One of the reasons why I think that it is so important for romantic relationships to have a foundation of true friendship is because, it's been my personal observation that, a lot of us are far more down for our friends than our significant other. What I mean by that is, while I constantly hear people come up with a list of all of the things they will and won't tolerate with their long-term partner, I rarely hear that when it comes to their bestie or homies.
Process what I'm saying for a moment.
When's the last time you thought to yourself, "If my girl hurts my feelings, I'm out." Typically, with our friends, there isn't much of an "out criteria". It's weird, but it's like there's an automatic acceptance that they are as human as we are, they are gonna mess up sometimes and, when that happens, we'll find a way to work through it. It's almost automatic that we'll take on this kind of approach.
I think that's why, when a friendship gets to a point where it looks like it has run its course, it can be particularly devastating. Since we didn't put a "this is it" line on the relationship on the front end, when we do get there, it can feel like a real death; one that we're not sure how, if or when we'll fully heal from.
I've been there, a few times. On this side of those experiences, there are two things that I know, for sure. First, while you're in the process of actually going through a friendship break-up, the pain is like no other. And second, if your purpose in your mind is to not remain stuck in bitterness or pissed-off-ity, if you choose to heal instead, 8.5 times out of 10, you'll see that some friendships either weren't really friendships at all or, the break was necessary in order for you both to move forward to what and who are better for you.
If you've currently had a friendship to end, what steps should you take in order to come to these conclusions?
Really Process What Caused the “Break”
When I stop and think about the broken friendships that I've experienced over the years, if there's a common thread, it was my codependency and being more invested, topped with them offending me and expecting me to grin and bear it. You know what that means, right? That means that things were all gravy, so long as I was doing most of the work and didn't have much of a voice in how things were going. And you know what that means, right? This usually comes as the result of trying to be other people's friend without being a friend to yourself—first.
That's why, when you and a friend have a falling out or decide to go your separate ways, before doing anything, it's always a good idea to take a moment to process why things played out the way that they did. Try and be honest. Try to not only see it from your side either. Also take a moment to assess if it's a pattern that has been happening with multiple individuals for a while now.
Once I realized what was up with me—that I wasn't really choosing my friends but I was letting people randomly decide when they wanted to enter into and exit out of my life—friendship dramas started to subside, healthy and stable friendships began to emerge, and less "breaking" transpired.
The moral to the story here is this—don't just chalk the friendship ending to "it is what it is". Really ponder where the cracks in the foundation started so that you can process, heal and prevent similar things from happening in the future.
Is It Love or Loyalty?
If I've said it once, I've said it a dozen times before. One of my favorite lines from the movie Love Jones is when Nina told her ex-fiancé, "All we have are all these years" in response to him asking her how she could throw their relationship away. Listen, I'll be the first one to say that there is much to be said for loyalty in any type of real relationship. At the same time, wisdom has taught me that there is also something to be said for staying loyal to something that is causing you to be disloyal to yourself by remaining attached to it.
Here's an example. There's a friendship that I had for a really long time that, for the five or so years leading up to its end, it turned toxic. Extremely so. Not because of us, per se, but due to an affair that the individual was involved in. It caused them to lie a lot and become totally self-involved. It also caused them to make consistent reckless choices. When it got to the point where I realized that I cared more about saving their marriage more than they did and I brought that to their attention, they ghosted. Even though they knew the abandonment and abuse issues that I experienced in my childhood, they bounced without giving our friendship the respect of talking things through.
At first, I responded by trying to assure them that I would still stick around, believing it was being loving. But a friendship is to be a mutual thing. Therefore, if your loyalty is causing you to not get your own needs met, that loyalty can become counterproductive and unhealthy. Loyalty can be unhealthy? I think so.
As a wise man once said, "Even the excess of a virtue can be a vice", and if you are holding a friendship down alone, it's time to love yourself enough to love them enough to let them go so that you both can receive…better. And more.
Seek Out One or Two Other Perspectives
As a marriage life coach, there is nothing like meeting one spouse who tells me their side of the story, deciding to take them and their partner on as clients and then hearing the other side. Boy, oh boy. It never fails that when you're able to see both people's perspective, the layers totally alter the narrative.
