Back in college, I lived with my boyfriend. He was a really great guy, but let’s just say he had a way about him that brought all of my deepest insecurities to the forefront. One of the strongest memories I have of our relationship is what I’ll call “The Cookie Incident.”
I was knee-deep in PMS, and as was characteristic for me during this time, I was SUPER indecisive. I thought that was just what happened during PMS.
At any rate, one evening after dinner, Jack (not quite his real name), offered me one of his mom’s homemade chocolate chip cookies from the kitchen. I responded with an immediate yes. And then he asked one of the dumbest questions I had ever heard:
“Would you like a whole or a half?”
(I’m sorry, what? Who ever doesn’t eat an entire cookie??!!!)
But then, the litany of thoughts started raging in my mind. Here are some of the ones I remember:
- He’s implying that eating a whole cookie is more than one person needs.
- He thinks that you’re fat and is hinting that you should probably just have a half.
- He’s been tallying your cookie intake, and clearly it’s exceeding what’s acceptable.
- He doesn’t want to give you a cookie because his mom made them for him.
- Who the fuck only eats half a cookie? Seriously??!! Is this a thing? Oh shit, I’ve been doing this wrong for most of my life.
In the end, here’s how I answered:
“A whole. No, a half. Wait. I dunno. Yes, I do know, I want a half. That’s right. Whole? No, I’ll feel sick if I eat a whole. Ok, half it is.”
The Cookie Incident ended in tears. A combination of crying from the hilarity of the words that were coming out of my mouth and how quickly they were changing course to feeling despair that I didn’t know what the right answer was supposed to be. I was looking to him to give me clues about the right answer, but he was stone-faced (and likely stunned by what he was witnessing, waiting for it to run its course).
To compound the ridiculousness, he had managed to foresee that whatever was happening was going to be really entertaining and he voice-recorded it. (Don’t worry, it was back in the era of tape-players, not to be posted to the internets, thank god.) I had the pleasure of hearing over and over again how batshit crazy I sounded.
In case you were wondering, I ate half of a cookie. But I really wanted that other half…and couldn’t bring myself to ask for it.
The Cookie Incident exemplifies what I refer to as “Ordering Short.” When you know you want something, but you can’t bring yourself to express that want because you feel fear, insecurity, or judgement about how you expressing that want will be received.
The thing stopping you from having your deepest desires is that you KNOW what they are, but you can’t quite bring yourself to put them out into the world to truly claim them.
So you ask for less. And that comes with a price.
The consequences of ordering short.
If you’ve been ordering short, chances are that you feel frustrated that it doesn’t show up, or when it does, you don’t want it.
Maybe it looks like the guy you’re interested in isn’t taking steps to move toward relationship. Or the men you’re interacting with aren’t doing so at the level of depth you want. Or the dates you go on feel more like hanging out with a buddy than a date.
Or, you may not even be entertaining the idea of a relationship because the words coming out of your mouth are that you’re too busy with your business or job, or that you don’t have enough time, or that you want to spend the time you do have with your friends.
The point is, if you aren’t saying you want it, it’s not going to magically show up.
Have you ever been to a restaurant and ordered a side salad, only to be delivered a five course gourmet meal? (If you have, I’d love to know the name of the restaurant!)
No, right? Because if you really want a five course meal, it’s your responsibility to ask for it, to seek it, to be ready to have it.
Shift the focus. Do it for you.
What if the thing that gives your desire power is your willingness to voice it, to see it, and to have it – not whether you get it in that moment, from that person, or not?
Think about how powerful you would feel if you could express your deepest desires and let them be unwavering, no matter what. You would be one badass force to be reckoned with. This is the epitome of not settling: a woman who can stand boldly in what she wants, no matter what.
Tell me why you’ve been ordering short. Leave a comment and tell me what’s getting in the way of you expressing your full desires. What do you need to break this habit?