Tuesday, 15 January 2013

52Blogs: Rescue

Growing up I was a victim of the Hollywood / Disney disease. I was indoctrinated to believe that girls were delicate princesses that needed to be rescued by handsome, dashing, sword wielding princes (or sometimes not princes, but still heroic, good looking men). Even intelligent, capable, courageous woman would ultimately still need rescuing at some point.

Of course this rescuing would lead to true love, romance and happily ever after, which is, of course, every woman's dream come true. Also part of the indoctrination. Generations of girls, brainwashed to believe that our lives should be engineered around finding that one man, that Prince Charming to rescue us from our dreary lives (cause let's be honest, not many of us are being held captive by dragons).

Despite knowing how silly the whole thing is, how unrealistic and misogynistic, the heart still secretly hopes for that happily ever after. However in recent years my view of that happily ever after has changed. After being married for 10 years my view of happily ever after has become much more realistic.

So many women (and men) these days seem to think that once they've been rescued and found their prince or princess that happiness is guaranteed. This of course is completely ridiculous. All relationships, particularly marriage, need to be worked on.

Everyday life can be monotonous, it can be boring, stressful, anxiety inducing, and sometimes a bit shit. Love needs to be nurtured and cared for, it needs effort and time and attention. However even more radically, I'm starting to believe that some people have more than one prince or princess just for them.

Some months ago I watched the TV show Polyamory Love and Dating and I started to realise that I believed in equality for all types of relationships. I've always been supportive of equality for gay and lesbian couples but I started to realise how narrow my view of what is and isn't a "proper" relationship was. I've started to worry about the messages I am sending my kids about what is an acceptable relationship.

I've now decided that I need to explain to my kids that if a relationship is loving and caring, provides support and encouragement, is about respect and mutual satisfaction then the construct of that relationship is irrelevant. As a society we need to stop expecting others to conform to our notion of what is acceptable and worry more about whether people are happy or not. And no matter how that relationship is constructed, you'll still need to work on it to keep it happy.

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