Relationships, Marriage & the fairytale...
The Cinderella Effect
...can relationships live up to the fairytale ?
From the moment we are placed in the bassinet our heads are filled with tales and adventures that exist only in 'far away lands'. This introduction in itself, should be enough to tell us that the ensuing story is pure fantasy.
We are young however and naïve, full of imagination and led to believe that if we are lucky enough, one day, we too will live ''happily ever after".
"Fairytales can lead to unreal expectations later in life"
However the recurrent foundational basis of such fairytales can lead to a whole range of unrealistic expectations in later life when it comes to relationships and the real world.
These stories lead us to believe that there is one 'soul mate' with which a fairy tale ending is possible. They imply that true happiness is only attainable if you have companionship, without it you are lost.
Look at the movie world for this... women are mostly depicted as depressed and lonely until they find their 'prince'. The storylines inherently suggest that 'finding love' is the struggle, and that once you have - everything else will fall into place.
Meanwhile, in the real world, circumstances such as work, health, finances, debt, children, chores, family and death, just to name a few issues, continually impact on the picture perfect life that we grew up idolising.
Furthermore, regular depictions of 'love at first sight' make the phenomenon appear common, when in actual fact it is the exception to the rule. Such an event emphasises the physical aspects of a relationship, and validates unrealistic expectations because it simultaneously undermines friendship and mutual respect as the foundations of a real and loving relationship.
As we mature, one would think that such realities would be come clear to us... but they don't. The values instilled at a young age are only reinforced by romantic films, television shows, and novels that follow the same premise as our childhood fairytales, though somehow seem more true to life... but they aren't.
It won't work in real life...
An apology does not automatically equal forgiveness.
A bouquet of flowers doesn't remove the hurt of betrayal.
A screaming match won't resolve a problematic situation
In real life, if there is no effort to learn from mistakes then it is unlikely that the injured party will be able to forgive, forget, move on, and allow the relationship to grow... and yet still, we stay in relationships whereby these negative behaviours occur repeatedly because of long held beliefs that there is only one person compatible with us, and there is no-one else.
Such an inability to leave a bad relationship manifests due to a fear of the unknown and the optimistic view that people can change. Many individuals, although unhappy, are comfortable in their relationship because it is familiar.
They hold onto the unrealistic notion that things will get better because often romantic films tell us that "love" is found after one member of the couple changes something about themselves; or makes a grand gesture for the other person. These ideas hinder a person's ability to see clearly and thus leave a negative relationship.
A good relationship enables us to embrace better versions of ourselves and motivates ordinary people to reach extraordinary outcomes. In the case of relationships, we are generally very aware of how well things are going.
You are encouraged to take the time to revaluate what you have if you find yourself ...
- having cyclical arguments,
- lacking intimacy,
- feeling unappreciated,
- experiencing any other feelings of uneasiness
While most relationships can be rejuvenated, sometimes this isn't possible, and it is at these times that it is important to remember that if there really is only one right person out there for us all, it is unlikely that we have already met them.
By C Bryce and contributors.
Copyright Humaneed 2013