Aaahh, Disney reality! **insert dainty sigh and flutter of the eyelashes here**
Meanwhile, back in Reality Land, life shows up quite differently. The Princess works for a living, sometimes at a job she hates so she can pay the bills. Her parents don’t support her because, well, she is a grown woman. It’s not as if they are rich, Dad was lucky to get his job at the post office and Mom is still working at the municipal water department.
Princess is a single parent. She fell for a man who she thought was her Prince, though he gave no indication he was interested in or ready for a long term commitment. Fake-Prince worked for a nationwide shipping company. He had a good salary and medical insurance; he even owned his house and drove an expensive car.
At 28 Princess was ready to settle down and start a family. Fake-Prince was handsome, funny, knew how to have a good time, and liked to go out for dinner or to the clubs. He knew everybody and everybody knew him. They always had a good time together; their sex life was mutually satisfactory. Women were jealous of her because she was with Fake-Prince. Princess thought Fake-Prince was perfect.
After two years of dating and being his woman however, Fake-Prince had not even mentioned marriage and when she brought up the subject, Fake-Prince told her he was happy the way things were. Princess was not. Princess decided she would have a baby with Fake-Prince so he would have to marry her. After all Fake-Prince was dedicated to his son with a former girlfriend. He spent every other weekend with his son. Princess thought this bode well for her, because unlike Fake-Prince’s former girlfriend, she would make him marry her.
Princess got pregnant. Much to her surprise, Fake-Prince left her the day she told him. He even insisted the baby wasn’t his. It was a terrible time in her life. When she gave birth, Fake-Prince didn’t come see the baby. Princess took the Little Prince to see his father only to discover Fake-Prince was seeing another woman. Princess eventually had a paternity test performed to show Fake-Prince he was the father and that she had been faithful to him. The results came back; Fake-Prince was the father. It made no difference to Fake-Prince. Their relationship was over.
At almost 32 years old, Princess is actively searching for her One-True-Prince. She will find him, she is convinced of it. After all, in books and the movies the hero/prince always shows up to save the lady/princess. She is saving herself for One-True-Prince. When he comes into her life, all her problems will be solved. One-True-Prince will make enough money so she can quit her crappy job and stay at home with her son. One-True-Prince will be the love-of-her-life and they will be blissfully happy. All her friends will envy her life and will want her husband, but he will only have eyes for her. Once she and One-True-Prince are married, even Fake-Prince will realize he let a good woman get away.
Princess has decided not to pursue higher education, what’s the point since she will not work once One-True-Prince arrives.
Princess has decided not to pursue a promotion at work; pointless because she will be a stay-at-home-mom when she and One-True-Prince get married.
Princess isn’t looking to move out her apartment in a declining neighborhood because One-True-Prince will move her into his house……
Wishing and Hoping and Praying
There are people who believe if they wait long enough, pray hard enough, tithe regularly then a decent man will appear. I am not making fun of these people. We have ALL been this person at one point in our lives or another, hoping and praying and begging for ‘The One’ to show up. For some women the hoping and praying and begging seems to work; a man shows up. Of course, a man will also show up for some women who never really gave a committed relationship serious thought until they met their mate.
I am not saying don’t hope or pray or ask for what you want in your life, what I am saying is have other plans or methods for securing a good life in the works also. Don’t rely on something outside of you to define you, complete you or give you what you want. That work belongs to you. That is the everyday homework you are assigned for the rest of your life.
Mind the Frame
It is important to mind the framing of what constitutes a ‘good’ or ‘fulfilling’ life. Marriage can certainly be a conduit to living well or the good life, but other options exist, especially if you are not particularly interested in matrimony, or if, despite your best efforts, you are currently single. Believing a wedding ceremony, even to someone who is financially secure, will solve all your problems and make you happy is magical thinking.
Marriage is what you (and your beloved) make of it.
Singlehood is what you (yes You) make of it.
You are your best thing.