Why It's Okay If He Marries The Next Woman and Not You
I've seen it happen far too many times. Boy meets girl. Boy and girl embark on what eventually becomes a long term relationship. After a few years girl begins to wonder if boy is even considering marriage since boy seems to be quite complacent just being a boyfriend. Girl grows frustrated from waiting and eventually boy and girl break up. After some time, boy meets new girl and seems to wife her up overnight. Girl gets angry and considers catching a felony because she feels all she did was prepare her boyfriend to be someone else's husband. WTF happened?
Why did he marry the next woman and not you? Let me reassure you of something I learned in a past relationship:
[easy-tweet tweet="The world is filled with plenty of good people who are not good for each other. " via="no" usehashtags="no"]
The world is filled with plenty of good people who are not good for each other. Now I know that’s not very comforting when you feel like you’ve invested years into “upgrading” a guy only for him to turn around and give the good life to a new girl. It was only a few months ago that I listened to one of my best friend’s vent about her child’s father:
“I helped this ni**a get a passport. I’ve filled out job applications and created resumes for him. If it wasn’t for me his stupid ass wouldn't even know what an "offer letter" is and now he’s spending his checks on this new b**ch and her kids?”
The same happened when a few years ago news broke that singer Ne-Yo was not only engaged but expecting a child with model Crystal Renay, a few fans weren't feeling very congratulatory as they questioned the "Let Me Love You" crooner's relationship choices. It didn’t help that the mother of his children, Monyetta Shaw was recently featured on the Vh-1 series Atlanta Exes at the time and revealed details about a decision she claimed she and the singer shared for her to undergo tubal ligation after giving birth to son Mason and daughter Madilyn:
“As a family we decided we didn’t want any more kids. Once we learned that our second child was a boy, we were in the office high-fiving like ‘Yes. We’re done, The doctor hit us with the option.”“If we done, we done, we decided we didn’t want anymore kids, we decided we didn’t want anymore kids.”
So when Crystal Renay took to Instagram last summer to post an ultrasound pic announcing her pregnancy with the singer whose legal name is Shaffer Smith, fans went all the way in on the couple in Shaw’s defense, calling Ne-Yo a “disgusting animal” and even bringing up Crystal Renay’s “porn past” with clips surfacing of her appearance in an adult video years ago.
Admittedly I had conflicting feelings about the situation. I couldn’t imagine making a decision with a man I wasn’t married to that we had completed our family and yet I’m the one who needs to undergo irreversible surgery, but I could sympathize with Shaw, who was clearly in love with a man she believed she would spend her life with. And as much as I gave Ne-Yo and Crystal Renay the side-eye, from what was revealed about the situation he didn’t cheat on Shaw and he didn’t make a baby with Crystal Renay on a break. From what we could see, the relationship with the mother of his children didn’t work out, and he had moved on and seemingly found happiness with someone else. So why were some women so angry?
No woman wants to feel like she was treated like trash by a man only for him to move on and treat the next woman like treasure. There’s something justifying about chanting phrases like “Once a cheater always a cheater,” or “How you met him is how you’ll lose him,” in our heads when a horrible ex moves on to the next. I can remember plenty of times browsing through an ex’s Instagram to see him experience one break up after the other and chuckling to myself, thinking, “That’s exactly what the hell you get for thinking you could do better than me.” It’s not that we celebrate our sistas being dogged and degraded, but I believe there’s a certain part in a very dark place of every woman who has been hurt that needs to be convinced it REALLY is him and not you. Seeing an ex move on to find happiness with the next woman challenges that false sense of confidence.
But here’s the thing, helping a man become a better person is about wanting to build up someone you love so they can reach their full potential, not because you trying to "Easy Bake" the perfect boyfriend. It’s about supporting your partner because you love them at the time, even if if that love doesn’t last forever. And even if he takes all those investments and deposits them in the next relationship, it doesn’t always mean that all you should be left with left with is resentment. Break-ups don’t always have to be someone’s fault and I truly believe some people bring out the best in one another, and some people bring out the worst.
It’s also about timing and maturity. I’ve seen men who at 23, couldn’t remember the name of the woman they had sex with two seconds ago. But later at 30, have settled down and are in committed relationships of trust and respect. As much as it gives us a sense of control and hope that we can change a man, the truth is only time and the man himself can do that, not the new girlfriend or wife. If that doesn’t happen on your watch, you have to accept that it wasn’t meant to be and move on.
