|Hayley | Samantha Josephine|
As little girls we grow up dreaming of having the perfect fairytale. We imagine the man we'll someday marry, how we'll meet, how he'll kiss, how he'll propose. We have the complete love story planned out in our imaginations and, somehow, we believe every ounce of it. We have that remarkable innocence that allows us to see ourselves as grown women, trapped in a doorless tower with the longest blonde locks, awaiting our knight who will somehow rescue us and whisk us away to a castle in the clouds. Is it any wonder that, as we grow older and find our way through the minefield that is relationships, we end up disappointed? My question: is the man that we will eventually choose to marry ever going to be good enough to meet the high expectations we set as little girls? Will he ever be the perfect Prince Charming of our childhood dreams?
It is unclear why these unrealistic hopes are put into the open minds of us as children. Is it because childhoods are meant to be filled with hopefulness and happiness, regardless of whether it's all based on a lie or not - just like Santa? As we grow into women and become experienced with the real dating scene, it is true to say most of us experience disappointment. The romance we had always imagined and dreamed of rarely materialises and our white knights are nowhere to be seen. We are forced to experience heartbreak, infidelity and loss - something never explained to us in those hundreds of fairytales. How do we ever expect to live Happily Ever After when we're searching for something fictional?
In the past fifty years, the dating scene has changed dramatically. What once was white is now black and vice versa. But with these changes in society and acceptable behaviours, our fairytales have remained the same and not evolved with time, as they should. And so, I can't help but wonder what would happen if we rewrote the greatest stories of our childhoods. What if The End wasn't at our first kiss but a couple of years on? What if we introduced the partner who cheated? The mother-in-law who thought we weren't good enough for her son? An ex-love? Trust issues? A break-up? What then? It is my belief that we would go into our very first experience with love more open-minded with more realistic hopes of our future. We would know that it's normal to have rough times as well as good times. And we would know not to expect - or even to secretly hope for - perfection, because nobody is perfect - not even our shining white knights.
What starts off as an innocent dream for six year-old girls results in discontentment and dissatisfaction. Many of us run at the first sign of trouble because 'this isn't how it's supposed to be'. We somehow always believe that there is better out there, that we haven't yet found our One - but that's only because our vision of what should be is a work of our imagination and the memory of bedtime stories. Would it really be such a bad thing to face up the fact that love really isn't flawless and simple? There isn't always one bad witch who is easily defeated before we can run away and be happy; there are often more and they come regularly. Maybe we should be prepared for this as we grow so that bumps in the road are not unexpected and so that the men in our lives are valued and appreciated for what they are and not thrown away for what they aren't.
The moral of the story: your foot doesn't always pop with a first kiss and there is no such thing as a castle in the clouds. But learning your own special kiss - one that is just for the two of you - and building a home from scratch, together, and mending things after an argument, can bring much more happiness than even Snow White or Princess Aurora could ever have dreamed of. Now those are the things that fairytales should be made of.