You need an Olivia Pope sized glass of wine after the year in relationships you’ve had. From messy breakups and shocking splits to sweet engagements and surprise “I dos,” you certainly took us on an emotional roller coaster ride. Let’s recap!
Although wedding bells did ring for Usher Raymond and his longtime love and business partner Grace Miguel and Lance Gross became a married man, both on your watch, you certainly weren’t feeling as matrimonial as we’d hoped this time. Although we must admit, surprising us with Hollywood mega producer Will Packer’s star-studded wedding affair was a treat, especially since he kept it close to home and wowed guests right in his own backyard. (Remember that epic video?)
But, we trust there will be more nuptials to celebrate next year given all of the engagements you brought us this year. How did we love them? Let us count the ways: Just when you thought they couldn't be any cuter, recording artist, actress and mommy-to-be Teyana Taylor and her NBA baller beau Iman Shumpert proved they could be when he put a ring on it in at her baby shower, while earlier in the year Shumpert’s former league mate Ime Udoka asked his longtime love, the lovely Nia Long, to be his wife. (We can’t wait to see their beautiful babies walk down that aisle.) Musical cool kid Kendrick Lamar proposed to his high school sweetheart, Whitney Alford and made us all swoon. Oh, and we must discuss the time you broke the hearts of Twilight fans across the globe when you revealed that actor Robert Pattinson is British singer-songwriter FKA Twigs’ soon-to-be husband. (Yet another sure-to-be-unforgettable union we’re counting down for in 2016!) R&B diva Chrisette Michele sent her engagement news viral when she posted pics of her big bling on Instagram—a gift from longtime love and manager Doug “Biggs” Ellison this fall. And, although you haven’t fully confirmed this yet, it looks like this is just in: Keyshia Cole may have joined this sparkly list too after she posted via Twitter this week that she’s “engaged." Who could the lucky guy be? It looks as if only time (or Twitter) will tell.
Now, if only all of the love stories you shared with us could have ended as beautifully...There were some low points we must address. Who can forget the unions we saw come crumbling to a tragic end? In July, singer Anthony Hamilton and his wife Tarsha took a one-way trip to Splitsville, issuing a joint statement about their divorce. Then Black-ish fans who had become accustomed to seeing Anthony Anderson play a happily married man, found their mouths hanging wide open when his real life marriage fell apart, and he and his wife, Alvina, filed for divorce after 20 years of marriage. Ouch! Why’d you have to go and do that to us, 2015? Oh, but you didn’t stop there: Just when we were settled in to Halle Berry's happily ever after, she and her third husband, actor Olivier Martinez, called it quits out of the blue. Oy vey! That one sure cut us deep. And, still the madness continued. Before we could even finish celebrating WNBA stars Glory Johnson and Brittney Griner’s “I dos,” the newlyweds filed for an annulment just 28 days after tying the knot. Both Stevie Wonder and YaYa DeCosta’s marriages officially came to an end with you. With all this drama, can we just ask: are you done with the divorce news for now!?
Weddings, divorces and splits aside, there were a few couples whose love you set on fire, and lovey-dovey relationships gave us all "feels." That hot list included picture-perfect (and proudly celibate!) new lovers Ciara and Russell Wilson, power couple Megan Good and her husband Devon Franklin, and, as always, Will Smith and Jada Pinkettt Smith. Ciara and Russell reminded us of how much fun it can be to fall in love, while the Franklins showed us what a solid, spiritual marriage truly looks like. We must also thank you for making sure we didn’t miss a moment of Will and Jada’s unbelievably candid marriage advice, while simultaneously showing off their tender love and appreciation for each other.
All in all, I’d say love still came out on top with you. So, glasses up as we drink to that!
Charli Penn is the ESSENCE.com Relationships Editor. Connect with her @ManWifeDog!