Denial, devastation, self-doubt. They’re three of the stages of recovery from the imploding of a relationship. Not the kind when you finally cut ties with your on-again, off-again, break-in-case-of-emergency jumpoff or you tell the dude you’ve been seeing for two or three months that you don’t think it’s going to work out. There are some pairings that need to be put on a pedestal in the annals of your personal history. They’re the ones that require the mixed CDs of Isley Brothers and Al Green tunes as a soundtrack to your sadness and make cookies ‘n cream and Doritoes the bedfellows of your heartbroken sorrow. (Or maybe that’s just me.)

I’ve been through one bad breakup. I should say, I survived one bad breakup. He had been my first love. Next to losing my grandparents, that was the most intense emotional pain I’ve ever been through. That thing was real. I remember it vividly: he called me in the middle of the night to tell me that he had a new girlfriend. I recall sitting up in my bed screaming. Literally. Whole household is asleep, and there I am, mouth wide open, hollering like an infant in a bassinet because this dude no longer wanted to be with me. So much so, he hauled off and got himself a new woman to solidify his done-ness.

There’s one more step in the sordid process of recovering from a broken heart: resolution. Part of that is coming to peace with the fact that it’s over. The other is fondly remembering the good things and learning from the ones that made you want to backslap the foolishness off yourself—like these five things I swear I will never, ever, not never do again.

Allow myself to be giddy about that gray area. Homeboy and I were together two years, three if you count that weird, in-between stage where we did all the things that we did when we were officially together, like spend time and have sex, which of course kept me nice and emotionally connected. But when he didn’t feel like being bothered or when I was getting too girlfriendy for his liking, he swiftly reminded me that we weren’t together. I was just happy he was paying me mind, so I stayed in that space for way too long. Hell, I should’ve never been in the first place.

Have a baby out of wedlock. Aside from being in love with the man, we’d had a baby girl together. I adore her and I surely don’t regret her as my child, but I do regret not waiting until I was in a healthy, happy marriage. My mama warned me not to be like her, a single mom raising a child on my own. But I was too head-in-my-behind, heart-in-the-clouds. I just knew me and this guy were the exception to the statistics, not thinking that once upon a time, my mother and father had probably been in love, too.

Fail to put God at the head. I grew up in a Jesus-loving household and I’ve always had a relationship with the Lord. But ask me if I ever, even one time, lifted up a prayer to ask the Father, the Son, or the Holy Spirit if I was with the right dude. I just knew what I wanted and pretty much expected God to fall in line with that and oh, by the way, bless the relationship. No wonder that thing failed. Not only was my man my top priority—another fail on my part—but he wasn’t even the right man, which I might’ve known had I invited Jesus into our twosome.

Lose my mind being jealous or insecure. Man, I was a handful back then. I even had an issue with the guy watching porn because I felt so un-fabulous about myself, I didn’t want him to have ready material to compare me to. As if, in our daily back and forth on a college campus that was about five girls to every one guy, he didn’t have enough to work with just going to the café to get a bite to eat. If Janelle now could talk to Janelle then, I’d say get some couch time, get a self-help book, and get over it.

Wait (and wait and wait) on a ring. I learned this one from the next boyfriend, who would’ve made the perfect husband—except he just wouldn’t drop down to that knee and pull that little sparkly piece of finger candy out. We had a ball together and he was a wonderful father figure to my daughter. But after eight years (oh yes, I said eight) I learned the hard way that a guy doesn’t always tell you he’s afraid of marriage. Sometimes he just shows you.

There’s a happy ending to all this hard-knock love lesson learning. My man now is beautiful and kind, and he knows what I’ve been through and appreciates me for the woman my experiences have helped shape me into. But even more important than that, I appreciate me for the woman my experiences have helped shape me into. Janelle 13 years ago wasn’t nearly as thoughtful and fearless as Janelle today is. That’s because, after you’ve survived a broken heart—if you know like I do—you know you can survive just about anything. And win.

  • Rain

    @ Victoria, I feel you & I see your point!

  • victoria


    Cant you see Eric is hurting?

