The Missing Piece Meets The Big D

March 29, 2012
Category: Dating
The Missing Piece Meets the Big O

For those of your frustrated with dating, men, and relationships in general, I'm hoping this post finds you. I honestly don't why know it hasn't occurred to me before to share this with all of you, but it's time I give you the gift of The Missing Piece. I rediscovered Shel Silverstein's The Missing Piece Meets the Big O about 10 years ago and what I had initially dismissed as a children's book changed me forever. Upon re-reading it as a dating adult, I came to realize that it's the perfect summation of dating and relationships. You wouldn't think a book of line drawings could be profound, but it really nails what it's like to put yourself out there in the dating world. Better yet, the message it leaves with you with is one that every couple, gay or straight, should carry with them always. Ultimately, it's not about fitting into someone else's life but about becoming two whole individuals who can roll through life together, as equals, side by side.

Now before you dismiss this post, take a minute to read the book here or watch the video below. I promise you'll find this tiny little triangle relatable and ultimately inspiring.

Let's get the discussion rolling: have you had similar experiences with dating?

Tags: dating, The Missing Piece Meets the O, Shel Silverstein
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Post written by RobHeartsDH (View Author Profile)
About this author: Rob lives in Manhattan with his black pug Riley. When he’s not thinking about daddies, he enjoys writing, eating burritos, watching copious amounts of television, and thinking about his next meal.
View all posts by RobHeartsDH


People are so different that there aren't any one liners (biblical or otherwise) that fit each and every unique combination of individuals for sure. That's why dating advice columns are a bit unrealistic in the interest of entertainment.

I just dont why all hot men are so tough hearted? It feels like i ll always remain like a extra piece :(.

Nobody has your happiness in their back pocket. If you supply your own, it turns into a beacon for others.

Extraordinary! I was greatly moved by it and sent the URL to my three brothers.

It was amusing, simple and yet profound. Perhaps the message could be, before we look for something in others, maybe we need to find it in ourselves.

not only did "the missin piece" enthrall my kids and now my grandchildren , but way back in mid fifties the very same shel silverstein was the author of cartoons, singly and in at least one small volume, which were typically wry, pertinent to the readers situation, and which helped keep the bored g.i.s amused during their dreary 18 months up on the DMZ

what a fine heritage he has created

note: it is sweet to remember my little girls dancing around singing "i'm alookin' for my missing piece" .

it is sweet to remember my little girls dancing around singing "i'm alookin' for my missing piece"?

Isn't that completely missing the point?

I never read the book, however through my late
father I had the honor of meeting Shel Silverstein quite a number years ago so now seeing this post and comments will have to look into it!

I'm always amazed at the number of gay men - both older and younger - who are searching for someone to make them happy when their happiness is inside themselves and they should really be responsible for their own happiness. I can be happy with you; you can be happy with me; we can be happy together; but neither of us can really give the other happiness. I can make you feel good, but I cannot make you happy. But taking responsibility for your own happiness is kind of like taking responsibility for your own life - it's so much easier to lie to yourself and pretend that someone else can and will do it for you.

That may be one of the very few benefits of growing older: We realize that we are responsible for our own happiness. And of course that's the point of this wonderful little book. Thanks for posting the vid. It's more than a little wonderful.

I've never seen this before; very thought-provoking. Having just finished reading Maurice by E. M. Forster, the two O's rolling along together reminded me of what the servant Scudder said to Maurice after the two lovers were reunited in the boathouse: "And now we shan't be parted no more, and that's finished." Were this novel written today, he might have added "Let's roll!" From what I have experienced of "dating" there are people who date like it is a job interview. One man a co-worker thought would be a potential match for me asked a series of increasingly annoying questions throughout dinner. Once he asked "What are the last three musicals you have seen in the theatre?" I about choked, but then remembered I had seen Mama Mia! with a friend for his birthday. The minute I mentioned it this man blanched, and I could tell the "date" was over. I would've found him sexier and more interesting if he'd done no more than expressed his pleasure in the wonderful dinner and skipped the survey.

Very sweet and simple. A great way to start my day, sitting here in the dark with my dogs having my first cup of coffee, and think about the future. Good luck to all you guys out there--we're all much more similar than we think. It's funny though--I just went on a first date last night with a guy who I met here, and we'd talked on the phone several times for a few hours each time and I really thought there was a connection. Upon meeting in person, I knew in the first few minutes I wasn't attracted to him but still liked him anyway. Oh well! I believe the key is to be kind and give out to the world what you want to receive the most. Until then I'll be fine being a missing piece. I think that's why I enjoyed the clip so much, because on a deep level I think it speaks to a universal need we all feel. Rather than feeling because you're alone that "there's something wrong with me" you have to be fine with being alone FIRST and truly be yourself with yourself. Only then are you ready to be with others.

That sums it up perfectly.

This was very moving and though provoking... Good post!

@ CoachnNY well said!

I "liked" it and shared it on my Facebook page.
Interesting how "like" has a slightly new meaning now.

Whoa! What am I missing [no pun] here-? The Missing Piece changed his shape in order to conform to the shape of the Big O so that he could then be with the Big O. Sounds like co-dependency to me.

I think what you missed was that the triangular shaped piece evolved into what it was supposed to be so it could experience life on its own, without needing to fit into someone else - NOT so that it could be with the Big O. I think this book is a lesson about the idea that evolving into a complete and functional, independent being is much better than being co-dependent.

I agree...the missing piece learned to roll on his own and then roll with others who didn't have "missing pieces." We should first become whole on our own before expecting others to make us whole.


i think it's more that the missing piece realized there was no future in being a "piece", waiting for someone to come along to complete them, and vice versa. They need to be complete unto themselves. That's where growth, and forward motion lies.