It's the same thing with friendships. The last one that I decided to end, I had been in it for so long that decided to ask some other people in my life for their perspective. A couple of people knew both of us and a couple of them didn't. One thing that everyone said was a constant thread is the individual wasn't emotionally reliable. Not only that but a part of the reason why I wasn't satisfied in the friendship anymore is because I had outgrown them.
It was good for me to hear all of that because, for a while, I was so steeped in my disappointment that I wanted to lash out at this individual more than anything else. But once I heard other people share that, "Although she's done some selfish things, she's always been that way. You're just pissed now because you've changed and she hasn't", that helped me to release her rather than cut her off and remain angry.
When I see her now, we hug. I ask her how she is and I sincerely wonder. But it pretty much stops there. Just because a friendship has ended, that doesn't mean that you and them can't come to a place of peace. You know that you're on the path to real healing when you can accept this as a part of your reality. Sometimes other people's perspective can get you there.
Think About What You Need in the Present
One of the things that I respect so much about married couples is how committed they are at learning how to evolve as individuals while still trying to keep their relationship intact in the process. It is so true that there are times when you grow in one area faster than your partner does and vice versa. And, if you don't make a point to nurture your union in the process, it could cause you to become strangers; strangers who share the same living space.
That said, some friendships end because they just don't fulfill you anymore. Neither of you did anything wrong or bad. You just used to need them in one way and now…you don't. Sometimes this happens when a person gets married or has a child. In theory, you both say that it won't change the friendship but how can it not? Priorities shift. Interests expand. And unless both people involved are intentional about and committed to keeping their friendship, they can grow apart too.
To stay on top of scenarios like this, something that my closest friends and I do on an annual basis is take inventory of where we are with one another. We ask each other what we need and get really real about if those needs can be met or not. If they can't, some restructuring-in-love has to happen. And you know what? That is totally OK. Remember that the root word for relationship is "relate". If a friendship is coming to an end because the two of you can no longer relate to one another, that is easier to heal from because it's not about any drama or even a lack of love or respect. You're simply freeing up space so that both of you can get what you need rather than resenting one another for not being able to do it for each other.
Get the Closure That You Need
I know that closure is a controversial topic for some, but personally, I think that when two people share something as special as a relationship or friendship, they owe it to one another to give it closure. Closure honors what once was, provides clarity and gives both people an understanding of what to expect moving forward. Another reason why I'm such a big fan of closure is because when you don't officially end things, it can give people the impression that they can fade in and out of your life at their own leisure. And, because you did not require closure, your roller coaster emotional state about the entire situation can let them.
So yes, if it really is time to transition out of a friendship, request a formal meeting, preferably in person, to hash everything out. It will prevent both of you from making assumptions. Plus, it's a sign of basic-level respect—something both of you should give each other, if there was ever a true friendship there to begin with.
Forgive. Grieve. Release.
Nelson Mandela once said, "When a deep injury is done to us, we never heal until we forgive." He's spot-on. As someone who personally believes that forgiveness is not an act, so much as a process, I feel that when we struggle with not forgiving someone, that is a form of self-abuse.
Unforgivingness is typically about trying to punish someone for the pain that they caused and then taking control of the situation. But while we're over here still not forgiving, they are out somewhere living their best life—or at the very least, not putting in nearly as much energy into us as we are into them by not letting the offense and pain go.
No one said that forgiveness was easy (at least no one who has actually done it before), but if you want to heal, you have to pardon the pain and work on letting go of the resentment—not just for your sake, but the sake of your other relationships and the future individuals who will come into your life (two great reads about not forgiving someone are "8 Signs You Have NOT Forgiven Someone" and "5 Tests to Determine If You've Forgiven Someone").
The reason why I recommend forgiving before grieving is because forgiveness helps you to grieve in a healthier space. If you're trying to mourn something or one while you're still mad or bitter, it will prevent you from fully processing the situation in a productive way. As a result, you could remain stuck in the cycle of grief for years to come.
And finally, release them. I'm pretty open about the fact that I like the word "release" because, to me, it takes the pressure off of having to decide what comes next as it relates to a broken relationship. Rather than trying to control the ultimate outcome, I fully let God do it. I focus on learning what I needed to, developing healthier boundaries and bettering myself. The rest, I leave the rest up to him. If life sees fit for me and a past friend to reunite for some point or purpose, the forgiving and grieving that I did keeps me from totally closing myself off to that. At the same time, if I am to truly leave what was behind me, healing makes that possible too.
