Quite often when we write about celebrity relationships, you might get a rundown of the people they’ve been with in the past. But when it came time for us to share singer and actress Amber Riley’s engagement announcement to Desean Black, we realized that we really don’t know all that much about Riley’s dating history. And in Hollywood—for as young as she is and as long as she’s been in it—that’s an accomplishment.
Recently, in an interview with XO Necole, Riley shared why she was ready to share the news of Desean with her fans—and nosey onlookers. (Before the announcement, Desean made appearances on Riley’s Instagram page and even appeared in her “BGE” (Big Girl Energy) video.
“This is the first relationship that I’ve been in that I feel is really healthy and I love him to pieces. I need people and the people that also be in my DMs to know that I’m taken, I’m spoken for and I’m giddy and in love. It’s gross (laughs). Yeah, he’s really my best friend. We really worked on our friendship and respecting one another. He’s just a great man all around. I feel super blessed to have even met him and I’m blessed to even have his friendship. Nothing’s perfect obviously, but I wouldn’t want to go through the ups and downs of life with anybody else.
As we reported earlier, Riley and Black connected after she slid into his DMs. But before that, she learned of him through a post on XO Necole. Riley shared the story as well.
“I literally was just scrolling and it was a wine night for sure. I love xoNecole because you talk about women’s issues and mental health, I love reading your articles and of course I love Necole, too. You had posted him and I don’t know if he was a Man Crush Monday – I don’t know what he was. When I saw his picture, I was like, ‘Oh my God, he’s such a handsome man.’ I believe I followed him that night, and I remember scrolling through my Instagram, I saw his picture, and I was like, “Who is this guy? I don’t remember following him.” He was on my timeline and I was like, “Hmmm, I’m gonna say hi,” and I did. I literally just said, “Hey Desean, how are you?” in his DMs.
I’ve also been much bolder this year about dating and putting myself out there. A lot of people don’t want to put themselves out there because they fear rejection. I’m not a special case, so if the person that you’re interested in is interested in you, then they’re gonna respond in that way. A lot of women say, “I don’t want to be thirsty going into a guy’s DMs,” but I wasn’t thirsty and I wasn’t chasing him. I just made myself seen and I made sure that he saw me and it went on from there. In our first conversation, we were talking about science, brains and nerdy sh*t.”
Again, she advised other women to take a more active role in pursuing the men they want in life, if they see something they like.
“Don’t be afraid to put yourself out there if you’re interested in someone. You don’t know the circumstances because some guys may be a little bit shy and you could be missing your opportunity to get an amazing friend. That could be the person that you’re gonna marry, the love of your life and you miss it all because of ego or pride. If the person doesn’t want you, that just means the person wasn’t for you but you’re just making yourself be seen or available to that person. Don’t think about it as chasing them. It’s basically saying, “the ball’s in your court,” as a man, if that’s what you’re concerned about.
That’s what women think about sometimes like, “I want him to be the man and I want him to take the initiative.” I’ve heard that before, but honestly, if you put the ball in their court and just let them know they’re interested, if that’s the kind of man you want, they’re going to pursue what it is that they want.”
You can read Amber Riley’s full interview with XO Necole here.