I can’t tell you my favorite Disney princess because I don’t have one.
Shoot, I can’t even tell you my favorite Disney prince.
But what I can tell you is my favorite part of any Disney movie: the guaranteed happily ever after. The promised riding off into the sunset with a simple, loving kiss. The assurance of forever with one destined, fated glance.
Everyone says it’s not realistic. That 50% of marriages end in divorce. That men are trash and women aren’t worth the effort because there’s no happy ending in the world outside the big, boxed TV on which I used to watch these movies.
Yet I chased it–my happily ever after. My Disney ideology. My promised forever sealed with true love’s kiss.
Growing up–and even now–I had so much capacity for love. A love I wouldn’t give myself because I thought I wasn’t beautiful, skinny, or classy enough. I wasn’t a Disney princess. I was more like the old hag or the evil octopus queen or the maleficent magic queen.
No one said it was okay for a Disney princess (or Disney prince) to love her/himself. So this is how I saw myself.
I fantasized, dreamed, practically drooled over finding my prince, my happily ever after with the boys around me in school (which, if I’m being honest, were slim pickings anyway). I longed to be in a relationship, to be loved.
But the idea of sharing my life with someone scared me, made anxiety crawl up my back like a spider tip-toeing across its finely-spun web.
In a Disney movie, the girl is always ready. She’s ready to love, to be loved, to be kissed.
But I could “sha-la-la-la-la-la” and “my-oh-my” all I wanted–but I wasn’t ready to kiss, not even so much as hold hands, until I loved myself.
I thought I was ready to date, to love, to find the one. But how was I to enter a relationship when all my love went in his cup, leaving me empty and dry and the relationship unbalanced?
How was I to expect him to uphold me and all my unhandled insecurities and doubts and fears when he had his own burdens to shoulder?
I was weak.
I was lonely.
I was hurting.
Because when you live 21 years of your life without a boyfriend, without so much as a kiss and only a little flirting–you wonder.
You wonder why you’re still single.
- Are you ugly?
- Are you not enough?
- Are you too much?
- Are you unlovable?
You wonder why society thinks you’re broken because your hand isn’t wrapped around a man’s arm. And the questions you get at a family wedding while your younger brother and his girlfriend of a few months sit across from you will literally rip your heart, mind, and soul to shreds, leaving your body an empty, hurting shell.
“When are you going to date?”
“When are you going to get married?”
Your relative’s practical yelling at you to join the too few amount of single ladies on the dance floor to catch the coveted (but not by you) bouquet will be met by your fiery disobedience to stand to the side of the room and shudder with anxiety and pain. That walk to the dance floor feels like a cry of pain, a walk of shame, an acknowledgement of your pitiful, “bless-your-heart” singleness.
Someone’s continuous yet occasional push for you to get out more–to meet more people–will be salt on a wound, even when it has just begun to heal.
All these people . . . you know they mean well. You know they speak out of love and a desire for you to find happiness.
But happiness can spring up even in singleness.
Women don’t need a man to be happy. Men don’t need a woman to be happy. God has given each of us certain desires, and some of these desires lead us to significant others while other desires do not.
And while I’m not sure whom God may bring across my path, I am reaching a point, growing into a mindset that even if I am single for the rest of my life . . . I’m going to be okay.
I’m going to be okay because I have God.
Now, after 21 years of singleness, I’m finally to a point where the Disney ideology that bled into me after all these years can simply be a memory of a childhood marked by fantasies and childlike faith.
Some days, like the past several days, the Disney memories will come back. I will indulge in several Netflix romantic comedies and daydream and obsess and wonder when I’ll find someone . . . and who he is. What life will be like being with him.
But for now, I’m happy with my singleness. I’m excited to enjoy, to grow in it every second.
Because there will be a day when I am dressed in white, reciting vows that end my chapter of singleness and begin a chapter of togetherness with my significant other.
And before that day comes, I want to make sure that God shapes me into the woman He wants me to be on that day–that He shapes me into the woman He knows my husband needs me to be on that day.
But until then, I’m content in coming home to my room, reveling in the joys and peace that comes from having alone time in a room in which I made all the decorating decisions.
I’m content in following God’s Will in my life without having to worry how being obedient will affect my significant other.
I’m content in having the freedom to travel somewhere either alone or with friends without having to check in with my partner first.
One day, it will be nice to have to consider someone else’s needs and wants. But for now, I’m happy with shouldering my own considerations.
Disney may have failed to teach little girls like me the realities of relationships and the realities of singleness . . .
but the one thing Disney got right in teaching us is how to hope, to dream, to believe in something you haven’t seen yet.
Disney taught us to believe in the magical moments in life.
I’m looking forward to the magical moments in marriage, but for now . . .
I love the magical moments of singleness.