Self-Care Check-Ins for Couples: Brandon & Donja

Self-Care Check-Ins for Couples: Brandon & Donja

Not only are the Self-Care Check-In prompts useful reminders to moisturize your sprit and prioritize your wellness, but combined with the question, “How can I help you be greater today?” you have a free way to help your partner let their soul glow. Together, you can be a mighty, moisturized fist. Everybody wins.

Except the haters.

We asked filmmaker Brandon Nicholas and Playwright Donja Love-Nicholas, Founders of The Each-Other Project to answer:

  1. How would you rate your self-care right now on a scale of 1-10?
  2. What are you doing well for you right now?
  3. What could you be doing better or differently

And then turn to thy neighbor and ask, “How can I help you be greater today?”

Here’s what had happened:

Sir Brandon

Brandon Nicholas (photo: Brandon Nicholas)


Did you learn anything about Donja from answering the Self-Care Check-In prompts together?

I can be more open to him.

It was eye-opening. I asked how I could support him better, and he told me that being more open with him about what’s going on with me will help him worry less. I wasn’t expecting that. Before I asked, I thought I would be learning more about him needing space for himself. He’s a busy person doing a lot of things, and I’m sure to let him come home and debrief at the end of the day. I don’t want to cause him any more worry or stress.

But when I’m more closed off, it puts him in his head. It actually makes him worry more.

I thought I knew what he needed. I thought I knew what would make his week greater. I thought it would be giving him space when he needs it, not needing more attention and affection. I was caught off guard by that.

When he’s not in a good space, I worry too, so I definitely get what that feeling is like when you don’t know what they’re going through or you have to find out from Facebook or through Tom, Dick, and Harry. It’s not good. Doing this Check-In together helped so much.

I don’t want him stressing about how I’m feeling about him. It affects how he navigates the week. He saw something I posted on Facebook. It was something I put online but didn’t talk to him about. So then he was in his head, wondering what he did last week that got me in this headspace. He’s wondering, “How didn’t I see this?”

He didn’t know any of what was going on. But had I been open with how I was feeling instead of not telling him and putting something online, he wouldn’t have to worry about me and can focus on what is really important, like pursuing all the opportunities the world is giving him.

Sir Donja

Donja Love-Nicholas (photo: Brandon Nicholas)

How was the experience of being open about your self-care and explicit about what you need from Brandon in order to be greater?

It was really helpful in terms of feeling like there were no gray areas or haze between us. It was good for me to be able to say what I need, what I want, and for him to be in a space to know what that is and vice versa.

There is so much going on in the world that we’re individually navigating so it was super helpful to be in a deeper, greater harmony, especially as it relates to my mental health and my well-being, considering how big a part he plays into all of that.

For me, I know he thought I would say that I need more space to be great, working on this play and with Juilliard and all. But he did gag because I think he was thinking I would say what Donja needs or wanted.

What I actually needed was more of him. And to know what’s going on with him and that’s okay. Because when he’s not at peace, I’m not at peace.

I’m thankful we were able to take that moment to communicate all of that openly with one another.


Here’s the trailer for The Each-Other Project’s upcoming web series, Communitea.


Listen to Brandon discussing the importance of the ballroom scene and creating spaces for queer people of color on The Healing Space podcast.

Tickets for the world premiere of Donja’s Fireflies at Atlantic Theater Company are now on sale now.


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