Like many reality show lovers, I’m glued to the television screen most Monday nights at 8 p.m. to catch Love & Hip Hop. The New York cast of the popular series always delivers, and this season’s stars include a hilarious former stripper named Cardi B, franchise co-creator Yandy Smith-Harris and rap’s comeback queen, Remy Ma. While these leading ladies have done a great job of bringing all types of drama — from baby mama clap backs and court dates to balancing blended families and life after the pole — this season we see a new story line emerging. It features rapper Bianca Bonnie (formerly Young B), who had a hit record, “Chicken Noodle Soup,” as a teen and has been working her butt off for a seat at the table.
Last season fans had a chance to watch Bianca Bonnie mature into an artist who isn’t just a beauty, but a hard working talent. This season, instead of focusing on the men cheating, we see B working on a personal dilemma a lot of women face but is rarely publicly discussed: Is it okay to go after someone’s man?
When it comes to man-stealing most folks, at least in front of an audience, will respond, “No way.” After all, only sociopaths or women with extreme low self-esteem exhibit behavior that lacks moral responsibility or social conscience, right? But in real life we know that isn’t true. People make selfish decisions all the time. So whether Bianca’s drama is for entertainment purposes — hey, everyone needs a story line — or the evidence of a true moral dilemma, the topic warrants exploration.Why? Because there are countless people who are hurt, lonely and disheartened, and what do they do? They hurt others. This isn’t an excuse; it’s a part of a cycle.
Those who’ve experienced, or witnessed, a trauma often believe they can only expect the same outcome or deserve less than what we know to be right and good. It creates an ongoing cycle of dysfunctional behavior — watching it unravel is much of what keeps us glued to the franchise. That said, I’m not going to vilify Bianca for choosing to pursue DJ Drewski, who was openly in a relationship, and for disrespecting his then girlfriend Sky Landish. I won’t even go into the, “Sista, respect yourself…” speech because change is incited by a choice, not a plea.
Instead, I’m speaking to that Young B in all of us (the part of you that wants to give up on waiting for what’s right and go after what you want at any cost) and giving a few very real reminders about why “doing you” and man-stealing never works. Consider these points:
The Man Who Cheats With You, Will Cheat On You
Understand that there are millions of people with vibrant personalities, style, hustle and vaginas. The something special you share with a significant other isn’t just about chemistry, it’s about commitment. An individual who is willing to dishonor his commitment with another woman to “choose” you on the low is actually only choosing himself. He is deciding to take the easy way out of a situation by indulging in relationships with both, or multiple, women, and getting what he wants from each. Even if you become his main woman his selfishness will show itself in other ways, i.e. neglect, abandonment, financial irresponsibility…outside kids.
You’re Not a Player When You’re Getting Played
We see this on television and in real life, women touting that they are hustling men, getting what they want (sex, money, etc.) then crying in the end. Why the tears? Ultimately, most of these ladies end up developing feelings for the men they are “playing” that simply are not reciprocated. Few men turn down the chance to give a piece of themselves (read: penis) for all of a woman. She loses. He doesn’t.
You Lose Even If You Win
There is no way you can have a happy, healthy relationship with someone who has proven that he is capable of lying to the person he makes promises to, shares finances with and sleeps next to every night. If you ever elect to place labels such as “monogamy” on the relationship you’re prone to a life of second-guessing, angst or denial.
He Will Never Trust You
He isn’t the only person cheating, so are you. Let’s say the best case, dream scenario happens and you both decide to give a relationship with each other a chance. What happens when natural stressors or temptation occurs? He will rely on past experience to create his expectations of your behavior and your history proves that you’re not worthy of trust. You participated in a lie. You maliciously hurt another person. You are cable of doing the same to him.
You Sabotage Every Relationship
Your mate isn’t the only person who loses trust and respect for you, so do other folks. Your friends and family will question — whether behind your back or face-to-face — what you’re willing to do to get what you want. Will you steal their men? Will you lie at work? Will you cheat them financially? Your overall character will constantly be in question.
There is an easy way to kill all of this drama. You can require that anyone interested in you prove it by severing ties with his or her significant other before you will consider “what’s next?” That is, unless you like the drama…and we’ll leave that for another post.
S. Tia Brown is EBONY’s Lifestyle Director, a licensed therapist, and believes in love and the promise that it gives. Reach out @tiabrowntalks.