After living out a tumultuous relationship on camera, Trina Braxton has found her happy place and is glowing from the inside out.
The singer and reality star announced last week via Instagram that her boyfriend Von Scales recently put a ring on it during a birthday celebration for her baby sister Tamar in Napa Valley, California.
The news was a warm welcome after a stormy few years for the Braxton Family Values star. As you might recall, she and ex-husband Gabe Solis had quite a tumultuous past that played out on television. The couple was able to patch up their differences and remain friends, butsadly, Solis passed away just last December due to cancer.
ESSENCE spoke Braxton about heading to the altar for a third time with her new fiancé and learning how to heal after such a tremendous loss.
ESSENCE: Congratulations on the engagement! We are so happy for you. Can you tell us how you and your fiancé Von met?
Trina: Thank you! Well, we met through mutual friends. There was a gentleman that he worked with who was also my neighbor. He was from St. Louis [the same place where Von lives.] So when Von was visiting and doing some work, my friend was like, ‘Hey, I know this guy and he just got out of a relationship. You two would really hit it off.’ And we did! Our first meeting was at my friend Jamie Dukes’ house, who is an ex-football player. Then we all decided to do a group first date [with Dukes and his wife] and go to the movies and dinner together. Then two days later, we went out by ourselves.
So when did you know you were falling in love?
Well, he lived in St. Louis and we talked on the phone all the time. Whenever we didn’t, I kind of missed him, you know what I mean? He’s just such a great conversationalist and I just enjoyed talking to him, and enjoyed his company when he came to visit. I was like, ‘Wait Trina…you like this dude!’
So your sister Tamar was initially a little upset because the proposal kind of overlapped with her birthday celebration, but she has since apologized to you about her reaction. Did the two of you ever talk it out?
We hadn’t really had a big conversation about it. We actually touched on it today on the Steve Harvey Show. But I think it was gracious of her to apologize and look at the bigger picture and the whole scope of things. But at the same token, I feel like it shouldn’t have happened anyway. At the end of the day, by the help of God, birthdays come every year. You only get proposed to one time, hopefully, and it’s a moment that you can’t get back. Von wanted to do it with all of my sisters together. And because we live in Atlanta and everybody else is sprinkled all over the place, he took this opportune moment when everybody was around, and proposed!
You seem to have reached this point of peace and the happiness is just kind of beaming off of you. But it must have been a much darker time some months ago. How has it been grieving after Gabe passed away?
It was very difficult and it was definitely untimely. He was only 43. A lot of people don’t know this — not that it’s their business anyway — but we were actually the best of friends and talked just about every day. We just made better friends than spouses. But it was a really difficult time, especially being in another relationship. Sometimes when you are close with your ex, [your current partner] doesn’t understand how you can still have a friendship…especially when they’ve seen the tough times via television. Von had his moments of support. For him it was difficult to watch his significant other grieve over their ex, but it was more than that because he was my friend and raised my children when their biological dad didn’t. At the end of the day, he couldn’t help but respect [Gabe] for that.
Braxton along with her famous family will be returning for another season of their hit WEtv show, Braxton Family Values, on Thursday night.