Lesson 21: Forget Happily Ever After
Disney princesses from Cinderella to Sleeping Beauty, even Nala of The Lion King, have taught us from our childhood to look forward to some sort of “happily ever after.” Since our days of insisting on wearing our Disney princess Halloween costumes at completely inappropriate times (like your uncle’s wedding) we’ve desperately clung onto the notion that “happily ever after” would someday be all ours. As teenagers we claimed not to care about Prince Charming while we secretly screened each boyfriend, wondering if he was going to be the last man standing in our own charmed versions of a Disney romance. Now in college, we’re in the process of making our dreams come true and yet somehow Prince Charming keeps slipping through our fingers in a not-so-Disney fashion.
Believe me girl, I’ve been there.
Look, “happily ever after” is great and all, but how can you place so much happiness on something you haven’t even had yet? Every time you fuel the fire on achieving your own happy ending, you take away from the happiness you already have.
Unsure of what I mean? Let’s try relating this to something we can all understand – purses. Imagine that ever since you were a little girl all you’ve wanted was a vintage black quilted, chain strap Chanel bag and you always promised yourself that someday you would get one. But until you’ve starved yourself enough to afford the Chanel bag, you’ve been using a worn-in buttery leather Coach purse. While you’re so fixated on that Chanel bag, you fail to realize just how great your trusty Coach bag is. Just like with a happy ending, if you put too much significance on an end that hasn’t even happened yet, how can you expect anything before the end to be meaningful too?
It’s time that single girls everywhere forget the “happily ever after” they’ve been trained to aim for and just enjoy the ride. The pain, the heartbreak, the awkward moments – it’s all just a part of the learning process. However, you shouldn’t be focusing on the dating learning process but instead on the process that allows you to learn about yourself, because once “happily ever after” rolls around, who knows what’ll happen? If it’s what I’ve been told, your happy ending is a time to know what you want, with little room left to figure things out.
Take advantage of the fact that this time before the “happily ever after” is your grace period. Make the mistakes you avoided and do it for the sake of knowing that it’s not the end of the world if things don’t work out. Believe in a happy ending for yourself, but don’t make your life all about achieving it. The more willing you are to enjoy the ride that is the dating world, the less you’re going to rely on the sturdy rock of a “happily ever after” and realize that you can have a “happily ever present.”
Look, I know how cheesy that sounds but when you really think about it, nobody really ever knows what happened to those Disney princesses after their happy endings. What if Cinderella got divorced when she realized she barely knew the prince? Or what if Sleeping Beauty’s Ambien high wore off and she realized she settled too quickly after her waking from her slumber? The time leading up to the happy ending always seems to be the real story worth telling, so forget “happily ever after” and just be happy where you are.
Got it? Now get the first 20 rules of the Single Girl Society right here.