‘I Don’t Owe Anybody A Happily Ever After’: Amber Riley Talks About Her Next Chapter

Amber Riley

Amber Riley is undoubtedly talented; from her time on Glee to reprising the role of Effie White in Dreamgirls, the woman has a God-given gift, and now, she knows how vital her off-stage voice is, thanks to therapy. “Therapy kind of gave me the training to speak my mind,” the 37-year-old says. “It’s not something we’re taught, especially as Black women. I got so comfortable in [doing so], and I really want other people, especially Black women, to get more comfortable in that space,” she stated in a recent interview with XoNecole. 

The multihyphenate performer has been in therapy since 2019, even though she’s experienced depression and anxiety for years; in an interview with Jason Lee, she reflects on having suicidal ideation as a child. She prioritized her wellness in her thirties by taking antidepressants and seeing a psychologist consistently. By getting the mental health help she needed, she’s now free to live abundantly and clearly. “My new mantra is ‘humility does not serve me.’ Humility does not serve Black women. The world works so hard to humble us anyway,” she says to XoNecole. 

Riley is applying that same liberation to her love life as well. In 2020, she spoke to XoNecole about becoming engaged to Desean Black but called it off last year. For Valentine’s Day, she revealed her new beau publicly. “I decided to post him on Valentine’s Day, partially because I was in the dog house. I got in trouble with him,” she says. “The breakup was never going to stop me from finding love. Or at least trying. I don’t owe anybody a happily ever after. People break up. It happens. When it was good, it was good. When it was bad, it was terrible, hunny. I had to get the fuck up out of there. You find happiness, and you enjoy it and work through it.”

Although Riley was open and proud about her previous relationship, posting pictures on Instagram and even appearing in video content for Netflix with him, this time around, she’s a bit more private. While she’s not hiding her new boyfriend of 8 months, she’s more protective of him because he’s a father and not interested in becoming a public figure. 

In addition to finding a new love, she’s enjoying the fruits of labor and success by traveling more and fighting her earlier childhood trauma. “I live in constant fear of being broke. I don’t think you ever don’t remember that trauma or move past that. Now I travel, and I’m like, listen, if it goes, it goes. I’m not saying [to] be reckless, but I deserve to enjoy my hard work.”

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