpretation of what it means to be a husband and what it would mean for me to be a wife would have been pretty traditional and I would not have been able to fit into that.”


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