Written by Zamara Perri
I was one of the thousands of women who eagerly awaited the return of Studville, the Atlanta-based Youtube drama/comedy that follows the lives of four black lesbians and their partners. However, I was pretty disappointed to see that Channing, one of my favorite characters, had already fallen into another crazy relationship and we were only on episode three.
SPOILER ALERT: Let’s review Channing’s dating history. In season 1, she took care of a crazy woman and her children who threw gasoline on her, refused to work or clean, then proceeded to force Channing from her own home. In season 2, Channing dated a needy, whiny white girl who ended up cheating on her by sleeping with and getting pregnant by some dude. This season, Channing has been arrested because the woman she is dating hid her cocaine stash in Channing’s car.
I started thinking that maybe the show was portraying only dysfunctional black lesbian relationships to get more viewers. (And Channing’s storyline is not the only one that I’m giving the side eye to). However, the more time I spend in our communities, the more I realize that the show is based in reality. It seems like attractive, healthy, sweet, caring, professionally employed, god-fearing black lesbians like Channing are ONLY capable of attracting crazy, violent, drug abusing women.
Like Channing, some of us consistently leave one bad relationship only to end up in another. My message is for all the Channings out there: You can put a stop to bad relationships before they even get started.
The first thing you must understand is that, no one is truly immune from bad romantic relationships. We’ve all been there and done that.
Some of us don’t know when to walk away from these bad relationships because we don’t recognize what they are until we’ve already fallen head over heels in love.
Bad relationships don’t always include the most obvious bad behaviors like lying, cheating and beating. Sometimes the signs are a little bit more subtle, but they are there if we pay close attention.
Below are several steps for breaking the cycle of a bad relationship:
Know what you want from that special someone. This means you must dive beneath the surface. It’s good to know that you like a woman who looks a certain way or makes a certain amount of money. But go deeper. How do you want her to make you feel? How do you want her to treat you?
Make a list of your deal-breakers. What are the things that you will not put up with in a partner no matter how cute she is? The list should include: bad communication skills, emotional unavailability and dismissiveness. If you raise a valid concern, instead of copping to her own bad behavior, a dismissive women will tell you that you’re crazy or being silly.