As women, we grow up reading countless stories about growing up and finding our prince. Some women want Prince Charming who will come in on their white horse and take us away to our castle like Megan Markle. While others are channeling their inner Belle, believing they can turn The Beast into the man of their dreams. Either way, we’re screwed. Neither one of those scenarios is a realistic outlook on what healthy relationships should look like.
In all of these fairy tales the underlining message is that, the girl has to go through a trauma of some sort to find her prince…her true love. Think about it. Belle had to get abducted. Cinderella had to escape her evil stepsisters and get all dolled up for the ball. Sleeping Beauty and Snow White had go into a coma. The Little Mermaid had to grow feet and lose her voice and even Pocahontas risked her life, left her family and had to assimilate into a white person to find her man. What the hell is that teaching our young daughters about love?! No wonder women are so messed up in the head when it comes to finding love.
In all of these fairytales, the women have to go to great lengths in order to find a decent guy–only to find out that their emotionally unavailable after a few years of marriage. We all get caught up in the fairytale, don’t we? In the beginning of every relationship, people tend tell you everything you want to hear. They make you feel adored and desired. You get caught up in the bliss of that initial attraction as you gaze into each other’s eyes feeling those butterflies and sparks and shit.
Don’t get me wrong, just because I’ve had yet another bad experience doesn’t mean I’m returning into a cynical bitch. (Well, maybe just a tad). I just want remind women of the pitfalls that we all get into based on a lifetime of brainwashing Disney movies that take away our power and common sense. We tend to develop an addiction for the “unavailable man”. We like the chase. We believe that we are special and we can turn The Beast into a really great guy if we try hard enough. I’m here to knock some sense into you and remind you that it’s all just a fucking fairytale.
If you really want that fairytale ending, you have to be able to recognize a good guy when you see one and also recognize the bad ones. It all starts with you. You have to love yourself first. You have to be clear about what a healthy relationship should look like and walk away when that guy you’re dating doesn’t measure up to those standards. Listen to your gut…it always tells you the truth.
Stop wasting your time with men that don’t have the capacity to give you what you truly need and deserve. Recognize that your addiction to “bad boys” or emotionally unavailable men stems from a deep seeded belief that you are not enough and you want them to show you what your father did not. The same is true for men. I don’t want to be sexist and exclusionary. Men fall into the same trap. They believe in the same disbeliefs. When we start dating someone, we only present our “best self”. We create a fantasy of what we wish this relationship could be and we turn a blind eye to the glaring red flags. We play the character of damsel in distress and knight in shining armor.
There have been so many times that I’ve been with a man who has looked deep into my eyes telling me all the things I want to hear–only to find out the words he said were shallow and contrived. Those words didn’t belong to me and only me. They were calculated maneuvers to gain my trust, but in reality, they were shrouded in deceit. The sad part about that realization is that they didn’t consciously try to deceive me. They wanted to believe it too. A part of us always wants to believe in living happily ever after.
This is not to say that your story won’t have a happy ending. We all have the potential of finding true love. We just have to do the work first:
#1. Be self-reflective of past relationships. We have to first recognize why we are drawn to people that are not good for us. People who are detached and keep us at arm’s length or left in the dark about where we stand.
#2. Create clear boundaries. We have to make it clear what our expectations are and what we need in the relationship.
#3. Create space for your new partner. In order to attract the deeper loving relationship you desire, you have to let go of being addicted to shallow attention. Casual sexual partners only draw your energy away from what you truly want and need.
#4. Listen to your intuition. We all have the tools we need to decipher when something doesn’t feel right. Use your intuition as a guide to weed out the toxic relationships that you are accustom to and choose a different path.
#5. Break old patterns. Recognize the traits that may attract you to someone are the addictive patterns that you need to break. The same type of person can feel like an old shoe, but you are looking to break your old patterns and find something better. Someone that will fulfill your needs in every way.
#6. Find the balance. A healthy relationship will have equal levels of give and take. If you feel like you are putting in all of the effort, that person is not right for you. They are taking advantage of your neediness. Find that person that gives you as much time and attention as you give them.
This work is just the beginning. Learning to love yourself first is a lifelong process. We are conditioned to be selfless and put others needs before our own. We are taught that fairytales can come true if we just change ourselves into what the other person wants us to be. I’m here to show you that you are enough. You are going to attract the person that meets you in the middle and loves you just as you are even the broken parts of you. Know what you deserve and don’t let the “fillers” stand in your way of finding someone real. Someone better than prince charming. You can write your own fairytale, but this time the princess is going to be strong, confident and unrelenting at finding the kind of love she deserves. In fact, don’t be a princess at all. Be a queen.