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Monday, April 9, 2012

(Column) "Tough Love" with Meg Collins

Remember the days when your parents brought you up and,"Leave it to Beaver," was on the television which was black and white in the kitchen? Tough lessons and tough love is what I will be discussing with you today.

Many of us grew up with one parent and not two parents; it makes settling down with the right man or woman quite a challenge, especially in 2012. Higher standards and raising the bar time for many of us who are still single today. Why? I am going to help you solve that problem today and explain to you what I have learned after several years of dating and being single, and hence, why I remain single today. I grew up with a Mother who was both parents, and saw my Father once a year, if I was lucky. Hence, I lacked that Father figure role model that I needed in my life; I made poor choices in dating and marriage. I picked the emotionally unavailable men because that is all I knew and saw around my life. I remember waiting for a Christmas card from my Father the day before Christmas because he always sent the card by Fed Ex mail; he was always running behind, yet I loved the messages and letters he would write in those cards so much. It was not about the check that came with it at all. Well, for a little while when I was younger, it was I suppose, however, I got to a point in my life where I phoned my Dad and said, "Dad, rather than receive your checks, I would rather see you." It happened for a while and then went back and forth to once a year visits.

When my Father was 76 years old, he came to me to apologize to me. He said, "I am so sorry. I have missed so many years with you. I regret it; all that time that I missed in your life." I told him,"Dad, I forgive you and we have today." For the next four years of his life, we were pen pals. I would ask him questions and he would respond to me in his letters, and if he was behind in writing me back, he called me to say, "I know, I know, Meg. I owe you a letter and it will be out to you this week." He finally understood what I meant that one day when I was a young girl; all I wanted was his time, not his money. My Father coded at 80 years old when I was at the foot of his bed. He waited for everyone to be okay and then, he passed onto heaven. I can also remember that I would send him religious books. I was not trying to be preachy, however he was getting older and I was not sure if he was saved or not at that point in his life. His response to my books was, "Well, Meg, if you think that by my reading these books that it will keep me out of hell, I will read them, okay?"

We had an interesting relationship as Daughter and Father, however, because he was rarely around and I spent so much of my life screaming inside, :See me, talk to me, visit me, hug me, hear me, listen to me, love me," I found myself in a spiral of not so healthy relationships. I am telling you this story so that if you are in the spiral of negative relationships that I was trapped in for several years, you will too, see the flags and work on trying to find a way back to what is healthy, what is Christian, and what to look for in a man of quality and love. I went back to my family of origin. I traced back all the relationships in my family, number of marriages, number of divorces, number of alcoholics, number of co-dependant's, and then I was beginning to have a few answers to work with in my archaeological dig of my own past time.

Then I was challenged. I had to list all my relationships up to 40 years old. I had to chart how they were, if they were healthy or unhealthy and why; this took me 3 months to complete and was quite a project for me to be given, right? I was able to figure out that a bulk of my relationships were unhealthy, so then I needed to make a list of the qualities I wanted in a partner. I listed ten and kept them in my wallet. I got to a point later in my life where I felt like I needed to have a questionnaire prior to a first date; I trashed that one to be honest with you. If you ask me today what I am looking for in a man it is: someone who goes to church, shows up at events, someone I can see once a week, a man who is close to his Mother because how he treats his Mother is a direct reflection of how he will treat me, honesty, and a man that has a plan for what he wants out of his life.

Let us go back a bit to the last remark-a plan for what he wants for his life, not mine. You define what you want out of your own life and mesh your life with someone else's and lift one another up in the process of any adversity.This is important because no one in the world can make you happy; that is your job. If you are not happy with your own self, you probably do not belong in a relationship at all at this time. First, find out who you are, and then and only then, if you had an absent parent in your life, try what I did and see if it works. I cannot offer a money back guarantee for this one, folks, however I can tell you that I am choosing much healthier men in my life now.

I was blessed with the best Mother in the world, and my Father, he loved me as best as he knew how to in his life. My message is pretty clear this month to accept and forgive people for their faults and move forward in finding out what you want for you in your life and in your relationships with other people in your life. We all have a shelf life and our expiration date is unknown. Today my friends, make every day count and celebrate the people in your life with their faults and all, as none of us are perfect; only God is perfect. Lower your expectations so that the Berlin wall that you may have up may be chipped away slowly; your heart deserves to be loved by another, so take a leap of faith with me and explore the very being of your soul this month. 

Be well and of good spirits, my friends!


Meg Collins
Columnist, Radio Show Host, Editor, Ghostwriter, Poet, and Author
Contact Meg directly at

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