If Someone Says You Complete Me, RUN!: Whoopi’s Big Book of Relationships by Whoopi Goldberg
My rating: 2 of 5 stars
Whoopi Goldberg’s If Someone Says “You Complete Me,” RUN!: Whoopi’s Big Book of Relationships is part memoir, part dating and relationship advice. In between sprinklings of sage guidance (read: common sense), Goldberg shares that she speaks from experience. Married and divorced three times, she learned the hard way to listen to her inner voice, which was telling her that she’s better off remaining single. To be clear, Goldberg does not equate being single to being celibate.
Several times Goldberg mentions how when in relationships, we all know we should pay attention to red flags, yet choose to ignore them in the hopes of somehow having a positive outcome. Another person cannot complete you, you should be a complete person on your own when entering a relationship. Depending on someone else for your own happiness is a disastrous setup for any type of relationship because a person can always leave, or worse, die.
It’s unclear if Q&As included are truly written by fans or if they are used to help move the book along. It doesn’t matter because the answers are tips about moving on from toxic relationships and becoming a better and “whole” person. Another way Goldberg dishes advice is by encouraging the reader to write lists, like five must-haves in a partner or five things that can’t be tolerated.
While they were no doubt painful at the time, some of Goldberg’s personal anecdotes are funny. She refuses to reveal which wedding, but she tells how right before she was set to walk down the aisle, her mother offered her car keys to drive away. She admits to enjoying the company of others in a friendship capacity, but more enjoys her space and not having to share or consult with another person about anything. She enjoys her freedom of burping, farting and her prerogative to make a mess. She’s honest in calling herself “selfish” in not wanting to put forth the effort it takes to have a successful relationship.
The book borrows its title from a line in the Tom Cruise/Cuba Gooding, Jr. movie Jerry McGuire, in which twice, two different couples profess love by stating, “You complete me.” At times, it may seem as if Goldberg is bitter and anti-relationships. She droles on about the negative aspects of relationships, but this is to combat the oversaturation of the message that being in a relationship is the end-all be all of life. Songs, movies and books portray the pretty and honeymoon phase of relationships. They don’t delve into the ugly side, the real side. Goldberg, who’s been through a lot in her life and sees a lot as a TV talk show host, offers herself as voice of reason to encourage people to be wise before entering into relationships, and remaining in bad ones because of societal pressures.
I can’t say I learned any new relationship tips from the book, but I did find myself laughing in agreement to many of the things said. If anything, her exercises of making lists of realistic vs. romantic expectations will work as writing prompts for my journal.