WTF Did I Get Into?: The spiritual lessons in the Reesa Teesa TikTok saga

Ahead of Tamron Hall's first interview with TikToker Reesa Teesa, Revs. Dr. Alisha Lola Jones and Calvin Taylor Skinner explore the pitfalls of digital vulnerability.

“Notes on faith” is theGrio’s inspirational, interdenominational series featuring Black thought leaders across faiths.

Just when we think we’ve learned our lesson about being voyeurs in people’s lives through mediums like reality shows, Black social media reels us back in. Tell the truth: How many of y’all binge-watched TikTok user Reesa Teesa’s 52-part series, “Who TF Did I Marry?!?,” allegedly conveying a cautionary tale of a romance gone awry? Reesa Teesa’s saga had all the elements for a captivating story — mystery and suspense — involving a partner who she would learn was a compulsive liar. Her account has now drawn over three million followers tuned into the twists and turns from her year-long former marriage to a man she dubs “Legion.” 

In addition to clicks, Reesa Teesa’s cautionary tale has prompted lively discussions, debates, and judgments about Black women’s vulnerability, marriageability, and gullibility when it comes to relationship success. Can we (almost) have it all?

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Viral TikTok star Reesa Teesa appears on “Tamron Hall,” airing weekdays in syndication on ABC. Photo Credit: ABC/Jeff Neira

Although there may have been red flags readily available throughout this roller-coaster ride of a series, viewers should not abandon their search for true love or genuine relationships. Even if parts of the story can be challenged by skeptics, there are elements within it that are quite familiar, explaining its viral appeal. At the very least, Reesa Teesa reminds us that this scenario could easily be one of us.

“This is not the way to get clout, because you are literally opening up yourself — and again, you’re being vulnerable. Those [comments] hurt,” Reesa Teesa admits in an upcoming interview with Tamron Hall, airing in full on Monday, March 4. Addressing well-publicized insults about her appearance, she adds, “How I look should not dictate whether or not I deserved what I went through.”

Insults aside, she says, “I will admit this: I appreciate when I’ve met both men and women who have said, ‘Thank you,’ because, for me, it’s like, OK, I know I’m getting attacked, but it did help somebody.”

When we are honest, most of us have been Reesa Teesa at least once in our lives, suspending our disbelief, perhaps thinking that analyzing our relationships would spoil the romance. Then there is the palpable fatigue we cannot only imagine but know too well when attempting to walk patiently alongside someone seemingly facing a series of unfortunate events. How can we be present in any of our relationships, romantic, platonic, and familial, while also leaving room for a mature reflection on what we are truly building with people?

In all of its contortions, this cautionary reality tale should be a guide in how we can respond when we discover information about something or someone that is not lining up. Whether things may be too good to be true or not, there are tools we can grab onto to discern how to go about the process of cultivating a healthy and integrity-based relationship.  

A healthy relationship enhances our peace more than destabilizes it, even in the face of challenges. A secure relationship increases in its capacity for questioning and critique, fostering a love with pristine clarity and care; what bell hooks and Cornel West described in their book “Breaking Bread” as “critical affirmation.”

For us, we see this situation as offering a unique opportunity to reflect and delve deeper into spiritual lessons on the power of our intuition and the perils of isolation when developing a relationship.

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As pastoral counselors, the conversation surrounding Reesa Teesa’s story really got us thinking about how we could be more reflective when offering support or advice to loved ones, should such a scenario be presented to us. We want to offer three lessons we gleaned from this ordeal. 

Hold fast to the power of your own intuition and spiritual guidance:  Throughout the Reesa Teesa saga, the narrator recounts grappling with her intuition and spiritual guidance as she navigated cryptic messages, behaviors, and encounters that didn’t quite add up. One spiritual lesson that can be drawn from this is the importance of listening to and trusting one’s inner guidance. Reesa’s telling of her truth serves as a reminder that our intuition often serves as a compass. In addition, there are others who may be guiding us toward greater understanding and alignment with the path we should align with, should we remain open to considering messages that may come from unlikely messengers.

Pursue and accept the journey of self-discovery and personal growth: As Reesa Tessa unravels the mysteries of her situation, viewers may sense that she undergoes profound inner transformation, emerging stronger, wiser, and more aligned with her true self; her intuition. As she exposes her journey of discovery, that knowledge serves as a potent metaphor and evidence for the spiritual journey each of us undertakes in our own lives. There are moments that feel uncomfortable, but her willingness to even confront those intense moments, like seeking marriage counseling or even connecting with “Legion’s” ex-wife, led to a path of further self-discovery.

Be courageous and vulnerable in sharing your personal truths: Throughout the saga, Reesa Teesa demonstrates immense courage and vulnerability by sharing her very personal truths and experiences — even the ways she second-guessed herself. Despite the risk of exposing herself to the extreme judgment and skepticism social media is well known for, she opens herself up and shares her journey as authentically as she can. This vulnerability not only fosters deeper connections with her audience but also stimulates a reconnection with the parts of herself that she may have lost. In the process, she creates a safe space for others to resonate with her story, confronting relationships, interactions, and personal choices they have questioned. Our wish is that we may have enough grace with ourselves to realize and seek out similar pathways of connection and support when we find ourselves in potentially embarrassing situations. 

Family, now would be a good time to make a deal with ourselves to honor our instincts and the wisdom gleaned from life experiences and ensure that we resist the temptation to deal with our relationships in isolation. That last deal we can make with ourselves might be the trickiest for us to handle because we tend to be funny about airing our so-called “dirty laundry” to people outside of our relationships. However, true adulting discerns what matters are unique and private, requiring negotiations within the relationship, what issues require wisdom from trusted advisors in our lives, and what stories may pay the hard-earned wisdom forward. 

As Reesa Teesa graciously reminds us in her interview with Hall, “My prayer is that … if there is a woman or a man who is like, ‘I want to be married, I want kids, I want this, and I need to have it right now’ — and you know something’s wrong, but you’re afraid to investigate because you’re afraid that you might be wrong … I’m here to say, ‘Look, it costs nothing to verify, but if you don’t verify, Honey, it may cost you everything.”

Watch Reesa Teesa’s “Tamron Hall” interview in full on Monday, March 4 on ABC.

Rev. Dr. Alisha Lola Jones is a faith leader helping people to find their groove in a fast-paced world, as a consultant for various arts and faith organizations and professor of music in contemporary societies at the University of Cambridge in Cambridge, England. She is an award-winning author of Flaming? The Peculiar Theopolitics of Fire and Desire in Black Male Gospel Performance (Oxford University Press). For more information, please visit

Rev. Calvin Taylor Skinner is dedicated to empowering frontline communities in Knoxville, Tenn. and the United Kingdom. He uses faith and policy to address energy justice, criminal justice reform, voter education/mobilization, electoral politics, and global affairs. Along with his wife, Rev. Dr. Alisha Lola Jones, they lead InSight Initiative, a consulting firm focusing on capacity building and live events production.

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