Growing up, I was enchanted by many of the popular Walt Disney icons such as Cinderella, Snow White, and Sleeping Beauty. I was not alone. The world was filled with little girls dreaming that one day Prince Charming would come, whisk them away, and take them to their magical kingdom where they would live happily ever after.
What most of these films are lacking is the notion that women need to focus on themselves to improve their own lives.
All of these films started with the heroine being in a less than ideal situation, but as soon as she finds her Prince, things start to turn around. Finding the right husband to come to your rescue seemed to be the solution to many of life’s obstacles. For example, if you are poor and can’t afford a big house, the right husband will buy you a castle; if you are miserable and unhappy the right husband will make you feel like a princess.
Little boys are taught to become successful and independent so that they can be a provider; whereas little girls were taught proper manners and cooking skills
While Disney may have planted this ideology, Hollywood definitely reinforced it. Most romantic chick flicks are about women struggling to find a man, women whose only goal seemed to be to find “the perfect guy”.
These women are desperate to get the guy, which often means they will go to great and comical lengths to get him, believing this man to be “the one”. Similar to the Disney fairy tales, many of these women are unhappy in their lives until that special guy instantaneously transforms it into something spectacular. What most of these films are lacking is the notion that women need to focus on themselves to improve their own lives.
Think about it, that is what guys do, isn’t it? They build their career, they improve their golf game, they network like crazy to know the right people, they build bridges and empires. Little boys are taught to become successful and independent so that they can be a provider; whereas little girls were taught proper manners and cooking skills so that they could grow up to become a Stepford wife. From the start, we are disadvantaged in preparation for our careers compared to our male counterparts.
many of these women are unhappy in their lives until that special guy instantaneously transforms it into something spectacular.
Eventually, after repetitive exposure, this idea of “finding the right man” became deeply ingrained into my mind. So much so, that when I was younger and didn’t have many friends at a new school I went to, instead of trying to find new friends, I simply assured myself “once I find a boyfriend, I’ll be friends with his friends and have a lot of new friends”.
When I was unhappy about the way my life was I told myself “as soon as I find a boyfriend, everything will be better, I’ll be happy”. When I wanted to try a new activity (such as snowboarding) I told myself, once I find a boyfriend he’ll take me, or I’ll go then, instead of trying to find friends to go with me. Finding the right guy seemed to be my solution for nearly all of my problems, something I had been conditioned to believe from the start.
I had an AHA moment, and decided to do it all on my own.
One day, I finally had a revelation that changed everything. After being single for 2 years and looking back at all the things that I had wanted to do but had been putting off until my prince decided to show up, I had an AHA moment, and decided to do it all on my own.
I began to draw a lot of men of the same caliber into my life.
The transition was hard and felt awkward at times, but now I am beginning to TRULY live my life. Strangely enough, as I embraced my independence, doing all the activities I had wanted to do with my friends and fostering my own friendships, I began to draw a lot of men of the same caliber into my life. Now instead of struggling to find a boyfriend, I am struggling to keep them out. Instead of struggling to find someone who would meet my standards, it was now so easy to come by, that I continuously had to raise my standards instead.
MAKE ALL THOSE “somedays” a “today”
I just wish that I had come up with this sooner. If only someone, had told me from the beginning to focus on myself first, it would’ve saved me a whole lot of heartache and stupid emotional outbursts. So remember, the next time you find yourself single, open a bottle of champagne and celebrate. You now have MORE time to celebrate and discover yourself. Take that hot yoga class you said you would try “one day”. MAKE ALL THOSE “somedays” a “today” and embrace all the things that life has to offer you. One day, maybe your prince will come, but you don’t have to wait around for him to start living.