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Love Stories & Weddings

Five Reasons Black Lesbian Relationships Fail

Written by Zamara Perri

Brittney Griner and Glory Johnson married last month.

Brittney Griner and Glory Johnson married last month.

I’ve never met WNBA superstars Brittney Griner and Glory Johnson, but I can tell you why their marriage failed after only 28 days. No, I’m not psychic and don’t have some inside track on their relationship. I just know a lot about failed lesbian relationships from personal experience. I can tell you that whatever the reason for this young couple’s split, it is most likely one of the five most common reasons why some black lesbian relationships don’t last:

Anger. In the past couple weeks my honey and I have struggled with anger issues. My honey is by nature a happy-go-lucky person while I am serious and always thinking about the injustices in the world. And when I start thinking about all that’s wrong with the world, I get angry and give her the silent treatment as if she did something to me. So then she gets mad. And when she gets angry, she yells, stomps around the house and even leaves.

How can a home environment like that be a setting for peace and love? It’s not.

If we treat our partners like our enemies, then why should they want to stick around?

We need to know how to diffuse our anger and turn it into something valuable instead of using it against our lovers. Brittney and Glory’s domestic violence arrest record clearly points to trouble controlling anger.

One of the things my partner and I love about each other is how much we make each other laugh. When we realized that we had stopped laughing and started letting anger dominate our relationship, we knew we had to do something to stop it in its tracks.

One of the rules we made was that first thing in the morning, I wouldn’t start railing about what’s wrong with this country and the harsh injustices that black people face. Not because she doesn’t care about these issues, but because she prefers to start her morning with positive thoughts and meditation. Now when I’m angry, I meditate, journal, talk to my honey, exercise or spend time alone.

Lack of self love is another dangerous weapon against black lesbian love. Some of us get into relationships without understanding how important it is to love ourselves well. We criticize ourselves, downplay our successes, ignore our pain, and overall treat ourselves terribly. If we had a friend that treated us the way we treated ourselves, I guarantee you that person wouldn’t be a friend for long. Negative self-talk has a dangerous effect on the self image, which means it impacts your relationship. How can you love someone else if you can’t love yourself? Most of us have never been taught how to do that.

I grew up being told in many ways that I didn’t deserve happiness. As I got older, I simply told myself some of that same negativity. If you grew up like I did, then you know that it is a battle to teach yourself differently. For years I’ve struggled to believe that long-lasting love was something I deserved. And of course that showed up my relationships. I bet it shows up in your relationship too.

We’ve got to love ourselves the way Kanye loves Kanye. And I’m serious. Any kind of success–relationship or otherwise–begins with believing that you deserve it. So, go easy on yourself.

Try this, every time you get ready to tell yourself that you’re “fat” “not cute enough” or “not smart enough,” replace that thought with “I’m a beautiful, loving woman who deserves phenomenal love.” Repeat it until you believe it and then repeat it some more. For those of you who say you love yourself, take a look at your own actions toward yourself. Do you treat yourself like the amazing, divine woman that you are?

Join the discussion

  1. Ella Holmes

    Very true. Made valid points.

  2. Demani Blakely

    Hey Im not in a black lesbian relationship. Im in a interacial relationship and I agree with all the facts that are stated if thw relarionship dont have goals with the two people in it. The relatonship will fail in order to grow and advance as well as build it takes two not one everyday Im thankful for my soulmate and fall in love with her everyday and vice versa for her as well. But I have to say one thing my life partner was straight but I didnt chase her nor was I looking for someone to spend my life with because. I was okay being alone because of the menatl games I went through and then she came along as my friend and then we connected on another level and grew as one and now we are together rasing two kids that are now my step children and ready to add on another and take it to the next level but it takes growth and learning one another as well.

  3. Kerry C

    i learned another reason which I see happening over and over in the lesbian community regardless of race, and it is: two women can meet and have lots in common, but if one partner doesn’t want to work on their own issues as much as they want to work on couple issues , it’s doomed to fail no matter how many therapists they see.

  4. a real lesbian

    You are no longer allowed to make blogs. First off its not just lesbians that have these issues heterosexual couples do as well. You commented about your relationship that sounds like you have issues in your relationship. If your relationship was publicly available for people to see you would not be in it. You have not made lesbian points but relationship points.
    Second if you don’t know your not dating a lesbian your a whole fool..

    • Black Lesbian Love Lab

      I direct my writing at black lesbian relationships point, blank, period, because main stream sites ignore us and our issues. I will keep writing for our community and keeping sharing some of the painful lessons I’ve learned in my own relationships. Thanks for reading 🙂

      • Guest

        I don’t understand. Why create a blog dedicated to black lesbian relationships and write an article like this? Why target black women when the points brought up here can apply to ANY lesbian relationship be it interracial, white, asian etc? Are all black women angry to you? Could it be possible your past unsuccessful relationships with black women have left you bitter towards us?

        • Black Lesbian Love Lab

          Hi sis, the purpose of the blog is to explore black lesbian relationships. Even though many of the issues we highlight can apply to all relationships and not just lesbian relationships we choose to focus on our community. None of the articles are a blanket indictment of all black lesbians. They are merely observations that we hope will generate healthy discussions. None of our writers are bitter toward black women. In fact, we are just the opposite: we love black women and want to discuss ways to make our relationships healthier. ~Zamara

  5. Cate

    That last comment was rudely delivered and unnecessary. So much so that I’m compelled to let you know that I find this and many other articles on this site refreshing, cogent, thoughtful, and mature. I do not know you personally but, my dear, you seem wise beyond your years (whatever those may be) and that’s why I come back to this site. Stay blessed!!

  6. Carly

    love love love this article!!!! Great points and very true.

  7. Kia

    I never knew how important communication was until I had to long term failed relationships. I wondered was missing and how they got out of control. The main thing was lack of communication. That comes with growth.

  8. Marci Halili Akoma

    Beautifully written, thoughtful piece. Never stop writing! Thank you!

    • Black Lesbian Love Lab

      Thanks you, Marci! We appreciate your support! We love your blog too 🙂

  9. isis asare

    Hi…understand that this article is for Black lesbian relationships. However, as a bisexual woman of color, I found point number five a little biphobic. There are many bisexuals in happy, committed same gender loving relationships. Thoughts?

    • Black Lesbian Love Lab

      Hi Sis! Thanks for commenting. Our site is focused on black women in same-gender relationships and that includes bi women. Point number 5 is focused on women who are clearly not lesbian or even bi. Many of us are fluid and that is fine. However, there is a distinct difference between women who HONESTLY accept their attraction to both genders and women who have no interest in having a serious relationship with a woman yet make promises and commitments they clearly won’t/can’t keep. <3 Z

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