Many clients have used these kinds of expressions with me when they talk about how they visualize the love of their lives:
- “I want someone who will treat me like a queen.”
- “I am looking for a man who will sweep me off my feet.”
- “I am still waiting for prince charming.”
They say these things because as children they were taught they were “princesses” and that one day a prince will come for them. They were taught this via children’s books. Although as they became adults they assumed that they outgrew these stories — they didn’t. They continue to feed themselves the same types of stories. The only thing that changed is the style in which the stories are delivered to them. Yes, I am referring to romantic comedies and other TV or movie love stories.
Don’t get me wrong: I love “love stories.” There is nothing wrong with loving “love stories,” as long as you understand that these stories were produced for entertainment and they have nothing to do with true love in real life.
Love stories teach you that people behave according to predictable patterns. They also teach you that if a guy really loves you, he expresses his love in certain ways:
He gets you a ring, he prepares a very special event for the proposal, he changes to be a better man for you…
The Truth About Love
The truth is that every love relationship is a unique, new story, a story that has never been written before. Instead of wanting your relationship to meet expectations, allow yourself to write this new story with your new love.
Even if you are already married, it is never too late to let go of unrealistic expectations and starting to enjoy — and write — your own unique love story.
Some of the most successful marriages I know didn’t have any of the expected romantic beginnings. I know a couple that never got an engagement ring or wedding bands – they would rather use that money to go on a vacation they would always remember. I know a couple who didn’t go on a honey moon, because to them it was more important to save for a down payment for their first home.
Peter and Gabrielle
Let me tell you the story of Peter and Gabrielle. Their first date was a double blind date. It was a disaster. During dinner, they both decided they would never see each other again. When Peter drove Gabrielle home that night, she broke her foot as she was getting off his super high, redneck-tire-equipped jeep. Peter had to take her to the emergency room. In a romantic comedy, they would tell you that they fell in love during the long hours of wait at the ER, or that they bickered all night (a sure sign that there was a hidden attraction). Not so. They almost got bored to death, both wishing they had never agreed to this date.
The next night, however, Peter thought it would be rude to not call and ask how she was doing. Their conversation was short and awkward.
A few days later, Gabrielle needed a ride and none of her friends were available, so she called Peter. He thought it was his obligation to take her, since she got hurt getting out of his jeep.
When Peter needed a second pair of eyes to take a look at his resume, he asked Gabrielle.
After a few weeks, Peter and Gabrielle found that they were both very reliable people and could be counted on for many things. It wouldn’t hurt to be friends. The more they hung out with each other, the more useful they were to each other. They never had long conversations, or slow walks by the beach, once the cast was taken off Gabrielle. But they felt comfortable with each other.
As time passed, Peter realized that he had a lot of fun when doing things with Gabrielle, and never felt the pressure to impress. Gabrielle, who originally was disappointed at Peter’s uninteresting and predictable conversations, realized that she would rather do most of the talking anyway, and that she appreciated a good listener more than a good talker.
Peter and Gabrielle have been married for 27 years. They raised a family together, now they have an empty nest. Neither of them ever felt tempted to cheat, because they knew that with each other they could be, not only themselves, but the very best version of themselves. During their almost 3 decades of marriage, they always budgeted trips and special events together, so they could enjoy each other’s company. This was easy for them to do, because they had the 2 sets of grandparents living in the same city, so they could take turns watching the kids.
Each person’s family of origin form a big part of a marriage. Sometimes it is a good part, sometimes it is a very challenging part. Establishing healthy boundaries with in-laws is a big part of Feng Shui for couples. These boundaries are established, in part, by what images, photos, artwork and ornaments are allowed in the master bedroom.