Great Expectations

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The Leo Woman's major trouble spot is her unrealistic set of expectations about sexual love and relationships.

Lady Leo has a more or less secret agenda in her head. Whenever a new man appears to be a serious candidate, she runs him through a series of exercises designed to test whether he truly cares. Her expectation is that if he loves her, he will do many or all of the following:

1. He will love her regardless of her behavior.

2. He will tell her she is the best, finest, most gorgeous female he has ever encountered, without knowing how great her need is to hear this regularly.

3. He will tell her he will love her forever.

4. He will tell her she is the only one he will ever desire.

5. He will tell her she is brilliant.

6. Most of all, he will always tell her whatever she needs to hear without her telling him what this is at any given moment of the day.

But even Santa needs to have a letter spelling out Christmas wishes. How can a mere mortal man accede to Leo's silent demands?

A happy marriage, observed French author André Maurois, is an edifice that must be rebuilt daily. The Leo Woman is willing to rebuild the parts of the edifice that show, but she is not so willing to rebuild his foundation as well as repairing her own. She may feel that if he loves her, he will be brilliant enough to read her mind and know how to deal with her needs and the needs of the relationship.

The "glass-head syndrome," where each partner assumes the other to be a mind reader, is a widespread problem in intimate relations. Each expects the other to know what he or she feels, thinks, and desires. Each is bound to be disappointed frequently. Eventually anger builds, and then one partner is backed against the wall sputtering, "What have I said? What have I done?" as the other rages.

Leo, my advice to you is this: you must be fully aware of what you want out of your relationships. Write it down. Writing things down is a good way to become sharply aware and a fine way to keep up with the inevitable changes in you. Try to trace your expectations to their source. If you find them unrealistic or too high, they probably come from fairy tales, from the media, or from your parents' hopes for their little girl, which often carried unfulfilled wishes for their own lives.

Discuss your feelings periodically with your man, and also with your friends. Keep the lines of communication open. You might try painting a poster of your own intimate vision of Nirvana. Look at it; it will give you insight. Then evaluate how close your present relationships are to your ideal. Try to bridge the gap, but never expect people to be perfect or to know automatically what you want.

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