When I was a girl, I read voraciously and devoted quite a lot of time to daydreaming about my knight on a white charger (the horse was absolutely a prerequisite btw) who would come and smite those who made my life difficult, rescue me from the doldrums of everyday life, and make each day an exciting adventure. Yikes – I wasn’t looking for a life-mate, I wanted a Royal Caribbean entertainment director.
I’ve been married for 15 years, sometimes it feels like 5, other days closer to 40. Choosing to spend your life with someone else who has their own wants, desires, plans, and thoughts isn’t easy. Don’t think it’s supposed to be, but I do think it’s wise to set aside a few of those romance-novel-fueled fairy tale expectations.
When the hubs and I were dating and talking about marriage, we started visiting jewelry stores to look at rings. I was drawn to the large diamond wedding sets. I loved the way they glittered and sparkled, but we were both in school and dirt poor. I could have insisted on the big ring, he’d have gone into debt to give it to me. Instead, I steered him to a modest set every time. I wanted the engagement ring, I’ll admit that, but if all he’d been able to afford was a simple wedding band from Walmart that would’ve been OK too.
Part of me is a huge fan of grand gestures. Have I ever considered what I’d say if my man came home and dropped a 2week vacation to Ireland in my lap? Absolutely. But, you know what I treasure more? When he gets up early to do yesterday’s dishes because I had to work the night before, scrapes the frost off the car window as he’s leaving for work, when he brings me a Coke — just because he was at the store and thought of me.
I’ll skip on the knight with a white horse (something tells me that guy’s got issues and a lot of hidden baggage anyway) and take the nice guy who dons tinfoil and tries hard to be the knight I thought I wanted. My guy isn’t perfect, but his heart is in the right place. I loved what a lot of people called the Worst Valentine’s Day Gift Ever.
My girls are beginning to think about boys, and giggling over notes and ‘he looked at me’ goofy stuff everyone goes through in early teens. I wrote out my advice to them on what to look for in a counterfeit man, but what’s the harm in searching/waiting for your white knight? It worked for Snow White, and Sleeping Beauty and Rapunzel after all.
- When you put your man on a white horse, you set him up for a long fall. Nobody’s perfect, and expecting him to be inevitably means he’s going to let you down in some way. Take your guy at face value, and accept that he’s going to mess up. You’re no princess either
- You expect a Knight to make you happy. That’s setting up the relationship to fail – the only person who has control over your happiness is YOU. It’s not your man’s job to make you happy – it’s a state of being, an attitude, not something he can create or manufacture for you.
- We all expect a Knight to defend us, stand between us and the bad guy. It’s not wrong to expect your guy to stand up for you, but remember a Knight has a whole army to back him up. All your guy has is you. Take time to tell him how much you respect him, and value his contributions.
- Knights arrive all spiffed and polished and shiny. All that armor will do is give you a headache from the glare of the sun. Don’t judge a man by how well someone else has polished his armor, by his appearance, but by the joy and love for others in his heart.
- Being rescued all the time sounds like fun, but a gilded cage is still a cage. When you don’t need him to rescue you – when you want to have your own opinion, your own interests and friends, he may not be the prince charming you thought him to be.
What about you? Are you a fan of the Knight on a white horse, or is the white charger over-rated? What advice would you add to my list?
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