Tiffney Cambridge might just be bringing the "modest woman" back in style. Not that they ever went anywhere, and not that the worlds between role models and "Instagram models" can't co-exist, but with the way social media and reality TV is set up these days, it's as if being a woman with a few values is the equivalent of a major fashion faux-pas.
I recently had the chance to speak to Ms. Cambridge--teacher, author and the only woman to ever publicly own the rights to the notoriously bad-boy bachelor and rapper, "The Game's," heart. As always, a talk with Tiff is always a "break-out-the-wine, keep it real but keep it cute at the same time," experience, and this moment was no different.
In between getting off work and picking the kids up from school, the lovely Ms. Cambridge opened up about her split from The Game (real name: Jayceon Taylor), as well as her life as a career woman, and the importance of having her your own. She also responded to The Game's most recent claims that all the good women are too busy working, and his track with rapper Future called 'Dedicated,' and much more.
It's safe to say, she set the bar high for who The Game will ultimately end up with.
Check it out below:
How important is it to you--both as an author and as a teacher of course and a businesswoman overall--to have a career although you do have this support and help from your children's father, The Game?
I think it is very important. I have been teaching for 18 years. And even though Jayceon and I have had a relationship for the past 11, I never stopped working. Even when I was doing the reality show Marrying the Game, and I had that extra income, I never stopped working. Even when things were good between the two of us, I never stopped working. And I think now that we're not together, you can clearly see why that's important!
You have to establish your own identity. You have to be able to create your own income. You have to be able to take care of yourself.
It has always been important to me to be self-sufficient, my mother raised me that way. My grandmother raised my mother that way--to never depend on a man to provide everything for you. Because then what if you find yourself in a situation where you are no longer with that man, it's like, then what do you do? Even though I'm not in a situation where I'm in a relationship with my child's father, I'm still able to maintain my lifestyle.
Speaking of working, I don't know if you heard, but Jayceon recently gave a shoutout to the independent woman, while implying that he's still single because, "All the real women are in the workplace," when he went on The Breakfast Club. What are your thoughts on him saying that?
I think it's interesting. Knowing Jayceon and the type of person that he is, knowing the type of women that he deals and has dealt with in the past, he is not going to be interested past a certain visual or past maybe a fling with any woman that is not really career minded or career oriented.
Game on his new dating show, 'She's Got Game'
"He'll play with you. Have a couple of dates with you, maybe give you a little exposure by means of dating you or whatever. But that's where it is going to stop with him. I don't think he takes women seriously period, in my opinion. He is named 'Game' for a reason."
I feel he is very attractive and very marketable to a certain extent for women that are interested in living that type of lifestyle, the rock and roll lifestyle for lack of a better word. But I feel also that he doesn't, at all, take 95 percent of the women he dates seriously. It's a joke to him.
As a matter of fact, one time, we were in a conversation about his choices in women, and he told me, 'These women to me are like dishrags. I wipe my forehead off with them, I wipe my counter off with them, and then I'm done with them.' That was really what he said. And I think his behavior towards the women that he associates himself with are very indicative of that.
The women that I have known him to be respectful towards or to be serious about, I can name them on one hand. And they're none of the women that we have seen him out lately with.
You did say, though, that you feel it is difficult for him to get close to any woman. Do you feel there is a flaw in his "the real woman are in the workplace" concept? Because sometimes passing time with certain women makes you pass on a good opportunity.
I agree. He has had the privilege of traveling all around and so the access and the availability of women to him is there. And I think that it takes a level of strength, and a level of discipline and maturity to be able to say, 'Yes, you're pretty, and yes you have a nice body; however, this is what I have at home,' and I'm not sure, at this point, if he's at that level in his growth process.
As a career woman, how true do you think it is that sometimes we do get in our own way of dating? For example, have you been able to find a balance between career and dating? And how important do you think it is for women to find a balance?
I think that for me, I may be a little guilty of that, because since the book has been out, and I have a full-time job and I am a full-time mother, my time for dating is limited.
My goal right now is to be a positive role model to my five-year-old daughter (Calilynn Dream Taylor), to my eight-year-old son (King Justice Taylor) and to be there for them. I also have 30 kids [students] looking at me every day. They look to me for an example. So sometimes you do get caught up in that and you forgot about yourself and you forget about going out and seeing what other opportunities there are for you.
