24 Jul The truth in finding Mr. Right: What is Happily Ever After?
By Mel Castillo
There was a recent article in Elite Daily wherein they say that there are no “real men” out there anymore (read full story here). The stereotypical Prince Charming or white knight will come in out of nowhere, sweep you off your feet, and be everything you ever wanted in a man. You will live in a beautiful castle surrounded by adoring servants and live happily ever after ‘til the end of your days, as the your fairytale goes.
Maybe it was all those fairy tales that we have watched as a kid that started these ideals in our head of what men are supposed to be, which was further reinforced by the romantic comedies that we have watched while we were growing up (and sometimes still watch until today) that has further blurred the line between reality and fantasy. We now have this image in our heads of what a man is supposed to be and if you ask around, chances are, most of the things on your list of an ideal man is also in everybody else’s list as well. Let’s have a show of hands on which ladies reading this right now has “mabait“, “may goal sa buhay“, and “may sense of humor” in their list of what they want in a man. Whether it was mass media or our ever loving parents who simply want the best for us that made us believe that we must settle for nothing less than perfection, it still has to be said that this idea of perfection could be a cause of hindrance to us, finding real love.
We keep hearing that nobody is perfect but we still expect to find it in our future partner. Then we get disappointed when we find out that they are in fact, human after all. The heroes in the movies that will go to war for you and come knocking on your door bearing flowers will only be found where you saw them, in the movies. This also holds true for the men. The perfect girl with the gorgeous face and the body to match who would choose you over everyone else and do anything and everything that you want and is both independent and submissive to you at the same time is a proverbial unicorn.
We hope that you do not misunderstand what we mean by this. While it may be a hard pill to swallow, we simply believe that this is reality. Or rather, the reality of the world we live in. There are still happy endings to be found, it is only the fairy tales that we have a problem with. Maybe the reason why it is taking us so long to find our happily ever after is because we have seen it so clearly in our heads that one blemish in our potential “Prince Charming” has us immediately looking somewhere else because their ever after is not the same as the one you were picturing for yourself. And that is why, your happily ever after is right where it is, stuck in your head.
Why are we still looking for a knight in shining armor to save us when we are not damsels in distress anymore? This is not the same world that our parents were living in wherein men and women have specific gender roles assigned to them. We can do whatever we want and assume any (or all, or none) of the roles that society has imposed upon us. We are all part knights, part damsels, part whatever else we want to be and that has given us more freedom than we know what to do with. It is our ideals that are stuck in the past, still looking for something that does not exist anymore.
Nowadays, we get so caught up in finding perfection that we do not find compatibility anymore. Please refer to ‘Got 2 Believe’ starring Claudine Barretto and Rico Yan where she found perfection in someone yet still chose the infuriating, chauvinistic photographer who constantly made fun of her and her ideals and beliefs. Consequently, Rico Yan’s character still chose the domineering, obnoxious, overachieving, man-eating wedding coordinator with a big mouth. Are they in any way the stuff of fairy tales? No. But in that movie, they chose to be together because they recognize that the other person is who they are the most like themselves with.
That one particular line in the movie says it all: “Mr. Perfect may not be Mr. Right.” We know hearts are breaking right now, but this is the truth of the matter. He may be everything and anything on your checklist, but he is just not the right fit.
Sometimes the best is not what’s best for you, and we fail to realize that, because we think that anything less than hearts and flowers, and racing hearts is not real love. We choose to focus on the romanticized ideas that we have collected from our growing years and ignore the other examples that we have seen because they do not include grand gestures and expensive presents. In short, kulang sa kilig-factor.
Other love stories throughout history that show what we mean by real love are that of Bonnie and Clyde’s, Heathcliff and Catherine’s, Giselle and Robert in Disney’s ‘Enchanted’. They are by no means perfect individually and as couples, but they bring out the most in each other. Note that we said the most, not the best. Their chosen partners just brought out who they really are.
Maybe that’s it. Love, and choosing whom to love, is not about fate and flowers, but about choosing whom you can live with for the rest of your life, quirks and mistakes and all that. There will always be moments where you will want to kill one or the other, or that both of you will want to give up because you just can’t stand the sight of them anymore, but you stick by each other in the end because you know that you will miss them when they’re gone. The fact that someone chooses you in spite of not being perfect, and that you chose them as well even if they aren’t perfect, is probably what makes love — real love — last. Kilig only lasts so long. Witness it in real life when your parents fight over traffic or when you see your kumares complain about their husbands’ latest antics with a certain spark in their eyes that betrays the affection they have for their significant others. Recognize it for what it is. It doesn’t get any better than that.
Carla Says: I believe it’s our notion of what we think men should be that distorts us. But in truth, when love hits, love hits. You can have someone who’s perfect on paper and yet you fall irrevocably in love with the disheveled, totally opposite of who you thought you should be, not the man of your dreams. And the truth is, love allows you to accept this person regardless of who he is not, and that is the most powerful love on the planet, an unconditional one and ultimately the love that changes us.
(Read THIS story.)