Us girls are programmed to have our wedding plans mapped out by the time we’re through with all the Disney movies. You can’t really blame us. From Cinderella to Snow White, it’s etched in us from a young age to find prince charming. So it’s no wonder that sometimes, in an effort to stay on track with our wedding plans, we fall by the wayside and lose track of prince charming slipping away or worse, we find he wasn’t so charming to begin with. I’m going to quote Taylor Swift here because I shamelessly love her. When we first meet someone, we get so excited by their potential we “see sparks that weren’t really there, felt stars aligning without having any proof, saw our future before it happened, and then saw it slip away without any warning. These are moments of newfound hope, extreme joy, intense passion, wishful thinking, and in some cases, the unthinkable letdown.” Sometimes we’re so fixated with the dream dress, the diamond ring, the destination wedding we forget to ponder if the man down the other end of the aisle is one who’ll give us the happily ever after.
I’m a hopeless romantic. Even after two long relationships that fizzled, I still believe in happily ever afters. Yet even I got so distracted with the idea of getting married, I never actually questioned if I had found the right guy. When I broke up with my last boyfriend, I experienced all the feelings you’re suppose in a breakup except I was more upset with the change of plans more than losing the guy. I’m not the only one. My friend Sarah decided it was time to settle down and find a man. She did that. It was quite literally the next guy who just walked into her life…kind of like that sashimi plate on a sushi train. You’re not really sure you want it but just because it’s there you think – hey why not. So she decided to fall in love. Never mind that he was a bit lazy, worked odd hours and didn’t share any common interests, he was the ‘nice’ guy she was looking for…the one who ticked some of her boxes. Needless to say it didn’t work out.
So how can you tell if you love him or the idea of him? Know what you want in a man. As long as you know that, you’ll weed out all the ones who aren’t quite right…as attractive as they maybe. Also be wary of those ‘look good on paper’ types. Just because they tick all the boxes (i.e career, Phd, great genetics…), it doesn’t mean he’ll make a good husband. So many things to consider! How do you know if you’re just in love with the idea of love? I don’t have a Cosmo-esque quiz for you but here is my benchmark. I scrap the wedding plans and future children in my head and picture if I can still see a life with this guy – flaws and all. What’s my point? Don’t wait for a guy to fulfill your plans. Make your own and when he comes a long – it’ll be the icing on the cake.
What Mark thinks (spoiler alert:it’s a bit cynical)
Mark’s POV – This one is a tough topic to tackle because it all goes down to two simple factors: timing and chemistry. ’s teasing you with the promise of timing. The chemistry is a given: if he’s tall, handsome and white, then he must be your prince. What Disney did is pretty crummy since it double victimichemistry and romance will come no matter what. Is there a real thing as love? I’m not sure – all I know is that love and marriage historically never came hand in hand. The purpose of marriage historically was for political and economic purposes. It was never for love. That’s something diamond companies would want you to believe. I think Disney’s got all the young kids warped with a sense of entitlement – that we all deserve a happy ending. As much as we’d like it to be true, the reality is that some of us won’t get a happily ever after. You see that bitter old cashier who works at Wal Mart? That 65 year old security guard? They never found their soul mate – they were once young like us. They had as much right to love and be loved as we do – but it wasn’t in the cards for them. Maybe they met their loved one a long time ago but they blew it, or cancer took their loved one away. They don’t tell you that in Disney movies.
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Iona is a Wellness Coach specialising in relationships and dating. She works with single women to write their own love stories.