Here’s the thing about liking someone who potentially likes you back: constant worry about screwing it up. Any sort of screw-up wouldn’t be the result of an actual action, per se, but rather the after-effects of building up the crush to be an epic, romantic comedy-type story by blabbing to everyone about it. In the end, it’s always disappointing.
In reality, couples are just two people connecting by being themselves and not trying particularly hard at impressing the other person. For whatever reason, the fact that my sticky lip-gloss gets my hair stuck in his mouth when we’re making out is something perfectly normal, not something to worry about. That drunken high-five after we kissed? It was actually pretty hilarious instead of incredibly strange and it doesn’t warrant over-thinking.
But, it’s difficult to manage expectations when you stumble across a Unicorn. What’s a unicorn, you ask?
It’s a mythical creature, created in the minds of young women who spent their formative years excessively watching Disney Princess musicals. It’s a person who, instead of bringing the girl back to his Real World house when she’s impressionable and tipsy, puts her in a cab with a promise to check in on her tomorrow, and other Prince Charming-esque behavior.
So of course, when one encounters such a rare breed as a Unicorn, the first course of action is to tell the first person in direct eye line (taxi driver, friend, bank teller, shoe cobbler, etc.).
Each time the story of our romantic meeting is told to yet another person, it takes on a mythical element, and suddenly he’s become the Jason Biggs to my Alyson Hannigan. It’s like I’ve become an unreliable witness. I’ve started creating little moments we shared that were never really there in the first place. I’m making false statements, and Elliot Stabler is going to make me pay for it.
For the rest of the week during my commute home, my mind strays to our first date (and the semi-made up moments), and I’m already imagining what it’ll be like when he meets my scary dad and gets drunk with my mother on the porch. That’s when I’ve taken it too far. I’ve completely failed at managing expectations.
There’s no way an actual human being can live up to being a Unicorn.
A week after our first date, Unicorn sent me a text message asking if I was staying in or out with friends. I gave him the address of the hipster bar I was frequenting, and he showed up 20 minutes later with his roommates. He introduced me to his roommates and his friends, and they all said my name in a “Oh, ok .. I know who you are kind of way.”
Unicorn later pulled me aside and says, “my friend described you perfectly when I told him about you.”
“What did he say?”
“ ‘She gets it.’”
“I get it?”
“Yeah, like the whole thing. You know. You get it.”
So, the Unicorn, turns out, is a person who “gets it.” The sooner I figure out what that means, the sooner I can get a grip on this whole “managing expectations” thing. Because finding your Unicorn is just about finding the friend that “gets” you. That’s what we have to remember. We don’t manage expectations when it comes to picking our friends, and it should be the same when it comes to finding the right guy or gal to be all romantical with.
All I want is this Unicorn to just be a really awesome person/friend/prankster, that just happens to also be a really good kisser.
God, I hope he doesn’t Google me.