"Everything Happens For A Reason" And Other Misguided Idioms Preventing You From Finding Love

In Disney’s Sleeping Beauty, Aurora lies peacefully atop her royal bed, waiting for Prince Philip to slay the dragon and wake her from her miserable, death-like slumber of singleness with a kiss.

She just lies there, literally doing nothing while a fire is raging and a monster outside her house. That’s weird, right?

It’s been said many times before that our standards of love have been warped by Disney movies. They have trained women to believe that men will sweep us off of our feet, and from a young age, we are indoctrinated with a desire to be rescued. Although we all know this is an inaccurate representation of real love, the narrative remains pervasive. The Knight in Shining Armor syndrome is simply something women cannot get past.

As a matchmaker, I hear successful, strong-willed women recite repetitive tropes, most often in the idiomatic vernacular I associate with a Pinterest board. You know what I’m referring to – the type of quotation that is universally-relatable and easily re-pinned, so it becomes part of female internet ubiquity.

“Everything happens for a reason.”

“What’s meant to be will always find a way.”

“You don’t find love, it finds you.”

I’m not a cynic. If anything, I am the opposite. I firmly believe in true love, and I have experienced love that could only be described as magical. But waiting around for that type of love – sitting there waiting for it – is just plain stupid.

Women today have accomplished more than any generation before. We run companies, we run for office, we run the world. But these women, many of whom identify as feminists, are still approaching their love lives passively. They say “everything will just fall into place,” when they would never say that about other aspects of their lives. Women are proactive about their career, their fitness, their friendships, and their families, but they do not take control of their personal life in the same way. It would be normal to set a 5-year career goal, or to create a step-by-step fitness plan for the next month, but goal-setting for one’s love life is nearly unheard of.

In this realm, unlike any other, we still let men take the lead. We don’t send that initial message online. We wait for him to call. We don’t text twice in a row. We don’t walk up to that cute guy in line at Starbucks and say hi – we just stand there batting our eyes, or staring at our phones. When he doesn’t come up to us, we blame him. But I’m here to say that the fact that you’ll never go out with him is your fault, not his.

This isn’t about chivalry. He might be the most chivalrous man out there, but you’re not even giving him the chance prove it to you. You have to give him the go ahead to flirt with you, so often, you have to make that first move. And he can take it from there.

I recently came across a new app, which incidentally, Mark Cuban just invested in, where men can give you  “date offers” to court you. They plan out a date – flowers, nice car, nice restaurant – and propose it to you. You can say yes or no based on their offer. The premise is that chivalry is dead, and this app will bring back old-fashioned courtship.

This app is dangerous, and it is a step in the wrong direction. Not only is it one step away from an escort service, but it is contrary to the principles of independence and success that women have fought for in the past century. Men should treat women well, but this shouldn’t have to be transactional.  We should be choosing our partners on their characteristics, not on their ability to take us to the best restaurant in town.

So, don’t fall victim to the Disney Princess syndrome. Take action with your love life. Write the first message to a new guy on your favorite dating app. Talk to that handsome stranger in the grocery store. Go to that singles mixer. Get set-up by a matchmaker! And give the ones who don’t look like Prince Charming a chance. Make your best dating life happen – only you can do that.