All Women's Talk

Sometimes in Love Youre the Pigeon and Sometimes Youre the Statue

By Annie

“I’m not shooting for a successful relationship at thispoint. I’m just looking for something that will prevent me from throwing myselfin front of a bus. I’m keeping my expectations very, very low. Basically I’mlooking for a mammal.” (Janeane Garafalo)

Have you ever gone through a Basically-Looking-for-a-MammalPhase? I have. And at the lowest point of the phase, I temporarily talked myself into thisguy, “Dick.”

Honestly, I knew from the get-go that Dick was trouble. Butfor some reason I’ll probably never understand, there was something about theguy’s physical being that drove me wild. Maybe it’s because he kind of lookedlike actor David Strathairn (an underestimated leading man type in my opinion),except without any of the kindness or humor.

Anyway, to put it delicately, in his relationships withwomen Dick resolutely withheld everything except for his semen. The guy livedin a condom-free zone. Over the last dinner we shared together, he nonchalantlyreferred to the various pregnancies -- and abortions -- he’d contributed to. Ialmost regurgitated some of my meal.

And because of that, fortunately, the brilliant insight hitme that Dick and I wouldn’t make it past the Going-Out-On-Unsatisfying-DatesPhase. Even if he did look like David Strathairn. But in the spirit of full disclosure, let me just say that when it cameto abruptly ending things before they got started, Dick was the pigeon and I mostdefinitely was the statue.

As he put it, “You’re a nice girl and everything, but youjust don’t do it for me.”

I was furious -- and slightly hurt -- for at least 48 hours.And taken by surprise at how much I cared that this irresponsible mammal of a man had shatupon me. Think how terrible it would have been if he hadn’t done that, though, and I’d stupidly decidedthat settling for a (barely...) warm-blooded mammal was good enough!

Judging from some comments left on this blog, and thecoaching work I do with both women and men, an alarming number of peoplehave decided that a warm-blooded mammal is good enough. And they actually put extra effort into keeping their expectations of relationships and the opposite sex as low as possible.

As the theory goes, if you expect much lessin love, you’ll be less disappointed and hurt in love. Right? Wrong. The theory’sflawed, folks. Even when we tell ourselves that we expect less, the Dicks and Dickettes of the world can still make us feel like pigeon crap targets.

If you're going to take emotional risks in the name of love, anyway, why not take those risks for someone who's really worth it?

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