Beyond Blue

Beyond Blue

Seeking Happily Ever After: Some Tips for Singles

Disney-Cinderella-and-Prince-Charming---A-Night-for-Romance-135510.jpgAccording to the U.S. Census Bureau, about 40 percent of adults were single in 2009. Researchers have found that the “single stigma” is worst for women in their mid-20’s through mid-30’s. Women 35 and older are more content with their single status and don’t complain of social pressure as much as younger singles.


Michelle Cove, director and producer of the feature-length documentary, “Seeking Happily Ever After,” has just compiled a book by the same title. In between its covers, Michelle presents simple but smart steps for singles to identify their relationship needs and goals, and learns how to pursue healthier, stronger relationships. I have pulled the following suggestions from chapter four, “The Princess in Waiting.”


1. See the princess dream for what it is.

So many young women and men cling to a Cinderella fantasy they learned in their youth, perpetuated by tabloid stories of happily-ever-after celebrity weddings that require zero hard work. Michelle encourages young women to see the fluff in their past relationships, and to kill the fantasy attachment before they dump too many suitors. She encourages single 20-somethings to dig for the deeper reasons behind the Cinderella fantasy, journaling about the disappointment cycle in their love lives and what they REALLY want in a relationship.

2. Determine whether you’re simply pining for help.

Michelle is savvy in throwing out this question to singles seeking a prince: “Do you really want a prince charming or are you simply tired?” Because Cinderella, after the glass slipper fit on her dainty foot, never had to do all those menial chores again. Nice. Or cater to the stepsisters. Even nicer. Which begs the question: In pursuing a perfect mate, are you simply chasing after a much-needed break from all of our responsibilities? If that is the case, why not delegate your tasks as much as possible, so that we that your exhaustion doesn’t distort your perspective on relationships.


3. Add your own bits of glamour.

This one not only holds for singles in search of a flawless partner, but also of tired working mothers who fantasize about the perfect job or vacation that will rejuvenate the soul with zero effort on her part. Michelle reminds us that there is no quick fix. However, there DOES exist dozens of activities we could do every day that might very well give us the shot of adrenaline we seek in a fantasy mate: signing up for a random class at the community college, learning how to play tennis, going to the beach with friends, volunteering at a local SPCA. Last year I joined a masters swimming program. It wasn’t a week in Hawaii, but it did provide a sense of adventure and satisfaction, especially as I tried to swim strokes I hadn’t swum in 25 years.


4. Search for new models.

Writes Michelle: “One way to begin adjusting your expectations is to seek out the relatives and friends who you consider to be in strong, healthy relationships. Ask them about the ups and downs of their husband, and what compromises they may have had to make over the years. What did they love about their man? What drives them crazy about him? What were some of the adjustments that they had to make in the name of their relationship? This is a good way to start seeing that solid relationships don’t hinge on a perfect man and they can’t be the solution to your problems.”

Click here to subscribe to Beyond Blue and click here to follow Therese on Twitter and click here to join Group Beyond Blue, a depression support group. Now stop clicking.

  • Elizabeth

    Hi Therese,
    This is a nice post with a message that I wish I saw more of in my youth and 20’s, for I bought into that silly false message that our society foists on us in the way of movies and songs and popular culture. You know the one that says, “you are incomplete but once you find your prince or princess, they will fix/save/complete you.”
    Now, at the age of 32 years old, I have worked enough on myself to know that it would be impossible for me to be in a healthy relationship with those expectations. Not that I have dated much in my life, I have some major social anxiety when it comes to dating (something I need to work on). We must complete ourselves and then others will only enhance our happiness. At this point in my life, I am finding my own happiness and if I do eventually marry, that would be wonderful. But, I am no longer looking for someone to “make me happy.”

  • north escorts

    Pretty interesting place you’ve got here. Thank you for it. I like such themes and everything connected to this matter. I definitely want to read a bit more soon.
    Hilary Simpson

  • Fred

    I enjoyed this posting, particularly Item 2! Sometimes we single adults get overwhelmed with the simple, and not so simple, chores of life and mistake the desire for a helper with the desire for a mate! Being single is a noble way of life, but we should take a serious look at our network of support and make sure that we have our bases covered.
    Without a live-in companion even things like broken down cars, doctors appointments, and personal emergencies and set-backs (e.g. I fell and broke my ankle a few years ago while doing some chores in my back yard; aside from the fact that nobody knew I was out there and needed help, I spent a number of months hobbling through life with no back-up plans at all! You ever try changing bed sheets while on crutches?! LOL!)
    And the same goes for those emotional ups and downs of life. Yes, even us guys have ’em and trust me, nothing helps me more than calling a friend and meeting him for coffee or a workout at the gym so I can decompress! AND it protects me from looking for a mate rather than a sounding board!
    And even if love comes tapping at my door and I find someone to share my life and bed with, do I really want to burden them with all those expectations? Hmmm!
    Thanks for getting us thinking!

