Cinderella Scars

I have often used the term “Cinderella scars” to describe my path into womanly cynicism.  It has been 12 years since my first heartbreak and 12 years since these emotional scars etched their way across my heart.  Although I am now grateful for the breakup {don’t tell my ex that 😉 }, it has changed the way that I have dated since then.  I find this term to be a rather apt description of what I (and I presume many other women) have gone through.

The young woman of the Disney era has been raised to believe in romantic fairy tales.  She is taught that if she is strong and kind her prince will show up at her doorstep and she shall live happily and unobstacularly (yes I like to invent new words) through life with said prince.  But I think that these movies – along with every movie ever derived from a novel – has been cut short.  They have left out the part where Cinderella, Snow White, Belle or Jasmine gets their heart broken or has to date an insane amount of losers before they meet this special guy.  The long years of waiting and losing faith.  The insecurities and self-doubts.  Then when he does arrive, experiencing the difficulties of maintaining the relationship and later the marriage.  No, no, they don’t ever show her that part.  She has to figure that out for herself.  The loss of this innocent notion of one man, one love, one marriage, zero heartbreak is what I call “Cinderella scars.”  That first slash across the untouched heart that will mar all future relationships.  In the words of Cat Stevens, “the first cut is the deepest.”

This leads to complete and utter shock upon the first heart break.  ie – ‘but I thought I was supposed to marry the first guy I fell in love with,’ she might say.  This is the moment that she begins to forget how to openly trust a man.  As for the next man she tries to date – I feel sorry for the lad because she has yet to figure out that she no longer trusts and is still reeling from the fact that she now has to start all over again in the dating process.  With each man she dates thereafter, she ever so slowly starts to roll her eyes at his words of endearment; she stops believing the nice things he says about her; she thinks that no matter what he says it may not be true because the last guy talked of love and future as well and that turned out to be lies.  Of course it is unfair to blame Mr. New Guy for Mr. Old Guy’s shortcomings, but it is human nature to want to defend yourself from a second attack…and that is just what she does.

Several years later this young woman is all grown up.  There is still a glimmer of hope somewhere deep down that she’ll some day, some how get the man she desires and deserves.  It has been ingrained in her since birth, so she involuntarily clings to the idea while still becoming more and more cynical with every new failing date.  Then, along comes the famous “He’s Just Not That Into You” book by Greg Behrendt and Liz Tuccillo.  Known for it’s truthful look at the way men reject women and how we women are too blind to see it, the book pushes our dear heroine closer to the edge of dating insanity.  It has confirmed everything she herself had learned in the past 10 years of singlehood.  This is usually the stage where becoming a nun or a lesbian begins to cross her mind…she simply does not want to deal with men anymore.

All the while, the men who could be interested in her, ignoring the plethora of dating self-help books that the ladies are getting advice from, have very little success trying to reel her in because the other UNinterested men have numbed the woman to any of the typical lines used to show a desire for wooing.  We have finally come to the place where miscommunication begins  and potential relationships end before they could even begin.

So gentleman, if you are interested in a woman (and you are SURE that she is interested in you as well) come out and say it as honestly as you can.  It’s not the time to be subtle.  She may love how you shower her with affection, call her pet names, tell her how much you miss her and can’t wait to see her, but she may still have trouble believing it.  Tell her what you think, what you feel and what you expect of her.  Actions speak louder than words, so if she means that much to you, show her in some way.  She has been through a lot and is probably just as scared as you are about letting down her guard again.  She needs you to help her.  😉

Although I have yet to marry my ‘principe azul’ I imagine that when I do, he will be the one who is capable of breaking down the wall of defense and mistrust and finally healing the scars so that I can remember how to enjoy the affection and the compliments and the endearments, instead of doubting them.

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2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. tinkerbelle86
    Aug 03, 2011 @ 23:45:39

    i can totally relate to this and it was such a joy to read. thank you

    Reply

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