The Game: Melanie and Derwin Teach us About Relationships

The Game quickly became one of my favorite shows when it first aired in 2005. To this day, there aren’t many shows that explore the ups and downs of dating a professional athlete as The Game does. Netflix recently brought the series to its streaming service and I couldn’t resist giving the show another watch. And yes I rewatched all four seasons as if I have never seen the episodes before. This time around with more relationship experience under my belt I was able to understand the show from a different lens. Here are some of the valuable lessons I learned about my love and relationships from Melanie, Derwin, and of course the other supporting characters on the show.

1. We all make mistakes in relationships

Mistakes are an inevitable part of life especially when you’re young. Sometimes those mistakes are really big. When Derwin cheated on Melanie it was a completely heartbreaking scene because we were all rooting for the sweet young couple. When Derwin cheated the young couple was experiencing a rough patch in their relationship and the pressures of being in the limelight didn’t make things any better. Melanie also made a few noteworthy mistakes of her such as getting caught by paparazzi having lunch with popular football player Trey and his mom after she promised Derwin she would end their friendship. Trey and Melanie had been friends for years but his strained relationship with Derwin made things awkward for Melanie.

2.  Always have your own

When Melanie left Derwin she had nothing. Nada, not a dime to her name. Although Derwin was more than willing to support her until she found a job and got on her feet Melanie didn’t want anything from the lying, cheating scum bag. At one point, Melanie contemplated going back home to her parents because she was broke. Kelly is another football wife who found out the hard way that having your own money and means for providing for oneself is crucial. When Kelly finally gathered the courage to leave her controlling and cheap husband she didn’t have any money and had never held a job. Kelly had to get it together quickly for her daughter Britney. Having your own money and means for providing for yourself is essential in a relationship. No relationship is guaranteed and maintaining your sense of independence is the best backup plan one can have.

3. The perfect guy isn’t always the right guy

When Melanie finally moved on she ended up getting into a relationship with a good guy. He was handsome, successful and he was in love with her. However, Melanie realized that she was still in love with Derwin. Even though her new man was really great on paper, he didn’t have her heart.

4. You can never compete with a baby

When Melanie and Derwin found out that Janae Derwin’s ex-girlfriend was pregnant with his child they were devastated. Once Melanie and Derwin reunited they were ready to get married and start a family of their own. But watching the man you love to bear his first child with someone else is a bitter pill to swallow. Initially, Melanie had a hard time accepting this hard truth and tried to convince Derwin that it probably wasn’t his baby and that Janae was trying to trap him. Melanie realized that she could never compete with a child especially when Derwin made it clear that he intended to be a great father to his baby with Janae. Melanie realized that if she was going to be with Derwin that she would have to accept his child. It caused lots of tension and pain in their already fragile relationship. Janae gave birth to the baby right as they exchanged their vows!

5. Love isn’t enough to make a relationship

As a hopeless romantic I always believed that love always prevails. That’s far from true. Melanie and Derwin were deeply in love. Kelly and Jason’s co-stars also loved each other. Ultimately, these relationships failed at one point because of a lack of honesty and emotional support. In some real-life relationships, and the outside baby would be a dealbreaker because it leads to resentment, and oftentimes loves can’t diminish resentment.

6. It’s Okay To “Sow Your Wild Oats”

Yes! I said it. When Melanie left Derwin and started to date other people in Season 3 she learned a lot about herself. She was with Derwin since her freshmen year in college so she never really got a chance to get to know herself and to live life as a single woman. When she did have fun dating different men she regained her confidence and came into her own as a woman. It’s okay not to be tied down by a relationship and to actually take time to date, different people.

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