No single book or ancient scroll is the one and only way to sum up what it's all about. Their's different cultural ways that make things work just fine within certain circles of thought while other circles of critical analysis may actually label certain ways of life as being in need of labeling followed by pacification of those who make things work without a lot of heavy analysis and they may have more fun as a result of not reading every journal or watching every health segment on CNN and so forth. Different strokes for different folks is why its the great melting pot of cultures that all have the right to be as they are whether have good writing skills or not. I hope everyone has a nice day for sure.

With so many points of view from a variety of Gay Men, you never know what is missing in others. I knew what was missing in myself - nurturing, support, and love. My ex-boyfriend Dennis gave me that. We were only together briefly due to a side effect of psyche medicine that caused migraines during sex. I misinterpreted that as my growing bored with him. My doctor never even suggested the drugs as a cause of the problem (DAMN Doctors!)

Anyway, there was the 40 years before Dennis, my life with Dennis, and my life after. I am in a much stronger position, knowing that what I want is out there, and I want that again if not better. I do feel like I'm rolling along on my own now....

That's me. A giant donut hole rolling down the gravel path of life look'n for some sugar.
Wheeeeeee! Catch me if you can.

Somehow, I missed this author during my travels through life. I think the story and video speak for themselves, so I won't try to add anything here. Rather, I would like to thank Rob for his sensitivity and generosity in creating this blog entry. It's a rewarding pleasure for those of us who enjoy thought and reflection as much as physical gratification.

Thank you so much for posting this.

I remember loving this book as a child, and getting a lot out of it then. I was that queer kid who never fit in at school or anywhere else really. This book helped me realize that I could be and was whole on my own , not just a peice and surely not "Missing". Now as a 47 year old I get the same message from the book but on a different perhaps deeper level, I do not need a man to compleat me, nor can I compleat anyone else. I am whole, perfect and compleat just as I am and one day I will meet a man who I can roll through life with side by side each a seperate whole perfect and compleat being and yet together whole perfect and compleat as well.

Shared with 2 so far...many more later today :-) a definite 'like' in my books.

The mention of frustration with dating and relationships is not surprising in cases where a bar or one liners are the starting point for naughtiness in which case the result is not unexpected. Relationships where one is more in charge than other one work well within their own world of understanding each other and the natural elements that are at work beyond any climate controlled library of poetry and stories for sure. One doesn't need the approval of a mass audience in order to fit into a world of things just fine indeed.

I found this video a excellent description of dating and partner seeking. So many gay men are looking for the next best thing or are just obsessed with "hot sex" hoping they will mind match during the process. As I grow older and spending more time alone, the focus and message of this book for me is profound. You do have to find yourself not live up to someone else's expectations. Eventually you will meet that one person "who gets you" and vice versa. Although the journey can be lonely, one has to fill their life with other interests and friends. as you shine people will notice. We also have t one patient eve has we grow older. Once agin thank for this post and I'm glad I've joined this site.

How very true!!! I can recall in my youth of having those same rough edges and lucky for me I had two great mentors - sadly both have passed. I do thank them for all that they taught me and for the knowledge garnered and gained from them. My social graces went from sharp to smooth.

My dating skills improved tremendously and to me benefit. Thank you Sheldon Silverstien, I am now part of the Big O, and vice versa.

For me I found it disappointing that I couldn't learn a lot at an early age. I dismissed it as a kids book and not a lesson in meeting the right one or making myself greater.

After dates after dates and not one boyfriend, ever! I FEEL GREAT!

The little triangle did all the things I did....

Met weirdos, jerks, psychos, etc...

But I learned love at my young age is just practice runs. I learned that I still need a lot of growing up to do but I also learned to WEED out the ones that are not my fit.

I'm glad I never had a boyfriend and hope to not have one in the next few years. I dramatically cut back on my "hooking up " habits for better understanding of the dating world and to prevent myself from being jaded by lust or mistake lust for love.

I was free to be in South Africa, Japan, Egypt and hopefully move to D.C. and further my career in Anthropology.

And because of failed dates after dates, the weeding, helped me know what I like and what i don't in men.

So I just going to keep on rolling and say the hell with them. I am what I am and I ain't gonna stop for anyone.


Brilliant, simple, and poignant. Thanks, Rob. I've been the missing piece, been the missing-the-piece, and finally got to the "big O"... I really like it here. Nice to finally spend these years happy, whole, and loving myself. No one is stagnant, unchanging - if you were, you'd be dead. The difference is whether we grow, or we fall. I've always loved the tag-line from Anne McCaffrey, "I have silver hair and freckles, the rest changes frequently and without notice."

It's almost suggesting just being friends after you learn how to be complete with yourself.

But I'm sure that was not the intent. Or was it?

I love Shell Silverstein's books. The Giving Tree has always been my favorite. Thank you for re-introducing The Missing Piece to me with your blog. I have recently ended a 14 year relationship and it has not been easy. I am learning to "roll" on my own again. It is so often true that one piece grows while another stays the same...look at all the "open relationships" that I feel start because one partner loses interest and the other still needs physical attention. That is what happened in my case. Growing together into a monogamous relationship would be ideal, but it was not the case for me. One day at a time. I also agree with some of the posts where in the gay culture (or in any culture I guess), individuals are usually given chances based on what they look like first, before anyone bothers to get to know the whole person. The physical body can change, but the soul and character are much harder to give the good guys a chance. :)

Nice. This kinda relates to the last guy I was involved with. Thanks. :)