Will the Real Prince Charming Please Stand Up?

Once upon a time, there was a girl. She was Miss Independent: charismatic, fun-loving, enthusiastic, and absolutely in denial that she might want a boy. Besides, there was a boy. Southern and charming, the boy was a gentleman who wanted nothing serious because he was beginning to figure out his life. What he wanted, where he wanted to go, and who he wanted to go there with. How thoughtful! But she didn’t mind… They talked every day, and saw each other once in a while when it was suitable for both of them. He was complimentary, and made her feel like she meant something.

In reality, she didn’t. At least not to him. Instead of walking away, the girl fought for his attention. Each fight, he slipped further away. Maybe it was one of those things where you boomerang, she thought. One of those things where if you give him space, he’ll hop, skip, and jump back to you. But with space, the girl began to wonder what she did wrong. Maybe if she was prettier, he would have wanted a relationship. Maybe if she was from the South, he’d want her. Maybe if … There are so many maybes that could have been said, but maybe if she was someone else he’d want her.

He didn’t want anything serious. She didn’t know how to do anything else. The equation didn’t add up, it was pretty clear to everyone but her. But it’s so very hard to see something when it’s so close to your line of vision. It’s just out of the way, lingering in your peripheral vision but you can’t really see it. Your intuition tells you it’s there, oh, it’s there. Instead of realizing something is wrong, you find every reason why it could be right. You make excuses. You say, “This is what I wanted, anyway.” The girl let herself believe that because so many of her friends weren’t serious. They were just “talking” to their boys. Is that even a status? Talking? There is no certainty, there are no boundaries, and there is no clarity.

It’s entirely possible that some people are happy in that territory, but the girl wasn’t. The whys began to ache too deeply; she was tangled in a web of uncertainty when all she needed was confirmation he wanted her, or confirmation (didn’t she have that already?) that he didn’t.

I believe whole heartedly that when you’re honest with yourself, the flow of life is smooth and whatever you’re seeking will find you. If you neglect to tell yourself the truth, even the hard truths then the things you truly want don’t know how to find you. When you are swimming in murky waters, you aren’t sure if the floor of the lake is covered with leaves or people eating bottom dwelling fish. You don’t know what’s there because you’re kicking too hard while you’re swimming and stirring the water. You’re fighting the stillness that will show you what’s on the bottom.

I didn’t listen to myself; I so badly wanted him to admit that he’d made a mistake and he wanted me. Don’t we all want that moment (even if secretly) where the boy admits you’re the one he wanted all along? You’re the light at the end of the tunnel, and he’s ready to greet it. Sadly, I think that we believe we’re capable of this. Of changing someone’s mind. That boy taught me it is not possible to change how someone else feels. You can only be honest with yourself, trust your intuition, and believe yourself when you know something isn’t right.

I want to tell every girl who waits for a text she knows she won’t get to shut off her phone. To not take it personally. I want to tell her she’s more than enough for him, but it is OK that she didn’t change his mind. It will not make her any less. That boy wasn’t my Prince Charming, and so I bid farewell to that future. To that scenario I’d probably made up. And then I took a deep breath, and opened the door for him to walk out; come to find the real Prince Charming was the one who held the door while the boy walked out and swept me off my feet.

And we lived happily ever after.

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