The Fairy Tale Hero Wish List.

I always had this image of what my perfect guy would be like. Not dating for the first 25 years of my life gave ample time for my imagination to run wild. I crafted a fairy tale hero that would put to shame the leading men of romance novels, Disney cartoons, and Hallmark or Lifetime original movies. I gathered all the best qualities of the men I knew in real life and the ones I read about, and fashioned what I believed was the man of my dreams.

He would be tall. He would have a dry and sarcastic sense of humor. He would have tattoos. He would have dark hair and green eyes. He would be a Twitter addict. He would love coffee and soda. He would be a writer. He would love God and his family and my family. He would love reading and watching movies. He would love traveling. He would hate all the same things I hate. He would be older than me. He would read to me and hold my hand and laugh at my jokes.

In my mind, I had a list of things I thought I needed in a man; things I was convinced, when put together, would be my recipe for love and happiness. I clung to this wish list I had crafted, allowing it to color my dealings with love.

Today, I’m dating a man who is one inch taller than me. He has brown hair and brown eyes. He has 1,200 tweets to my 12,000. He hates coffee. He’s a data services engineer. He likes things that I hate. He doesn’t have any tattoos.

But he reads to me. He’s fluent in sarcasm and a bit of a nerd. He’s five years older than me. He loves Diet Coke. He writes me letters. He loves movies and music and books. He laughs at my jokes and has the best sense of humor. He holds my hand and kisses me softly and makes me smile.

Honestly, he isn’t the fairy tale hero I imagined, but he is everything I needed. I wouldn’t trade any part of him for anything else. Because then he wouldn’t be the man I care about, the man who sends me books in the mail, tells me to eat ice cream because why not, and stays up talking with me until sunrise so his voice can be the last thing I hear before drifting off to sleep.

And I’m sure I’m not the perfect woman he imagined either. I drink lukewarm soda. I’ve never seen Casablanca (his favorite movie of all time). I’m allergic to cats (his preferred pet). I rather dislike the color orange (his favorite). I’ve never touched a video game controller. I never plan anything and hate laundry. I cannot sing. And I think Red Vines are better than Twizzlers.

So compromises, I suppose you could call them, have been made on both sides. I’ve had to go back to my list and cross some things out. But I don’t feel like I’ve lost anything or had to give up anything by choosing to be in a relationship with this man who can sing along to all of Taylor Swift’s greatest hits… I mean, it’s not what I would have chosen from a wish list of character traits, special skills, and likes/dislikes. But it makes up who he is: the man who says just the right thing at just the right time and makes my heart skip a beat.

Because when it comes down to the important things, the “deal-breakers”, I’ve never had to compromise. We both agree that Coke is better than Pepsi, and Apple beats everything. God is the center of our relationship. Communication and honesty are key. Our hearts are safe with each other. A little patience goes a long way. We respect each other, value each other, and care about each other and not because of the things we do for each other, but because of who we are as people, who God created us to be. I absolutely adore him.

I wouldn’t have settled for anything less.

It’s easy to let the wish list seem more important than the deal-breakers. We focus on the shiny outside, thinking that if they look right and sound right and act, then perhaps that’s enough. But a list of shared interests won’t guarantee a love you can build a life on and attraction does not equal love. Sure, they may look like you imagine your soul mate should look like, but if you don’t dive past the shallow waters into the depths of faith and life and love – the hard things we want to brush over, the ones rooted in our hearts and souls – you will never know if this person will be able to stand by you during life’s adventure and weather the storms with you. You won’t truly know them at all.

And you deserve a deep, real love. The sort of love that goes beyond lists and childhood fantasies. You deserve a love that is a little bit messy and completely your own. Because the man or woman who will love you and hold you and stand by your side is better and brighter and more wonderful than what you can imagine. No wish list or romantic hero will ever come close.

So maybe, just maybe, it’s time we put down the pen, toss out the lists, and go in search of love rather than a hero.

{Thank you for reading! And maybe (definitely) follow me on Twitter >> @cassiclerget. I’m pretty entertaining.}

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4 thoughts on “The Fairy Tale Hero Wish List.

  1. Yes, Yes, Yes! This is so true. I am glad you have found it–it truly is the greatest thing ever. :) You can imagine and wish and list what you want in a future partner, but when the real thing gets there those things go out the window because the real thing will knock your socks off.

    And don’t be afraid to write about this new love. Just because you can no longer be the blogger who has never had a boyfriend doesn’t mean we don’t want to hear from you now that you have one. :)

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