I was brought up believing that my main goal should be to get married. Like many girls, I read fairy tales that ended with a Prince sweeping the heroine off her feet and whisking her away to be married. My friends and I play-acted getting married. Back then we bought the notion that we needed a man to be complete. Thankfully, I learned how to complete myself and that real life isn't a fairy tale. But many women don't.
Girls need to grow up understanding that marriage isn't a fairy tale and to stop searching for Prince Charming, because he only exists in books and movies. Chasing the fairy tale leads many women to jump into marriage quickly when they experience immediate chemistry with someone. This disrespects the sanctity of marriage, since fairy tale romance often ends in divorce when reality hits and the couple really gets to know each other -- and don't like what they see. A good marriage is a commitment to love, honor and support each other and it shouldn't be taken lightly. It's harder to build that with someone you didn't get to know over a long period of time. Fairy tales don't include that.
Often, I hear young women say, "I can't wait to find my Prince Charming," like this guy will be perfect. Many celebrities reinforce the fairy tale marriage allure with their whirlwind courtships and verbal beliefs about meeting their Prince Charmings. As their fans enviously watch, they very publicly get swept off their feet, jump in fast, and get caught up in the romance and excitement of fulfilling the fairy tale. Thousands of young girls grow up wanting to emulate them and live vicariously through their courtships, which frequently end before the wedding when these women wake up and discover their Prince Charmings are really frogs they can't live with, and they bolt.
Falling in love fast -- usually from the delicious chemistry of new romance, great sex and an opportunity to live the fairy tale -- can feel wonderful. Yet too many celebrities seem to think that rushing to get married is a way to express their love. It's not, when two people don't know each other well. Marriage is meant to be a lifelong commitment, not a gesture of passion as some use it.
J-Lo was married twice before her high-profile romantic engagement to Ben Affleck. Shortly after that breakup, she married Marc Anthony, whom she later divorced. And many other celebs, who young women look up to, also jump into an engagement or marriage shortly after being swept away by romance. Khloe Kardashian married Lamar after only knowing him for a month. She'd been hoping for her Prince Charming for years. And look what she got herself into by not waiting to get to know him!
And then there's the biggest perpetuator of marriage as fairy tale -- Kim Kardashian -- who was married for 72 days before deciding the fairy tale didn't make her happy. Prior to meeting Kris, she assessed every man she dated as a potential husband on her reality shows. She was clearly looking for The One. Right before getting married, she admitted that she had her wedding planned since childhood. So Kim had her fairy tale wedding and then complained when Kris wouldn't let her discard the marriage as quickly as she jumped in.
These women in the public eye disrespect the meaning of marriage vows by rushing into it as part of their fairy tale romance. They get too carried away to wait to get to know the guy they want so badly to marry. Did Katie not process that Tom is a devout Scientologist and she'd have to live that life? Did she really think that their passion would allow her to keep it out of their marriage?
I wish celebrities would close their fairy tale books and start respecting marriage by not jumping into it and then getting divorced. They're teaching girls that marriage is disposable and the commitment doesn't have to last. Falling in love, or often lust, quickly doesn't lay the foundation for a solid marriage -- for better or worse. A marriage commitment should mean you're willing to try to work together. Of course that doesn't always work. But it helps when your relationship is based on trust and connections built over time, not a desire for the wedding.
I'm sure that Cinderella had her issues with Prince Charming. Nobody is perfect, but they seem to be in fairy tales, which may be why so many fairy tale romances fall apart when the imperfections show. It's better to wait and get to know a potential partner wel l-- warts and all -- before walking down the aisle. Then you have the best chance of creating your own happily ever after on a more realistic level.
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