I grew up on Disney movies. I am a sucker for the good triumphing over evil, the underdog pulling through in the end, true love’s first kiss, and that whole Happily Ever After bit. Now that appeals to me, quite a bit. Throw in a pretty gown and a sparkling tiara and I’m sold on the fairy tale.
Shockingly, with Disney-esque expectations, love has proved to be quite a conundrum as the reality of the day AFTER Happily Ever After kicks in.
I suppose, to be fair Mr. Disney did have Cinderella work her butt off, Sleeping Beauty did have to battle a jealous fairy, Snow White was dealing with her own issues on jealousy. Ariel made some pretty ill advised decisions and Jasmine showed quite a temper. So I probably could have been more prepared if I’d been looking for the cues.
Trouble is, we expect the hard part to be the finding of and falling into love. That once you have it within your grasp, the easy part begins.
And that really is love’s biggest conundrum; as easy as it is to love someone’s heart and soul, the everyday reality of dealing with them is really, really hard!
Nothing could have ever really prepared you for that moment when those walls finally fell and let someone truly into your heart, how vulnerable and complete you would feel. There was no guideline to prepare for the sense of camaraderie when the two of you shared your plans, fears, and desires or the the heartbreak of that first real argument, when that information was used against you in the heat of the moment as cannon fodder. Not an inkling of what it would be like to watch your partner get sick, or the immense relief of knowing that they would be ok and you played a role in their recovery. And what about the things that even love can’t fix?
I’ve learned that life, and love, is far more complicated than I ever imagined. But it’s intricacies offer breathtaking moments, harsh lessons, and above all, joy. In a world where so many focus on filters, Photoshop, and staged photo ops is it any wonder that we have such unrealistic expectations of something as romanticized as love? And yet, by placing such grandiose requirements we miss out on the joy of the real connection that we are desperately seeking.