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You Asked: How Do I Shake This Fantasy?

Dear Sugar,

Ever since I was little girl, I've really been caught up in the idea of meeting a Prince Charming, having a great love story, and getting that storybook happy ending. Growing up I always had crushes, but I never had a real relationship. I figured that I just needed to mature in order to find my perfect love. I recently turned 20, and my best friend mentioned how I had never been in a relationship. Now all of sudden I'm completely terrified that I'm never going to meet anyone really special. I'm terrified of ending up alone, but at the same time I don't want to rush into a relationship that won't be perfect.

I know that I'm pretty picky. I have a certain idea of how my boyfriend should look, and when I meet a guy and he doesn't look like that, I immediately decide that he's not the right one. I also get turned off if a guy is interested in me. I don't know what it is, but I guess I just feel like I should fall for him first. I realize I'm relying too much on this childhood fantasy, but I don't know how to fix that. What can I do?

— Head in the Clouds Cameron

To see DearSugar's answer

Dear Head in the Clouds Cameron,

It really sounds like you're struggling with the divide between the fantasy of perfect love that you built as a child and the reality of life and being an adult. While it does seem that you're closing yourself off from many wonderful people and possibilities, 20 is not old! There is plenty of time to date for a while, meet the right guy, and have a great life, so stop worrying about it and start focusing on breaking free from that constricting love story!

First of all, no one is perfect — in appearance or personality — but flaws are what make us who we are. Instead of worrying if a guy lives up to your ideal, try getting to know him for who he is. Don't even think about where it might go; just learn to enjoy the moment.

I think it's great that you don't want to rush into a relationship just for the sake of having a boyfriend, but at the same time, losing interest the second a guy has feelings for you isn't a good choice either. While you can't make yourself fall in love with someone, you can train yourself to be open to the possibility. Keep in mind that if a guy has a crush on you, that means he thinks you're special, and to me, that's the foundation for a great love story!


