Fairy tales for the new age

It’s funny. If you have ever read the original texts for some of the fairy tales that we know and love, you would know that they aren’t the warm fuzzy tales we have grown up with. For example, The little mermaid never got the prince. In fact The prince went with the evil sea witch, stayed under her spell, and the little mermaid ended up committing suicide. Because her love was so pure though, instead of going to be the foam on the top of the sea like all mermaids were destined to do, she got to become an angel. To look over her beloved for the rest of his life while he lived it out with an evil witch who had him manipulated with a spell.

That version (unfortunately) sounds a bit more like the world that I live in, than the lovely pretty version that I grew up singing the songs from.

I know that there are relationships that actually work. And run smoothly. I’ve seen them. They are seemingly effortless and the people in them are happy. Genuinely happy.

Every relationship I’ve ever been in is legitimately hard work. Not only that, but it always seems that there are two different people, with two very different paradigms trying to smoosh things together and not kill each other.

In the beginning it’s always great. Almost like two powerful magnets pulling each other from across the galaxy. It is a force so strong that neither one of you can ignore it and you wind up spending every waking hour together finding that it’s still not enough. You’re falling in love. Falling in love is better than any drug in the world. It is downright incredible. So incredible, it makes you blind and deaf to some things.

Somewhere along the line, you aren’t falling in love anymore. You are just…In love.

This is when things get complicated. You start to notice little things about your partner that you didn’t see before. For example, he snores like a lawnmower and sometimes its so loud that you want to smother him with a pillow. You knew he snored before, but for some reason it never bothered you this much. Did he get worse? Is he snoring into a megaphone?

No. You were falling in love before. When you are falling in love, even if the other person has flaws and red flags all over the place – all you can see is the fact that there is this amazing person and they are with you.

Now, the dust has settled and you are standing next to a man who snores really loud at night, has some habits that make you feel really uncomfortable, and one or two that (depending on the day) range from somewhere between really unnerving to complete deal breaker.

Meanwhile, he is definitely having the same experience with you and your more…colorful habits. And believe me, you have them. Sometimes, you are downright crazy and gross.

Then at some point, you have your first fight. Sometimes its small, sometimes it is one that ends up with both of you in tears trading insults and freaking out. If you are me, the latter usually happens to the tenth power. Why? Because I have this thing where when I feel like I’m being attacked, I into one of the meanest people you have ever met. But I digress.

If you survive the first fight, then comes the “settled in” period. Things go well most of the time. You look at the person you are with and you realize that you may actually be in love with them. In fact, they may actually also be your best friend. You have your differences, some of them are actually very different, but they make things interesting.

That is until they don’t.

This is the point in the relationship where you find out if you are destined to become one of those couples that are happy, and make it…of if the footage just winds up on the cutting room floor of life.

MOST of them don’t make it.

In fact I had the displeasure of witnessing a breakup recently in which the man cheated on the woman, she said she forgave him…but couldn’t let it go. She then proceeded to pick fights with him over stupid inconsequential shit every chance she got…instead of just saying she was hurt. It took a good while, but eventually she actually managed to make peace with it.

It was too late. Things had already started disintegrating. The next hurdle? He decided that one of her hobbies really bothered him. Confronted her about it, and instead of trying to understand what exactly was going on – he decided that her behavior (It was a Role play relationship.- both of the parties were consenting adults and one of them was GAY gay. However they role played  in a game as a couple and the couple was having a baby) also constituted cheating. He brought it up to her, and she tried to explain. Within a month, he decided he wasn’t happy and dumped her. Mostly because she never really forgave him and was hurting pretty bad – and he was hurt as well because he didn’t understand what was happening and they had two fundamentally different viewpoints on the issue.

And this brings about the awkward moment when you realize that though two people are together in a relationship – they aren’t necessarily in the same relationship. The poor girl was completely blindsided. She spent a lot on money on a Christmas present to take him with her to Italy for new years. They had talked about maybe getting married…she was seriously looking at dresses. Wanting to think about rings.

He wasn’t happy and dumped her. Completely blindsided the girl.

The point is this. From the beginning – relationships are living things. Because they are alive, they can also be killed. They are fragile too…more so than we know. When the death of a relationship actually happens and when the relationship ends are often different. In this case, there were a number of things that could have done it in before the thing actually ended.

If you are lucky enough to be in love. Protect it. Nurture it. Make sure you are in the same relationship. Take care of each other. Never let the other one forget how special they are. Be honest…and if one of you wants out, as much as it hurts – be willing to let it go.

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