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Relationship F.O.A: Marry the Jester, Not the Prince

Screen grab from 'The Court Jester'

As a little girl, I would dream of my wedding day, the beautiful gown and the handsome Prince. There are memories of mine where I am dancing under the blossom tree in my garden. I was so excited for my first and only relationship. Those days, dreamed of a fairytale meeting like Snow White and her Prince.

I wanted the castle, the romance and a Disney approved happy ending. The child I was, had no idea what actually went into a relationship – I suppose we don’t at that age.

My ‘type’ changed over time.

As I got older I found that the men I was attracted to, were the men that my Mother would tell me were attractive, so my first crushes were no other than Colin Firth and David Bowie. In all honesty, I can’t complain about either of these handsome men. They just were not crushes that I had developed naturally on my own, it wasn’t real.

Now as I hit my teen years, I fell far from the desire of the handsome Prince. I craved the companionship of the punk rocker on a motorbike.

I wanted a life away from society, breaking the rules and living for the thrills. This meant that successively almost all the boys that I dated in my teen years had that ‘mop top’ hair, black skinny jeans and military boots. You know the type.

Now don’t get me wrong, I still do still find that Adam Levine type (who doesn’t) but adulthood has shown me a whole new world of the meaning of love.

Something was always missing.

At the risk of sounding bias, I would say that in the past I have dated a fair share of good-looking chaps (and one gorgeous woman). They were all lacking something and it took me till my 20’s to really understand what it is.

Looks will only get you so far in a relationship, the heated sex, and spontaneous make-out sessions are unlikely to result in a long-term commitment. I am sure that we are all guilty of confusing lust for love.

There was one person who I could not be in the same room with without wanting to tear their clothes off, we were like magnets of passion, but did I want to marry them? No, because they didn’t fill that emotional tick box.

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, this is because when it comes to the time of your life when you want to settle down, looks and sex are not the definitions of a relationship. There is just so much more to love.

The foundations of commitment should be strong and based on something more than a pretty face of a six-pack. After all, true love is an attraction to the soul, not the body.

It’s important to be yourself.

Dating attractive people led me to some very toxic situations and left me with worse mental health, I allowed myself to change and become nothing but “their girlfriend” rather than my own person.

I tell my husband this often, “We are two individuals with two separate lives who want to support each other”.

I spent far too much time in my life being co-dependent and I had no idea how much damage it was doing me.

Honestly, please don’t stick around for a person who tries to mold you into something else. You are not a doll.

I am a married woman now, maybe even still a newly-wed? I met my husband when I was 19. It was shortly after I  had a huge epiphany that I was going to live the life I wanted and be who I really was. Ironically, I had given up on monogamy and was following my own path.

Yet when I saw my husband-to-be for the first time, I fell for him. My husband has a very comforting persona and he lights up the room. I would say he is a Dick Van Dyke character and it is my favorite part of him.

My darling husband and I did not have sex for a good two months in our relationship. In fact, my husband never mentioned sex until it happened and we had the consent chat. We just fell so in awe of each other that we forgot to define our relationship or attach labels. We just enjoyed each other’s company – it was a natural high.

I have been married for over a year now and in the whole time I have known my husband, he has never tried to control me or push me into anything I did not want to do. He supports my dreams and doesn’t judge my past. My Husband accepts my baggage and holds my hand while I work through it in therapy.

Respect goes a long way.

The point is that my husband chose to spend his time with me by making me laugh and enjoy life. He lifts me up to the clouds and encourages me to show my childlike side that society pushed me to hide.

I think my husband is the sexiest man alive but not just through his looks. It’s because he has so much respect and honor. He is a real gentleman although he would certainly be the King’s Jester in a past life.

The point is, that Prince Charming may be aesthetically pleasing but is he pleasing to your soul? Think about it.

Written by Charlotte Underwood

am a growing mental health advocate on twitter (@CUnderwoodUK), have written a book on my fathers' suicide, not as a self-help but to provide a friend to those bereaved by suicide as there is not much help out there and it is lonely. I blog often a few times a week (charlotteunderwoodauthor.wordpress.com) and have recently started writing poetry. I have found that a mixture of learning self-respect and saying no, following my own path, dreams and goals, bouncing on my trampoline in my living room (You can't help but smile when bouncing) and writing daily, has helped me miles in my recovery.

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