Fairy tale romance is everywhere in their products. Although their movies and television plots add drama by occasionally making the romances difficult, love always prevails in the end.
Real life of course, is far different. In a typical year in the United States, 2.3 million couples decide they are so deeply in love that they commit to spending the rest of their lives together - and get married.
Unfortunately, in a typical year, 1.2 million - fully half of them (50.4%) -- realize they have made such a horrible mistake that they split homes, assets and children just to get away from each other - and get divorced.
There are no statistics available for the inner feelings of the half who remain married. But mere observation tells us that a large portion of these couples are far from "living happily ever after." Whether they're throwing dishes at each other or smoldering in quiet desperation, you can bet at least half of this half would rather be free of the marriage bonds.
What's going wrong here?
Just another example of what happens when we let others do our thinking for us.
The invisible culprit is our unconscious expectations. Since birth, we've been bombarded with the romantic myth that we must "complete ourselves" by finding our "soulmate" - the perfect person who will rescue us from our otherwise colorless existence. "Falling in love" will then create the magic that makes all other areas of our life fall into place.
The truth is, few of us ever question this expectation. Where did it come from? Who says it's true? What is it based on? What if it is wrong? Rather than questioning it, we thoughtlessly rush out trying to fulfill it. And leave emotional carnage in our wake.
The truth is, there are no magic people. You don't need to "complete yourself" with another because you are already complete. Despite appearances, you don't love another person, you love the feeling of loving another person. And how you feel is merely the outcome of how you think.
Expecting another to create your good feelings is no different then expecting your roof to stop leaking if the neighbor has his repaired.
With these impossible expectations, EVERY person will eventually disappoint you - something vividly experienced by 1.2 million divorced couples a year. Whether the disappointment arrives in a thousand little actions or one enormous one, the result is the same - you have absolutely no control over what another person will or won't do. Believing you do, merely sets you up for the heartache that is sure to come.
The solution? Take responsibility for your own feelings. Learn how to create them yourself. Once you're in that place, you're delightfully free to immerse yourself in pleasant situations with anyone, yet invulnerable to any situation with them that used to produce heartache.
Better yet, because your mental house is in order, you no longer hold those invisible expectations for others. Whatever they do or don't do is now fine with you because you are no longer dependent on their actions for your happiness. Your inner calm makes you the best type of mate to have.
Ultimately, all of us are alone. We come in alone, we mentally grow alone and we depart alone. No one else can do our inner homework for us.
The best relationships consist of two people who understand this aloneness and commit to working together to strengthen themselves within the bounds of a relationship. Because each are independently self-sufficient, they make no unreasonable demands on the other. With this inner strength, they really CAN live happily ever after.
Mike Johnson is an energetic writer & entrepreneur. Learn more about Mike's offerings at www.MikeJohnson.biz