Broken friendships are difficult. But they are not impossible for you to heal from. With time, intention and self-love, you can get through the end of a friendship and come out all the better from it. Because, if you really immerse yourself in the healing process, it can make you a better friend to yourself and others. I am living proof of that.
Want more stories like this? Sign up for our newsletter here and check out the related reads below:
10 Things You Should Absolutely Expect From Your Friendships
Losing My Best Friend Taught Me Authenticity
How I Overcame The Hurt Of Losing My Best Friend
Should You Take An Ex-Friend Back?
Feature image by Getty Images
- 3-Step Guide To Self-Healing - xoNecole ›
- How To End A Friendship: Tips & Tricks - xoNecole: Women's Interest, Love, Wellness, Beauty ›
- How To Solve Common Friendship Issues - xoNecole: Women's Interest, Love, Wellness, Beauty ›
- Healthy Ways To Process Grief And Change - xoNecole: Women's Interest, Love, Wellness, Beauty ›
- Choosing Health Over Length: How To Create Boundaries With Friends You’ve Outgrown - xoNecole: Women's Interest, Love, Wellness, Beauty ›
- Tips-for-Mending-a-Broken-Friendship ›
- How to Mend a Broken Friendship ›
- How to Heal a Broken Friendship - Shape Magazine | Shape ›
- How to Heal a Broken Friendship - Ministry of Hope with Melanie Redd ›
- How to recover from a broken friendship ›
- How to Deal—and Heal—When a Friend Breaks Up With You ›
- Start Healing from a Broken Friendship Through God's Word | Blog ... ›
- How to Heal a Fractured Friendship | Psychology Today ›
- When a Friendship Ends: 5 Steps to Healing the Sadness | HuffPost ›
After being a regular contributor for about four years and being (eh hem) MIA in 2022, Shellie is back penning for the platform (did you miss her? LOL).
In some ways, nothing has changed and in others, everything has. For now, she'll just say that she's working on the 20th anniversary edition of her first book, she's in school to take life coaching to another level and she's putting together a platform that supports and encourages Black men because she loves them from head to toe.
Other than that, she still works with couples, she's still a doula, she's still not on social media and her email contact (firstname.lastname@example.org) still hasn't changed (neither has her request to contact her ONLY for personal reasons; pitch to the platform if you have story ideas).
Life is a funny thing but if you stay calm, moments can come full circle and this is one of them. No doubt about it.
Amber Riley Is In Her Element
Amber Riley has the type of laugh that sticks with you long after the raspy, rhythmic sounds have ceased. It punctuates her sentences sometimes, whether she’s giving a chuckle to denote the serious nature of something she just said or throwing her head back in rip-roarious laughter after a joke. She laughs as if she understands the fragility of each minute. She chooses laughter often with the understanding that future joy is not guaranteed.
Credit: Ally Green
The sound of her laughter is rivaled only by her singing voice, an emblem of the past and the future resilience of Black women stretched over a few octaves. On Fox’s Glee, her character Mercedes Jones was portrayed, perhaps unfairly, as the vocal duel to Rachel Berry (Lea Michele), offering rough, full-throated belts behind her co-star’s smooth, pristine vocals. Riley’s always been more than the singer who could deliver a finishing note, though.
Portraying Effie White, she displayed the dynamic emotions of a song such as “And I'm Telling You I'm Not Going” in Dreamgirls on London’s West End without buckling under the historic weight of her predecessors. With her instrument, John Mayer’s “Gravity” became a religious experience, a belted hymnal full of growls and churchy riffs. In her voice, Nicole Scherzinger once said she heard “the power of God.”
Credit: Ally Green
Riley’s voice has been a staple throughout pop culture for nearly 15 years now. Her tone has become so distinguishable that most viewers of Fox’s The Masked Singer recognized the multihyphenate even before it was revealed that she was Harp, the competition-winning, gold-masked figure with an actual harp strapped to her back.
