25 Things Karrueche Taught Me

From the moment I saw a promo flash across my timeline for the OWN Iyanla Vanzant: Karrueche Tran Exclusive, I knew I would be tuned in. The interview started and as soon as Iyanla said “Beloved” I felt like I was listening to the narrative of so many women including my own.

Now I’ll admit I have passed judgment on Karrueche and never tried to understand her perspective. I’ve always just been underwhelmed. Dating for more than four years, she quickly became known as the rebound girl to Rihanna –who “makes up to break up” every other week with Chris Brown. Despite spats on social media or Chris openly hooking up with other women, Karrueche always found her way back to him.

I guess the straw that finally broke the camel’s back was him reportedly fathering a 9 month-old baby girl. When you see someone’s name in the headlines daily you can’t help but wonder if the media reports are true. How could she stay with a man who continued to hurt her and break her heart? Why did she still find the urge to want to be with him?

As time progresses I am learning to keep my mouth out of what other people are doing in their relationships. Why? Because I can’t predict what I will go through and what decisions I will have to make.

I was naturally curious to hear from Karrueche – a voice that always seems faint and non-existent. I wanted to know more about this girl that people deem “stupid” because she continues to take back the same damaged man over and over again. Sadly, she has unintentionally become the poster child for dysfunctional relationships.

So let’s dig into the interview.

As usual I knew that Iyanla was not only going to fix Karrueche’s life, but mine too! I took out my note pad and let the knowledge drip down onto the sheet of paper.

Here are twenty-five things I learned:

1   One of the classic mistakes that women make is loving damaged people.  They in turn get damaged too.

2   Decipher what about you keeps attracting the same type of man. Liar? Cheater? Abuser?

3   You don’t have the power to change anyone. They must have the will and courage to change themselves.

4   Don’t dismiss the pain you feel or you will miss the lesson.

5   Stay in touch with and address your feelings. Be present.

6   Believe what you know and see. The biggest mistake is ignoring red flags like they don’t exist.

7   Don’t use social media to express your feelings.

8   When it comes to love and relationships be mindful of who you share the details of your relationships with. It opens the door to judgment and other people’s      opinions. Only trust the details of your relationship with someone who has your best interest and tells you the truth.

9    Don’t give more time to someone who betrays you. Use your time wisely.

10   Your power as a woman is your heart.

11    Determine why you have betrayed yourself and your intuition. Why do you keep going back?

12    Who you are is strong enough to bare your pain.

13     You can feel bad and still recover.

14     Have a voice and set boundaries.

15      If you were involved in a relationship and experienced infidelity always address issues with the other person and most importantly yourself.

16      Own up to what you voluntarily put yourself through. Address it and fix it.

17       Be mindful of WHO and HOW you invite people into your life.

18       Be a BITCH. Broad In Total Control of Herself.

19       Have the strength to say “no” and follow through with it.

20      Broken men walk into broken places. They can sense a broken person and find comfort in the cracks of their heart.

21      Determine what your prayer is for yourself.

22      Love is always the answer regardless of the situations you go through.

23       Trust what you feel and give your heart to God.

24       Bad experiences can leave scar tissue. Don’t act like it’s not there.

25       Hitting rock bottom is where God meets us to set us free.


At the end of the interview I found myself rooting for the aspiring model and actress. My opinion of her changed completely. I discovered her to be innocent, genuine and heartfelt. I would have to commend her for having the strength to go through such public humiliation in stride. (I can barely handle the trials and tribulations of love I go through privately). Even with making bad decisions and playing the same broken record over and over again, I admire her optimism. Yes she was less than smart for loving a man who didn’t deserve her time. But who hasn’t been there? The story of Tran and Brown is a reminder that we all go through the motions of love. Heartbreak and disappointment don’t discriminate. Her story will definitely help someone.

As women we’ve all experienced heartbreak and pain from failed, flawed or toxic relationships. We’ve stuck around way past the expiration date and tried to force circles into square holes. Sometimes we’ve doubted our self-worth because we didn’t know what it was or we overlooked it for something we thought we wanted. We have cried a million tears and tried to put back the pieces of our broken hearts. I have sat on the phone with my girlfriends and we’ve tried countless times to mend our hearts back together. Yet somehow we all survived and lived to tell the story.

Whether people want to admit it or not, Karrueche represents many women across all ages that have been in dead end relationships. No matter the details of the breakups and heartbreak, we all share the same pain. There are so many lessons to learn in love. We just have to be in tune with them to listen.

What I love the most about Iyanla is that she challenges all of the people she coaches to do the work and hands them tools to “fix” their own life. To all the “Karrueches” of the world and the ones who judge her – I hope we continue to value ourselves and know that without a test there is no testimony. Check out more of my thoughts about this in my podcast!

Monique Mitchell

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