The Prince Charming Fantasy
We’ve all bought into the fantasy at one point or another. Each of us has an idea of who our Prince Charming really is. We grew up in a culture where the idea of being swept off of our feet by the perfect man of our dreams is what gets reinforced. It’s not just the media that perpetuates the idea either. Our friends and family also have specific ideas about whom we should be with.
Once we get into our thirties – or through one marriage – the fantasy gets shattered. There’s always a loss of innocence once reality sets in for the first time. But this may not be such a bad thing.
What if the idea of the perfect man, wasn’t the one that’s really best for you. I know plenty of women who have asshole complexes. They keep dating guys who are total jerks. Charming albeit but still jerky. Their cockiness is often read as confidence by women; who of course many of us are attracted to. They are the ones we bend over backward to please but there is never any reciprocity. We either think that we can’t do any better or we are afraid of living in the world as a single person. Nice guys do sometimes finish last in this case.
Another popular “perfect” man is the erroneous belief that being a wife of a doctor or a lawyer would be what’s best for us. After all, they tend to be good paying jobs and there is a certain status associated with them. But not everyone is cut our to be a doctor’s or lawyer’s wife. Often for these men, work comes first. There can be 12 to 16 hour days involved and erratic schedules. Not exactly the vision most of us have when it comes to our fantasy man.
Now of course, the tall dark and handsome thing can’t hurt, right? But being convinced that you should only be with good-looking men can be a concept that doesn’t work for us in reality either. It cuts out a whole lot of potential suitors who could truly be compatible with us. Plus there are some good-looking men (some, not all) who do think that they are God’s gift to women and expect to be treated as such. They’ve gotten preferential treatment their whole lives and can often demand it of their wives and girlfriends.
How do we avoid these pitfalls in dating and marriage? There are a few ideas you should examine with any relationship. Try to focus on how someone makes you feel instead of just ticking a box on your Prince Charming want list. Do you feel good when you are with him? Does he treat you with respect? Do you seem compatible even in difficult situations? When we allow ourselves to open up and truly be present with someone, sometimes there is a very sweet surprise waiting for us. And it could just be that our Prince Charming is not who we thought he would be. Riding off into the sunset should involve a good dose of reality first.
image is a copyrighted photo of the model
Dr. Kat is the resident sexologist at Adam & Eve and also runs a private practice and media consulting business. She has a Doctorate from the Institute for the Advanced Study of Human Sexuality. Her professional affiliations include AASECT, SSSS, and the American Board of Sexologists. She also has a Master’s degree in Counseling Psychology and completed a postgraduate degree in Marriage, Family and Addictions Recovery Therapy.
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