All Good Relationships Start With Friendships
OWN's "Black Love Documentary" is back for Season 2 and some of our favorite couples like Kirk & Tammy Franklin, Tina & Richard Lawson, and Dewanda Wise & Alano Miller are telling us their stories of life, love, and relationships. I was a huge fan of the first season, and I really appreciated the candid conversations that the couples were having. They were honest about infidelity, sex, kids, and just the overall challenges of being together. It was real, and I was happy to hear that it was coming back for a second installment. The first episode premiered last Saturday and just like I expected, each couple held nothing back.
The topic of conversation centered around when the couples first met and how they became friends first before getting into a relationship. A few of them went back and forth between dating and being friend zoned before they became a couple. There was one woman who went back to her ex twice before her and her husband finally came together. I was in my living room screaming, "Girl, what is wrong with you?" I couldn't imagine how a woman who had this seemingly wonderful man that wanted to marry her could continue to let him down not once, but twice. The most shocking part was that in the midst of it all, they continued to remain friends and kept in touch. Does it really work like that? You would think that after being let down numerous times that this guy would throw the deuces, but he stayed and was determined to marry this woman. *Swoon*
Two couples that I really want to highlight are Tammy & Kirk Franklin and Ryan & Sterling K. Brown. Both of these couples dealt with a push and pull before they solidified their relationships. It seemed like every time the potential was there to just be together, something happened that set them back. Tammy told a story of how Kirk called her one day and told her that he was about make another woman his number one. Excuse me? He went after her initially and now he was picking someone else? I would have been gone. Again, they continued to remain friends. I know me and how my inner petty likes to work and I would have burned everything to the ground before I continued to stay friends. Then again, I'm currently single...
I decided that after my last relationship that I was going to be intentional about what I wanted in a partner. Things that I like and dislike were going to be made clear and I refused to just let things slide. Watching this episode of the documentary, I had a self reflection moment. Even though these couples experienced some really damaging experiences, their main focus was to always remain friends first and have an intimate relationship next. It was like a light bulb went off and I realized that you need that solid foundation to have a healthy relationship. You need to be able to laugh, cry, and share certain experiences together before you move into a partnership. You always hear couples say "He/she is my best friend. I tell them everything." Doesn't everyone want that in a partner? Someone you can be vulnerable with and feel completely safe. It's the ideal situation and I think couples should focus more on building a friendship before falling face first into a relationship.
I'm not the type to look at other couples and say "relationship goals," but I do like dynamics. I like to see how couples interact with each other when people aren't watching or how they choose to profess their love for one another. It's unique and beautiful to see when it's genuine. Couples like Jhene Aiko and Big Sean or Teyana Taylor and Iman Shumpert march to the beat of their own drum and it works for them, but one thing they have in common is that they started off as friends first before they became a couple. I think that's important and people should take notes.
Say what you want about this documentary and the idea of "Black Love," but I learned a lot watching the first season and you better believe that I'm taking notes this time around. There's a lot of wisdom coming from these couples and I would be silly not to soak it up.