On the perils of unrealistic expectations.

To the ladies, and for the gentlemen:

I grew up watching Disney princesses fall in love in 83 minutes. I would dress up in the costumes my parents bought and imagine I was Belle being swept off her feet with promise of everlasting love and an enormous library. I would bury my nose in Little Women and watch the March sisters fall in love one by one. I pretended to be Anne Shirley as I strolled through the field beside my house, waiting for my very own Gilbert Blythe to confess his love.

As I grew older, I traded in my Disney movies and Louisa May Alcott books for romantic comedies, television shows, and romance novels. I let my childhood imaginings morph into adult expectations as I read and watched couple after couple fall in love. Each ending held the promise of my own happily ever after.

Young people today…

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