If you’re waiting to see if Nia Long and her longtime fiancé, retired NBA player Ime Udoka, tie the knot, you may be waiting awhile. Long says, for the record, she doesn’t plan on getting hitched any time soon.
In promotion of her new Netflix film Fatal Affair, Long stopped by ESSENCE’s “Yes, Girl!” podcast. In a conversation with hosts Cori Murray and Charli Penn, Long explores how her character, Ellie, and Ellie’s husband Marcus (played by Stephen Bishop) hit a rough patch in their relationship – proving that marriage is a sprint and not a marathon. She relates this back to her own relationship.
“Love is complicated, let’s just start there,” says Nia. “And then you start a marriage, which I’ve never been married. And there’s a reason for that because I don’t know that I need to say ‘I do’ to prove to you that I love you. But also, what does marriage really [mean]… that you own me now and I own you? I don’t get that part.”
She continues: “I understand the religious aspect of marriage. That is beautiful and it’s fantastical and it’s dreamy and it’s every girl’s fantasy to have that moment. But I don’t know that I need that to feel like I’m in a partnership that’s working.”
Long and Udoka went public with their relationship in 2010 and welcomed a son named Kez in 2010. The couple got engaged in 2015, but apparently decided that their relationship is fine without the label of “husband and wife.”
This isn’t the first time Long has opened up about her thoughts on marriage. In 2012, she confirmed to ESSENCE.com that “marriage is not a priority,” after rumors has surfaced that she and Udoka secretly wed. ” “We’re happy, I’m happy, the kids are fantastic,” she said at the time.
Check out Nia Long’s “Yes, Girl” episode below.