4 Hard Relationship Lessons Fairy Tale Princesses Never Had To Learn
Once upon a time, a young girl named Hope fantasized of one day finding her true love. Prince Charming would sweep her off her feet and carry her away into the land of Happily Ever After.
Years passed. Prince Charming never showed up. If Hope kept waiting around, she’d spend her whole life locked away in a tower, so she decided to go out into the world to find her own Romeo. She searched far and wide, traveling to many lands. After all, if Cinderella, Belle, and Snow White could find their soul mates, then surely sweet little Hope was destined for romance as well.
More years passed. Exhausted by endless searching, she gave up hope. Maybe she wasn’t good enough or pretty enough to find a prince or a knight. So she lowered her expectations. Suddenly, finding a man was easy, and she attracted many fast-talking charlatans that said all the right words and promised her the moon and the stars. But those promises were empty and their words were without action. She’d escape one bad relationship, only to tumble into another one. Her fairy tale dream had become a horrid nightmare.
After two failed marriages and poor judgement in men, she waved her white flag and surrendered. With defeat upon her shoulders, Hope decided to abandon her hopes of ever finding someone special and withdrew from society, friends, and family. She became depressed and ate her way through rows and rows of chocolate Oreo cookies and gallons of rocky road ice cream. Far from the tower she’d left at the beginning of her quest, Hope fell into a deep bottomless pit with no prospects of ever being rescued from the prison walls she had built around herself.
Additional years and self-loathing added 25 pounds to her stature. In despair, she prayed to God to save her from her own misery. And God sent someone to her life that would change everything she ever believed about love. It wasn’t Prince Charming or a knight in shining armor, but a beautiful woman named Dianna. Dianna gave her courage to break down her walls and awaken her eyes to a whole new way of thinking. Dianna showed Hope how to view her own life from a higher perspective. She taught Hope the importance of self-worth, showing her that bad relationships were a reflection of her own insecurities.
And so it was that Hope left her pit of despair and embarked on another quest, not for love or a man, but for self-discovery and empowerment. This is what she learned.
Love one another, but make not a bond of love; let it rather be a moving sea between the shores of your soul. Kahlil Gibran
1. It’s Not Them, It’s You!
Insecurity is poison to relationships. “Do you love me?” “Do you think she is better looking than me?” You just handed your Prince a poison apple. No answer he gives will ever be good enough. His romantic response will provide a temporary high, but insecurities creep back in again. The problem isn’t that your partner doesn’t love you, but that you don’t love herself.
Emotional insecurities come from pain that someone has experienced in past relationships, such as cheating or abuse. Carrying those wounds into a new relationship is like making your partner pay for someone else’s crime. You are dooming your relationship from the start! And you wonder why you keep going from one bad relationship to another. Maybe it’s not your partner, maybe it’s you!
Evaluate your own need of why you seek constant validation. You are responsible for your own happiness. If you expect others to make you happy, you will always be disappointed. Don’t carry old bricks from your past relationships or you will end up building the same house that fell apart before. Learn to stop looking for missing pieces of you in someone else.
2. Slay The Jealous Green-Eyed Monster
Jealousy can destroy otherwise sturdy relationships. Jealous behavior patterns involves continually tormenting your partner over and over again about their daily activities, always wanting to know where they are, trying to catch them in some imagined scenario. This obsessive control over someone is the quickest way to chase someone out of your life. Imagine if Snow White had woken up from her sleep and immediately given her Prince the third degree about who he’d been hanging out with while she was gone. Love needs room to grow and breathe, and your partner still needs to maintain their individuality. So do you, for that matter!
3. No Mind-Readers, Please
We don’t have telepathic powers. Say what you mean; mean what you say. If you need more romantic gestures in your life, don’t expect your partner to already know. You may have to tell them, straight out, “I’d like a date night, at least once a week. And sometimes I wish you’d bring me flowers”. When you don’t communicate, you can end up creating problems in your own mind that don’t exist.
Maybe Mr. White Knight didn’t buy you flowers because he doesn’t love you, but it’s more likely that he didn’t realize you wanted flowers and he thought doing the dishes each night was enough to show you his love. If something is bothering you, just ask instead of torturing yourself with made up scenarios. And if you feel like you can’t ask or approach your partner for whatever reason, you may want to consider why you feel nervous communicating with them to begin with. And if you sense them withdrawing, give them some space to collect their own thoughts before they share them.
4. Love Is The Absence of Judgement
Don’t expect a perfect relationship. I went from one relationship to the next looking for the perfect partner only to realize that it’s all a fantasy. There’s not one person on this earth that can measure up to the man of my dreams. We want perfect relationships because in some sense it makes us feel perfect–whole. We are all imperfect. So I began seeking special relationships where their imperfections complimented my own imperfections. It is our flaws and imperfections that define who we are. When you accept those flaws in yourself, you also accept your partner’s flaws.
By this acceptance, you became more comfortable in your own skin and you don’t have to try to be anything but more than who you truly are. And just because we aren’t perfect, that doesn’t mean we are broken or unlovable. Insecure partners tend to focus on only the flaws in the relationship, which constantly causes difficulties. Don’t go into a relationship to try and fix someone that isn’t broken. Trying to make somebody else fit into your mold is selfish and unfair. Healthy relationships are the ones where partners uplift each other, celebrate each other’s accomplishments, goals and ambitions. Love is the absence of judgement. So love yourself and your partner, and accept each other, flaws and all.
Happily Ever After….
Princess Hope continued her quest, growing wiser with each portion of her journey. Instead of searching for Prince Charming, however, Hope slowly learned to search for True Love instead — true love for herself, true love for others. As she grew in compassion and love, she rode off into the sunset, finding the happiness that comes from within. Someday, she knew, her imperfections would attract a most imperfect mate, and they’d love and uplift each other anyways.