“Long and Windy Roads” focuses on couples who, from lack of communication to baggage from past relationships, struggled to make it to the altar.
|Director(s)||Codie Elaine Oliver|
|Introduced This Episode|
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A Friendship Which Transitioned To More: David, Tamela
As gone into detail on Black Love, and while promoting their book, David and Tamela, married for 31 years, were your classic friends to marriage situation. They met thanks to mutual friends, and really the only issue they had was reconciling the feelings they had for one another not taking a traditional route. Before they were married, they messed around, thanks to David being a bit of a ho, and Tamela under the indoctrination women shouldn’t say they’re invested in a man. Thus leading them to this weird comfortable place. One that, thankfully, led to marriage, but could have went another way.
What you have to love about these two is that you can see how 30 years together has affected them. Take David’s personality rubbing off on Tamela, who is a bit more reserved, yet comes out of her shell as David engages her. Makes her slip away from her desire to keep things PG, even though David only wants to kick things up to PG-13.
But the biggest takeaway from these two is that you have to be careful of treating a friend, who you haven’t defined the relationship with, like they are your woman or man. Especially if the sole reason you are operating like that is so they say something first. For if David was still a player, a dog, he likely would have done to Tamela what happened to Egypt with her exes. So, the way things seem, she really lucked out.
Question(s) Left Unanswered
- How big of a ho was David and was Tamela aware of that while they were “friends?” It is noted she knew the mother of his child, but was she aware of the other women he saw or was seeing? Never mind knew he might not have been monogamous?
Too Young, Yet Still Committed: Justin, Joy
It’s always a difficult thing meeting someone who seems like the one when you haven’t even hit 21 yet. Which seems to be why Justin and Joy struggled a bit. He, like many of the men on this episode, except Egypt’s Mike, had growing up to do. The kind which didn’t serve his lady and made her lose herself in a way.
The way Joy explains it, she lost herself in the relationship. Well, depending how you absorb what was said, it might have even been a situationship to a point. For, Joy was basically in rotation for quite some time. The other women, outside of one KFC girl, aren’t really talked about. However, it is made clear that while Joy had a special place in Justin’s life, there was something too serious and final with her. Hence him trying to keep her on hold for later, keeping her invested, but not giving her full commit.
So, thankfully sooner rather than later, Joy set terms. The first time she did that they broke up. On the second time around, it was agreed that if they were to be together, God and marriage had to be involved. Then came celibacy. Which, strange to outsiders, wasn’t an issue. If only due to, the way they put it, both as individuals getting that feeling it needed to be done.
Leading to, in the long run, this magnificent thing. You see, as they explain, sex can be a crutch in a relationship. It’s something you do to make up, celebrate, and like most coming of age movies, is seen as the final step. With removing that, it required finding alternatives, talking more, and making their relationship, eventually their marriage, about more than having an exclusive sex partner but focusing on having a life partner.
The big takeaway from Joy and Justin is what they got out of celibacy. For many, it is a religious thing, a guilt thing, or some even use it as a test. With them, we got a sound explanation which, if you want to instill the values with your child or in your relationship, you are presented a reason which is easy to understand. After all, as noted, sex is a crutch.
I’m just saying, how many of us know someone who is with someone just because the sex is good or stayed with them, strung them along, because of that? Hell, how many shows, movies, and books make it seem the way you know or confirm your love someone is by having sex? So while what they say about exploring intimacy outside of sexual intimacy is so simple, you have to love this real-world example, from people who don’t seem overly religious and are young.
I Had Baggage To Deal With: Egypt, Mike, Michael B., Elisha, Mecca, Michael E.
When you know better you do better – you’ve heard that saying before, right? Well, when it comes to relationships, knowing what’s better is much harder to grasp and doing better? Unfortunately, it is trial and error. Which, as LeToya spoke about in the last episode, can put you on edge a bit and make you so cautious that you are, as Mike says, “Single but unavailable.” That is, from his point of view, where Egypt was as she dealt with her baggage of one terrible ex after another. Thus Mike had to go through an obstacle course, for years, to prove he was not playing games. Hell, he even had to tell her about herself to end her keeping him at arm’s length, testing him, and waiting for the proverbial shoe to drop.
However, she wasn’t alone in being iffy about marriage. The Michaels, both notably older than their partners, were formerly married, Elisha’s Michael had 4 kids, and it made them not necessarily jumping for joy on the idea of being serious with another woman. In fact, Mecca’s Michael seemingly ghosted her quite a few times.
Yet, as Elisha’s Michael notes, after a certain point, you have to look at your life and think about who and what you want in it? Can you deal with missing out on someone just because of your ego or the challenges you know will be involved? With this person making a notable effort, do you want to let them go because it would require you to do the same? Be there for more than the thrill or comfort of consistency? From what it seems, both Michael’s, who work in the entertainment industry, decides to settle down and set aside whatever trauma their divorces caused.
What I loved about Michael, Elisha’s Michael, is that when paired with Egypt, you get the sense baggage isn’t just a woman’s thing, or something men have to endure until they prove they are different. It’s a universal struggle since people live their lives and try not to repeat their mistakes if they can help it. Which is challenging since, as Egypt shows, you can think you know the signs, things to look out for, and it can be a false positive. Yet, so comes the question if you want to be old, in the club or something similar, still looking for love because you got scared?
Those two, and their partners, aside, I must admit I paid attention to Mecca and Michael for reasons solely dealing with how their relationship started. Michael Elliot, writer of Brown Sugar, as well as the Lifetime Aaliyah movie, met his wife Mecca in a capacity where he was an industry veteran, and she may have been interested in the industry, mentorship, and/or him. It’s weird, and with how the #MeToo movement is, there is a slight discomfort there.
Which isn’t to imply Michael did or say anything unwanted, as shown by him and Mecca being married, but while most, if not all, couples on this show are in the industry, it is strange theirs is the first which drew up an eyebrow. Especially since it isn’t like there haven’t been many older men and younger women who made appearances before. So a part of me does wonder what is it about these two, who seem genuinely lovely and very much in love, to raise an eyebrow?