Still, it wasn’t until recently that Riley began to feel like she’d found her voice. This sounds unbelievable. But she’s not referring to the one she uses on stage. She’s referencing the voice that speaks to who she is at her core. “Therapy kind of gave me the training to speak my mind,” the 37-year-old says. “It’s not something we’re taught, especially as Black women. I got so comfortable in [doing so], and I really want other people, especially Black women, to get more comfortable in that space.”
“Therapy kind of gave me the training to speak my mind. It’s not something we’re taught, especially as Black women."
If you ask Riley’s manager, Myisha Brooks, she’ll tell you the foundation of who the multihyphenate is hasn’t changed much since she was a kid growing up in Compton. “She is who she is from when I met her back when she was singing in the front of the church to back when she landed major roles in film and TV,” Brooks says. Time has allowed Riley to grow more comfortable, giving fans a more intimate glimpse into her life, including her mental health journey and the ins and outs of show business.
The actress/singer has been in therapy since 2019, although she suffered from depression and anxiety way before that. In a recent interview with Jason Lee, she recalls having suicidal ideation as a kid. By the time she started seeing a psychologist and taking antidepressants in her thirties, her body had become jittery, a physical reminder of the trauma stacked high inside her. “I was shaking in [my therapist’s] office,” she tells xoNecole. “My fight or flight was on such a high level. I was constantly in survival mode. My heart was beating fast all the time. All I did was sweat.”
There wasn’t just childhood trauma to account for. After auditioning for American Idol and being turned away by producers, Riley began working for Ikea and nearly missed her Glee audition because her car broke down on the highway while en route. Thankfully, Riley had been cast to play Mercedes Jones. American Idol had temporarily convinced her she wasn’t cut out for the entertainment industry, but this was validation that she was right where she belonged. Glee launched in 2009 with the promise of becoming Riley’s big break.
In some ways, it was. The show introduced Riley to millions of fans and catapulted her into major Hollywood circles. But in other ways, it became a reminder of the types of roles Black women, especially those who are plus-sized, are relegated to. Behind the scenes, Riley says she fought for her character "to have a voice" but eventually realized her efforts were useless. "It finally got to a point where I was like, this is not my moment. I'm not who they're choosing, and this is just going to have to be a job for me for now," she says. "And, that's okay because it pays my bills, I still get to be on television, I'm doing more than any other Black plus-sized women that I'm seeing right now on screen."
The actress can recognize now that she was navigating issues associated with trauma and low self-esteem at the time. She now knows that she's long had anxiety and depression and can recognize the ways in which she was triggered by how the cult-like following of the show conflicted with her individual, isolated experiences behind the scenes. But she was in her early '20s back then. She didn't yet have the language or the tools to process how she was feeling.
Riley says she eventually sought out medical intervention. "When you're in Hollywood, and you go to a doctor, they give you pills," she says, sharing a part of her story that she'd never revealed publicly before now. "[I was] on medication and developing a habit of medicating to numb, not understanding I was developing an addiction to something that's not fixing my problem. If anything, it's making it worse."
“[I was] on medication and developing a habit of medicating to numb, not understanding I was developing an addiction to something that’s not fixing my problem. If anything it’s making it worse.”
Credit: Ally Green
At one point, while in her dressing room on set, she rested her arm on a curling iron without realizing it. It wasn't until her makeup artist alerted her that she even realized her skin was burning. Once she noticed, she says she was "so zonked out on pills" that she barely reacted. Speaking today, she holds up her arm and motions towards a scar that remains from the incident. She sought help for her reliance on the pills, but it would still be years before she finally attended therapy.
This stress was only compounded by the trauma of growing up in poverty and the realities of being a "contract worker." "Imagine going from literally one week having to borrow a car to get to set to the next week being on a private jet to New York City," she says. After Glee ended, so did the rides on private planes. The fury of opportunities she expected to follow her appearance on the show failed to materialize. She wasn't even 30 yet, and she was already forced to consider if she'd hit her career peak.
. . .
We’re only four minutes into our Zoom call before Riley delivers her new adage to me. “My new mantra is ‘humility does not serve me.’ Humility does not serve Black women. The world works so hard to humble us anyway,” she says.
