Jet-lagged after my return from Israel last Wed., I found myself awake at 5am on Friday morning unable to resist flipping on the TV to watch the nuptial event of the century: the marriage of Prince William, future king of England, to Miss Catherine Middleton. No, I wouldn’t have gotten up just to see it, but I was up anyway so…why not? In any case, since I’m writing about dating and relationships, I thought I might be able to gain some new insight or idea from the royal couple that I could share with you. I did.
I can imagine that many of my lovely female readers were giving Catherine the old “you go girl” with a proud, “nachas” filled smile, possibly mixed with the slightest tinge of envy. The small town “commoner” had succeeded in snagging one of the most eligible bachelors on the planet, a real prince charming (pun intended), with a secure job and a bright future (you can’t go much higher than king, right?), and had transformed herself into a princess and future queen…not too shabby. And she was a year older than him!
I can also imagine my good old boys proclaiming that if they only had the chance to marry someone as beautiful and “modelesque” as Catherine, they would run, not walk, down the aisle to seal the deal. What normal, red blooded, heterosexual guy wouldn’t?
Ladies and gentleman, not so fast. What appears to be your fantasy come true might not be so idyllic in reality. I’m not a big follower of celebrities and their lives and loves, so I don’t know the details of the royal romance, nor do I really care to. The one thing I do know, which was repeated many times during the wedding broadcast, was that the royal marriage was the culmination of a 10 year relationship between William and Catherine.
For those of you who have been in long term relationships, I don’t have to say more. You understand my point. For the rest of you, I’ll elaborate. Any 10 year relationship will undoubtedly include periods of frustration, disappointment, and heartache. We were told of one major breakup in the royal courtship, but I’ll bet that there were several minor ones, or near misses, along the way too.
I wonder how smooth the early years of the relationship were. We’re told that they started off as friends. Did they both think that, or did one of them really want to be more than friends. Did the “wanting more” person have to watch as their dream mate dated other people and listen to the highlights of romantic escapades while eating their heart out and dying inside?
Did Kate spend countless night wishing that Will would finally propose? Did she worry that he would leave her and that she’d have to go back into the dreaded dating scene nearing her 30th birthday? Maybe Kate was the one who just wasn’t feeling the way she thought she should be feeling? Maybe she was wary about thrusting herself into the constant gaze of the public eye and the relentless pursuit of the paparazzi? Was the charming prince regretting missing out on the chance to be the world’s most eligible bachelor and all the “opportunity” that comes with that? Seriously, what guy wouldn’t want to be in his shoes and single?!
We’ll probably never really know the whole story of that 10 year relationship. It doesn’t matter. The one thing we can be sure of is that it wasn’t all smooth and blissful. What we view as the stuff of fairy tales was an ordinary human relationship between two people who, despite their titles and social positions, still experienced the same frustrations and challenges like all of us commoners.
The lesson: despite it all, they made it. They realized that despite the social pressures, setbacks, challenges, and frustrations, they loved each other and committed to growing and building on that love for the rest of their lives.
There are no fairytale romances. Relationships are challenging. They require hard work. But if both people are ready and willing to commit, they can grow into beautiful stories, with fairytale endings.
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