A friend is someone who knows the song in your heart and can sing it back to you when you have forgotten the words.
On Wednesday, I busily gathered papers in my classroom around four in the afternoon with the intention of taking some work home. I felt under the weather and the idea of grading papers in my pajamas was very appealing. But then I heard the automated voice of my phone say, “You have a new message.” I scurried over to my purse and saw that a dear friend of mine, Sandy, had sent me a message that said, “He was too good to be true. I am all alone in the world again.”
A week earlier, I had dinner with Sandy, a bright and pretty woman who has not yet had had success in finding a worthy mate. She and I often talk about our dating adventures, and listen to each other vent about our concerns and laugh about our trials and tribulations. During dinner, Sandy ecstatically told me about a guy she had just begun dating who seemed not only normal, but also a genuine man who had a legitimate job and home. I really wanted to be happy for her, because like everyone, she deserves to feel the security and warmth of a romantic partnership, but I was concerned she might get hurt. After all, he was already calling her pet names like baby and saying all the right things. As she cooed about the guy, I smiled and told her he could be either the real deal or an opportunist because it was moving very quickly. I had my fingers crossed that Sandy had met a decent man.
During the week, I texted her to see how she was doing, and she said great. She continued to make time for the important people and activities in her life, but she was also swept away with his constant barrage of texts, kind words, and dates that included snuggling on the couch while watching movies.
When I saw the text on Wednesday and listened to the voicemail, I immediately called her and told her I was on my way to her house. There I found a very emotional (and on the way to being tipsy) Sandy who proceeded to tell me that this seemingly kind man sent her a Facebook message stating she was amazing, but he had some huge life change that he was going through and he might be moving. Ouch. They had dated for about a week and a half.
After about an hour of listening to, talking to and reminding Sandy how truly wonderful she is, her friend Molly stopped by. We sat with Sandy and listened, talked, and literally wrestled the cell phone out of her hand to stop her from sending the dude another “what is wrong with you” style text. Molly’s fiancé called, wondering why she was not home. She sweetly explained that she had left him a message, and that Sandy needed a friend right now.
During the evening, Molly reminded Sandy that she was one of her best friends; that she knows what a kind and intelligent person she is. Molly put her arms around Sandy and said with conviction, “You don’t deserve this.” We were the voice of reason as Sandy was beginning to question her own lovability and feeling extremely discouraged at the prospect of ever meeting “the one.” After a couple more hours of talking, when I felt certain that Sandy was grounded in reality, I left.
The reality is: it’s tough out in the world of dating. One can easily become swept away with someone they do not know very well, because they want feel part of something; they want to give and receive love. Sandy wondered, as many of us single people do, when will her turn come? The truth is, each experience you have teaches you a lesson about yourself and shows you what you already have in your life. If you have close friends who know who you are, you will always receive unconditional love. True friendship is reciprocal. You can hold the mirror to a friend when she/he is feeling down and remind her/him that she/he is perfect in her/his own skin. In turn, you know there will be times when you need someone to lean on, someone who understands and will be there for you.
Each broken heart, disappointment or fallen dream leads you closer to reaching your goal. Grow stronger and learn from your experiences. Whether you are single or in a relationship, be sure to foster close friendships. You will always benefit from sharing your life with sincere, good people who know you to your core. None of us is alone in this beautifully complex world.
*Names in this story have been changed to protect the identity of these lovely ladies.
Just remember, do not be afraid to count on your friends. Click here to listen to “Lean on Me”