What your parents never told you about Happily Ever After

This article was first published on the Huffington Post. Read it here.


There are so many schools of thought on almost any topic imaginable that it sometimes leaves people very picky about what they choose to read these days. What makes one person believe one philosophy over the other has never made me want to write less of what comes so naturally and effortlessly to me.

Until last year I’ve never poured much personal life experiences into my writing except when my book editor told me that I needed to “bleed on the page” to allow readers to connect to my “wisdom” as Patricia put it.

I never really thought myself to be wise until people started to look to me for advice, meanwhile I count on my closest friends to help me navigate some of life’s harsh twists and turns. Yet, here I am sharing my take on the trickiest thing called love and life.

Many of us thirty somethings (and even twenty somethings and forty-somethings) often think we need to settle for second best as the last few good men are either taken or “otherwise engaged” (which can mean several things for those of us whose minds can stretch so far).

We settle for pseudo relationships and part time loves that don’t really deserve the energy, thought and time we put into these poor souls.

When we were younger we were socialized to think that if we get a good education, get a respectable career, act like a lady and stay focused on improving ourselves from the inside out, you will attract a nice like-minded, respectable young man who will sweep you off your feet and treat you the way you deserve.


Then one by one some of your friends paired off and settled down, had a string band of kids, while many others were inadvertently thrown back in the dating pool.

For many modern independent women, they have no problem with living the single life, however many pine away for childhood dreams of saying “I do” in a flowing white dress on the beach, sticking the wedding cake with their beloved and the first dance with dad.

As time goes on, life teaches (some of us) that your individual life has more meaning than being coupled with someone who doesn’t share your long term vision or values that you always wished for your life.

So many people are forced to change who they are just for the sake of conforming to the status quo and because society accepts you with open arms because of your marital status on a form.

It’s sometimes a competition of keeping up with the Joneses and putting up appearances than actually being truly and honestly happy deep down, living life on your own terms and fulfilling all of your dreams solo first before trying to find someone to complete you or make you happy…or worse find yourself.

Life’s gurus tell us, happiness is an inside job, yet so many of us look to others for validation or happiness, because we think we are missing out on life if we don’t pair up and settle down before a certain age. The lengths we sometimes go to find Mr. Right may even find its way on popular sitcoms.

We don’t give the so called “good guys” a second look because we are so consumed with spontaneity, excitement, fun, chemistry, adventure and bliss. We sometimes tolerate the fights, lack of meaningful communication, meaningless terms of endearment and signs of affection/interest because we like the attention and it makes us feel safe, comfortable and wanted.

In our twisted heads we think that this person can one day turn into Mr. Right if we really put in the work and elbow grease into creating and shaping our desired life partner that we envisioned in our teens.

“He makes me so happy” is what we tell our friends who try to tell us to head for the hills (before it’s too late) and don’t look back. But everywhere we go, people seem to love this strange specimen of the male variety and although we tell ourselves we will never fall, we always do – head over feet.

It’s this kind of love that all those awful(lly good) 80s rock ballads were made of. This person seems to grow on us daily and they are in our heads and in our hearts consciously and subconsciously 24/7 which most times is apparent to all but our ‘one and only’. But every time we try to let go, a text, a phone call or invitation seems to reel us back in.

As we try to move on, we find ourselves stuck in a revolving door of the wrong men and even if one comes along to change our minds, we set ourselves up for failure with our too high expectations and it’s doomed before it begins.

So what do we do if this person makes us happy like never before? Do we go with the flow and live in the moment? Or do we wait it out and hope things swing our way further afield? If married with children are not on your things-to-do list in life, then maybe you have nothing to lose (but your sanity).

But if you do see the white picket fence, with the Ken and Barbie playhouse with the pool in the backyard, then perhaps you may want to wait it out for a sustained commitment and the whole nine yards.

But if you fall into the category of women that are too picky for your own good, who don’t listen to advice, don’t envision kids in your future and are busy doing you while chasing your dream, then one day you may realize that Mr. Right Now is an easy solution to complementing your days with all the non-stop fun, excitement and adventure that you would have never otherwise imagined with Mr. Right (who is probably really just an imposter in disguise).


Carolyn K. Correia is the author of Thinking out Loud and How To Find Yourself and Claim What’s Yours. She is also a communications consultant, freelance writer, blogger and motivational speaker. Learn more about her here www.carolyncorreia.com or stay updated on Facebook – CarolynCorreiaAuthor.


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