With Valentine’s Day screaming out around the corner in this pink-and-red piñata of hearts and confetti and glitter, I think it’s time to have some girltalk about the thing that everyone’s loving to love or loving to hate right about now: love. Specifically, fairytale love.
ICYMI, I’m engaged to my college sweetheart, and we’re tying the knot this fall.
I don’t want a fairytale love.
I don’t want a fairytale love, because fairytales are typically about being saved. As if this one person comes along and everything is perfect from then on. Real love is about two people deciding to be partners from then on, getting through all the good times and the not-so-good times together. There’s no “saving” – but if there were, I’m sure the girl could save the guy just as easily. 😉
I don’t want a fairytale love, because fairytales don’t make it past the honeymoon stage. Every Disney special or Hollywood movie highlights the courtship and the chase. But what about when times actually get tough? How do fairytales handle disagreements about money? parents or in-laws? kids? jobs? REAL world things? Not sure if economies exist in fairytales, but I’m sure recessions aren’t too bad when one party has got castle connections. After riding off into the horizon or tying the knot after the first date, then what? In real life and real love, shit happens. People get laid off. People die. People suffer and feel pain. Loving through the hard times, through broken pieces and flooded basements and tears, can be hard. But coming out on the other side is so worth it.
I don’t want a fairytale love, because fancy dresses and balls are cool and all, but I’d really prefer he falls in love with me when I’m wearing sweats, a top knot, and mid-PMS. Maybe he’ll bring me a Starbucks and rub my back, too. That’s real love.
I don’t want a fairytale love, because fairytales show perfect “happily ever afters.” Happily ever after isn’t always happy. In real life and real love, two imperfect people love each other anyway and decide to be there for each other no matter what. It ain’t always happy. But that daily commitment to “ever after” is much better than any ride off into the sunset.
I don’t want a fairytale love, because trying to climb onto a giant white stallion horse would limit my clothing options.
I don’t want a fairytale love, because in too many fairytales, the woman has lost a parent or is suffering something awful or has some big flaw and the prince is there to save the day and fix her life. Of course people have flaws – we all have flaws – so why make them the focus of everything? In real life and love, flaws don’t have to be big flashing signs brought to the forefront as warnings…like “you could be with me, but know that there’s this big ugly thing goin’ on.” Nope. We’ve all got ’em. No need to flaunt ’em – just accept ’em.
I don’t want a fairytale love, because I don’t want to be treated like a princess – not all the time, anyways. I want to be told when I’m being less than stellar. I want to be called out when I’m being a biotch, because he deserves to feel like a prince just as often as I feel like a princess. This goes both ways, people.
I don’t want a fairytale love, because this girl loves her shoes, but glass slippers would cause blisters and ain’t nobody got time for that.
Fairytale love is seemingly an endless stream of happiness. But if happiness is an ice cream cone, it all makes sense – it eventually melts. You can savor it for a minute, but then it’s gone and you need another bite. If you have too much, it starts to lose its charm – heck, you might even get a stomachache from all the sweet. The constant bliss is fine at first, but only for a hot second. Soon enough, it becomes too vanilla, and it’s not the idyllic, perfect fairytale from your dreams. It’s disappointing. Real love has ups and downs, perfectly sprinkled ice cream cones (with a cherry on top to boot) and cones that melt or fall on the ground the moment you were going for that much-anticipate first bite. But when you’ve got a solid foundation, trust, and deep love for your partner, you’re there for support and a laugh and to pick up another cone as consolation.
J and I were talking about this earlier, and he came up with the following analogy (which is so good, if I do say so myself):
A fairytale love is like Disneyworld, where you just show up and everything is perfect and happy and there are no worries or stresses and you both feel like princes and princesses. Nothing bad happens – it’s all just pretty magical.
If every moment is magic, are you able to actually feel that magic moment after moment? It’s like in the Pixar movie Inside Out: without sadness, there is no joy. The same goes in love. In real life love, a trip to Disneyworld might be a rare treat. You might have to pay for gas and parking, park what feels like three blocks away from the park, wait in line to get park tickets, then wait in line to ride anything. Maybe you get a sun burn or lose your mouse ears or get sucked into paying $7 for a bottle of water. But then when you grab dinner together and sit down after a long day, feet hurting and head aching, and you steal a glance that reminds you of why you love this person so damn much – that is magical.
What do you think about fairytale love?
I’d lovelovelove to hear your love-ly thoughts and wisdom on life and love and fairytales and realness. Hit up the comments section below and let’s chat LOVE!
If you like this, you might like: