Nonfiction Relationships The Word 6 minute read

When your friend dates a NGMF (“No Good Mother-Fu#$er”)



African American woman yelling at boyfriend

I’m a good Golden Girls, Set It Off, Living Single type of girlfriend—that is until you start dating a no-good, sorry-ass man.  Now I’m not talking about the type of man who is a work in progress (we all are).  I’m also not talking about the man who bought you a crappy gift for your birthday; or is a mama’s boy; or never takes you out, or snores, or could stand to cut back on the Krispy Kremes and Big Macs.  I’m all about love and standing by your man’s side when he is down.  I’m all about working with a Brotha to help him to reach his greatest potential. Trust me — I champion the Bonnie and Clyde thing.  Understand me — when I say “no-good” I mean even his “mama and dem” know he ain’t worth one cent (they love him, but when they saw you with him — they felt low-key sorry for you).

I heard several lovers of NGMFs (no good mother fuckers) proclaim, “I’m a grown ass woman and it ain’t nobody’s business who I date.”  And that’s certainly true.  For the most part, I stay out of people’s personal business.  Grown folks should be able to do whatever they want as long as it doesn’t hurt anyone else. But therein lies the problem—when a woman messes with a NGMF, it typically affects the other folks around them.  Let me explain:


  1. It is difficult to watch someone you love behave destructively. It has been said that humans’ strongest drug is other humans. There is a lot of truth to that statement.  Some women addicted to a NGMF are no different than a crackhead:  they will lose everything else for their fix—friendships, reputation, job, money, values.  It is hard to support someone when they are destroying themselves: straining relationships with family members who were bold enough to tell you the truth about the trifling fool you are messing with; weakening your work performance because half of your mind is always thinking about some problem involving that asshole; messing up your finances by buying things for him or using your good credit for his large purchases (you’ve seen Judge Judy).
  1. You oftentimes suck as a friend. A woman who dates a NGMF is completely ruled by what’s happening in that relationship.  If things are good between them and their NGMF, you can barely get them on the phone because they are soaking in the good times like a 80s child did Mr. Bubble.  When times are bad, suddenly they want to be BFFs again and talk to you for hours about the fool—though they haven’t been around to discuss your problems. You have to tolerate hearing stories when all you really want to say is, “Can’t we just establish that his ass is no good?  Why is his cheating, or lying or triflingness something that we need to discuss anew with every indiscretion?”  Your friendship becomes something that is only on an “on-call basis” — they call you when they need you (which is frequently, because a relationship with a NGMF is rarely peaceful.  A woman in this type of relationship is always troubled and filled with doubt, questions and angst.).
  1. Similarly, your mood is completely affected by whatever is happening with the NGMF. We can have front row seats to the concert that you’ve been dying to go to for months, but if that fool is tripping, so are you.  You check your phone all through the night in hopes that he will text, or will stay on the phone texting back and forth with him, or will simply have a stank-ass attitude throughout the evening.  You don’t care if someone else’s birthday, wedding day or baby shower — you are raining on that parade.
  1. When you are single, “having your girls is the most important thing in life.” As soon as you get a man, “having that thing in you is the most important thing in life.”  When 50 Cent rapped about the Magic Stick, he wasn’t playing. Abracadabra!  Suddenly, a frog will turn into a Prince; a brilliant, strong woman will turn into an ignorant, weak one; a good friend will turn into a bad one because of that Magic Stick (‘cause NGMF’s usually don’t offer much else).
  1. You become so focused on “changing him” that you forget about yourself and that’s hard to watch.
  1. You make me question if we are on the same path in life. When we are young, we are all dumb and naive.  But we are supposed to grow up and mature.  When a grown-ass woman loses herself and her dignity for someone who isn’t near worthy; it makes me wonder if we are on the same page.  I’m on the journey of truly owning and embracing myself.  My road to loving myself hasn’t been easy, but it’s been the most important trip of my life.  When I watch you involve yourself in a relationship that tears you down, makes you question yourself, and takes you back to your insecure 21 year-old self, it distances us because our core values are conflicted now.  I’m all for love; but shouldn’t that start with loving yourself?  And can you love yourself and someone who isn’t good for you at the same time?  I know that I love you and want you to have better; and think you deserve better.  Why don’t you love you, as much as I love you?

They say love is blind.  If only that was its only affliction.  Loving the wrong person makes some of you blind, deaf, dumb, inconsiderate, trifling and damn-near intolerable. I’m just letting you know; but I know that your love-deaf ears ain’t hearing me. We’ll talk – for real—when you finally realize he ain’t worth pigeon shit—while drinking multiple bottles of wine and eating junk food – all while the Waiting to Exhale soundtrack plays in the background.

whitney and angela

My intention is for Black people to love themselves and each other. It sounds somewhat silly, I guess; but oftentimes my people are overwhelmed with negative images, bad news, and stereotyped characters about us. I’d like to flip that script. I’d like to remind us, as often as I can, how incredible we are. Read more


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