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Out of the many statements you don’t want to hear from your partner in a relationship, one major one is, “Don’t embarrass me out here.” And for some, the simplest things can bring about embarrassment. Like a photo.

A married friend of mine was pissed with her husband over a photo he took with a girl from his college years. But the gag is, they were at their alma mater’s homecoming. Still, she didn’t like how cozy they looked in the picture, and she made sure to let him (and all of us friends) know. She told him that future photo opps need to be a bit more on the cautious side, lest she find herself feeling embarrassed and having to explain such images to the peanut gallery.

A notable incident that’s similar involves Detroit rapper Kash Doll. When she was invited to a party being held by friend and fellow rapper Drake, a party her boyfriend Shawn couldn’t attend because he stayed back in Detroit, she took a picture with the “Nice For What” MC. Though they did look comfy, the image was, for the most part, harmless:

She took the picture and went to the party, in general, because she values the relationship she has with the rapper. He helped her when she was going through some hard times, and it’s something she still very much appreciates. But she says, that’s all there is to it.

And despite the fact that she claims she contacted her boyfriend throughout the party, even asking him if he was ok with her posting the picture, he ended up being uncomfortable with the photo. When they talked about it after the fact, he let her know he would never be ok with such displays with men in her industry. Because of the photo, they called it quits.

“This is my world. What do you expect?” Kash Doll said of the incident to radio personality Angela Yee on her podcast, Lip Service. When asked if they might work things out, she rejected the idea.

“I don’t want to give no one the ability to just have me feeling some type of way when I’m working,” she said. “You could just be that heartless, then f–k you.”

“I really got mad love for Drake, because when I was stuck in my legal situation, he asked me to come open up for him in Detroit, and I just felt like I was in one of the lowest of my life, and he came and lifted my spirits like that,” she added. “So, it’s like, forever I always got love for him. We never dealt with each other. It was never nothing like that.”

And because she’s in an industry that has a much greater number of men than women, all while doing a job that has created great opportunities for her, and likely benefited her ex, she couldn’t understand the lack of support.

“I feel like I shouldn’t be explaining that to my man,” she said.

“I feel like if my man was a rapper, and he was with Rihanna, and he had a picture just hugging her, I wouldn’t care,” she added.

Out of the examples I mentioned, I know they’re two totally different scenarios. One photo was taken to celebrate old friends and classmates coming together. Another was, essentially, just business and showing love. But both bring about the question of what is appropriate when it comes to people in relationships having fun and taking photos with people who are not their romantic partners.

I would just say, it’s about two things: respect and trust. Respectful behavior on the part of the person posing for photos, and the ability to know that your partner has proven themselves worthy of being trusted, no matter what a picture “looks like,” on the other side. And what I mean by the aforementioned example is, you shouldn’t be straddling someone or getting so close to another person for something as simple as a photo. What you wouldn’t want and don’t desire to see from your partner, you shouldn’t do yourself.

And while I would admit that Drake’s arm was in a questionable place in Kash Doll’s case (seemingly laying across her boob), if you trust your mate and they’ve proven themselves loyal, any issues should be able to be nipped in the bud (including the probability of a similar situation happening again in the future) through a discussion. Things shouldn’t have to completely fall apart over insecurities.

On either side or position, romantic parties just need to use good sense. Use discretion, but don’t feel like you can’t be yourself if someone wants a picture with you. And be trusting of a deservedly trusting partner, but don’t play yourself either. All in all, just make the best decisions, always, for the sake of your relationship if you truly care about it lasting.

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