  • Mary Anne Thompson

    I had to laugh when I saw Cinderella and this post because the name of the book I am writing is called “My Glass Slipper”. It is my story of all the toads I have had to kiss on my search for my Prince. Me limping my way thru life with only one slipper, looking for who had the other one.
    When I get the book finished I may talk to u about publishers T.
    Blessings, Mary Anne

  • joe gonzalez

    Good, Therese. Some very important other pointers : ” know yourself as well as possible ( even the depths ) ” ” know your prospective partner well ( even the depths ). No Cinderellas, no Prince Charmings. Just regular folk doing the best they can ( key ). The masks come off after the masquerade and ur left with the naked truth. All of us have virtues and defects. Come to terms with them. Love the whole person or not at all ( as a partner that is.) Compromise with a pledge that you’ll try to improve as long as you live ( but no badgering ) You must like her looks and vice-versa. ” If she doesn’t enlighten the eyes, forget it ” ( old proverb.) Put up with each other. And don’t skip a moment to praise, enjoy in, communicate the surprise at all the little things life constantly brings in love. Forgive, be urself. we all get angry once in a while. and learn to ask humbly for forgiveness. Try to bring her a special daily joy ( it can be a small flower, or some tinker from the local drugstore ). And plan for Life ! If circumstances later on indicate otherwise, cross that bridge when u get there, not before. Share everything, even your darkest thoughts ( with tact ) Congratulate her when she puts on a new blouse ( even bought at a bargain store ) But never be a hypocrite. And never permit distancing to begin ; it’s a nasty affair, it keeps on building up and then let’s loose like a deadly avalanche.
    Just some more few pointers life have taught me.
    Cheers, Therese !

  • martha

    The thing is at 38 I’ve had to learn to do things by myself – to be alone. I have lost my my mom, my older brother and recently my younger brother – my entire immediate family. I do not have much of a family to lean on to help me with things. I learned rather quickly to make good friends that will always be there – who are willing to help me in emergencies and in times of need. That means more to me then anything. Finding a husband or boyfriend is just icing on the cake! He would be someone who would compliment me and make me laugh and smile! That’s what I’m looking for! :)

  • Teri

    Dear Therese,
    so glad to see your postings are so available and great report on College “kids”. I am no longer “suffering” with Bipolar disorder, thanks to right meds. And I’ve been single now for 13 years, and I’m a college student (again). Will finally be finishing my degree in Fall 2010. For years I was a “Cinderalla”. And finally,(after 3 divorces) I feel independent, know what characteristics I’m looking for in a man, and most of all I haven’t given up hope. One of my friends complains, “I’m just so damn lonely and I’m sick of it.” Yet I see her taking baby steps towards being happy on her own. She has a job she loves, she lives where she has always dreamed she wanted to live, she volunteers her time. I try to explain to her inner being, has to be happy before the right guy comes along. If someone were to date her, they would be able to see right away (because it’s even obvious to me)that she would come off as “needy”, clingy, and missing a part of her soul. I guess what I’m saying is that you really need to have YOUR life together before someone special can come into your life. I’ve learned this the hard way too. 13 years without a “special” man in my life. But now I’m single, happy, content with my life, and I look forward to what each day can bring. I feel I’m ready for a relationship–just waiting for “Mr. Right For Me.” Not just any old guy that comes through the door. And I’ve found my tolerance for jerks, is really low–I’ll know it now after 10 years of dating. It is better to find Mr Right and not just Mr Right now.
    And Therese, would love to hear how you are doing with your new job, and how you are handling the routine of your days!

Previous Posts

Seven Ways to Get Over an Infatuation
“Bewitched, bothered, and bewildered am I” wrote US songwriter Lorenz Hart about the feeling of infatuation. It’s blissful and euphoric, as we all know. But it’s also addicting, messy and blinding. Without careful monitoring, its wild ...

posted 12:46:43pm Feb. 19, 2014 | read full post »

When Faith Turns Neurotic
When does reciting scripture become a symptom of neurosis? Or praying the rosary an unhealthy compulsion? Not until I had the Book of Psalms practically memorized as a young girl did I learn that words and acts of faith can morph into desperate ...

posted 10:37:13am Jan. 14, 2014 | read full post »

How to Handle Negative People
One of my mom’s best pieces of advice: “Hang with the winners.” This holds true in support groups (stick with the people who have the most sobriety), in college (find the peeps with good study habits), and in your workplace (stay away from ...

posted 10:32:10am Jan. 14, 2014 | read full post »

8 Coping Strategies for the Holidays
For people prone to depression and anxiety – i.e. human beings – the holidays invite countless possibility to get sucked into negative and catastrophic thinking. You take the basic stressed-out individual and you increase her to-do list by a ...

posted 9:30:12am Nov. 21, 2013 | read full post »

Can I Say I’m a Son or Daughter of Christ and Suffer From Depression?
In 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18, we read: “Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” What if we aren’t glad, we aren’t capable of rejoicing, and even prayer ...

posted 10:56:04am Oct. 29, 2013 | read full post »


Report as Inappropriate

You are reporting this content because it violates the Terms of Service.

All reported content is logged for investigation.