When I was little, I had these big dreams that when I fell in love with the man of my dreams, I would start breathing fairy dust, my house would perpetually be under a rainbow and I’d ride a unicorn big enough to carry me and our wonderful kids.
Then I grew up. I had a couple of relationships (two of which resulted in offspring) and thought ‘This crap is for the birds!’ during each one. For a few years, I vowed to be a ‘friend with benefits’ because it was much easier, but that didn’t work out. I liked the flexibility, but I’m one of those attached types. My mind can separate sex from love, but then I start liking the guy and next thing I know, I have to call it quits and go through the process of finding a new friend. I’m sure you can imagine that got old pretty quickly.
In comes The Hero. At first, we were casually seeing each other. He was different from everyone else I had ever been with before. His honesty was… sometimes brutal and tough to take for a thin-skinned woman like me. So much so that we called it quits after about two months.
Something clicked for both of us during the months we didn’t talk. For me, it was realizing that relationships meant some kind of compromise. I never asked him what it was for him. Maybe he realized that I am some kind of awesome too. Some kind of way, we managed to communicate again and agreed to see what happened. That was five (maybe six?) years ago.
During the years, I’ve realized a lot of things about me. The most stunning are my little girl fantasies, projected 30 years later on The Hero. I didn’t realize how deeply seated they mold what I expect and what I think I need and want versus what truly makes me smile and my heart swell when I’m with The Hero. Lately, I had to put words to my thoughts and feelings and in speaking them out loud, I felt really ashamed of myself and my behavior. Here I am comparing The Hero to Little Girl Dee (LGD)’s Prince Charming when I’m a grown woman with grown desires. I sure as hell don’t want fairy dust because I don’t want to clean it up and you don’t even have to mention that unicorn.
As of late, I’ve been trying to consciously be aware of when I project these expectations on The Hero. I realize that relationships require work, but not the kind that I thought. I used to think it meant a lot of grunting and begrudgingly doing things just to keep the peace. But that’s not it at all. Work means being conscious of my love for The Hero and respecting him for who he is and where he’s headed. It being supportive of his dreams as much as I want him to support mine. It means being able to receive criticism while giving it and understanding that he has never said anything to intentionally hurt me. Ever. Work, if I had to sum it up, means being conscious in every moment. It means listening to The Hero, tweaking some things to move us forward and being grateful that I found someone who I actually love and who loves and accepts me as a positive addition to his life.
I’ve been clearing out LGD’s Prince Charming from my life. It is a deep-seated albatross, but I’m confident that being present will help me get through it slowly, but surely.