The risks of flying with Peter Pan

LaRue for the Lovelorn

Posted: Thursday, October 28, 2004

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Dear LaRue: Why am I always drawn into relationships with men that need fixing? Men who won't "grow up" and take responsibility? Will I always be "Wendy" to my "Peter Pan?" Help!!!!

- Mass of Confusion

Dear Mass of Confusion: Peter came to Wendy in her dreams. He wasn't like the other boys in the nursery. He had style, charm, wit, looked good in green tights and, jeez Louise, he could fly for crying out loud!

He made it look so good, so easy. The freedom. The sheer adventure of it all. No responsibility.

Just fly with me baby. I'll take care of everything. We'll do Neverland together.

Nothing could stop her from following that dream right out the window.

Slipping into his charming words like wings, flying on thoughts she'd never had before.

With her by his side, he could do anything. Well, except make his tree payment on time or leave the lost boys at the watering hole before midnight.

Before she knew it, Wendy realized Pete's pirates were pretend, he's been shacking up with Tinkerbell, and she never really could fly.

But now, she's hooked.

Kids, moral of the story: Don't jump out that window unless you're prepared for the fall.

Oh, our Wendy moments. The times we need to be needed, to be nursemaid, counselor and savior-almighty to some deliciously misunderstood misanthrope in a tight T-shirt. Yes girls, we convince ourselves if we jump through enough hoops, if we say just the right words, if we navigate the pitfalls better than the other girls, be uber-understanding, we can right the wrongs and be the fix-all. After all, we're different aren't we? We're the one's who understand him. After all, he CHOSE us. We will be diligent and dutiful and we will wait for him to dun-da-dun-da CHANGE HIS MIND.

Short answer: You can't, you won't, you're not, he won't and GET OUT OF THE BOY REPAIR BUSINESS.

The reasons we do this are easy, but hard to swallow. We get something from the challenge. It's easy to get caught up in the dizzy exhilaration of catching the un-catchable - taming the little boy who never could, never would grow up. We also get something from the faux-feeling of being needed.

Further, our attraction to these boys comes down to the fact that we Wendys are ourselves, dig this, afraid of commitment.

Did she really say that? A woman not ready for commitment? Please in the name of all that is good and holy don't let it be true!

Yes kids, we too can not want commitment. We are not stupid. We know these "bad boys," so lost, alone and dreamily melancholy, are not ready for anything substantial or lasting. Yet, we jump right in, knowing somewhere in ourselves it will never last! We know this. We need to stop pretending and convincing and hoping we don't.

Remember, when all is said and done, even Wendy had to go home and grow up.

Meanwhile, the Peters are being true to where they are in their lives.

They, in their own way, are obvious about what they are looking for - some even come right out and say it. And, yet and still, we convince ourselves we can break the spell that marooned them on player island.

We can't. They, however, can, but only when they are ready. Don't get excited, that doesn't mean we can make them ready either. They are the only ones who will know when they are ready. They are the only ones who will book the one-way flight to monogamy. Not us.

So what do we do. We gotta start being honest with ourselves. The sky's not going to fall if we admit we're not ready for commitment. It's not a bad thing. Sometimes it's a matter of timing, sometimes it's a matter of so many boys, so little time and we want the thrill of that adventure. Whatever the reason, embrace it! Fly with your own wings and have the experiences you seek on your own terms.

If you have searched your soul, and yep, you want a commitment right flippin' now, really think about what that looks like to you. Determine first what you want and find the boy (or girl) that fits that picture, not the other way around. I promise you, there are monogamites out there who are just as fun, adventurous and charismatic as the Peter Pan players. The difference is, they'll be able to give you what you really want without you having to do all the work of a major overhaul.

If you're still not satisfied, if you still want to take care of something, get a dog. It hurts a lot less.

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