My Dos & Don'ts, by Gabrielle Union

by Laurie Sandell

photo: Jeff Lipskyphoto: Jeff LipskyA few Valentine's rules about love (and life) from the star of BET's addictive new show Being Mary Jane. As told to Laurie Sandell.


If you were to grade yourself on your relationships, how would you do? Gabrielle Union, 41, who plays a hotshot news anchor looking for Mr. Right on BET's new series Being Mary Jane, says she'd give herself an S for "satisfactory." "I'm divorced!" she exclaims. "So I can't exactly give myself an O for 'outstanding.'" But she has gathered a whole lot of wisdom from her failed marriage, kick-ass girlfriends, and long-time romance with Miami Heat superstar Dwyane Wade. Here, she spills her rules for a happy love life:

DO forget your "type." It worked for me. When I met Dwyane, his "résumé" looked like crap: athlete, going through a divorce, nine years younger than me. None of that screamed, "Let's have a lasting relationship." Then, after I had a heart-crushing breakup with yet another immature jerk, I thought, it can't be any worse if I date a fetus. Let's just see what happens. Turned out he'd been on his own since he was 15. He had wisdom that comes with facing an insane amount of adversity. He's sweet, funny, honest about his shortcomings. When I put my preconceived notions to the side, I found someone cool.


See More: Gabrielle's answers to Our Dos and Don'ts Questions

DON'T put up with a friend-versus-boyfriend tug-of-war. Some friends act possessive and say, "You're not spending enough time with me." Huh? Remember when we made our vision boards and the dude was in the middle? You're sup- posed to be happy for me. Thankfully, my girls are like, "High-five!" And D likes to be around them too. If there's weirdness, either something's wrong with the friends-or the boy. Investigate. And sift accordingly.

DO show him your feelings. Daily. Dwyane generally gets up before I do to go to the gym, and he's never left without kissing me and telling me he loves me. As for me, I am complimentary to the point where I am almost a little Chester the Molester-y. I think he's so delicious. Watching him get out of the shower never gets old. Never. It's not like he ever wonders what I'm thinking, but usually he's thinking, She needs a cold shower!


DON'T write off an ex (or get back together) without really thinking it through. When you're debating whether to go backward or forward, you have to look at the original issue. [When Dwyane and I broke up briefly in 2013], it was because of distance and scheduling. I finished filming the show, then I flew to Vegas right away to start shooting Think Like a Man Too. I couldn't take time off, and I missed some quality togetherness we desperately needed. Over the summer, I reassessed priorities. I'd always wanted an awesome career with back-to-back projects, but I realized I wasn't willing to sacrifice my relationship for it. Moving forward, I decided my work schedule has to make sense for our family. Bottom line: If an issue's a deal breaker, it's a deal breaker. If your relationship isn't something you're willing to give up and you can compromise, do so.

Read on to find out: When to Let Your Guy Off the Hook

Check out the full story in Glamour's February, on newsstands January 14, 2014.


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