Thursday, October 04, 2007

I'm not waiting for Prince Charming

This is part of an ongoing series of "controversial posts" I've been writing at my LJ. I haven't posted any of them here until now, but I think this one needs to be shared. I'll say the same thing I do there: you don't have to agree. Really. If you don't agree with me, say so. :) I want to hear your opinions. Doesn't mean I'll change mine, but I like to hear what other people think. Just be sure to be kind and respect my opinion as I promise I will respect yours. Unless it's so far out in left-field that I decide you don't deserve it. But that would only be if you think that Orthodox Christians are actually Gnostics (not making this up). In which case I reserve the right to biff you one with the Cluebat of Orthodox Righteousness.

I'm not waiting for Prince Charming.

I know some of you may be confused by that statement. I am, after all, fairly vocal in my support of "dating with a purpose," or courtship, if you want to call it that. I'm even the administrator (along with a staff of several wonderful young ladies) of an online forum called I Don't Date. Have I suddenly changed my convictions? No, not really.

But I repeat: I am not waiting for Prince Charming.

I am waiting for my husband.

I am not waiting for that mythical someday when a perfect man, a knight-in-shining-armor, rides in on his horse and scoops me off and carries me off to his castle where we live happily ever after. I am not waiting for that day because it will never come and believing that it will is only harmful to myself and to my future relationship with my future husband. (This is not to say that I don't love Pre-Raphaelite art as much as anyone else, just that I don't believe it will happen or ever did in the way we tend to think of it.)

You see, my husband, while I hope and pray that he is a wonderful and Godly man, is just that: a man. He is not now nor ever will be perfect and to imagine that he will is only setting both of us up for heartbreak.

Because what happens when he fails me?

He will fail me, just as I will fail him. And if I cherish the dream of a perfect man only to find that he is not so perfect after all (and I am talking larger failings than leaving his socks on the floor here), what will that do to my trust in him? How much harder would it be to find forgiveness for him and his failings in my heart? Yet would I not hope for that forgiveness myself? I would. And God calls us to forgive our fellow strugglers.

So no, I am not waiting for my Prince Charming. I am waiting for the man that I hope to laugh with, to cry with, to sing with, to read with, to live with, and to worship God with. I know that there will be hard times to come, just as there are hard times now. I know that my own sinful tendencies will rear up their ugly heads just as his will. And you know? I can only pray that God will bring us through them, whatever they be. But I can also refuse to fall into the trap of idealized thinking that is implicated in that phrase, "Prince Charming."

6 comments:

slskenyon said...

You have a very good, realistically three dimensional view on this topic as it relates to you. However, I would like to propose to you one further step in the thought process, if you will: Why are you waiting for anyone? The people who are the best in and out of relationships are people who truly believe they are completely whole, satisfied individuals with or without relationships like that. There are very few men out there who are "waiting for a princess" let alone" waiting for a wife." Part of that has to do with society's emphasis on relationships for women and on personal development and success for men, perhaps, but bottom line--perhaps insead of waiting for anything, we should all be actively participating in making ourselves better people.

MaureenE said...

Why are you waiting for anyone? The people who are the best in and out of relationships are people who truly believe they are completely whole, satisfied individuals with or without relationships like that.

I think we're kind of talking about two different kinds of waiting here. The waiting I'm talking about stems from the idea that we can wait for whatever relationships come to develop naturally without participating in the casual dating scene. (It's a very Josh Harris idea, if you know who that is.)

I certainly do believe that we should all be actively participating in making ourselves better people, and that whatever problems you have with yourself won't go away if you enter a relationship, so I think we're mostly, if not entirely in agreement.

I'm definitely not advocating sitting around at home (or at college, or anywhere else) and waiting for someone to show up!

Anonymous said...

Good article Maureen, and one I needed to read just now. I recently discovered the movie 'Kate and Leopold', and although it's a charming movie, the one BAD thing is that it makes me sit there and pine for my own Leopold. (aka - nearly perfect man) At the same time I know that won't happen. But what if it did... blah blah blah. So, I think I shall join you in not waiting for my KISA. Joke about it still, maybe, but not depend on it.

~VB

MaureenE said...

I'm glad that it helped you VB!

DebD said...

This was helpful even for the almost 22 yr married woman (Oct 12). I need to remember my husband is not supposed to be the perfect man. Thanks!

timothydeanmills.com said...

Well said.