I think that we as women our lives are programmed when we have kids and when we work. It's just like doing the same thing every single day and you do lose yourself, but it is important to take some out for yourself and to really just enjoy yourself and to enjoy life and enjoy other relationships.
So Game has this song with Future called, "Dedicated." And we all feel it is about the lovely Ms. Tiffney. It's not a bad song, but it is a "strong" song and an emotional one to say the least. He does allude to the fact that you may be dating now. Are you? And what is that like for you, being a mother who is about her business who also co-parents and dates?
I think the insinuation that Jayceon made about the song was just really trying to compare his situation to Future's situation [with Ciara]. They're friends and colleagues and he can see probably a similarity with the direction that Ciara moved in and the direction that I would move in. And I feel that is where the song came.
"I commend Ciara for being able to step out of a situation with her child's father, a man that she had a child with and was obviously in love with, but the lifestyle wasn't for her. So she went from Future to this man that has values, and has morals, and that respects her.
I feel like that is Jayceon's perception of what will end up happening in our relationship.
That was a very nice answer. I like that--I see what you did there.
[laughs] Yes ma'am to Ciara! I have them posted on my Instagram, very royally. Because I feel that is exactly what should happen. I think when you go through a situation that is very unbecoming of you, very unbecoming of the lifestyle that you want for yourself and for your child or children, and then you are able to come out of that and put yourself and align yourself who is more in tuned with that you feel is appropriate in a relationship-- you go girl! And that is all I have to say about that!
When you have been in a relationship for a long period of time, you know what another person deserves. You know what they are capable of having. You know what they are able to attract. So I think the knowledge of that lead Jayceon to create the song with Future. I think the references to me validate my point. He knows what my expectations are in a relationship and you're going to either meet them or not. And that's it.
(Go to page 2 to find out what Tiffney had to say about being referred to The Game's "older ex," not believing in fighting for a man and what's next for her!)
A modest goddess who keeps it humble between mumbles. I'm a journalism graduate with a HERstory in digital media, print and radio. Roll the credits: Power 96, VH1, xoNecole, EBONY, SOHH. Deemed "Top 20 Women in Media" by Power 105. Bronx made me, Broward raised me.
This article is in partnership with Sensodyne.
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Russell and Nina Westbrook are one of those low-key, unproblematic couples we don’t talk about enough. They met in college and got married in 2015. They also have a beautiful family with three kids. While Russell is an NBA star, Nina is a licensed family and marriage therapist and a mental health advocate.
She recently launched the podcast The Relationship Chronicles with Nina Westbrook, and in the latest episode, she had none other than her husband on as a guest. The college sweethearts dived into important topics from marriage to children and how they navigate it all.
One of the topics they touched on was dealing with resentment in your relationship. The former MVP highlighted the sacrifices his wife has had to make in order for him to pursue a career in the NBA, and that’s why it’s also important for him to support his wife whenever he can.
“For me is respecting and understanding what your partner do and the time it takes,” Russell said. “Not kind of downplaying what they do, understanding the time and energy and effort they're doing to make sure whether it’s their job or making sure home is taken care of, and understanding that, I think that is the challenge of not being resentful.”
Nina agreed and also shared her thoughts on resentment. According to her, one of the best things couples should do is have their own identity and passions outside of the relationship in an effort to be fulfilled.
“I also think that when you’re in a relationship, that’s why it’s so important that each individual kinda pursue their own passions and follow their own dreams as I feel like it only becomes or leads to resentment when one person is not feeling fulfilled in what they're doing in their lives,” she explained.
“And so, they will start to look at the other partner who’s happy or excelling or promoting or moving along in their journey, then they’re left feeling stuck like they sacrificed themselves, their happiness, their career, their future and have not pursued it in the name of the relationship or their partner. So, it’s so much easier to avoid those feelings of resentment when you’re each equally pursuing your passions.”
The couple has many passions that they work on together and separately. Outside of basketball and his family, Russell has become known for his eclectic style and started the fashion brand Honor The Gift. Nina has her podcast, and she also started the mental health website Bene. Together, they run the Why Not? Foundation, which works with kids in underserved communities.
“I’m a firm believer that one person can’t be everything to you, so you have to sort of seek out those different friendships or groups or hobbies or activities that help to fulfill you,” Nina concluded.
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Feature image by Jon Kopaloff/Getty Images for Religion of Sports