On this Thursday afternoon in April, the LA-based entertainer is seated inside her closet/dressing room wearing a cerulean blue tank top with matching shorts and eating hot wings. This current phase of healing hinges on balance. It’s about having discipline and consistency, but not at the risk of inflexibility. She was planning to head to the gym, for instance, but she’s still tired from the “exhausting” day before. Instead, she’s spent her day receiving a massage, eating some chicken wings, and planning to spend quality time with friends. “I’m not going to beat myself up for it. I’m not going to talk down to myself. I’m going to eat my chicken wings, and then tomorrow I’m [back] in the gym,” she says.
“My new mantra is ‘humility does not serve me.’ Humility does not serve Black women. The world works so hard to humble us anyway."
This is the balance with which she's been approaching much of her life these days. It's why she's worried less about whether or not people see her as someone who is humble. She'd rather be respected. "I think you should be a person that's easy to work with, but in the moments where I have to ruffle feathers and make waves, I'm not shying away from that anymore. You can do it in love, you don't have to be nasty about it, but I had to finally be comfortable with the fact that setting boundaries around my life – in whatever aspect, whether that's personal or business – people are not going to like it. Some people are not going to have nice things to say about you, and you gotta be okay with it," she says.
When Amber talks about the constant humbling of Black women in Hollywood, I think of the entertainers before her who have suffered from this. The brilliant, consistent, overqualified Black women who have spoken of having to fight for opportunities and fair pay. Aretha Franklin. Viola Davis. Tracee Ellis Ross. There's a long list of stars whose success hasn't mirrored their experiences behind the scenes.
Credit: Ally Green
If Black women outside of Hollywood are struggling to decrease the pay gap, so, too, are their wealthier, more famous peers.
Riley says there’s been progress in recent years, but only in small ways and for a limited group of people. “This business is exhausting. The goalpost is constantly moving, and sometimes it’s unfair,” she says. But, I have to say it’s the love that keeps you going.”
“There’s no way you can continue to be in this business and not love it, especially being a plus-sized Black woman,” she continues. “We’re still niche. We’re still not main characters.”
"There’s no way you can continue to be in this business and not love it, especially being a plus-sized Black woman. We’re still niche. We’re still not main characters.”
Last year, Riley starred alongside Raven Goodwin in the Lifetime thriller Single Black Female (a modern, diversified take on 1992’s Single White Female). It was more than a leading role for the actress, it also served as proof that someone who looks like her can front a successful project without it hinging on her identity. It showcased that the characters she portrays don’t “have to be about being a big girl. It can just be a regular story.”
Riley sees her work in music as an extension of her efforts to push past the rigid stereotypes in entertainment. Take her appearance on The Masked Singer, for instance. Riley said she decided to perform Mayer’s “Gravity” after being told she couldn’t sing it years earlier. “I wanted to do ‘Gravity’ on Glee. [I] was told no, because that’s not a song that Mercedes would do,” she says. “That was a full circle moment for me, doing that on that show and to hear what it is they had to say.”
As Scherzinger praised the “anointed” performance, a masked Riley began to cry, her chest heaving as she stood on stage, her eyes shielded from view. “You have to understand, I have really big names – casting directors, producers, show creators – that constantly tell me ‘I’m such a big fan. Your talent is unmatched.’ Hire me, then,” she says, reflecting on the moment.
Recently, she’s been in the studio working on original music, the follow-up to her independently-released debut EP, 2020’s Riley. The sequel to songs such as the anthemic “Big Girl Energy” and the reflective ballad “A Moment” on Riley, this new project hones in on the singer’s R&B roots with sensual grooves such as the tentatively titled “All Night.” “You said I wasn’t shit, turns out that I’m the shit. Then you called me a bitch, turns out that I’m that bitch. You said no one would want me, well you should call your homies,” she sings on the tentatively titled “Lately,” a cut about reflecting on a past relationship. From the forthcoming project, xoNecole received five potential tracks. Fans likely already know the strengths and contours of Riley’s vocals, but these new songs are her strongest, most confident offerings as an artist.
“I am so much more comfortable as a writer, and I know who I am as an artist now. I’m evolving as a human being, in general, so I’m way more vulnerable in my music. I’m way more willing to talk about whatever is on my mind. I don’t stop myself from saying what it is I want to say,” she says.
