Why Happily Ever is BS

Vanessa Bennett
5 min readAug 22, 2022

We all grew up watching Disney movies and rom-coms, putting our hand over our heart and pledging that we would wait for our person to show up and hold us like they lost and then found us. We have been conned into believing in “the one,” the one perfect person on this planet who we’re supposed to spend the rest of our life with and who will probably be arriving on a white horse. Or in a Prius. Either way, once we find this person, everything will fall into place. We will finally be happy, complete, and living in peace and harmony in a castle, a blue lagoon, or a two-story Craftsman with matching BMWs and 2.2 beautiful kids.

The truth is, at some point in our thirties each of us woke up and realized that happily ever after was bullshit and relationships take a ton of work. We’re not alone in that revelation, or in thinking that most adults eventually adopt the theory that “the one” is a fantasy and there are many many different people we could end up in healthy, happy, wonderful relationships with over the course of our lives.

But most of our clients have to be told explicitly to let go of the idea of “the one” when we start working together. Many of them couldn’t get to this revelation on their own. In fact, holding so tightly to the security blanket idea of “the one” stripped them of the chance to even do the work in their relationships, because it gave them an escape hatch whenever they felt any sort of discomfort.

Does this sound familiar? Instead of working on yourself and your relationship, has this baked-in belief that there is a perfect person for you ever convinced you that you may be with the wrong person and the only solution is to dip? The idea of “the one” is a sickness that can act as a black light instead of a bridge. So, instead of building a healthy, sustainable relationship that bridges differences and incompatibilities, we nitpick, get frustrated, feel entitled to our Prince or Princess Charming, and wonder who else is out there and if he or she will be coming to save us. Or complete us.

When we believe in dangerous concepts like “the one” or that when we find love, everything else will fall into place and we will live happily ever after, we fall off our expectation cliff and land in ambivalence. And ambivalence prevents us from truly learning about love. From shattering old blueprints…

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Vanessa Bennett

Psychotherapist, Mindfulness + Codependency Coach. Cohost of the Cheaper Than Therapy Podcast. IG:vanessasbennett