There’s a phrase that The Real co-host Tamera Mowry always uses that I love: “Man’s rejection, is God’s protection.” I recently bumped into an ex and learned he got married not too long ago and as we caught up on all of our life changes, it didn’t take long for me to recognize his wife was custom made for him. She didn’t seem like a bad person, but she definitely accepted things in the relationship that I would have never gone for and I was reminded of exactly why we didn’t work out in the first place. So if Ne-Yo up and lost his mind and left Crystal Renay today and tried to make it work with Monyetta Shaw, I wouldn’t be surprised if it didn’t work out once again. Sometimes you have to trust “the one that got away” was actually “good riddance.”
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Exclusive: Gabrielle Union On Radical Transparency, Being Diagnosed With Perimenopause And Embracing What’s Next
Whenever Gabrielle Union graces the movie screen, she immediately commands attention. From her unforgettable scenes in films like Bring It On and Two Can Play That Game to her most recent film, in which she stars and produces Netflix’s The Perfect Find, there’s no denying that she is that girl.
Off-screen, she uses that power for good by sharing her trials and tribulations with other women in hopes of helping those who may be going through the same things or preventing them from experiencing them altogether. Recently, the Flawless by Gabrielle Union founder partnered with Clearblue to speak at the launch of their Menopause Stage Indicator, where she also shared her experience with being perimenopausal.
In a xoNecoleexclusive, the iconic actress opens up about embracing this season of her life, new projects, and overall being a “bad motherfucker.” Gabrielle reveals that she was 37 years old when she was diagnosed with perimenopause and is still going through it at 51 years old. Mayo Clinic says perimenopause “refers to the time during which your body makes the natural transition to menopause, marking the end of the reproductive years.”
“I haven't crossed over the next phase just yet, but I think part of it is when you hear any form of menopause, you automatically think of your mother or grandmother. It feels like an old-person thing, but for me, I was 37 and like not understanding what that really meant for me. And I don't think we focus so much on the word menopause without understanding that perimenopause is just the time before menopause,” she tells us.
Photo by Brian Thomas
"But you can experience a lot of the same things during that period that people talk about, that they experienced during menopause. So you could get a hot flash, you could get the weight gain, the hair loss, depression, anxiety, like all of it, mental health challenges, all of that can come, you know, at any stage of the menopausal journey and like for me, I've been in perimenopause like 13, 14 years. When you know, most doctors are like, ‘Oh, but it's usually about ten years, and I'm like, ‘Uhh, I’m still going (laughs).’”
Conversations about perimenopause, fibroids, and all the things that are associated with women’s bodies have often been considered taboo and thus not discussed publicly. However, times are changing, and thanks to the Gabrielle’s and the Tia Mowry’s, more women are having an authentic discourse about women’s health. These open discussions lead to the creation of more safe spaces and support for one another.
“I want to be in community with folks. I don't ever want to feel like I'm on an island about anything. So, if I can help create community where we are lacking, I want to be a part of that,” she says. “So, it's like there's no harm in talking about it. You know what I mean? Like, I was a bad motherfucker before perimenopause. I’m a bad motherfucker now, and I'll be a bad motherfucker after menopause. Know what I’m saying? None of that has to change. How I’m a bad motherfucker, I welcome that part of the change. I'm just getting better and stronger and more intelligent, more wise, more patient, more compassionate, more empathetic. All of that is very, very welcomed, and none of it should be scary.”
The Being Mary Jane star hasn’t been shy about her stance on therapy. If you don’t know, here’s a hint: she’s all for it, and she encourages others to try it as well. She likens therapy to dating by suggesting that you keep looking for the right therapist to match your needs. Two other essential keys to her growth are radical transparency and radical acceptance (though she admits she is still working on the latter).
"I was a bad motherfucker before perimenopause. I’m a bad motherfucker now, and I'll be a bad motherfucker after menopause. Know what I’m saying? None of that has to change. How I’m a bad motherfucker, I welcome that part of the change."
Gabrielle Union and Kaavia Union-Wade
Photo by Monica Schipper/Getty Images
“I hope that a.) you recognize that you're not alone. Seek out help and know that it's okay to be honest about what the hell is happening in your life. That's the only way that you know you can get help, and that's also the only other way that people know that you are in need if there's something going on,” she says, “because we have all these big, very wild, high expectations of people, but if they don't know what they're actually dealing with, they're always going to be failing, and you will always be disappointed. So how about just tell the truth, be transparent, and let people know where you are. So they can be of service, they can be compassionate.”
