After a short break, “Black Love” is back to develop the conversation around communication further, as well as dealing with expectations and arguments.

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After a short break, “Black Love” is back to develop the conversation around communication further, as well as dealing with expectations and arguments.

Director(s) Codie Elaine Oliver
Aired (OWN) 10/3/2020
Introduced This Episode
Herself Aiyana Ma’at
Himself Ayize Ma’at
Herself Angel Tanksley
Himself Marcus Tanksley

This content contains pertinent spoilers.

“Finding A Rhythm” Recap

Managing Expectations of Marriage – Aiyana, Ayize, Yvette, Glen, Angel, Marcus

As seen in past seasons, there is this expectation that, once you are husband and wife, the change can be similar to having a child. That now, someone is going to be all kinds of domestic and the perfect spouse. However, everyone’s viewpoint of perfect is different, and they don’t leave their baggage at the altar.

Aiyana and Ayize, for example, are high school sweethearts, but cheating in the past and Aiyana being the kind of woman who knows what she wants and goes for it, that isn’t necessarily the dynamic Ayize was expecting. He was looking for reverence and instead got himself a queen who had the attitude expected of a king. As if, after all those years together, he could flip a switch and change her.

Aiyana Ma'at and Ayize Ma'at talking about their marriage.
Aiyana Ma’at and Ayize Ma’at

But he isn’t alone in having to learn to adapt expectations. Yvette’s father set a high standard by trying to take care of everything, and Glen isn’t that guy. He’s not the old school, I’ll build everything, mow the lawn, and gas up everyone’s car kind of guy. He is nurturing, the stay at home dad type and so that means for Yvette that what her dad did, she would need to do herself or pay for someone else to do. Not because Glen is less of a man but simply a different kind.

This brings us to Angel and Marcus, who suffer from Angel being raised around nothing but women since men weren’t consistent or reliable. So, they did more than the cooking and cleaning but building and whatever else had to be done. Thus a level of independence that made Marcus feel like an accessory that could be put away rather than someone needed, wanted even.

Yet, as shown throughout the show, gender dynamics and the expectation that a modern person can fit into archaic roles isn’t the best idea.

Communication: Recognizing The Style – Joe, Leslie, Kristen, Bill

Some people shut down when confronted in a way that makes them feel like they need to go on the defensive, like Joe, for it can feel like they aren’t working hard enough or simply not producing results. And the only way through frustration is communication, but you have to recognize what style works for both parties.

For example, Kristen is cool with cursing you smooth out and expecting things to move forward, but Bill doesn’t receive being cursed out well. In fact, he’ll dissect what you said in anger and think that’s how you really feel. Then with Joe and Leslie, she’ll throw divorce into the mix when angry. Which only furthers the issue since that is the last straw. Yet, as with the first topic, there were expectations, and with Joe from a single-parent household in the country and Leslie from the city, and a two-parent household, there were expectations of marriage and with them not matching up, reconciliation, learning how to let go, and not seeing concessions as a failure or loss had to be learned.

Joe and Leslie talking about their marriage.

Communication: Recognizing The Intent – Joy, Terrence, Aiyana, Ayize

Alongside recognizing the style of how someone communicates, you have to also take note of the intent. For some, like Joy, asking you about your day isn’t about knowing every last minute detail. It is often about trying to support you, understand you as you grow, so there aren’t any big surprises. Or, in the case of Aiyana and Ayize, gratitude helps you feel like your place is secure in their heart and mind.

But what it all boils down to is understanding that the way you love isn’t always going to be how they receive it. Doing to others as you’d want to be done unto you is a good idea in terms of keeping children from being mean or violent, but for adults? In the marriage, you have to say what hurts you, what makes you happy, and receive that your way of doing things may not work for them. And if it doesn’t, you committed for the long haul, so see what can be adjusted.

Collected Quote(s) & .Gifs

I don’t necessarily need you to take care of me, but I don’t want to feel like I can’t depend on you.
— Glen

In marriage, you treat the person like you want to be treated. […] But that’s not necessarily a good thing. That’s just you treating that person like you treat yourself. And […] that’s good, but at the same time, it’s like, you have to extend grace.
— Glen

Concession is not failure.
— Bill

I feel like love, your life, your health, love is something I feel is, like, essential to your health. Love is essential to your inner being. You need to be loved. You need to have compassion. So, to me, there is a level of submission to have a healthy relationship. […] You have to submit to peace.
— Bill

I thought that talking was communicating, and that doesn’t mean you’re communicating. It just means you’re moving your lips, and sound is coming out.
— Aiyana



Understanding How You Love May Not Be The Best Way For Someone Else To Receive It: Joy’s comment really does capture the majority of what goes on in this episode. For whether you are talking about Joe and his relationship to his mom, in which love wasn’t necessarily spoken or about PDA, but was there, to Terrence learning he needed to make an effort to note his appreciation and make her feel connected to him, love requires work. And mind you, it can’t be what comes easy for you sometimes.

Marcus talking about his love language.
Angel Tanksley and Marcus Tanksley

As noted, Angel is very independent and values the capability to do things when she needs to and not have to wait on Marcus. Yet, it is in providing and helping he finds purpose. Then with Kristen and Bill, she is a glass half empty and he half full, and while, as an individual, it can work and be that person’s business, in a relationship, you got to find a way to reconcile those two ways of dealing with life. Especially in terms of disagreements since, while the episode doesn’t talk about fighting fairly, a lot of it deals with how a lack of communication can and does inspire issues.

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