Romance lessons from “Love & Hip Hop Atlanta”

What not to do this Valentine’s Day
Photographs courtesy of VH1

Hi. my name is Tony and . . . ahem . . . I’ve become addicted to the drama of VH1’s Love & Hip Hop Atlanta. I know I’m not alone. But aside from the guilty pleasure of following these fellow Atlantans through their music industry exploits, there is another reason to set your DVR to stun. While they haven’t hit Jay-Z status, the L&HHA guys are experts in love. As in: What to never, ever, ever do. Just in time, a Valentine’s Day primer.

How not to…

…give a gift.
by Nikko
If you’re going to woo a successful entrepreneur like Mimi, you have to bring the bling—and that Rolex had better be authentic. As Mimi’s ex, Stevie J, was eager to point out about Nikko’s suspiciously noisy present: “A real Roli don’t ticktock.”

…ask out your coworkers.
by Benzino
A booty call direct message to your reality show costar at 6 a.m. is a risky move. DMing the entire female cast one by one? Social suicide. C’mon, ’Zino, girls talk.

by Stevie J
What’s worse than inviting your baby’s mama (Mimi) over to watch you give your girlfriend (Joseline) an engagement ring? Turning right around and offering her a duplicate rock to be your “life partner.”

…react to a pregnancy.
by Kirk Frost
After 13 years of marriage, you don’t have to cheer when your spouse is unexpectedly expecting. But, unlike Kirk in response to Rasheeda, you should probably stifle paternity test demands. And then, you know, not cheat on her.

This article originally appeared in our February 2014 issue.