Gabrielle’s transparency is what makes her so relatable, and has so many people root for her. Whether through her TV and film projects, her memoirs, or her social media, the actress has a knack for making you feel like she’s your homegirl. Scrolling through her Instagram, you see the special moments with her family, exciting new business ventures, and jaw-dropping fashion moments. Throughout her life and career, we’ve seen her evolve in a multitude of ways. From producing films to starting a haircare line to marriage and motherhood, her journey is a story of courage and triumph. And right now, in this season, she’s asking, “What’s next?”
“This is a season of discovery and change. In a billion ways,” says the NAACP Image Award winner. “The notion of like, ‘Oh, so and so changed. They got brand new.’ I want you to be brand new. I want me to be brand new. I want us to be always constantly growing, evolving. Having more clarity, moving with different purpose, like, and all of that is for me very, very welcomed."
"I want you to be brand new. I want me to be brand new. I want us to be always constantly growing, evolving. Having more clarity, moving with different purpose, like, and all of that is for me very, very welcomed."
She continues, “So I'm just trying to figure out what's next. You know what I mean? I'm jumping into what's next. I'm excited going into what's next and new. I'm just sort of embracing all of what life has to offer.”
Look out for Gabrielle in the upcoming indie film Riff Raff, which is a crime comedy starring her and Jennifer Coolidge, and she will also produce The Idea of You, which stars Anne Hathaway.
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Feature image by Mike Lawrie/Getty Images
What would you do if you just got laid off from your corporate job and you had a serendipitous encounter with someone who gave you the opportunity of a lifetime? Tamara Taylor was faced with that decision in 2013 after she was let go from her sales profit and operations coach job in the restaurant industry and met a then-up-and-coming stylist, Law Roach, on a flight to L.A. She and Roach struck up a conversation, and he shared how he was looking for someone to run his business and was impressed by her skills. While she took his business card, she was unsure if it would lead to anything. But, boy, was she wrong. Two weeks later, after packing up her home to move back to her hometown of Chicago, she called Roach; he asked if they could meet the following day, and the rest is herstory.
Taylor founded Mastermind MGMT, an agency that represents some of Hollywood’s best “image architects” like Roach, Kellon Deryck, and Kollin Carter, who are responsible for creating unforgettable style and beauty moments for celebrities like Zendaya, Megan Thee Stallion, Taraji P. Henson, and more. Taylor and her company possess an array of functions, but her biggest role is to be her client’s advocate. We hear endless stories about how creatives aren’t paid or underpaid in the entertainment industry, but Taylor ensures that her clients get their piece of the pie. The entrepreneur opened up about her company and her non-profit, Mastermind Matters, in an exclusive interview with xoNecole.
“I always say that I'm an artist advocate first, deal closer second. So my primary focus is to just make sure that the artist is getting everything that they deserve, whether it's compensation or, you know, certain accommodations, but just making sure that they have everything that they need to be able to show up and provide the best service that they're hired for,” she explained.
“So you know, in the beginning, it was hard because I didn't have any experience, and the artists who I was working with at the time–we were learning together, meaning neither of us had assisted anyone. We didn't have mentors in our specific fields. So every deal was like a new learning experience for us from the styling side and also from the business side, and so it took, you know, doing some research, using some very creative tactics, to find out information in the industry and just starting to request accommodations that I knew other artists were granted, who maybe didn't look like my artists.”
Photo by Christopher Marrs
Ten years later, there’s still not many people who are doing what Taylor is doing. However, things have gotten easier thanks to the research and connections she made in the beginning. During Mastermind MGMT’s ten-year anniversary celebration, she announced her non-profit, Mastermind Matters, which is a 501(c)(3) non-profit that focuses on helping young entrepreneurs through a 12-week program. The program is divided into “two routes.” The first route is for aspiring creative artists who want to start a business from their talent and all the things they need to learn about business, such as taxes, life insurance, etc. The second route is for practicing creative artists who are already in the industry but need resources such as how to plan for retirement or how to sustain themselves if they can’t work for a short amount of time, i.e., the pandemic.
“I just feel that I'm able to have a business and be successful because of their art as well. And so there are things that I know, I tried to teach it to them but understanding that I can only do so much because I'm not a subject matter expert in those fields,” she said. “So I at least want to be able to provide the resources, and then if they make their grown decision not to do it, then that's on them. But you know, I could be guilt-free and taking advantage of the resources that I'm also providing to them.”
Taylor continues to be an innovator in her industry by always pushing the boundaries of creativity and thinking one step ahead of everyone else. The Chicago-bred businesswoman is moving into the tech space thanks to a new invention created with her clients in mind, and she is looking forward to bigger collaborations in the future. Follow Mastermind MGMT on Instagram @mastermind_mgmt for more information.
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Feature image by Christopher Marrs