After two years of speculation, Common and Jennifer Hudson have confirmed their relationship, and rather than post a cheeky photo or just say it outright, they did it in a very cute way. On a recent appearance on The Jennifer Hudson Show, Jennifer boldly posed the question to Common about whether he was dating anyone – and despite not saying her name directly, he made it very clear he was talking about her.
Despite her attempt at soft launching him back in March of last year, a move that was not well-received by fans, it appears the two stayed the course. Over the last year, they’ve made public appearances, sat courtside at basketball games and had date nights which were captured by paparazzi.
Last year, during that soft launch, her fans were quick to point out that she can “do better” and that he had been in a series of failed relationships with powerhouse women like Serena Williams and Taraji P. Henson. And while the response to this very hard and very public launch was certainly less cold, you could still feel the cautious optimism of her fans.
Truthfully, I see both sides. I’ve always suspected that Common is not the marrying kind. And if you’ve read anything I’ve written on relationships, you might know that him and I have that in common. It’s a very difficult lifestyle to live, especially as a woman, and particularly when you enjoy dating. Because every time you start dating someone, the expectation, perhaps not from you or the person you’re dating, but from those around you, is that you’re working towards marriage, rather than just enjoying the time together until it fizzles out.
Part of the reason I appreciated Tia Mowry’s views on her divorce so much was because where most people characterize a break up, separation or divorce as a failure, she regarded it instead as a “graduation”. Sure, Tia and Cory Hardrict exchanged vows and had children. But in my experience of not truly desiring marriage, it’s led me to find a huge community of others that enjoy spending a few months getting to know someone, exchanging stories, wisdom and information and simply moving on. But it’s a hard lifestyle to imagine if you grew up in traditional households that pushed the idea of marriage being some ultimate life goal and the only reason one might date in the first place.
The other thing not really being considered here is – what if Jennifer doesn’t want to get married again, either? There was a response to the clip on YouTube sending the couple well wishes for such a specific path forward for the two of them that I had to read it twice. It said:
“I pray they have a forever relationship that adds marriage, maybe even another child, and a long grow old together love story. God Bless them and their Blended family.”
The idea that people get together because they want to be forever isn’t always the case. Nor is it always the case that if two people are dating, they want to have a child, or more children. And even in the case where a couple is coming from past relationships or marriages where there were children, not everyone is keen on “blending families”. I’ve been dating someone for several months and there is something so uniquely special about enjoying this time without the pressure of bringing our children into the mix.
The thing about being a public figure is that you become the subject of a lot of projection. And perhaps that’s why people have such discomfort with this pairing. Because they don’t see Common being capable of being the person they think Jennifer needs, which is ultimately shaped by the person they might want as a life partner.
So I really respect the way that Jennifer has gone about this. She and Common have a long-standing relationship, even prior to them dating. She’s really taken her time with this. She presented it to her fans, and despite not addressing their concerns, there’s no way she could have missed the barrage of comments. But she followed her heart anyway.
If there’s anything that’s going to get you where you want to end up in life, whether it pertains to navigating your career or navigating your relationship, in most cases, it’s going to be following your intuition, or following your heart. These are two people that have a lot of money, a lot of talent, and the resources to just enjoy each other. Perhaps people should back off and let them do just that.