Credit: Ally Green
“Every era and alliteration of Amber, the baseline is ‘Big Girl Energy.’ That’s the name of her company,” her manager Brooks says, referencing the imprint through which Riley releases her music after getting out of a label deal several years ago. “It’s just what she stands for. She’s not just talking about size, it’s in all things. Whether it’s putting your big girl pants on and having to face a boardroom full of executives or sell yourself in front of a casting agent. It’s her trying to achieve the things she wants to do in life.”
Riley says she has big dreams beyond releasing this new music, too. She’d love to star in a rom-com with Winston Duke. She hasn't starred in a biopic yet, but she’d revel in the opportunity to portray Rosetta Tharpe on screen. She’s determined that her previous setbacks won’t stop her from dreaming big.
“I think one of my superpowers is resilience because, at the end of the day, I’m going to kick, scream, cry, cuss, be mad and disappointed, but I’m going to get up and risk having to deal with it all again. It’s worth it for the happy moments,” she says.
If Riley seems more comfortable and confident professionally, it’s because of the work she’s been doing in her personal life.
She’d previously spoken to xoNecole about becoming engaged to a man she discovered in a post on the site, but she called things off last year. For Valentine’s Day, she revealed her new boyfriend publicly. “I decided to post him on Valentine’s Day, partially because I was in the dog house. I got in trouble with him,” she says, half-joking before turning serious. “The breakup was never going to stop me from finding love. Or at least trying. I don’t owe anybody a happily ever after. People break up. It happens. When it was good, it was good. When it was bad, it was terrible, hunny. I had to get the fuck up out of there. You find happiness, and you enjoy it and work through it.”
Credit: Ally Green
"I don’t owe anybody a happily ever after. People break up. It happens. When it was good, it was good. When it was bad, it was terrible, hunny. I had to get the fuck up out of there. You find happiness and you enjoy it and work through it.”
With her ex, Riley was pretty outspoken about her relationship, even appearing in content for Netflix with him. This time around is different. She’s not hiding her boyfriend of eight months, but she’s more protective of him, especially because he’s a father and isn’t interested in becoming a public figure.
She’s traveling more, too. It’s a deliberate effort on her part to enjoy her money and reject the trauma she’s developed after experiencing poverty in her childhood. “I live in constant fear of being broke. I don’t think you ever don’t remember that trauma or move past that. Now I travel and I’m like, listen, if it goes, it goes. I’m not saying [to] be reckless, but I deserve to enjoy my hard work.”
After everything she’s been through, she certainly deserves to finally let loose a bit. “I have to have a life to live,” she says. “I’ve got to have a life worth fighting for.”
Director of Content: Jasmine Grant
Campaign Manager: Chantal Gainous
Managing Editor: Sheriden Garrett
Creative Director/Executive Producer: Tracey Woods
Cover Designer: Tierra Taylor
Photographer: Ally Green
Photo Assistant: Avery Mulally
Digital Tech: Kim Tran
Video by Third and Sunset
DP & Editor: Sam Akinyele
2nd Camera: Skylar Smith
Camera Assistant: Charles Belcher
Stylist: Casey Billingsley
Hairstylist: DaVonte Blanton
Makeup Artist: Drini Marie
Production Assistants: Gade De Santana, Apu Gomes
Powered by: European Wax Center
Megan Thee Stallion Appears To Have a New Bae! This Is What We Know About Him
Could a new romance be brewing for Megan Thee Stallion?
The rapper's dating life took center stage recently after she was captured on various occasions sharing intimate moments with Belgian soccer player Romelu Lukaku as the pair attended a wedding for his close friend and teammate Lautaro Martinez in Lake Como, Italy.
During the event, which occurred over Memorial Day weekend, Megan and Romelu were spotted getting close and holding hands. Although neither party commented on the recent images, it sent shockwaves on social media as it circulated online because many assumed that the "Her" emcee was still dating her longtime partner Pardison "Pardi" Fontaine.
\u201cFound another video of Lukaku and Megan Thee Stallion at Lautaro's wedding \ud83e\udee1\u201d— Lili \ud83d\udd2e\u2728\ufe0f (@Lili \ud83d\udd2e\u2728\ufe0f) 1685398844
Megan and Pardison have been together for over two years. Rumors about a supposed split arose in early 2023 when the "Savage" lyricist allegedly unfollowed Pardison on Instagram. To date, Megan and Pardison have seemingly wiped all posts of one another on their respective Instagram pages and have yet to confirm their split.
