What is love? Webster's defines it as: attraction based on sexual desire, enthusiasm or fondness. In my mind that does not encompass all that goes along with the word love. Growing up I was constantly exposed to stories about love, romance and happy endings. I was taught by fairy tale's that love was a completely different world. One that you fell into and remained in eternal bliss. This idea I formed has proven to be disastrous in my life, teaching me to live in a dreamland and not grasp the reality that the love displayed by fairy tales does not exist.
Love is not a three-step program: I like him, I marry him, and we live happily ever after. There is much more involved in the process. It is not something you stumble into like a hole in the ground, as fairy tales would have you believe. I may say this because I have never experienced it this way, but I do not understand how someone can unknowingly slip into such a huge emotional state without any activity on their part. These tale's teach us that love is a passive process, if you sit around singing into a well that someday your prince will come, or lay sleeping for 100 years with your lips puckered up, you'll meet the man of your dreams. And everything will work out perfectly. That is ridiculous! Yet, I am sad to admit, I have believed this ever since I was a little girl. I am just now realizing that romantic love starts with a desire, but requires reciprocity to continue. It cannot survive on illusions. Love is not a goal, it is a process; it is not a thing, it is a form of living. It's not based on a supernatural force; there are moral and ethical elements involved. .
When I heard these fairy tale's I thought there was a certain order things had to go in. First the characters would fall madly in love at first sight (like that ever happens), then the man would overcome any obstacle to get to the girl, he would sweep her off her feet to the perfect dream wedding, and live happily ever after.