Jeannie Mai has been quietly dating rapper and philanthropist Jeezy for about a year — and she says their dedication to helping others bonded them instantly.
“We both went through enough in our life to connect on the understanding that love should feel safe, honest, and pure,” she tells PEOPLE exclusively in this week’s issue. “Immediately that was a magnetic attraction. We are very attracted to each other’s passions to serve. So because we have a mutual joy of having purpose, we’re going to find a way to do that together.”
The stars actually met on the set of her daytime talk show, The Real. They confirmed their relationship in August, walking the red carpet arm-in-arm at the inaugural SnoBall Gala to raise funds for Jeezy’s non-profit, Street Dreamz. Mai, 40, and Jeezy, 42, became Instagram official less than a week later, and fans have flooded their social media with supportive comments.
- For more on Jeannie Mai, pick up this week’s issue of PEOPLE, on stands Wednesday
What feels different about this love?
“I would say being responsible about making each other feel safe,” explains Mai, who has said her experience being sexually abused by a family member as a child gave her trust issues. (She discusses that and more on her YouTube show, Hello Hunnay, and podcast, Listen Hunnay. She is also dedicated to fighting human trafficking around the world, and is executive-producing a sequel to her documentary, Stopping Traffic: The Movement to End Sex-Trafficking.)
While with her ex-husband, Mai was open about not wanting to become a mom. Now, when asked about the possibility of marriage and babies, she laughs. “You’re going to have to ask me when I’m not ovulating. I’m like too much emo, girl. I don’t know what I’m saying right now on that topic. It’s safer to just wait until this day had passed.”
“I’m working on safe right now. Safe is the focus, yes,” she adds, before giggling. “And getting through this period. After this cycle.”