If you’re anything like me, you thought the movie Wonder Woman was out of this world and Chris Pine, who played Diana Prince’s love interest, was a mesmerizing hunk. An unassuming, sweet gentleman with “swaying” skills. (Remember the dance scene after they defeat the bad guys at No Man’s Land?) A brave soul with dreamy blue eyes and luscious lips. A tender man who puts others before himself, like a modern-day Jesus. Someone who sacrificed himself to bring Earth closer to world peace, like Jesus (I think? I’m neither religious nor spiritual, so I can’t remember how that went).
I’ve written a few times about the “perfect man” list I architected before I met my partner Phillip. The media to which I was exposed growing up fed me unrealistic expectations of love and men, prompting me to sculpt the perfect specimen in my mind that could never (or at least very unlikely) be realized. I wanted a Prince Charming, a sensitive artist who would serenade me like an Italian and cook like a goateed Frenchman.
But instead, I met Phillip, an impulsive, heavy metal-loving mechanical engineer with an addictive personality. A guy who partied and got into mischief like Mötley Crüe when he was in college. (Understandably, some would say he did college right!) An acquired taste, really.
He was completely different from what I was expecting in a mate, which gave me some romantic whiplash. Eventually, though, I learned to throw away that “perfect man” blueprint and evaluate the relationship itself, not the man. At the time of writing this, we’ve been together for nearly 4.5 years.
Anyway, after watching Wonder Woman again recently (and the Mötley Crüe biopic The Dirt for the first time), floating on a Chris Pine dream cloud, I snapped out of it and realized once again that I was being fed another idealistic caricature that could never (or again, very unlikely) exist. I remember saying out loud, “Wait, THAT’S why so many women are often disappointed when they try to meet Mr Right!” They expect fucking Chris Pine (like I did long ago) and never (or rarely) get fucking Chris Pine.
Thanks again, media!
Likewise, some men are often disappointed when they don’t get their big-boobied, sex-loving, deeply insecure Jenna Jamesons, or whoever the big porn stars are these days.
So, what’s the big takeaway here? Read on.
I’m not trying to discourage you from finding love, if that’s the vibe you’ve been getting from reading this blog post. I’m a relationship coach, so that’s the last thing I would want you to do. It would be like a fitness coach discouraging you from getting regular exercise, or a slave robot defeating its own purpose by disobeying your every command.
Robots aside, I’m trying to show you what I learned the hard way, which is to jump off the fairy tale cloud and into a world that makes more sense. Most people call it “reality.”
In the world of Reality:
- both men and women are imperfect, which means people of both sexes will fuck up from time to time
- you set realistic expectations, which means you can’t expect your man to step up if you want to be king and queen of the castle and get married and have kids tomorrow
- you look for someone who meets some basic needs, such as compatibility (or long-term potential, as opposed to chemistry), security (how safe you feel with him), and active listening and conflict resolution skills
Sure, I’m lucky that, in my mind, Phillip has physical attractiveness on par with Thor, the God of Thunder (and even Chris Pine). It’s okay to want to drop trou every time you see your man. But I’m fairly certain we wouldn’t have made it this far in our relationship without having complementary personalities and interests and the willingness and stamina to learn how to understand each other.
So, the next time you find yourself feeling metaphorically swept off your feet by an on-screen dreamboat, feel free to let your imagination run wild, but remember that real relationship satisfaction springs from real effort and a more sustainable mindset.
Are men in the real world constantly letting you down? Need a mindset shift so you can achieve real love? A certified relationship coach can be just the accountability buddy and champion you need.