“My man is fine fine!” Mai said on Monday’s episode of The Real as Instagram photos of the couple were showcased on the screen. “Okay, I have to tell you, man this is crazy, because I haven’t talked to anybody about this on a public level besides my friends and family.”
Mai, 40, and Jeezy, 41, first sparked romance rumors in January when Malika Haqq shared a photo of them together alongside herself and then-boyfriend O.T. Genasis, plus Lori Harvey and singer Trey Songz.
At the end of August, PEOPLE confirmed the two are dating days after she joined him for a date night at the inaugural SnoBall Gala to raise funds for his non-profit, Street Dreamz. And less than a week later, the couple made their relationship Instagram official.
Reflecting on their almost year-long dating journey, Mai said that “getting to know him has been one of the most beautiful experiences of my life.”
“For those of you who have been fans of him for a long time know that I just got to know him in November,” she said.
The TV host went on to praise the rapper, entrepreneur and philanthropist as “introspective, he’s passionate, he’s incredibly deep, he’s a visionary, he’s a great leader, he’s an amazing servant to his community.”
“What’s crazy is that the things that I’ve been criticized for my whole life and my past relationships — ‘Jeanie, you’re too deep, you think about things too much. Like, why’s everything gotta have a purpose?’ — and I’m not one for small talk or small conversations, I want to know: Why do you think the way you do? What brought you to look at things the way you do? Who are you? Who’s important to you?” she explained.
“And I found my equal,” she said of her boyfriend.
As to how they met, Mai said that “he’s got his ways” and “he hooked me” after they met on the set of The Real.
“We met here on this set, but you’ve got to hear the story from him because what he said still knocks me away today,” she teased.
Though she pointed to a photo on the screen, in which Jeezy stands beside The Real co-hosts, and said that “this is the first day we met,” Loni Love corrected her and said, “No, it was before that.”
“Well it was another, yes, yes, yes,” Mai admitted. “So you gotta ask him, right? Loni got the deets!”
The couple’s first date was also very telling to Mai, who said that she “really got to know him” during their night out together.
“Let me tell you about this because we’re grown grown. We’re in our forties and what I think is that God somehow managed our timing so that we spent time after our long-term relationships — we both came from 10-year relationships — and we really worked on ourselves to really understand what healthy love is like,” she said. (This is Mai’s first relationship since her split from estranged husband Freddy Harteis after 10 years of marriage.)
Mai went on to explain that the pair’s first date was at a sushi restaurant, where she walked in and asked the host, “‘Is there a Jeezy here?’ and I’m like, ‘Jeannie, you’ve gotta know his government name before you go out on this date! What’s going on?’ “
“So I walk in, I sit down, and four hours later, we shut down the sushi restaurant. We had the most amazing deep talk about our greatest lessons in life, our greatest mistakes. It was super vulnerable, right? So then after that, he looks at me and he’s like, ‘Yo, you wanna like, I don’t wanna go home. Do you wanna go salsa dancing with me?’ ” said Mai, who didn’t hesitate to accept his offer. “I was like, ‘Obvi papi, let’s go!’ “
“So we go dancing, we close out the club. He’s an amazing dancer, by the way. Sick dancer, yes,” she said.
At the end of the evening, instead of giving her a kiss goodnight (which she didn’t want), Jeezy gave Mai a “homework assignment.”
“So we walk out and we close down the club and he puts his hands on my shoulders and I go, ‘Please don’t kiss me, don’t kiss me. It’s too regular degular. Like, this is so good. Don’t do the basic thing.’ I should have known he ain’t anything but basic. He looks at me and he goes, ‘Can I give you a homework assignment?’ And I go, ‘Why? Because I’m an Asian?’ ” she quipped.
“And he’s like, ‘No. I want you to think about the last eight hours we just spent together, and think about what you envision us doing together. What do you picture me being in your life? If this matches my notes, I will pursue you. If not, we’re cool to be friends,'” she recounted.
On a January episode of The Real, Mai first revealed to the audience and her co-hosts that she had been spending a lot of quality time with the rapper.
“Jeezy and I hang out,” she said. “He’s very special to me, so we don’t really have a label to define what it is we’re doing. We’re just having a good time together.”