Friday, October 9, 2009

Ideals vs. Reality in Dating

Boy meets girl. Girl saves boy, leaves him with only a memory of her. Boy searches for girl. Girl wants to go back and meet boy. Girl gives up part of her identity to find boy. Boy and girl meet, and boy courts girl. Boy meets Other Girl and plans wedding. Girl saddened, but friends help her get to boy. Girl crashes wedding and Other Girl is revealed to be an octopus who drags girl away. Boy comes and rescues girl. They live happily ever after.


Boy meets girl. Boy likes girl. Boy pursues girl. Girl likes boy. Boy and girl date. Girl opens up to boy and falls in love. Boy is no longer interested in girl and moves on.

Even if you're a couple fries short of a Happy Meal, you'd be able to figure out that one is a Disney plot and the other is what typically happens. If you're a female, you can probably relate to why I have the love/hate relationship with Ariel and all the other Disney heroines. Basically, little girls are set up for failure. From the time the first video was popped in the VCR, I was shown how Prince Charming meets the beautiful princess (or occasionally a gorgeous peasant), and instantly falls in love. There's some bad stuff that happens in the middle to pull them apart, but ultimately the lovers end up together and live in wedded bliss until the VCR dies.

Girls really don't have a chance here. Megan Fox said in her recent Cosmo interview that because we have ::ahem!:: female parts down there, that we hold the power. How is it, then, that female hearts keep breaking, dreams keep shattering, and despite the economy, Ben & Jerry's keeps doing just fine? How is it that we have become so enraptured by the fairytale that when reality sets in, we are completely unable to cope?

What exactly happened with this generation? Did the feminist movement truly scare guys into losing all traces of gentlemanly behavior? Why do my friends roll their eyes when I say that I want a guy who will adore me? My grandparents married out of obligation, and even as they would yell at each other in various languages, anyone around them could tell that they loved each other. When I see old couple walking down the sidewalk hand-in-hand, I wonder when my turn will come.

I do not want to keep setting myself up for failure, but is having standards going to stand in the way of ever going out on a second date? Am I too traditional in my idea that a man should act like a man and a woman act like a woman and all that entails?

Open the door so that I may enter. Take the check without a thought (otherwise it isn't a date, and you will be magically transported into the friend zone). Don't stop pursuing me after we've been going out for a while. Call, don't text. Are these things so difficult? Am I living in a dream world to expect standard date behavior?

Experience has jaded me a bit. Rather than planning my dream wedding, I play out in my head what sort of shenanigans I'll get myself into when I become a crazy dog lady.

Just a word to Disney: Thanks for the good times, but I feel I'm moving in a different direction.


  1. I hate to sound like I am bragging, but the way my husband and I got together kind of is like a Disney movie, so I have to say that in some cases, that can happen.

    And I am so blessed that he respects me, adores me and is a gentleman. I don't believe in settling, and you shouldn't either - I know that decent guys still exist!

  2. Something to keep in mind: not all the movies Disney produces are romantic fairy tales. You don't know what kind of story you're living, but the thing that is constant in every good movie is that the hero faces something new, some conflict or obstacle, and finds a way to overcome it.

    You might not be able to shape a man the way you want him, but you can be the hero in your own story.