Join The Conversation
Mythandariel Mythandariel 9 years
Ahhh...the perfect love story. Wake up! Life is not a fairy fact it can be much better if you just stop trying so darn hard! You probably frustrate the heck out of those guys who are interested in you. In fact there are probably a few of them here right now wondering what they are doing wrong. The first thing you have to do is get out of the dolly dress, put down the magic wand and step outside of your comfort zone. You need to give love a chance or nothing at all will ever happen. Or you could get suckered in by some jerk who pretends to be your prince and then makes your life a living heck. Now, repeat after me "I will not define my existence through the existence of another." Remember that. Who you love does not define who you are.
tearsfromthesky tearsfromthesky 9 years
omg! i am just like you! i am turning 20..i have never been asked out, never been a relationship..maybe i am destined to live with some cats.. oh but oh boy..i love dreaming of the day i would mr.!! how i wish!
lily8206 lily8206 9 years
20 is so young. You're just out of your teens! Relax and have fun. I think accepting guys that don't fit into some mold you developed as a kid is something that will come with maturity. So what if the guy shows interest in you first! What is the harm of going on a few dates and seeing how it goes! If you keep shutting the doors on some potentially wonderful guys simply because they aren't 'perfect' (which doesn't exist) then you definitely WON'T end up with prince charming because you'll have passed him by.
thegiraffe thegiraffe 9 years
Sweety, I am practically in the same boat as you except I'm not scared at all. Go for it. If you're having this strong fantasy it's probably because destiny has it in store for you. Very important though: Make sure you have and nurture all the qualities (inside and out) that make you Princess Charming, radiate those qualities, be patient, and there's no reason you won't meet your prince one day. Good luck!!!
smp7328 smp7328 9 years
Girl, you are ONLY 20!!!! you have so much time ahead of you!!!!! Go out there, live life to the fullest and don't worry about when it will happen. I will be 30 this year and if I have learned anything it is this - if you sit around waiting for your prince charming to come around, he never will. I am in a similar sitch as you. I have never been in a relationship before, but you know what? I still have time. I can't get down on myself, but I also know that I won't settle for just anyone. Keep your standards high, but also know the difference between fantasy and reality. Hugs!!! :)
lickety-split lickety-split 9 years
is this for real? seriously, are you expecting a wicked step mother and a duel for your honor too? what would you say to a guy that said "i'm looking for the "perfect girl". for most men that would include barbie's figure, a virgin, a very beautiful face, hair down to their ass and a woman who loves to watch football, basketball, baseball, pro wrestling and porn. sounds kind of silly doesn't it?
remedios remedios 9 years
I definitely think you should NOT be waiting around for the perfect guy, under the theory that you'll know it when you see him. You should go out on dates with guys that you don't think you'd be interested in. You'll get to know more about what you really want, rather than the fantasy. I'm not suggesting getting into relationships with these guys necessarily, but go out on a lot of first dates (assuming there are a lot of guys that come along that are interested). The "perfect" guy might be right there, but you didn't notice because he had brown eyes instead of blue eyes.
skigurl skigurl 9 years
if a guy likes you first, that is a very big plus. play hard to get and keep him interested. the early parts of a relationship are the best, and he will love the chase. use this to your advantage!
linb linb 9 years
This sounds like me, five years ago, when I was 19. Everyone has the Prince Charming fantasy, and I was no exception. You just have to take that first step - give one guy a chance. I convinced myself to go out with one guy as a "practice date" because I had never really dated anyone. I had no intentions of ever seeing this guy again, I just wanted to know what a date was like so that I could get comfortable with the idea of dating. Well, 5 years later I'm still with my practice guy. He doesn't fit the Prince charming image that I had in my head, he doesn't have the income that I had always hoped for, but I could not be happier.
Lovely_1 Lovely_1 9 years
All that is good comes in time ;) I have pretty high standards too and was never satisfied with all my exes. Then I met my current hubby, and wow it is like a fantasy love :love:
jJuliet jJuliet 9 years
I think I know what you mean when you say that you get turned off when a guy is interested in you. It's not that you don't want guys to like you, but that you don't want them to hit on you, just hoping to get some action. If you just aren't interested, this is an extremely annoying turn off! Because guys are often "on the prowl for women" at parties (and you want to avoid these kinds of guys), you have to look for men in other contexts. Try to find guys at work, school, or other activities that you would potentially consider dating, and become friends with them. That will give you time to get to know these guys better and possibly develop feelings for them.
sunshowers83 sunshowers83 9 years
If you haven't met anyone who gives you butterflies yet, don't worry... you're still young. Just make sure that you're not so busy ticking off items on your "Prince Charming checklist" that a guy never gets a chance. There's nothing wrong with having high standards, but remember that you're not perfect either. And ultimately, it's not about finding the "perfect guy", but finding someone who you love despite his flaws and who loves YOU despite your flaws. And re: finding a relationship that will be perfect - there is no such thing. Every relationship goes through ups and downs, and that's the only way you'll grow together. If you continue to believe that a good relationship should be happily ever after like a fairytale, you'll end up bailing at the first little snag and could potentially walk out on the love of your life. Don't let that happen!
kurniakasih kurniakasih 9 years
OP: You're still so young! Don't worry about Mr. RIGHT. I've dated since I was 16, and I didn't meet my Mr. Right until a decade later after kissing a lot of frogs that is. Just keep it in your head that no one is perfect but you shouldn't settle as well. Date only the ones you're interested in, don't just date for the sake of dating and concentrate on your study as well. You still have a whole world waiting for you so have fun! Good luck to you.
Meike Meike 9 years
Um...I had my first boyfriend at 22. I'm recently married at 25. You really shouldn't worry that you haven't had a boyfriend yet. I cannot stress enough how young 20 is when even I still consider myself young. It was always my intention was to always get married around 30 because I had planned life out as career first, love later. Life took another course. You just cannot relish on a childhood fantasy. You'd only be setting yourself up for disappointment when your story doesn't pan out how you imagined it for yourself.
Ridley Ridley 9 years
Ok ladies!!! I dont' want to discourage you...however, here's my story. I also have always had the fantasy of Prince Charming. Honestly, I don't think many girls don't. I never found Mr. Right and unfortunately married for all the wrong reasons. I married the 'picket fence', the 'fantasy'. It wasnt' until 11 years later that I realized that I never really loved him, I loved our life. To make a long story short... three beautiful kids later, a somewhat rocky divorce and now I HAVE met Mr. Right. To be honest there is tons that's not perfect about him, but I'm so madly in love it scares me sometimes. Please don't marry for the wrong reason, worrying that it will never happen. Wait until the right mad comes along. Believe me, you will know when he is right. It took me a long time... Don't give up!!! Just live life to the fullest for YOU!!!!... He will only compliment what you've obtained all on your own!!!
hlewis hlewis 9 years
I'm in the same place as you, cereal_please! I'm 20 and I've never had a boyfriend. I'm now starting to see some of my friends get into serious relationships, but I always feel like it's never going to happen for me. :( I know, deep down, that I can and will be in a meaninful relationship and have that great boyfriend. I just keep wondering, when and how long can I wait without giving up...
cereal_please cereal_please 9 years
I kind of have the same problem. I'm 19 and I've never had a boyfriend. I'm in no rush to fall in love and find Mr. Right, but at the same time.. I've never had a boyfriend! There's plenty of interest, but every time a guy gets interested in me, I'm no longer interested in him or I never was in the first place. :(
Frenched Frenched 9 years
Relax, 20 years is not old at all! You still have plenty of time to meet guys. I used to be like you--I had an idea of what kind of guy I wanted and would almost instantly rule out a guy who didn't fit that ideal, until I gave myself a chance to explore something else. I ended up marrying the guy and I do not regret it one bit. Put that fantasy on hold right now and venture off into new territory. You just can't be strict with love, you just got to be open for it.
popgoestheworld popgoestheworld 9 years
I think someone will come along, and that person will surprise you. Just try to keep a bit of an open mind.
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