It was a raging Friday night for me as I curled up on the couch to watch a trio of Disney movies ( yes I know I am a little old for them )and halfway though Aladdin ( stay with me) I realised why I have such unrealistic expectations of love( and men). As children we are brought up on fairytales and stories of true love, of princes and perfect ever afters; it makes you wonder how much of our notions of relationships are based off these fantasies?
I’ve always been called a hopeless romantic, and I’ll be the first to admit that I love getting swept up in the ideals of love and happy endings, but there has to be a point where reality sets in and preferably before the heartbreak (or old age). So how do recognise if we have been chasing the fairytale and more importantly how do we let go of that childhood dream?
The important thing to note is that being realistic does not mean you have to settle. It’s one thing to decide that you don’t have to marry a Prince, a civilian will suffice, but it’s entirely different thinking you can’t be in love with the man you marry.
So what do fairytales tell us?
- Men have to be a tall,handsome, have a chiselled jaw, big chest and perfect hair, and a white billowing shirt, all whilst being of Royal blood….
- The men must fight for us, overcome obstacles, risk life and limb and RESCUE US!
- Men must woo and court us, keeping our virtue in tact before he gets down on one knee and proposes after knowing one for only a mere moment.
- Love is at first sight.
- Marriage is the ultimate outcome and equals “living happily ever after”. #cough
- There is always an element of change, whether it be in social status, wealth, physical, turning into a frog etc…
- There is an evil force or person that wishes to come between you and thine true love. (Mother in law?!)
- As a Princess you have to be able to sing, have perfect hair and talk to forest animals, oh and be flawless in character.
And if you think that’s bad, in romance novels, apparently losing your virginity ends with multiple orgasms!? (I’ll have what she’s having; oh wait…it’s FICTIONAL!) So the list goes on, it’s no wonder we beat ourselves up or our men if this perfect illusion doesn’t go to plan. So how do we find the balance between our hearts and head?
There’s nothing wrong with having romantic notions or being specific about what you want, however you have to draw the line and learn about a lovely little word called: compromise. The thing is we can become so set on how we want our life, relationships and men to be that we can lose perspective and even opportunities. Realistically your man won’t be in line for the throne ( Princess Mary was an exception ) and he may not be a warrior , but if he’s a damn good man with a sound character that respects you, fights for you (without the sword) and makes you feel valued, then you’ve hit the jackpot. Don’t be so set on an “ideal” situation that you miss what’s really in front of you. We live in a real world, where there is disappointment, outside influences and where love actually takes a lot of consistent hard work. Men don’t romanticise relationships as much as us, so if he has the basics covered and sends you flowers, girl you got a Prince right there!
Letting go does not mean settling for second best or being unhappy. It simply means making the most of your life, creating your own opportunities and acknowledging what you do have, not what you don’t. Whilst we may want to be rescued and swept off our feet (which of course is possible!), it doesn’t mean it has to be the sole focus of our relationship or the reason we choose who we want to date. There are decent men out there who can offer you compatibility, happiness, companionship and unconditional love, don’t forget what it really takes to make a relationship work.
Be at peace
Love is a funny thing, but it brings us a lifetime of adventure and growth. A woman who is able to be flexible, adapt with change, hold her own and never lose sight of her dreams is a modern day Princess. The thing is who you are is enough and the right man is already waiting for you, just be sure to recognise when he comes along and for all you know he could very well look like Prince Eric #sigh
Lastly girls Enjoy your own love story .
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