Sounds frightfully miserable, I know, but hear me out.
From a young age we’ve been told that we will find the one. Prince Charming will rock up… any day now. We’ve been told that true love exists in the same matter of fact way we are told that one day we’ll kick the bucket or how we know as soon as I’ve finished typing this, I’ll be pulling a cork. Now that’s something you can rely on.
Walt Disney was named the most dangerous man in America and I can’t remember who said it, or in fact why, but I have my own thoughts on the matter.
Any man that promises me I can clean Butlins for a living and that Prince Harry will rock up unannounced, return my croc I lost the night before and crown me Queen of England is not to be trusted.
Please don’t get me wrong, I am in no way a Disney hater. I love it. Believing that good triumphs over evil in the end, that finding your one true love is possible and the thought that my candelabra is actually French makes me happy.
We’ve been promised a lot. He or she will be devilishly handsome, have a castle or large estate and even if they’d only crossed paths with us once they would pull out the Calvary to hunt us down and marry us. Following our ridiculously quick but no less spectacular eloping we will produce an air to the throne, with no complications of course, and be left with the following statement ‘and they lived, happily ever after’.
One of the most tragic sentences in literature.
This sentence is the reason Bridget Jones thought she was going to be eventually eaten by Alsatians. This sentence is why I think eventually I’ll be eaten by Alsatians.
For some reason, that’s where the story always seems to end. Not with being eaten by Alsatians of course, but with a happily ever after.
Walt Disney didn’t want to tell you that Prince Charming ended up squidgy around the middle and Cinderella actually spent the best night of her life with his Dad. They managed to come out the other side following numerous counselling sessions but ever since, Charming would sneak off to the bathroom to check she hadn’t been snap chatting anyone she shouldn’t.
The problem is once the chase is done, the couple are together and they’ve fallen in love it is still only the beginning. Then comes the hard part, staying in love. And that doesn’t make for attractive reading.
We assume, that because this person we love is our person that we chose, we should get all we need from them. They are the people you moan to about your boss, confide in about bad friendships, tell you want to lose weight and shout at when anything in your life doesn’t go to plan because let’s face it, it’s their fault.
We expect them to encompass everything we believe to be true about a partner. A good listener, a generous heart, a trusted companion, a great shag, a good laugh, an honest opinion (but not too honest) and a most of all, a mind reader.
Our loved ones will always fall short of our ideals while we expect so much from them. When we expect perfection, we are setting up our relationships to fail and it’s not our fault, we’ve been promised it’s out there. I read the other day that ‘good enough’ is a phrase we should use more often when it comes to a partner. How un-sexy does that sound, but perhaps not entirely untrue.
There will always be things in a relationship that do not deserve your compromise and when it comes to this run for the hills if that is what is required, but most things in your relationship will need the ‘C word’ for survival.
Ideally it would be all about passion, chocolate, flowers, little notes left around the house and Chanel handbags gifted but it’s not. Love is actually more about the things you don’t like about a person than the things you do like. Love is what you feel when you stay with someone despite the things you’re not so fond of because they’re still worth it.
We can’t expect one person to be our everything and I guess that’s what the other people in our lives are for. If you know that your partner is the worst to talk to when you are having body confidence issues and everything they say infuriates you then perhaps that is a conversation to be had with someone else. Maybe we should accept that they just don’t understand this particular problem of ours and that’s okay because they won’t understand everything that we have going on.
Your happily ever after is not solely dependent on someone else and as we’ve learnt will be a bit more of a ‘not really sure what we’re doing but I’m still here which is good ever after’, instead.
Maybe it’s time to let go of the idea that we will find the one and live happily ever after. Perhaps if we expected a little bit less from love, we might find it a little bit more enjoyable.
Lots of love,