The subtitle of the book is "Whoopi's Big Book of Relationships" and in it she shares her views on how to have successful relationships, using the rationale that she has failed at three marriages so she knows whereof she speaks. She also points out what red flags to watch out for and when you see them - RUN!
She says that humans are not meant to mate for life (she doesn't have a whole lot of good things to say about marriage) and when we do mate, we women tend to expect Prince Charming and our relationships to be like in the fairy tales. She also blames the songs we listen to for planting the wrong expectations ("Where Would I Be Without You?" by the Supremes or "I Want To Know What Love Is...I Know You Can Show Me" by Foreigner) and then there are the movies such as "An Officer and a Gentleman," the aforementioned "Jerry Maguire" and any movie based on books by Nicholas Sparks. She debunks the Cinderella story where women expect Prince Charming to come along and save them from a life of drudgery and tells men that "You Ain't No Prince Charming," so quit looking for your mother, learn how to do stuff on your own and when you come home, help with the kids and the housework. (I will go one step further here. Men are not "helping" their wives with their work, they are doing their share in what is supposed to be a partnership).
But Whoopi's biggest rant is about that famous "Jerry Maguire" line "You complete me," because she believes that if someone can complete you they can also "deconstruct" you. She goes on to say that you need to do the work to complete yourself, to become a whole person and then, and only then, should you look for a partner. Otherwise, you will be kissing a lot of frogs until the Prince shows up and it might be too late. Decide what you DON'T want BEFORE you get involved with anyone. Don't rush into anything. And watch out for those red flags.
Red flags, you ask? Yes, those are those things you sense and see in your relationship or in a relationship you want to have, but either ignore or think you can fix.
Some of Whoopi's red flags are distrust, lying, the other person doesn't want children (and you do) and he or she is married...to someone else.
But hey, you just ignore the red flags. You can fix it, right?
As Oprah said, "When people show you who they are, believe them."
So it's a funny and wise book that I recommend. And if you think you need a soul mate to complete you, I don't just recommend this book, I STRONGLY recommend it.
But then, you know me. It got me to thinking. And I wanted to put in my two cents!
Whoopi feels she has the experience to write about relationships because she has three failed marriages behind her. So I thought, if she can write a book about relationships based on three failed marriages, then I can certainly write a blog post about relationships since I have been married FOUR times, the fourth lasting 31 years (so far)! And I am going to pull the age card. I am older, which means I have had more time than Whoopi to learn from relationships.
My son once asked me in a fit of pique, "Why do you have to have an opinion on everything?" I just do. I can't help it. And hopefully as long as my brain keeps working and I keep engaged, I always will. Now that doesn't mean I have to share those opinions all of the time. I don't. I have learned to keep my mouth shut at critical moments.
But this isn't one of them.
So here goes
"Rosy's Big Blog Post About Relationships."
Back in September, I wrote a blog post called "Make Someone Happy," where I talked about how small acts of kindness and thoughtfulness can make a big difference in someone else's life. I stand by that and think if you are a thoughtful kind person that will add to your own quality of life.
Being thoughtful and kind is one thing.
But if you are unhappy, it's not easy to be thoughtful and kind.
You need to make yourself happy first and sometimes our relationships can stand in the way of our happiness.
Whoopi talked about red flags when we embark on relationships. I have some too.
So here are my own personal red flags that will keep you from making yourself happy.
Red Flag #1: When you feel responsible for someone else's happiness.
I am not talking about being selfish and only thinking of yourself. But if you spend a great deal of your time trying to keep your significant other happy, you will never be happy yourself. For example, if your significant other is not very social and at parties you feel you need to make sure your partner is OK all of the time, you won't enjoy the party yourself. If your partner gets upset by things a lot of the time and you spend much of your energy making sure he or she is OK, you will also feel upset a lot of the time. Your partners need to get off their butts and make themselves happy so you can spend time making yourself happy. That is the only way you will be happy.
Red Flag #2: If your partner shuts you out when things go wrong.
When I was in college, I met a football player who told me that if he lost a football game, his girlfriend just had to understand if he didn't speak to her for a few days after. Even at a young age, I thought, "What an ass." I still think it. Why would you want to be in a relationship with someone who won't talk to you when he or she is upset? If you have to run around trying to find out what's wrong, do you think you will be happy yourself?
Red Flag #3: You have to ask permission.
Again, I am not being extreme here. I am not talking about going out and buying a Lamborgini without discussing it with your partner. What I am talking about here is the fact that you should be able to buy a sweater without asking for permission, especially if you work outside the home and have your own money, and you should be able to go out with your friends by saying "I'm going out with my friends," not "May I?" Basically you should not have to ask permission for anything. You are a grown ass woman (or man), as Whoopi would say. You should be allowed to live your life as you wish without having to ask for permission. If your significant other doesn't like how you are living your life, then the two of you need to have a discussion about that and make some decisions accordingly.
Red Flag #4: You walk on egg shells all of the time, because your partner's feelings get hurt and he or she is easily upset.
Now, what fun would that be? How could you possibly be happy with someone like that?
Red Flag #5: You have to change to please your partner or you think you can change your partner.
Trust me, people don't change.
Red Flag #6: He or she doesn't have a sense of humor, especially about you.
When I am at my worst, Hubby has to stifle his laughter and clear enjoyment of my pursed lips and flaring nostrils. Good thing because when I am in a state like that, I would rip him a new one.
Red Flag #7: Your significant other rubs your nose in your mistakes...more than once.
You screw up from time to time. Oh well. It's your life.
You can tell I have been on a bit of a feminist tear lately with my reviews last week on the Diane Von Furstenberg books, the Gloria Steinem Q & A and now Whoopi's book.
The main message is this: Be your own woman. Diane said it, Gloria said it, Whoopi said it and now I say it. It goes for you men, too. Be your own man.
Make yourself happy.
You only have control over your own life, and you certainly can't make someone else happy if you aren't happy.
So I'm with Whoopi.
If you find yourself spending your life trying to be what your significant other wants you to be, you are walking on eggshells all of the time, you have to ask permission or you are feeling responsible for his or her happiness -
Thanks for Reading!
See you Friday
for my review of the new movie
The Week in Reviews
(What to See or Read and What to Avoid)
and the latest on
My 1001 Movies I Must See Before
I Die Project."
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