Two years ago I traveled to Sydney, Australia with 50-something other strangers to pursue an internship in the industry of my choice. From June-August, these strangers eventually became friends and I became very close with about 6-8 of them. Of the girls I grew close with was Elizabeth. Liz had begun a relationship with her Australian boss, Nathan.
Yes, you read correctly, a young American female citizen with a work permit for 2 months traveled to Australia and ultimately started a relationship and fell in love with an Australian in a matter of 8 weeks. Now for most couples, both young and old, the 21-hour plane ride alone or different time zones would be more than enough for them to part ways without taking a glance back.
However, Liz and Nathan chose to continue their relationship and the two are now, engaged. I want to first say CONGRATULATIONS to the happy couple!!! Second, this story told as concisely and neatly as I have recited it on my blog makes it appear as if Liz was just one lucky girl out of a million girls who achieved their real-life prince charming and very own touching fairy tale.
Whether this is how you feel or not, we have been conditioned to believe that fairy tales such as these and the ones portrayed on Disney give us false hope that the perfect life will fall into our laps one day. I beg to differ with this thought process because, honestly, what is so simple and easy about having to slay multiple dragons?
Think of your favorite Disney Princess (mine is Ariel before Tiana came on the scene and stole the spot). Now envision her turmoil. For Ariel, she felt trapped in a world she felt out of place in and, to make matters worse, the man of her adoration lived in the world she was always so curious about and didn’t even know girls like her existed (LITERALLY). For most females that alone would make us set our eyes on other interests.
BUT NOT ARIEL!! Chick made a deal with the slimiest and most deceitful wicked witch of the ocean, traded in her voice and everything she was familiar with for a few silent days on land and for the opportunity to get her man to fall in love with her. Did I mention she had NO VOICE and NO WAY to communicate with him because she didn’t even know what a fork was let alone how to use it!!??!! Prince Charming had to have thought she was an absolute weirdo.
Okay, but of course you all know how the rest plays out and he does fall in love and then he goes on and slays the witch. Back to Liz (and reality), my point really is that when you take a deeper look at Disney, their fairy tales teach us the fundamentals of having a successful relationship. Because we were young, we only focused and were conditioned to focus on the end result which was the extravagant weddings, the luxurious lifestyle of becoming a Princess, and the love that would last a lifetime with a strong, handsome man (Prince).
What we ignored and continue to ignore is the struggle. Even in Disney there were perils and struggles that needed to be overcome. We all have our “relationship dragons” to slay. Liz and Nathan’s took the form of dealing with immigration laws, making a long distance relationship work where the time zones were almost complete opposites, traveling 18+ hours each way just to spend time together (let’s not even get into international airline ticket prices), a horrible economy (finding a job ain’t easy in America especially if you’re from a different country), as well as other normal relationship hardships that plague relationships along the way.
Let’s be honest. Many of us wouldn’t do it. We live in a world where we question if following our heart or even making the first move is acceptable. Things like being the one who cares more or calls too frequently or shares to much is looked down upon. What happened to genuinely liking a person and going with it? What happened is our unwillingness to slay the dragons that present themselves in our relationships. We want the fairytale without the work and even Disney didn’t sell us something that crazy. Even Snow White and Sleeping Beauty had their struggles to overcome.
If you want to fall in love, you have to take risks together. Even the couples who seem to have it all figured out had issues they needed to combat. Don’t be afraid to try. If you know a person is worth your time and effort, give it to them and your fairy tale can be right around the corner too.
About Carla Clunis
You can find more of Carla’s musings on love and relationships at www.theheartmalfunctions.com where she blogs about the ups and downs of dating and relating.
—— By: Carla Clunis