Every woman dreamed of being a princess when she was a child. And as they grow older that dream evolves to wanting to be treated like a queen. Perhaps some of the most prevalent key words that we find among women on my website, SeekingArrangement.com are "princess" and "queen". Disney movies get a bad rap from feminists and realists alike. Not surprising, since there are only a handful of true heroines who can hold their own without support from their Prince Charming. Maybe it's the kid in me, but I don't think we should disregard what we can take away from Disney Princess movies as superficial lessons with underlying adult content.
Although I cannot be 100% sure on whether Walt Disney intended it or not, relationship advice can be taken from each of the princesses.
1. Jasmine: Consider the Start Up
Maybe he isn't the wealthiest suitor in your court. Perhaps he isn't even that suave either. But watch out these late bloomers could be the "diamond in the rough" worth bagging early on. If he shows potential, then give him a chance. Be mindful of complacency; if he is 30 years old and content working a dead-end job, then he probably isn't worth your time.
2. Aurora: Don't Play Hard to Get
Although Prince Charming's first move wasn't exactly a perfect landing, (I prefer a less creepy approach than approaching a woman in the forest)it is endearing that he continued to pursue Princess Aurora even after with the cat and mouse game she put on. However, the blame cannot be placed on women alone. Numerous how-to articles and books say that men naturally value what they have to work to achieve, therefore encouraging playing hard to get. But I believe this bit of advice should be applied to intimacy more than dating itself. Show your interest and date the object of your desire, then build anticipation for the first special night together.
3. Cinderella: Don't Pretend to Be Someone You Aren't
We can sit here speculate that no one could have predicted what would have become of Cinderella had she not met the Fairy Godmother. But one thing is true, regardless of the fantastical powers, by midnight Cinderella was still who she was when she danced with the prince. And the fact that her charm won him over should be a message to women out there: You don't have to pretend to be a wealthy, high class dame to scout yourself a good catch.
4. Mulan: But Don't Let Who You are Limit Your Expectations Either
Perhaps you didn't graduate from an Ivy League school, or you grew up on the wrong side of the tracks, or maybe your parents weren't Vanderbilts or Carnegies. Who you are shouldn't determine what you expect in your mate. Growing up without a governess or chauffeurs doesn't mean you aren't entitled to being with a man who opens the door or pulls the chair out at dinner for you.
5. Belle: Get to Know What Makes Him Tick
Prince Adam, or "Beast" as he is so lovingly remembered as, had quite the temper while under the witch's spell. Any bystander would dismiss it as a bad attitude, but Belle had the patience to get to know him better and find where all that anger came from. Now, I am not condoning sticking around if a man becomes verbally abusive. For reference sake, we'll compare his tantrums to a man who sounds off whenever he speaks to his mother on the phone. Knowing what makes him tick can help both of you find healthy ways of dealing with the stress.
6. Ariel: Actions Speak Louder Than Words
Some men will argue that Ariel losing her voice during the courtship was the best thing that could have happened to the whole story. Men's main complaint is that women often don't say what they mean and expect men to pick up on cues. Both sexes meet in the middle when it comes to body language. It is very difficult for any man or woman to hide their true feelings when it comes to how they act. Furthermore, men can often view long drawn out conversation as nagging. Try shortening conversations and communicating your feelings more through your body language.
7. Pocahontas: Sometimes Breaking Up is the Easy
"John Smith and Pocahontas had a very mad affair." Even if the Disney's version portrayed a strong relationship, in the end Pocahontas and John had to be realistic and put an end to their affair. The greatest lesson that we can take from this is that break-ups don't need to be these ugly ordeals ala Vince Vaughn and Jennifer Aniston in The Break-Up. Two grown-ups should be able to assess whether or not a partnership is worth pursuing or logistically possible.
Men if women put for the effort, then you too should spoil her like a princess in return. The rewards will be worth it. The most recent princess can also teach women a thing or two. Princess Tiana is a hard working gal with a dream. However, she is so hell-bent on achieving her goals that she forgets to enjoy the things around her--let alone trust anyone. But in the end, with the help of a few unfortunate events, a crocodile, and the frog prince, she learns what we all should do in our relationships: lighten up and enjoy the ride.