It's been a couple months since Christmas vacation, but the memory of young singles dealing with their prying family members’ questions still hangs in the air: When will you graduate? Did you get the job? But above all, the question of all questions, the one that you never want to answer… the one that hits you right in the gut: Do you have a boyfriend?
These questions are often followed with praising comments like “what a beautiful, smart girl you are!” Now, so as not to spoil anyone's lunch, the only way out of this slightly uncomfortable question is to offer a half smile and some comment about how men today they aren’t how used to be. But the real reason might be another: women have been deluded by the concept that Prince Charming exists.
But is it really Prince Charming that we want?
It is! Since we took our first steps, our heads were filled with ideas of this make-believe character. And things certainly don't get better as we get older. There’s always been this idea of the mythical prince, portrayed in fairytales as being a handsome, charming man in tights with sculpted abs, who can do absolutely anything and has impeccable timing. He’s not afraid of anything, and he comes to the rescue when times are tough.
If we were to share these thoughts with that nagging relative, they would probably agree that it’s fine to be single, since men like this don’t exist! But when you think about it, wouldn’t that be boring? Are we really sure that the man of our dreams is this kind of thoughtless guy?
We complain so much about men not asking for help once in a while, not apologizing when they do something wrong, not sharing their feelings, not making us feel important... But we can only get this sort of communication from a real man whom we accept for all he is. We have grown up with the misleading idea that we need a man to come and save us. Though, no one saves themselves––nor men nor women. The saving happens as a pair.
As long as we have this image of an ideal man in our heads, we won't be able to view the world around us with open minds and hearts. Ultimately, we could miss opportunities to meet our match.
Who saves us: love or the prince?
So why do we like these Disney fairytales so much? Why do we women like to be like Cinderella or Snow White, waiting around to be saved by a prince?
Since fairytales are an archetype of life, we find there key elements of real life: family, friendship, fear, courage, pain, ambition, and love.
Love. It's what we love so much, what we long for and seek, even when we say the opposite. Fairytales show us that it is love that saves us and not the prince. Whether it’s the love of two parents towards a child, the love between siblings or towards a grandparent, it is—and always will be—love that saves us all. Love helps us to overcome fear. It gives us courage. It makes us fight. It makes us put others first. It changes our perfectly laid plans. It pushes us to make choices we would never have imagined we’d make.
No one is saved alone because wherever there are two people there is a redeeming love.
On the one hand, we could say that fairytales have fed us the lie that “happily ever after” exists. We are often forced to deal with situations that challenge us to hold it together, and life is full of unhappy and unsatisfying moments. Though all this has been a lie, there’s one thing that fairytales didn’t lie about: how important, necessary, and vital love is in our lives. And we love watching these fairytale films so much, even as adults, because they help us to continue believing in the love they portray.