    You are wasting your time. Stop!

  • Eric


    Dude, there are lots of young women on this site. I’m in my early twenties. Many others too. If you need to add twenty years to my age and pretend like I and the other commenters have 2 kids out of wedlock, again, that’s you.

    I am talking about the collective of BW. You like grouping them just to this site. But the collective denial is strong here also.

    Your whole comment was pathetic. I don’t make excuses for women who screw up and have babies by men that they’re not married to. I don’t make excuses for women who date men who are obviously losers. I mentioned up earlier in this comment section that women make lots of silly decisions when it comes to men. You are the one on this site trying to constantly be seen as a victim of evil women.

    I saw your earlier comment. Very sensible

    Seriously you said men in these neighborhoods are victims because of their mommas. You’re arguing that BW deserve no sympathy because they choose bad men,

    Yes, because if you turn down commitment minded long-term men for short-term exciting men, yes you are essentially screwing your children over.

    but then saying these men deserve sympathy because their mother screwed them up. No accountability. No motivation. Everything wrong is supposed to be laid at some woman’s feet.

    Yes. Because parentally minded black men are all over the place, but they are being overlooked. That is totally on BW

    Get real. I went to school with guys who were raised in two parent households. Too many of them had no ambition, made bad grades, and worshipped hip hop artists.

    Stop pointing to the small amount of men who had both parents & didn’t take advantage of the privilege. That is not as widespread as you make it out to be, but single parenthood causes way more issues for children.

    Wah, wah, wah. Men make all kinds of bad decisions all on their own. You’re not a little baby.

    I agree. And most of those men, don’t have welfare, & a some type handout given by white men when they make those decisions, so they actually get a chance to mature.

    These are grown behind men committing crime and lying up and making babies when they don’t want them. And they were deceived by their baby mommas, or their mother didn’t raise them to think committing crime was wrong, or they don’t know that you can impregnate a woman after having sex.

    No, their mother messed up when she chose a man & did not get a ring before sleeping with him (putting her unborn children at risk). Men job is to approach & tag up on some a$$. Women are to convince those said men that she is worthy of commitment. If he won’t put a ring on it, move on to a man that will. If she allow him to hit without giving out a ring. That is on her.

    It’s funny how you think a woman having a baby oow or getting cheated on is all her fault, but you think men who commit crimes and have babies before they’re ready were lied to and deceived.

    When I say lied to and deceived, I am talking about men who treat women well, but its counterproductive. When men & women have s3x, the consequences are not equal, so women have to take more precaution.

    It is also hard to throw men under the bus who make children because they do not get primary custody. The government gave you that responsibility.

    You all choose these women. I mean your whole point is that black women are irresponsible and incapable of raising kids alone, but you all keep choosing to lie up and make babies with these women that you don’t raise. There are too many of these irresponsible men.

    I am childless, and their are alot more childless BM than there are childless BW. You can’t entirely charge men with not raising their kids, because in a custody battle, the judge will give women primary custody 8 to 2. When you give men a chance to fail a t single parenthood, different conversation.

    The majority of women get lied to and deceived too by men who claim to be “good men.”

    Were these “good men” their husbands when they left. I thought so.

    Stop pretending like the majority of these women go to the nearest club and find the most irresponsible men to date. No. These are men who seem decent and then do something crappy. Your black women date bad boys argument is just as pathetic

    No, black women do not screen men until she has a OOW child, now responsible men need to apply.

    as your black men do crime because of their momma argument. It’s you trying to place the bad things that men do such as deceiving women and committing crime at the feet of a woman like men are children who can’t take responsibility for their own actions.

    Because i believe women love men who deceive them, otherwise the itching & moaning of men who lie would not be so widespread & common online & in real life. Alot of men who commit these crime, don’t have the male support which momma was suppose to screen for. But you are making an argument that women should be FORCED to deal with men who will take care of his children. Men are WAY more likely to take responsibility than women are. Alot of women are protected from their poor choices. Until their children grow up to be crappy.

