Never Judge YOUR Relationship By Other Ones AROUND You

“You think you just gonna kick me out the house like Usher did Tameka?! Hell naw negro, we got bills to add up!”

Dear TIYC readers, I have a story to tell y’all today. It’s a story from my early adult years that has stuck with me for a decade and has shaped one of my most important ideologies around relationships: Ignoring what everyone else is doing in THEIR love lives, and just focusing on my OWN. So here’s the story…

When I was 19 and in my first year of university, I decided to leave the campus and come home for a weekend to spend some time with the family, get my laundry done and eat up all THEIR food in the house like a normal university student SHOULD. One Saturday night when I was home alone with nothing to do, I got a call from my friend Rob who was trying to convince some chick he was talking to, to come over and smash. She agreed to come over, but since she didn’t know him like THAT, she made sure her older sister came along, leaving him in the unenviable position of needing a wingman to intercept her ass before she cock-blocked his entire flex. He called me to come over ASAP and keep the older sister busy so he could do his thing, and I was cool with that since running interference is the FIRST part of agreeing to the Guy Code of Male Friendship.

When I got to his house, it was clear he was overwhelmed by the older sisters persistence to question him about everything from his middle name to his social insurance number, so I decided THIS was the time for me to strike up a convo with her and get her off my dude’s case. We talked and talked for hours, while my boy unsuccessfully tried to convince the younger sister to get it in, and in that convo I had with the older sister, she did something that turned my spirit completely off to her: She actually admitted that she is EMBITTERED towards men – but has NEVER been in a serious relationship.

This was completely appalling to me, because I was right in the middle of what ended up being a four year relationship with my first love, experiencing all the hills and valleys of giving ALL your love to another individual, and I had to sit there and hear a girl DERIDE love, when the longest relationship she ever had was 6 weeks. Why was she so against love and relationships and men you ask? Because she saw what HER FRIENDS were put through in THEIR own relationships.

That was the absolute height of BULLSH*T to me, and even though I was young I left her with these words: “Your friends relationship failures and successes don’t got SH*T to do with your own life” and then I picked up my jacket and headed home, not giving a DAMN what my boy thinks because that chick frustrated the HELL out of me.

The problem is not that ONE young girl thought that at one random time in my existence – the problem is that MANY grown-ass men and women STILL think that BULLSH*T right up ’til this day.

You got folks out here talking about they DON’T want to get married because of divorce stats. You got idiots out here claiming they can’t trust ANYBODY because of the BS they see OTHER people do in THEIR relationships. And you even got jackasses who will get literally DEPRESSED seeing a celebrity couples marriage come to an end. Let me put it like this: If Obama divorced Michelle, I’m confident about 33% of Democrat voting women would immediately turn lesbian and lose ALL hope in love.

Well my point is simply this: EVERY relationship that YOU enter into is UNIQUE because of YOUR involvement. That’s the BIG difference between YOUR union and every other one around you. Just because sh*t is going to hell all around you, does NOT mean that YOUR relationship will inherently be doomed to fail. F*^K divorce stats, what happens to celebrities and what happens to your friends – they aren’t YOU. Your success at creating a loving relationship is only dependent on the work YOU put in – not the faults of others.

This Is Your Conscience

When Lincoln Anthony Blades is not writing for his controversial and critically acclaimed blog, he can be found contributing articles for Uptown Magazine. Lincoln wrote the hilarious and insightful book "You're Not A Victim, You're A Volunteer: How To Stop Letting Love Kick Your Ass". He is also a public speaker who has sat on panels all over North America and the Caribbean.


  1. lincolnanthonyblades

    10/02/2012 at 4:16 AM

    Ladies & Gentlemen, Have You EVER Had YOUR Relationship Affected By The Failures Or Successes Of Other Relationships Around You?? How Did You Handle It?

    • petersburgh

      10/02/2012 at 5:34 PM

      co-sign. I think we all hear that ish sometimes but I don't care for it really.

  2. mena

    10/02/2012 at 5:31 AM

    I see your point.

    I live by the code that i can learn from other people's mistakes. So i do watch and observe. I see what works and what doesn't work. In a way, i guess i do allow for outside influences to help in my decision making process. But to me that is the smart thing to do. If someone is going to mess up, and i am there to learn from it, then i am all for it. I let it influence me on a positive level–whether it was a relationship, friendship, work, school, etc.

    In the same token, i wont let your mistakes deter me from pursuing something that may have been a mistake for you. This can be moving in with my S/O even though my friend may have done the same and it ended horribly.

    And if Michelle and Barack got a divorce (i feel all types of wrong for just typing it) it would affect me. I wouldn't go through a depression but i would feel some type of way. I don't follow any celebrities dating lives b/c i just don't care and it's neither here nor there. But the Obama's relationship gives me and a lot of other people some serious hope that you can be a powerful loving couple. It irks me when people (blacks) diminish their influence on the black population.

