Serena Williams always speaks her truth and in a new interview she’s opening up even more. For Bumble’s “The Question Game” video starring the tennis champ, wife and mom, Williams lets viewers inside her home and gets personal by answering questions about life, love, and how she’s living.
Williams has been happily married to internet entrepreneur and investor Alexis Ohanian since 2017 but when it came time to talk about her relationship deal breakers with the popular dating and networking social media platform, she didn’t hold back.
“A deal breaker for me in a relationship is definitely loyalty,” says Williams while sitting in her garden putting the finishing touches on an art piece she’s been working on. “Well, not having it that is.”
In an interview with Williams, ESSENCE had the chance to ask her to elaborate.
“Loyalty is you’re with me, you ride,” Williams tells ESSENCE. “Obviously in a romantic relationship, loyalty is definitely a deal breaker for me, but it’s also important in friendships. I’m really super loyal. I will go all out for my friends and I expect the same. I’m a kind of person that it takes me a long time to cut someone off, but if I do, you never hear from me again. But I am loyal to a fault, actually. If I don’t talk to somebody because of certain reasons, I actually expect my friends not to talk to them too and that’s kind of my loyalty.”
She’s right. Beyond our romantic relationships, having healthy friendships matters too. “In a friend, I like someone who is funny,” says Williams, when asked what type of energy she likes in a friend. “Energy that is fun and delightful, easy to be around and positive. I need someone positive in my life.”
Williams also shared what her message about heartbreak would be for young women.
“Heartbreak is a part of life, whether it be a loved one, a boyfriend or an animal, but time heals all wounds,” Williams says.
And speaking of young women, Williams and her husband are raising their own—daughter Alexis Olympia Ohanian Jr., 3. We asked Williams what she plans to teach baby girl Olympia about balance and boundaries in life when she gets older and her answer was spot on.
“Boundaries are important. You have to have them,” Williams tells ESSENCE. “I think work boundaries are the most important things to have. I feel like you get a lot of joy from lots of different areas and not just in one place in life, and that’s something that I feel is great to teach Olympia.”
There’s lots more to learn about Williams in the video, including that she never leaves home without her Bible and she’s been meditating to stay grounded.
“I grew up with a Bible because my of mom and my family and it’s definitely something that stayed with me,” shares Williams. “And I think now, for me, I’m making it my own and really, really making it for myself. I think there comes a point in life where you have your spirituality with what you choose for yourself, and that’s basically what I’m doing. And I’ve had a lot of learning about the Bible. There’s so much practical advice you can get from the Bible that applies in our lives today. I really love learning about what the Bible promises and actually teaches. It’s great.”