If you read my latest blogpost “how dating evolved into nonsense“ you got an idea what my opinion about (online) dating these days is and how I feel about the evolution of getting to know someone -I think falling in love lost some magic. It wasn’t supposed to be a post which puts a wrong complexion on dating, but there definitely were some things that had to be said and I got interesting comments and feedback on it. Apparently I’m not the only one regretting this development – one reason why I wanted to continue this thought in a second blogpost.
Since I’m back in Germany days and especially weekends seem to mold together, sometimes I can’t reconstruct my days, and some nights out with friends seem to be identical to other nights. However, one night a couple of weeks ago I was dancing in a club with friends, dawn was about to come and I was tired. I left my friends and was on my way home, waiting in the subway station, when an advertisement catched my eye. It was a poster on the opposite side of the platform claiming “You can’t find your prince charming? Just draw one for yourself!“. I looked up the advertisement on the internet. It’s a book about a girl hopelessly searching for her prince. She draws one and the next day the prince turns into a real person. Sounds like a funny story, but it wasn’t the story that made me think about the book. It was the way the advertisement presented the book. The statement “you can’t find your prince?“ implies that we should or have to look for someone. To me it sounds like a task each woman has to fulfill: find the prince. And then? Life makes sense? Love makes sense? Is life a task of finding love? Is it only a task for woman? Do we have to look for our prince, work for it, fight for it? All these questions popped up in my head. And as I thought about these questions, I more and more noticed how not only advertisements like this one want to tell society and especially woman that we have to begin the search for somebody. It’s love stories, hollywood movies, tv spots and advertising in general. It’s easy to tout with love as we are emotional beings. Love will always catch us. Of course, love is one of the most beautiful and most important things in this world, but is it wrong to presume that it shouldn’t be a cramped, unsatisfactory search? It sounds like being without a prince is less worthy that being with one, or in other words, finding a prince makes you happy, and if you don’t find him your simply unhappy. In my opinion, looking desperately for something never results into actually finding something, or at least not into a satisfactory result. And this connects to my thoughts about dating; using dating apps as Tinder should support us to get to know people, but in the end it just makes love unemotional, superficial and disposable.
Thinking about my girlfriends, most of them are single and from time to time they date guys. But they constantly are in contact with guys. Talking about them, and of course also about myself, it feels like we have to be in contact with a possible prince to have an opportunity, an option. Maybe we all are unconsciously looking for someone or “the prince“? Realizing this shocked me, because I didn’t see myself in this search of “the one“ or the prince. Maybe we all actually are, because advertisements tell us to do so every day. Are we getting manipulated in our emotions and goals in life?
I think that my generation definitely doesn’t have to find the prince right now. We’re theoretically adults, but practically not at all – we party, we do stupid things, we are on our way to find out who we really are. How should we get to know someone for forever, when we don’t even know ourselves? Thinking about girls in my generation, let’s say at an young age of 18 or 19, some of them settle for relationships that don’t fulfill them, but they do it anyways because they’re afraid of not meeting someone else. Better to be with someone, than with no one – right? You could almost call it pressure to look for and find someone. Because they’re way too young to define themselves, to know what they’re goals in life are, or what they really stand for, they define themselves with their partner in a relationship, which is, at least in my opinion, most of the times a subordinate, very dependent one. Compensating issues or questions you can’t answer with another person was never a good idea. But we still do so. Why?
It feels like we define ourselves and our identity with another person, who, basically, doesn’t have to do anything with our beliefs. Why even talk about another half, when we can and should be both halves, a whole in one person? We feel like we have to find someone until it’s too late, and this pressure of “finding“ is unconsciously introduced way too early. A contradiction in terms. We see ourselves as weird unlovable individuals if we’re not in a relationship, we question if maybe something is just wrong with us. Why can’t we find this soulmate, prince, or fairy tale person? We’re actually not ready for this person at all, because we’re not fully in love with ourselves, we’re under pressure to look for someone; we have a fragment of life experience but already think we need to finish the chapter of finding “the one“. I don’t want to judge people thinking this way, society implanted this thought in their head, and I caught myself having the same thoughts – until I realized how important self love is. Everyone talks about loving yourself first, but the fewest actually practice it. Especially during my semester abroad in Hawai’i I got to know myself way better than ever before. On the opposite side of the world, thousands of kilometers away from home and everything I used to identify myself with, I found myself more than in any other surrounding. Isn’t that contradictory too? Neither my hometown, nor my family or my friends could give me this cause of thought of defining myself – but myself, being just with myself. It’s important to understand that we don’t need anyone else to get to know ourselves, and even more important: to love ourselves. I’m not saying it’s easy, but start to spend more time with just yourself and you will realize a lot of things you did not before. Being away from home made me discover different sides of my personality, it made me experience myself in ways I never saw myself before. Personality is always in transition, it never stays the same. Just accept this as a fact; you will never be the same person for forever, in this great, complex world we change every day. But the time to focus on yourself is now, don’t let any presumable “prince“ tell you who you are, don’t ever let yourself be defined by people talking about you, and never stop to get to know yourself. Some day, when you know who you are and what you stand for, you’ll be ready for it.