    If a woman cheats on a man, men like you will call her a tramp and deceitful and get bitter, but if a man cheats on a woman, then men like you say she picked that cheater. She shoulda pick a “good man” and it wouldn’t have happened. In your little world, men are always victims.

    I agree. If a man cheats, that is part of package of dealing with a high value man. When a woman cheats, that means that is the end of the relationship. It is what it is. Men & women are not equal in cheating. Be thankful dude gave you some action.

    You think black women are irresponsible and inferior but you place all the problems of the black community on the backs of black women and excuse the bad behavior of these men. Men who shirk responsibility and are never held accountable aren’t any better than the women. How does blaming a woman for your screwups show that you deserve to be the head of the household and the leader of the community? And they’ll never get it together because no one shames them or holds them accountable.

    You hold men accountable BY NOT SLEEPING WITH THEM. When women as a collective reward degenerate men, you get more degenerate men. Why is that so hard to figure out. But you are mad at me for putting it on blast. I know, I know. Women do not want men to be the head in the BC as a collective. Otherwise their choices in men while they were childless would reflect that.

    There are mental hoodrats and thugs. You think all black women are mental hoodrats, and you think black men are thugs or mental thugs because women made them that way. Whatever.

    The difference between men & women, Is that men have to deal with the “closet feminist” element when it comes to the non-hood boogerish BW. Women know the difference between blue collar vs. college educated vs. street dude, and choose accordingly. Men are not master manipulators. Women like who they like. Women can & do hide their true selves more than men do.

    I agree the women who are like Shidea Lane, are easy to avoid. You keep bring women like her up & she is not the issue.

    There are lots of racists who say black people made them be racists.

    I will stay on topic.

    30 is old?

    For a woman YES.

    You all need to stop. Folks don’t get married that early these days. If black women decided to be chaste and get married right out of high school, they would just be sitting around chaste and unmarried.

    Not true. Their are men looking to marry these women, but these women are thinking that these men will be around when she is old & washed up, so she will sl*t it up for now. If you are looking for marriage & being proactive, you’ll get what you are looking for.

    Then you all would say oh they can’t get a man because they aren’t pretty enough, nice enough, feminine enough.

    Their is a market for 80% of black women when they are at their peak of youth & beauty. No excuses. If you want a marriage minded man, you gotta go seek him out in 2012. And if black men are not available, and you are a decent catch, you gotta get you a non-black male.

    Black men marry later in life than other men well into their thirties.

    Because men are doing what’s best for them. When we got to marry you, we are essentially responsible for you. So, you can understand why we would be so hesitant. And they want women who are in their early twenties.

    Since most women date men their age, there aren’t going to be a lot of young folks getting married. The black community as a whole is not marriage minded.

    That is mostly on women. Women have advantages in the dating game that they do not exercise. And they chase men that have no business dealing with. Look in the mirror.

    People talk about how 70% of black women are single. It kinda has something to do with the fact that there is a comparable number of single black men. A lot of these men don’t want to get married. They can get their sex, hop from bed to bed, have strings of long term relationships, even have kids, and all of that without committing. I guess that can be blamed on their mother.

    Yup. Correct. And if black men do not want to get married. Take your young, childless, beautiful self over to some marriage minded non-black male. This is not rocket science. Women make it too easy for the top BMs

    Oh. I know! This is when you all say black men don’t marry black women because they’re all baby mommas and not deserving of marriage as if all BW have children. Then the ones who don’t have children have attitudes or they’re overweight.

    At least we agree on something.

    I don’t even know why I took the time to write that comment. Men like you like to see yourselves as victims. You’re worse than women who think themselves perpetual victims because you think women have no right to talk about being hurt because all of their problems are self-inflicted. If you think there are no true female victims in this country especially in black neighborhoods, you are out of your mind.

    There are female victims, just not many. I been tracking most of the stories that make it online. Alot these women do it to themselves. And get mad at future men who have nothing to do with her hell she created.

    Also your formatting of that comment was not so hot and visually distracting.

    My bad. Later.

  • Pseudonym

    Yes, who ARE these people who troll black women’s sites to be mean and nasty? Don’t you have anything else better to do with your life?

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