In light of Megan's new alleged romance with Romelu, xoNecole digs deep into the 30-year-old's life and shares a few facts many may not know about the soccer star.
Romelu Is A Belgian Soccer Player, And Megan Was Allegedly Spotted At One of His Games Recently
Romelu, who is Belgian and Congolese, has played soccer professionally since 2009 and is currently a forward for the Belgium national team and Inter Milian.
Earlier this month, Megan appeared to have attended one of his games after uploading a photo dump on Instagram. On May 2, while informing her fans about what she has been up to, including sightseeing and shopping, Megan shared an image of a soccer field.
Romelu Comes From A Family Of Athletes
Romelu's passion for soccer began early on due to his family's background. The star's father, Roger Lukaku, is a former soccer player and participated in numerous Belgium clubs as a forward before retiring in 2007. In addition to his father, Romelu's younger brother Jordan Lukaku and cousin Boli Bolingoli-Mbombo are also professional soccer players.
The last team Jordan played for was SD Ponferradina. At the same time, Boli is a defender for KV Mechelen.
Romelu Was One Of The First Big Premier League Players To Sign To Roc Nation Sports
\u201cJUST IN: Jay Z\u2019s Roc Nation Sports has signed their first big Premier League player: Manchester United\u2019s @RomeluLukaku9. Joins @JB17Official as soccer clients.\u201d— Darren Rovell (@Darren Rovell) 1524139645
Although there are limited details of how Romelu and Megan may have met, many could assume it's due to their Roc Nation connection.
In 2018, the father of two made headlines after signing with Roc Nation Sports. The commotion mainly occurred because Romelu was one of the first big premier league players to sign with the company. A year later, Megan joined the Roc Nation team.
Romelu starred on Reality Television As a Teen
Prior to his success on the soccer field, a teenage Romelu and his classmates starred in a reality television series De School Van Lukaku, for the Dutch Network Eén.
The show followed the students' lives as they dealt with various struggles, including love and friendship, while attending Saint-Guidon Institute in Brussels. During that time, Romelu was playing for the Anderlecht youth team.
Romelu Stands Up For Racism
Over the years, Romelu has showcased he isn't afraid to fight for what is right. In 2021, during an interview with CNN, the star disclosed why he felt taking a knee before the start of the game in protest of police brutality and racism wasn't enough.
Romelu told the news outlet that even with the particular gesture, it wouldn't stop others from treating people like himself or his family poorly. Romelu went on to add that he would continue to fight this battle head-on because it needs to be done to create a change for the future generation.
"I think we can take stronger positions, basically. Yeah, we are taking the knee, but in the end, everybody's clapping but… sometimes after the game, you see another insult. I have to fight, because I'm not fighting only for myself. I'm fighting for my son, for my future kids, for my brother, for all of the other players and their kids, you know, for everybody," he said.
Toward the end of the conversation, Romelu shared that the game of soccer, also known as fútbol in other countries, should be an "enjoyable" experience for all and not a place where people feel unsafe due to the "opinion from some uneducated people."
"At the end of the day, fútbol should be an enjoyable game… You cannot kill the game by discrimination. That should never happen," he stated. "Fútbol is joy, it's happiness, and it shouldn't be a place where you feel unsafe because of the opinion from some uneducated people."
Romelu's Past Relationship With The Mother of His Child
Before dating rumors between Romelu and Megan went rampant online, the soccer star was romantically linked to Belgium model and entrepreneur Sarah Mens.
News outlets are reporting that Romelu and Sarah met in 2016 while she was interning in Miami. Following their brief encounter, the pair would ultimately become a couple. Romelu and Sarah, who share a son Romeo Lukaku, reportedly dated for five years before calling it quits in 2021. Years following their breakup, Romelu would welcome another son Jordan Lukaku with an unidentified woman.
Despite the limited information about Megan and Romelu's alleged new romance, one thing is for sure it will indeed be a hot girl summer for the rapper.
Let’s make things inbox official! Sign up for the xoNecole newsletter for daily love, wellness, career, and exclusive content delivered straight to your inbox.
Feature image by Jeff Kravitz/Getty Images for CMT