The truth is no one is guaranteed to live happily ever after. If we really think about it, no such thing exists, not on this earth anyway. All we have is right now–this very moment and the next.
So what’s this thing we’ve been sold? (And most of us have bought.) How did the promise of a blissful forever with a noble prince become a point of pain for so many?
The Storybook Promise
The cultural tides are starting to shift, ever so slowly. But think back to your childhood. Chances are if you’re over 20, you’ve been fed the storybook promise.
You’ve seen this scenario again and again: The handsome prince rescues the poor maiden and whisks her away from a world of drudgery to a world of luxury and joy. And they live happily ever after.
Sure, ladies, you can have a wonderful life of safety, riches, jewels, and endless ballgowns, but a prince has to make it all happen for you. The message: A relationship is the key to your happiness.
The problem isn’t so much in a single story. You probably loved at least one of these fairytales as a child and even into adulthood.
But what happens when the same story is told repeatedly to receptive minds? Messages are internalized.
This “happily ever after” message is internalized as:
- I can’t be happy on my own.
- There must be something wrong with me if I don’t have a partner.
- I’m doomed to feel incomplete if I don’t find the ONE.
- It’s better to be in a couple than alone.
Fact vs. Fiction
You know what makes a great story. Those artistic touches. The hero’s journey. The drama. But your life isn’t a piece of fiction. It’s your life!
Let’s assume those fairytales with prince charming (and his fabulous hair), his white horse, and happily ever after are just that–fairytales. They’re based on someone’s ideal, or a cultural ideal, most likely from a very, very long time ago.
In other words, these stories are outdated and biased. Add to that, they’re fiction, not reality. How’s that for a happily ever after?
Re-Writing the Story
Imagine you’re creating your own storybook. You want to write a good story, but you also want it to be realistic and a fair reflection of the world you live in now.
What would your story be? It could include strong doses of perspective…
Is Being in a Couple Better than Being Single?
Let’s examine the idea that being in a couple is somehow superior to being single. It’s often internalized as “I must be damaged because I’m still single.”
Are your friends in happy, healthy relationships? Sure, they’ve married or otherwise paired up, but are they happy? Or are they secretly wishing for the freedom of their single days?
With a divorce rate somewhere around 40%, you can bet that plenty of couples who seem inseparable in public are privately miserable in their relationships.
Perhaps many of these relationships were formed partially due to the pressure to “couple up.” Wouldn’t you rather wait for the right relationship, than rush into one because of societal pressures?
Is it possible to live a fulfilling life as a single woman? Of course it is.
There’s also a gender double standard at play. Would you even ask that question of a bachelor? Probably not. So, why assume a single woman can’t happy?
Focus on Living, Rather than Coupling
It’s said what you focus on grows. If you’re constantly feeding feelings of lack and loneliness, you’re going to magnify that in your life. You’ll find ways to prove that you’re missing out, that you’re somehow less than because you’re single.
I want you to hear this, to really take it in:
Your life is the only one you get to live. Your life is not at 50 percent because you’re single and need a mate to magically unlock the other half.
You are 100 percent. You are whole.
The point is to LIVE your life. If you’re single right now, fine. Live your life. If you’re in a great relationship, okay. Live your life. Live at 100 percent.
Why would you want to live at anything less? If you’re living a 50 percent life because you feel incomplete without a partner, that’s your choice. You’re choosing to make your life less than. No one is choosing that for you.
You’re also not going to attract a healthy relationship by living in a state of perpetual lack. Why? You better believe that if you’re only bringing a 50 percent version of yourself to a relationship, it’s bound to fail.
Maybe you’re not ready to be part of a couple. How healthy is your relationship with yourself? Your first healthy, loving, blissful relationship should be with yourself.
Treating yourself like someone you love isn’t selfish. It’s healthy.
Let this place of power be the starting point for your life’s adventures. Whether single or in a couple, focus on LIVING a 100 percent life.
Want to work on building a healthy relationship with yourself? If you haven’t already, click here to download 4 Free Guided Meditations that will help you learn how to love yourself and find peace of mind.
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