Disney can sometimes get a bad rap for setting unrealistic expectations when it comes to relationships and happiness, but hear me out! Despite Cinderella’s traumatic childhood and home life, she woke up singing everyday with her animal friends, just like Snow White and Rapunzel too. As sad as it may have been, she made the most of it and did what she needed to make herself happy. She didn’t depend on anyone else to do that for her (although let’s be honest, her evil stepsisters and stepmother certainly didn’t care).
Your happiness should be your focus over anything else, just like Cinderella has shown us. She surely felt defeated after leaving the ball but seemingly accepted that she would not be with her true love. If you ask me, it was this confidence and self assurance that led her to her happily ever after that we all know today.
Now having seen this, we all still fall into these patterns trying to find “the one” as if that is going to complete our lives. What if, humor me, you loved yourself first? It is never bad to have a support system for yourself, much like friends and family, but this idea of needing to be married or locked down in a Facebook-official commitment for that support only sets unrealistic expectations for yourself and others.
You can be successful on your own, and you can be happy. It can feel so hard to turn off the dating apps, walk away from a bad relationship, or give up on the crush you’ve been chasing for so long. I promise, though, that no one will put you first if you don’t.
A big thing that can often stand in our way of happiness is stress, and you will only feel lighter when you let go of the pressure to have a date for the next wedding, a significant other for the holidays, or to just be married by a certain age.
Surround yourself with people that make you happy, do things you love, stress less, control what you can, and work hard. No one will argue that Ariel the Little Mermaid was happy as a clam in her search for freedom, not a man. She learned to walk with the people and dance on the street, and in the end, the prince was just an exciting bonus along her journey for happiness.