    • lincolnanthonyblades

      10/02/2012 at 12:17 PM

      Why would Michelle and Barack affect you tho? Why does your hope depend on other people?

      • mena

        10/02/2012 at 1:10 PM

        It's not about dependency Lincoln. Positive role models and influence is needed. We can simply agree to disagree on this. I think their relationship and love for each other is a powerful statement considering that many black children and young adults, like myself, rarely, if ever, see black married couples past 20 or 30 years.

        So yes, it would shock and dishearten me to see something happen to their relationship.

  3. Smilez_920

    10/02/2012 at 6:41 AM

    The funny thing is ppl could see 3 positive relationships , but the minute they witness one negative one, their whole attitude changes. I agree with Mena learn from others mistakes , but don't let their mistakes discourage you.

    Thousands of ppl try to start BUISNESSes every year, a lot of them don't make it, but that doesn't discourage a new group of ppl from trying the next yr to start their own buisness and look at how others failed so they can succeed.

    And it really saddens me when I see young women , bitter by association. Granted not seeing positive relationships will make you weary, but to just be bitter , hurt and angry for no real reason is crazy. Usually that transmitter anger and bitterness , leads them to the place they do not want to be.

    • lincolnanthonyblades

      10/02/2012 at 12:16 PM

      I know people who live at home with their parents who are happily married and STILL have a horrible perception of love and marriage. SMH

      • Smilez_920

        10/02/2012 at 12:22 PM

        I'm not counting them out. That's where bitter by association ( friends, music , media , relationship blogs etc..) comes into play.

  4. O'Brian

    10/02/2012 at 7:48 AM

    have tried to tell girls in my previous relationships about this and how it indirectly can affect a unproblemed relationship.

    • lincolnanthonyblades

      10/02/2012 at 12:16 PM

      How did they respond?

      • @OBrianNewell

        10/02/2012 at 3:57 PM

        they responded with oh that couples relationship is like that, they do this together and the other blah blah blah – and after a while got fed up

  5. alexxussknight

    10/02/2012 at 11:08 AM

    Sweet Jesus, I thought this topic might never come up. I am so sick to death of hearing people say well why should I get married look at the divorce rate. To which I always respond what the hell does that have to do with you? People blaming marriage, ummm let me get this straight, marriage is to blame for the marriage not working, not the fact that the two people involved were quitters and or liars and or cheaters and or married for the wrong reason. GTFOH! Anything that involves people will be flawed because people are flawed and you can't blame marriage if a marriage fails you blame the people involved. It just goes to show how we are living in a time when people are absolutely unwilling, unwilling to take responsibility for their actions, unwilling to communicate, unwilling to put forth a real concerted effort, and unwilling to listen with understanding and not just so they can get their own point across. This lack that is being exhibited is becoming pervasive and as such is creating a generation of self indulgent adolescent adults. *exhales and walks away from computer*

    • lincolnanthonyblades

      10/02/2012 at 12:16 PM


  6. Lia

    10/02/2012 at 4:14 PM

    I didn't have a relationship affected, but I did shy away from dating for a while after watching people go through it. But then once I got my head on straight I came to the conclusion that people were just picking or being bad partners. Some of them didn't even know themselves enough to know what they really wanted out of relationships or how to behave in them, and others did not trust themselves enough to know how to pick a quality partner. Figured that was my cue to examine myself even further before I tried getting together with anybody else…

    Divorce rates don't really scare me because I don't really know the details of those failed relationships. I do, on the other hand, know divorced couples who I always believed had no business getting married period, let alone to each other. Go into a relationship seeking an equal who views relationships and commitment the same way I do and I figure I'll be fine…

    But just to flip your article a bit, I do think that some people do need to be able to compare what's going on around them to give them hope. Some people are so used to seeing and being in crappy relationships and they don't have a positive frame of reference to compare with. Those people need to know that there's more out there for them. Seeing a quality relationship of a friend or family member would probably do them some good.

    • mena

      10/02/2012 at 4:44 PM

      "But just to flip your article a bit, I do think that some people do need to be able to compare what's going on around them to give them hope. Some people are so used to seeing and being in crappy relationships and they don't have a positive frame of reference to compare with. Those people need to know that there's more out there for them. Seeing a quality relationship of a friend or family member would probably do them some good."

      Exactly. The entire "don't worry about what others are doing" should really be "don't worry about what others are doing if it has a negative impact." I am all for looking at those couples that have made it work and using the successes and failures as guidance for me in some areas of my life. Doing so makes you a smart individual. Learn from others in their failures and success.

  7. Paul B.

    10/03/2012 at 11:03 AM

    It still depends on your outlook though. While the divorce rate is 50%, that would mean there's a 50% marriage success rate too. Some people probably just didn't want to get married in the first place, and when you don't want to do something, you can always find an excuse not to. If you really want to have a successful marriage, there's this thing called preparation: Do it! If you're not seeking to be the best you can be, and joined to somebody who's doing the same, then you're wasting your time.

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