This past weekend I had a revelation of sorts that pretty much any time a woman starts gloating about a man she only refers to as “my boo” – as opposed to my boyfriend/partner/husband — there’s something fishy about the so-called relationship. On many occasion I’ve had conversations with women who go on and on and on about their “boo” but as soon as I start asking questions like, how long have you been dating or when did you get together, it becomes apparent boo is really just a lackluster friend with benefits with whom they have no established anything. And that, my friends, is a problem, much like T.I.’s relationship recipe for getting your feelings hurt which he doled out to Meek Mill.

Meek was The Fader’s May cover subject and in the midst of interviewing him, one of the magazine’s contributing writers just so happened to witness this perplexing conversation that happened between the rappers concerning Meek and Nicki Minaj’s alleged engagement:


Like most people Meek has crossed paths with lately, T.I. excitedly congratulates him on his engagement. “I ain’t engaged,” Meek says sheepishly, but T.I. isn’t having any of it. “You never asked her, ‘Will you be my girlfriend?’ But she is your girlfriend,” he says. “You may not have asked her, ‘Will you marry me?’ But you are engaged.” Meek shrugs, unable to argue with this logic. “I’ve said my part,” T.I. says, backing away with his hands up. “As long as you know what’s going on.”

Huh? Sorry, I actually don’t know what’s going on. Nobody told me in 2015 you can make someone your man or fiancé without first asking them and the other party agreeing to such. What I do know is that for centuries it’s been the case, much like that whole “boo” situation I was talking about earlier, that assuming you have certain claims to someone you’re seeing and imposing titles on that involvement which both parties have not agreed to is a surefire way to get your heart-broken.

Now there are a couple of issues here with Meek Mill and Nicki, not the least of which is the fact that this relationship is probably just for publicity. After Nicki Minaj took to tweeting lyrics from Beyonce’s “Best Thing I Never Had” over the weekend, people thought the farce of a relationship was over. Another “I love my baby” tweet from the “Starships” rapper only added to the ambiguity of the situation, which suggests Nicki and Meek don’t even know what’s going on between them. And that’s the problem.

Let’s give these two the benefit of the doubt and assume they are in fact a real couple. If Meek didn’t intend on being engaged, number one, he probably shouldn’t have blessed Nicki with a heart-shaped diamond ring the size of a golf ball that just so happens to fit on her ring finger. And number two, he should’ve been clear with her what that token of affection meant before she went bragging to the world about it on social media. But like so many overzealous beings drunk in love, we assign meanings to things based on what we want them to signify, rather than having honest conversations about the intentions behind gifts, romantic expressions, and even titles with the other person we’re involved with.

I’m shocked by the number of times I’ve overheard the question, “do people still ask people to be their girlfriend/boyfriend these days?” Um, they better. Do we need to be reminded of the age-old saying about assumptions and the fact that nothing will make you feel like a bigger you know what than thinking you’re in a relationship with someone who just sees you as someone they’re kicking it with, getting to know, or is cool, because you didn’t ask the necessary questions. In fact, the only reason not to ask “so what are we?” or “where is this going?” is the fear that you two aren’t anything and the relationship you think you have going on is going nowhere. And if your gut is telling you that’s the case, you need to be out — plain and simple — not settle for being an ambiguous boo-thang or, on the flip side, let somebody corner you into a commitment you don’t want.

Meek is clearly #unbothered by the implications of his exorbitant gift, which suggests he’ll be equally ambivalent regarding Nicki’s feelings toward him telling the world, “it ain’t really time to get married yet;” or, worse, him never proposing at all. In this day and age, everyone seems to be hung up on this “I don’t believe in labels/titles business (hello Raven-Symone) but let me tell you, ambiguity is not something you want in a relationship. In fact, the whole beauty of being in one is the assurance of love from another human being that’s been clearly communicated. If no one’s asked you to be their girlfriend, you’re not. And if you want to be someone’s girlfriend then you better disregard everything T.I. said and get to asking some questions. That’s the only way to truly know what’s going on.

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