Relationships don’t have to be challenging
All I ever wanted to be when I grew up was a princess. As a child, I would spend countless hours dressing up like a princess: dramatic electric colored dresses with matching sashes, hair combed into an elegant up-do and a stunning tiara placed atop my head. From a young age, I believed in true love, and my hope was that one day a strong handsome guy (i.e, Prince Charming) would come along and sweep me off my feet. Unfortunately, as I grew older, my views about love and relationships were still very much the same. I realized that most women, some of them my friends, also had the same misconceptions about love and relationships, as they too formed their opinions around the happily ever after facade.
As women, as soon as we’re old enough, we’re flooded with fairy tale happy endings, and stories of how wonderful life will be as soon as we become a wife and a mother. That’s why I spent several years of my life devoting my time and energy to meeting and marrying the man of my dreams. I’ve devoted countless hours to turning a nothing boyfriend into a something husband. Time and again, I found myself brokenhearted and confused after a string of short-lived relationships. I began asking my family, my friends, and even God, “What’s wrong with me?” I wondered, when, if ever, was I going to meet my Prince Charming, a man who would sweep me off my feet and make me happy. Finally, it hit me. Why was I waiting all those years for someone to come along and “make” me happy? Wasn’t my happiness an inside job?
Life can be challenging; relationships don’t have to be. From an early age, we’re bombarded with images of a perfect romance with a fairy tale ending. Our heads become filled with the idea that our knight in shining armor will come galloping in on his horse to rescue us, from the terrible ogre, but the truth is, no one is coming, we must learn to save ourselves…
Fairy tales do have a place in our society — in magical stories set in imaginary places — but the one place they don’t belong is in our relationships, and certainly not as one of the standards we measure ourselves or our peers by. I wonder, what would life be like without fairy tales? Would it be sad and bleak or less disappointing?
Maybe the first step in finding our perfect partner and crafting our perfect life is accepting who we are and loving ourselves. Maybe finding happily ever after is not an ending; it’s a journey.