Let me start off by saying that I am in no place to judge another woman, or person for that matter, based on any of the decisions that they make. So, hopefully you don’t judge me when I tell you that, yes—I watch reality television shows like Love and Hip Hop: New York (LHHNY), which inspired this post.
This week’s episode completely threw me, and many of its viewers, for a loop … In many ways, it played out the usual shenanigans that take place in a relationship but the presence of a camera mixed with that of the cast and their egos just took the plot to another level.
This season’s lead “creep,” as they like to call it on the show, is Peter “Gunz” Pankey. You may have heard of him from his days alongside Lord Tariq and their 1996 hit, “Déjà vu.” His son, Peter “Cory Gunz” Pankey, Jr., can be heard on Lil Wayne’s “6 Foot 7 Foot.”
Peter Gunz has been dating one of the mothers of his seven children, Tara Wallace, for more than 13 years now. They were living together in a small one bedroom New York apartment while he was managing singer/songwriter Amina “Buddafly,” formerly the lead singer of the group “Black Buddafly.” You can only imagine where this story is going …
Gunz had his fair share of indiscretions in the past while dating Tara, including secretly having another family in New Orleans that she found out about while carrying his child. She decided to give him another chance with the understanding that he’d change. That’s what a ride or die is supposed to do right?
Things got a little rocky when Tara began finding pictures of Amina cuddled up with Gunz on Amina’s Instagram. She questioned him about it; he blamed her for being insecure and continued to claim his relationship was completely professional.
Well, Mona Scott Young, LHHNY’s executive producer used her “Mona Magic,” to completely exploit this situation, and I can’t say that I’m completely mad about it. She let the true details of Gunz and Amina’s relationship unfold to Tara on national television. It played out like a nasty car accident that you can’t help but rubberneck as you pass.
Not only were Gunz and Amina intimately involved for more than a year … Not only did Gunz play Amina’s music in their home … Not only did Amina meet Tara on several occasions under the pretenses that Tara was Gunz’s girl … Amina and Peter Gunz were married and Tara had to find out through Amina.
Now, while I don’t condone Peter Gunz’s behavior whatsoever, don’t you think Tara is partly responsible for being an enabler in this situation? We’ve all been in relationships where we’ve made mistakes, but a 13-year mistake? Where are your friends? Where is your family?
When I say that I can’t be mad about LHHNY and everything that it is, it’s because I’m hopeful that some girl watching the show somewhere can learn something from these women and their mistakes. Many of us say, “There’s no way, I’d ever be in that situation,” but you never know where you could end up… especially when love is in the equation.
Women, by nature, are completely too forgiving. When I say that, I don’t promote being bitter, I’m just saying your forgiveness should have a limit. You can forgive without accepting. You can love without compromising the respect you deserve.
With that being said, here are some limits to being a ride or die chick that every woman should keep in mind:
1. Never give a man, that is not your husband, your last dollar:
As a single woman, you are completely and solely responsible for yourself and your well-being. Why leave those two very important things in the hands of any individual? Haven’t you ever heard the saying, “money and friends don’t mix?” The same principle applies here. If you absolutely feel the need to give him your very last dollar, set the precedent that this should not be a reoccurring action.
2. Don’t accept disrespect, publicly or otherwise:
Respect is one of the first components of love. Lines of respect should be drawn out early on the relationship to let both parties know what is to be tolerated and what is not. I’m not here to tell you that you shouldn’t let your man like other girls’ pictures on Instagram, but you should definitely let him know what you will and will not accept.
3. Don’t ALWAYS put his needs before yours:
I’m not saying to NEVER be selfless by placing your man’s needs before your own, I’m only saying … like most things, it should only be done in moderation. It’s not fair to you, nor is it fair to him, to set yourself up as a doormat because sooner or later … you will start to feel resentment. Loving someone unconditionally does not equate to putting yourself on the back burner.
Given, that the two of you are not married, you could feel one of two ways about this subject. Cheating could be a deal breaker because if he’s cheating now, what won’t stop him from cheating again? Enter Tara and Peter Gunz. Or, you could say, “We’re not married so he’s technically not cheating.” Either way, you have to decide your stance. You do not have to accept cheating to be a “down” girlfriend. All that means is that you are an accepting girlfriend and you may have little value for yourself.
Refuse to be someone’s ragdoll.