I don't know about you, but usually, when I hear someone talk about their short and long-term goals, it typically has something to do with professional or health-related ambitions. Those are important, no doubt about it. But I do think that there is another set of achievements that should get just as much of our time, effort, and attention—personal development goals. Because, if you really stop to think about it, what's the point in being professionally successful or even being in the physical state that we desire if our personal lives, our mental state, and/or our emotional stability are in total shambles?
To a large degree, personal development goals are as unique as each person reading this. But there are some things that, I feel, we all could only benefit from if we made them a top priority. If you want to make this season of your life one where you thrive in a way that you never have before, here are 10 ways to accomplish that ambition.
1. “Tithe” to Yourself
If you've ever wondered why a lot of people pay tithes in church, it's because there is a Scripture in the Bible that gives that instruction; it's in Malachi 3. The reason why folks offer up 10 percent is that that is literally what tithe means. I'll admit that it's always been a bit of a controversial topic but, regardless of your religious affiliation or personal convictions, if there's one thing that I think you should be open to doing is "tithing to yourself".
The reality is a part of the reason why a lot of us incur the amount of debt that we do is because we don't budget wisely. When we want those new pairs of shoes or to get a much-needed massage, because we didn't prepare to spend what it costs ahead of time, we end up spending more than we should. By setting aside 10 percent from each paycheck that you get to do nothing but focus on self-care, not only does that remind you to make yourself a priority, but it also offers up a guilt-free and financially responsible way to do it.
2. Use Discernment
A movie that I re-watched online recently isVideo Girl starring Meagan Good. If you've never seen it before, the long short of it is Meagan's character is a former ballet dancer who gets into a car accident that shatters her dreams. A famous video director discovers her, she starts to book a lot of gigs, and well, I bet you can guess that things start to get pretty rocky from there. As I watched the story play out (again), I thought about so many of the red flags that her character ignored. Blatant ones. Then I thought about all of the times when I've done basically the same thing in my own life.
In a society that has become so hypersensitive that it seems like no one can be advised or corrected on anything, try and avoid being that type of individual. Be humble enough to receive wisdom from those who care about you. Also, be self-aware enough to use good judgment in both personal and professional circumstances and situations.
If something doesn't feel right, listen to what your mind, body, and spirit are telling you. If you aren't at total peace, don't ignore that fact. If you think you should pump the brakes on something in order to get a better understanding, do that. A wise person once said, "Discernment is the ability to see things for what they really are and not what you want them to be." Just imagine how much drama and foolishness could be avoided if we all applied this to our lives on a consistent basis.
3. Handle Stress Effectively
I know a personal development goal that always remains on the top of my list is reducing stress. That's why I make the conscious decision to not worry a lot. I also try and allow peace to be my guide at all times. One of the main reasons why I think this is so important is because, to me, good health is paramount. And with articles out in cyberspace like "10 Health Problems Related to Stress That You Can Fix" to remind me heart disease, diabetes and headaches typically don't "just happen", stress triggers them—it's so important to make sure that I avoid people, places, things and ideas that are prone to stress me out rather than keep me calm. I'm not the only one who feels that way either. Check out "Forget The Bag, Kelly Rowland Wants You To Get Your Stress In Check". It serves as a great reminder that nothing and no one is worth you sacrificing your health or peace of mind. You'd betta believe it.
4. Understand Your Power of Influence
Someone once said that influence is not the main thing in influencing others; it is the only thing. I thought about that as I was watching R&B artist Snoh Aalegra's latest music video "Whoa" featuring Michael B. Jordan. As I was thinking about how much she gave me modern-day Sade vibes in a lot of ways (fun fact: her debut LP featured a cover of Sade's song "Smooth Operator"), I also thought about how I dug her energy and vibe. It was cool to just hear some good music, see some nice visuals, and feel like my young goddaughters could walk into the room and I wouldn't have to mute the lyrics or change the channel because of what was happening on the screen. That little story right there is a small example of what one's power of influence is like. I appreciated something that Snoh presented, wrote about it, and now you're reading it.
My point to that is this—someone is always watching you. It might be a co-worker, a friend, your children, or a complete stranger. And whether you realize it or not, your words, actions, and even energy can have a domino effect on others; usually in ways that you can't even begin to fathom. That's why it's so important to be intentional about the choices that you make—in both the big and little things. Just by making it a goal to be a responsible influencer, you are choosing to impact this society in a very powerful, relevant, and lasting type of way.
5. Define Success for Yourself
To this day, I'd have to say that one of my favorite songs by Drake as well as Trey Songz is "Successful". If you listen to it carefully, although they are talking about money, cars and clothes being the definition of success in the hook, the verses also explore the challenges that can come with having those things. Moral to the story—this is why it's so important to define success for yourself. For instance, for me, being able to make a living off of my writing gift is my definition of success. Believe you me, a sistah ain't rich; not even close. But I wake up being able to set my own schedule while enjoying what I do and not feeling like I am compromising my values or integrity in order to take care of myself.
While a lot of the world would have you to think that you're only a true success if it's based on "the attainment of wealth, position, honors, or the like", I personally believe that the happiest people in life are the ones who define success another way—"the accomplishment of one's goals". Knowing your purpose, setting short- and long-term goals, and remaining focused on accomplishing these things—if you're able to do this on the regular, I salute you. You, my dear, are a textbook definition of success.
