About a week ago (lol), I read a post by another blogger where they offhandedly described themselves as being “Prince Charming” in a relationship that had gone sour. Their use of the term “Prince Charming” confused me since we know very little about the character. Think about it, what do we really know about Prince Charming besides the following?
- He’s a Prince
- He’s Charming
- He likes saving women from dysfunctional home lives.
- He’s Handsome*
Now, let’s compare this to what we don’t know about Prince Charming.
- Is he a good person?
- What is his favorite color?
- Is he faithful?
- Is he religious?
- If he wasn’t a Prince, what would he do for a living?
- What does he like to do in his spare time?
- Does he have a good relationship with his parents?
- If he could change anything about himself, what would he change and why?
- Does he go around saving every woman he finds pretty?
- What does his version “Happily Ever After” entail?
- Why does he want to marry the princess?
- What is his vision for his kingdom?
- What does he expect to gain from this relationship?
- What makes him tick?
- Does he want to have princes and/or princesses of his own? Is he open to adopting?
- Does he have any friends?
- Does he have any siblings? If so, does he have a good relationship with them?
- What are his expectations for the Princess during “Happily Ever After”? (Would he prefer her to take a hands-on approach or remain behind the scenes? Or, In the cases of Snow White and Sleeping Beauty, who are heirs to kingdoms of their own, is he okay with taking a backseat as she leads?)
Do you see where I’m going with these questions? We don’t know anything about the man and yet some women want to marry a man like him, and some men (secretly) aspire to be him. That is insane.
Describing yourself as “Prince Charming” sounds good, but it really does not translate into anything. It is dangerously similar to how men of my generation lament over their lack of love interests. The complaints range from “ Nice guys always finish last” or worse “They only like bad guys, not nice guys like me” (eye roll). Being a “nice person” does not translate into love interests, you have to bring something else to the table besides being “nice” or “Prince Charming.” Prince Charming is a syrupy-sweet vapid idea, on which we project our personal ideas. My concept of a Prince Charming may be completely different than someone else’s.
For example, I thoroughly enjoy reading novels with a romantic twist to them. Watching the interactions and inner thoughts of people as they fall in love is fascinating. Reading books of this subject matter has enlightened me to discover what I consider to be romance. Sometimes, it can translate to film as well. One of my all-time favorite films, The Magic of Ordinary Days (based on the novel of the same name by Ann Howard Creel) contains one of the most romantic gestures of all. Forced to move to the country and marry a man she does not love, recent graduate school dropout, Livvy Dunne Singletary, has had enough of the boring talk of farming. Picking up on her disinterest Ray, her new husband, checks out a book on archeology (Livvy’s favorite topic) from the library and incorporates it into the Sunday dinner conversation. I nearly fell off of my couch from swooning.
It reads like a small gesture, however, to me it showed that her husband was listening to her. It also showed that he cared enough to step outside of his comfort zone to make her more comfortable in her new surroundings. It was not a grand gesture of heroism, flowers, limos and diamonds, but of respect, time and care. To me, that is romance and a trait that I would think a Prince Charming would have. While my idea of romance is the understated nature found in the aforementioned The Magic of Ordinary Days, to another person that act may mean little to nothing. And that is okay. What is not okay is to assume that everyone understands and agrees with your personal concept of “Prince Charming”. One person’s “Prince Charming” may be another’s “Prince Nightmare”.
What is your opinion of “Prince Charming”? Have you used the term “Prince Charming” to describe yourself or an ideal mate? If so, what does the concept “Prince Charming” mean to you?