Great Expectations – Valentines Edition

slide_279672_2080270_freeMany readers may not realize it but I was a single parent, raising two boys with no help or financial support, for six years. Not a single date. It was the worst of times. It was the best of times. My sons are my best friends, we are incredibly close. Grief will do that to you.

I remember vividly the first Christmas I was alone. I had never realized how many happy couples and two-parent families were on Christmas television and movies. I experienced loneliness on a level I cannot even describe. The whole world seemed to be happily cohabitating except for me. Loneliness will do that to you.

It’s Valentines Day, a happy day for young couples and established relationships. For some of us, however, there will be no flowers, no chocolates, no wet kisses. For many people Valentines Day is a screaming reminder that no one loves them, that they are alone. No Hallmark Cards or chocolate-covered strawberries or rose pedals on your bed.

It is important to remember that today does not define who you are. It is, and I know this sounds cliché, just another day. It may be a painful reminder but like most reminders, it will pass. You are fine just the way you are.

You don’t need someone else to complete you. It’s a lie. I found out the hard way that, as John Candy says in the movie Cool Runnings, “if you’re not enough without one, you’ll never be enough with one.” No one else can fill that hole in your heart, we’ll all let you down eventually. Wisdom is understanding that wholeness can only be found within. No human, no beautiful woman or man, can fix you. Date enough and you will find out the hard way.

As I tell my patients all the time, “Never date till you don’t have to”.