Unless you're lucky enough to find your one-and-only true love in kindergarten, chances are, there's some ex out there who could say something nasty about you. Most of us aren't famous, so beyond a small circle of frenemies, there's no demand for the juicy details of our failed romances. Thank god.
That's not so for stars like Halle Berry. News of her split with boyfriend, Gabriel Aubrey, has been lighting up black radio and the blogosphere for over a week now. And a lot of what's being said is downright vicious.
"HALLE BERRY DUMPED BY WHITE KNIGHT," blares one chat headline of blackvoices.com.
Other unflattering stories cite anonymous sources that blame their age difference (she's 43, he's 34), or question her sanity.
"Why can't she keep a man?" asks many a commenter on the Web.
And even though she's a biracial woman ending an interracial relationship, Berry's romantic woes have become another talking point in the endless debate we single black people have about why we're alone:
His side, "you are all just so demanding and mean."
Her side: "if you all were any good, you'd stand by us."
Can't we all just get along? And if that's not possible, can't we all just shut up about it already?
Nobody except the parties involved know why Halle and Gabriel split. She hasn't said much publicly about their break-up, and that's a good thing. This guy is more than just her ex; he's the father of her child. Anything nasty either of them says about the other will be on YouTube or floating through the Web long enough for their daughter to see it someday.
And it's to his credit, as well, that the only thing he's offered on the record is a statement about how wonderful she is.
And ... another shout out for handling a break up with class goes to singer Jill Scott, who talked about breaking up with the father of her son in this month's Essence magazine.
"I don't want any wars," she says. "I hope he'll forgive me for any and everything that I've done, and I forgive him for any and everything that he's done."
That's the way a real woman handles her business, even when it's about a broken heart.