In early 2003, when it was only rumored that Jay-Z and Beyoncé were an item, I knew it was so. I was staying with my wife at the boutique Delano Hotel in South Beach as my birthday gift to her. I had taken Jill specifically to that hotel because through a friend of a friend’s friend I heard Beyoncé would be staying there because she was performing a concert in Miami. At the time (and to this day), my wife adored Beyoncé and it was my mission to introduce them. I figured, in such a small hotel, chances were good we would run into Lady B.

The morning of the show, I was working out at the hotel’s gym and none other than Jay-Z walked in — just him plus a superhuman-looking bodyguard. The gym was closet-size, and we were the only people working out, so we ended up overlapping on equipment and had a good conversation. While I never asked him about Beyoncé, he admitted he was in town to support a friend on a project.

What struck me about Jay was how very busy he was (2003 was one of the hottest years of his Roc-A-Fella dynasty), yet how important it was for him to put things on hold and physically be present to hold his “friend” down.

Since that day, I knew there was something special between Jay-Z and Beyoncé, and while I’ve only been privy to what is shared in the media, there are eight distinct reasons why I love Jay-Z and Beyoncé’s love.