We’ve all talked about it, whether it’s in hushed tones when our mothers aren’t listening, or maybe when you’ve just broken up with the last guy – we want Prince Charming. Whether or not we admit it, and even if we hide behind the whole “Of course you always have to compromise – especially as a woman. You’ll never find someone who is 100% perfect, and that’s not even what you need”, we all still want Prince Charming.
Now, after we’ve politely made the socially-needed (as in, society demands it) admission that no one is perfect, we are willing to adjust with the man we have to spend our lives with, and that our parents know best when picking someone out for us for the long haul, can we get into the real conversation?
Who is Prince Charming?
Disney says he is someone who will make your heart want to positively explode with the goodness and happiness that he brings, and have dashing good looks, a rippled-to-perfection abdomen (Disney never overtly brings this up, but all our resident Princes are suspiciously well-built.) and last but not least, a never-ending devotion to your happiness, (never mind his own) which may or may not demand intense sacrifice on his part.
Now who do I think Mr. Charming is? (Note: Everything stated below is the result of painstaking research on the matter, undertaken by myself, qualified as I am – being a woman and all – over the last 10-15 years [assuming the effects of Disney movies began to take their toll around the time I was 8] and based on interactions with numerous teenage girls [classfellows, friends – giggles] and super-serious coworkers from my adult life. The point of this note is for you to realize that all parts of the following laundry list are very, very accurate and you need to take them seriously.)
- Prince Charming respects me & views my mind as equal – that means whenever there’s a major decision to be made, he will involve me, and we will make it together. This does NOT mean that my preference will always be the final decision. It means we will both share our views, debate their virtues and faults (warning: this might get a bit messy) and then decide on a final course of action.
- Prince Charming knows there are certain things I hate doing, that I will do if absolutely necessary, but would much rather prefer that I don’t do them, and helps me achieve this. He knows I am willing to compromise, that I am not unreasonable, but Prince Charming does not demand unnecessary compromise from me.
- Prince Charming is ambitious – knows what he wants in life and works towards the goal, regardless of if it’s career advancement or to build a lake house.
- Prince Charming is kind. Kind when I’ve failed. Kind when I suck. Kind when I’m not. Kind when I’m irrational and stupid and mean. Because I will be. Because I am human.
- Prince Charming accepts his mistakes. This does NOT mean he accepts everything I think is his mistake. I can be wrong. He should argue his point. I should be a good enough person and partner to be able to accept that I am not in the right. But when he knows he is wrong, he should apologize, because sometimes I will need to hear that he’s sorry.
- Prince Charming knows what’s important to me – whether it’s my career as a fancy-smanshy business exec, or an active involvement in my community, or whether I’m blood-sweat-and-tears-ing my way to launching a successful start-up, or even if I’m at home, pursuing personal projects such as writing a book or painting – and respects those as worthy pursuits, not belittling or chiding me for pursuing them.
- Prince Charming doesn’t lord his job over me, if I don’t work. Especially if I stay home and take care of the kids (a choice which is entirely mine).
- Prince Charming may not remember a million anniversaries or birthdays or the first time we ate a samosa together, but he is there when I need him. I don’t mean this in the I’m having an emotional breakdown and WHY AREN’T YOU TEXTING ME BACK RIGHT NOW kind of way, but I mean in life. Real life. Not dramatic, immature, the world is a hell-hole and you’re my salvation life. He helps me pick up the dishes after we’ve had guests over, and will run to the market to get milk when we’re out because I am too tired to go. He will voice his opinion when he thinks I am making a mistake, and he will be there to help me through the aftermath of the bad decisions (leather sofas when you have a cat) I am bound to make at some point or the other. He will celebrate my successes (when I manage to exercise for more than 3 days in a row).
- Prince Charming tells me the truth. A lot of girls like flowery romance. And there’s nothing wrong with a healthy dose of cheesy goodness. But what really takes your Prince to the next level? When he tells it like it is. So that you know you have an honest opinion whenever you need it. So that you know you have a no-judgement helping hand whenever you need it. So you know that this is a partnership.
- Prince Charming has a compassionate face – a beautiful for me face. A face that I can grow to appreciate. A face that makes all the girls I don’t like really jealous because he’s gorgeous. (Don’t pretend you’ve never wished that.) A face that makes me think ooh la la, I got lucky. (Yes, I said it. Go ahead and be nasty and judgmental if you want.)
That’s all we really want, Disney, popular media, rishta aunties, and whoever else is out there.
(Disclaimer: This in no way is meant to be an exhaustive list or represent exclusively my views. This also in no way means that there can’t or shouldn’t be a Who is Princess Charming list. Maybe that’ll be my next blog post.)
Feel free to add anything to the list. The best thing about fairy tales is that sometimes, they come true. :)