Thanks to a childhood filled with Disney princes and princesses, we’ve grown up believing that birds should sing melodious tunes outside our windows every morning, rodents should be our friends and help us clean and get dressed, and a funny genie in a bottle/fairy godmother/teapot should guide our every step with their overflowing wisdom. And if life sucks here on earth, we could go live in a a magical kingdom—complete with mermaids and mermen—under the sea.
Girls believe if the shoe fits or the kiss wakes us up or we take a magic carpet ride, it’s a sign of a magical, perfect love. Likewise, princes see themselves as rescuers who can swoop in and make a girl’s life complete. We can take her out of that difficult life she’s living because our love for each other can conquer all.
Even though we all know fairy tales aren’t real life, some of us still desire them. Deep down, we believe that if we have the fairy tale, our lives will be better. Our problems with loneliness, sexuality, lust, money, the Church (to name a few) will be solved. We will be loved by someone who will be by our side until death parts us and, because of that, we will live happily ever after.
So even if we know that the fairy tale doesn’t exist, is it still wrong to desire it? After all, aren’t these stories rooted in society’s desire to have a happy life? Isn’t wanting the fairy tale pretty…normal?
SingleRoots Writers Say…
For wise counsel, we asked some of our SingleRoots alumni writers to weigh in on the matter. Here’s what they had to say:
“Desire in itself is not wrong, but we need to submit desire to God. All desire. Also, there is a difference between desire and expectations. Everyone desires a fairy tale of some kind. Hopefully there are some moments where it feels as if we are living it, but even fairy tales have villains and hardship in them. We have to live in the full story and engage with it all. We don’t live in a sitcom where everything is solved in 30 minutes so we shouldn’t expect that but we can hope for life to the full.”
:: Justin Campbell, author of Am I the Best Me When I’m with My Family?
“Yes, and for two reasons: the fairy tale isn’t real and desiring fantasy instead of reality is a trap that leads to disappointed expectations and disconnected relationships. For each person, the definition of ‘fairy tale’ varies greatly and two people coming together with differing ideas of what their happy ending looks like is a recipe for dissatisfaction and distance. Read a few marriage books— The couple writing the book always dealt with this dashing of their dreams of marriage before they addressed reality and allowed God to change their dream/definitions of a good marriage. What you can do instead is cultivate a vision for your marriage and family. Some of that vision should be formed and written down while you are single, because that enables you to proceed in a dating relationship with someone who has a similar vision (ie: having kids, traveling, ministry goals, etc). and then that vision gets paired with and cultivated by you and your spouse once you marry.”
:: Brooke Corcoran, author of What a Difference a Decade Makes: Thoughts on Waiting for Your Spouse
“It depends. How many ugly step-sisters to do you have? I don’t think it is inherently wrong, as it is rooted in desires that God planted in the genders. The female wants to feel desired, pursued, cherished, and protected. The male wants to be brave, strong, valiant, and trustworthy. However, marriage was created by God, first and foremost, to sanctify us as his bride. Our lives are actually the tale of our preparations for an eternal union with Christ. When we submit our desires to the sanctification of marriage for an eternal union, He is able to refine and fulfill what He purposefully planted. Understanding what the Lord desires for us in marriage provides a platform for Him to refine and fulfill our desires. Begin to believe that marriage was created solely to glorify and fulfill your emotions, and you’ll become fixated on the white horses, glass slippers, and finding the ‘perfect’ prince.”
:: W. Brandon Howard, author of When It Feels Like Your Joy Is Held Captive
“Is it wrong? Not intrinsically. However, hold it lightly. Desire for that fairy tale story robbed me of much joy when I was single. I wish I had been better at trusting the Father who writes the best stories.”
:: Nicole Eckerson, author of Why Your Story Matters
Explore the Topic Further…
For further discussion on desiring a fairy tale while you’re single, check out these posts:
Trading In the Fairy Tale – “I don’t have a Prince Charming by my side to keep me safe, fight my battles, and whisk me off into happily ever after. What’s interesting about this is how God has shaped me into an independent, somewhat confident woman. Although most days I don’t feel it, He has taught me how to be brave.”
Redefining Soul Mates – “I’m a sucker for fairy tales. I love the idea of that one guy and that one girl meeting while singing in a forest/fighting ogres/at a ball, then falling in love and living happily ever after. Something about that serendipitous dream makes my little heart go pitter-patter. But when it comes to real life, thinking there’s just one perfect soul mate per person can bring a lot of pain.”
Set Aside the Fairy Tale and 5 Other Online Dating Tips for Women – “We’ve been sold a bill of goods about what romance and love are supposed to be like, and we set ridiculously high expectations for guys–expectations that are unfair and problematic. You’ll never be pleasantly surprised by a guy or satisfied with his efforts if you’re expecting him to be writing you love letters like Noah Calhoun or bringing you a bouquet of freshly sharpened pencils like Joe Fox.”