6. Manage Your Expectations
There is someone in my life who lives by, what I personally think, is one of the most depressing mottos on the planet—"Expect nothing and you won't be disappointed." Geeze. Listen, there's nothing wrong with having expectations. Even the Good Book says, "Listen to my voice in the morning, Lord. Each morning I bring my requests to you and wait expectantly." (Psalm 5:3—AMPC) The key is to manage your expectations properly and realistically.
One way to do that is to base your expectations on someone's character and track record. For instance, one of my friends? Whenever he says, "I'll call you back in a minute", I have learned to translate that as, "I'll talk to you later." I don't expect him to ring my phone the same day because there's a 50/50 chance that he won't. But I have another friend who, if she says she'll hit me back in 10 minutes, she's always on time (even if she has to call to say that she'll call back). Another way to manage your expectations—and this is a big one—is to not try and turn people into another version of yourself. What I mean by that is, don't expect people to do (or not do) something, simply because you would. State your needs, allow them to decide if they wish to comply or not, and then set boundaries based on whether or not you can live with what they choose to do.
Life would be pretty grim if you never looked forward to anything which is what expectations are all about. Just make sure that your expectations are grounded in reality and you should be all good. Oh, and if you are constantly being disappointed by someone based on your expectations and them not meeting any of 'em, perhaps it's the relationship that needs adjusting, not what you're expecting overall.
7. Break Bad Habits
Not too long ago, I shared a list of some habits that were worth, at least considering breaking, before this new year began. But aside from things like eating fast food, breaking promises, and settling, we've all got personal bad habits that we know we should let go of as well. It might be overthinking. Maybe it's holding grudges. Perhaps it's constantly breaking your budget or showing up to work late. Maybe it's always getting involved with guys who are absolutely no good for you. Or always allowing opportunists to take advantage of you. Perhaps it's still eating dairy when your body has been begging you to let it go or still allowing your mama to run your life when you are too grown for that now.
The thing that you always have to keep in mind about habits is, before long, they are so ingrained into your lifestyle that they literally become a part of you; they end up being like second nature. If there is anything that you are doing—or allowing—that is hindering you from becoming your best self and living out your best life, NOW would be the time to remove it and replace it with something better. Out of all of the personal development goals mentioned here, make sure that this one doesn't get overlooked.
8. Take a Day Off. WEEKLY.
Ever since I was born, I've been a traditional Sabbath observer. What that means is from sunset Friday through sunset Saturday, I don't work. Actually, it's more than that—I don't work and I make it a point to do things that bring me pure enjoyment, just for the heck of it. Because of this, I don't get overwhelmed very often. I also feel calmer and I'm able to be more productive during the week because I have gotten the rest that I needed over the weekend. The thing about "keeping the Sabbath" is it's more than a "religious practice". I know a lot of people who see Sunday as "their Sabbath" but they don't get a lick of rest on it. First, they're in church for hours on end, then they are rushing home to prepare for the upcoming week. That's not a day off if you ask me.
Our bodies are not made to constantly be on the go; rest is supposed to be a part of our life's routine. That's why it's so important to not see taking at least one day off a week as being a luxury. The process of disconnecting, recharging, and even pampering are all important if you want to remain physically healthy, mentally clear, and emotionally balanced.
9. Respond Instead of React
If you want to know if you've truly mastered someTheKarate Kid wax on, wax off ish, ask yourself if you truly know the difference between responding vs. reacting to things that are difficult or you don't like; this could be a person, place, thing or idea. Indeed, if there is one personal goal that I focused long, deep, and hard on in 2019, it was this one.
So, how do you know if you are responding or reacting? First of all, reacting tends to be an immediate emotional action. If you do things, solely from an emotional space, it oftentimes isn't thought through; it's also not necessarily what you would do if you took a few moments to process what happened. Another point worth mentioning about reactions is they are oftentimes so aggressive and off-putting that they can set off a chain of other reactions that you probably don't want to put up with either.
I've got to give credit to where credit is due here. At least based on what we know thus far, Omarion is a great example of what can happen when you respond vs. react. When you remain calm and centered, you can plan, strategize and get the kind of results that you ultimately want. When you don't, well—VH1 has plenty of programming that serves as cautionary tales for that.
10. Define Self-Love for Yourself
A few months ago, I wrote an article on here entitled "What Loving Yourself Actually Looks Like". The more that I embark on my own journey in this area, the more I realize that there are some things about self-love that should automatically apply to all of us (like self-respect and self-esteem). At the same time, because we are each unique in our own ways, some things are customizable. When Miss Universe 2019 Zozibini Tunzi decided to rock her killa fade over a wig in the pageant, that is how she decided to reflect her self-love. Big Sean's semi-recent commitment to take a year off in order to take care of his mental health was an act of self-love.
Cassie releasing her past so that she could have an even greater future was an act of self-love. Lizzo has done all kinds of things to challenge the status quo when it comes to how she defines/displays self-love. I recently watched an episode of Righteous & Ratchet featuring KevOnStage, Mrs. KevOnStage, and Doboy discussing all of the creative risks that they took (and won) this past year that was their acts of self-love. What all of these examples have in common is these people focused on what they needed to do to feel good about themselves—and that is a big part of what self-love is all about.
At the end of the day, a goal is "the result or achievement toward which effort is directed; aim; end". If you're currently dissatisfied with your personal life, it's probably time to set some new personal goals. It's a simple step that can lead to really big changes and lasting results. Set some.
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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.”
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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 seriesDe 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 withCNN, 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.
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Feature image by Jeff Kravitz/Getty Images for CMT