No one survived high school without realizing that having a love life was going to be complicated. We all saw through the fairy-tale lies of our childhood after that first “like” on our crush’s Facebook page. Even though we all wanted a Prince or Princess Charming, there are some real issues with fairy-tale relationships. Part of that is that they aren’t real!

Our lives are real though. Our feelings our real. Our bills are real. Our flaws are real. But the real-ness is what keeps life so exciting. You never know what’s going to happen.

Here are 7 ways romance is way better IRL than in fairy tales.


1. In real life, we have birth control.


This is one that always gets conveniently skipped over in fairy tales. I get it: it’s for kids, but how sophisticated do you think family planning was back in the day? Not very. At least now we have the choice, both to use birth control and what method to use. Now, maybe not every method fits every girl, but we can do research and pick what’s best for us. Also, when there is an issue with a newer birth control, the FDA warns us about the risk instead of everyone relying on eating certain plants or mercury.

Think about your first love. Add a pregnancy to all the drama that was already there, and I think you’ll understand why the point goes to reality here.


2. In real life, we are adults that have uh… responsibilities.


A lot of the heroes and heroines in these fairy tales are in their teens.Some people might have high school sweethearts that worked out, but most of us are very different people than we were at 16 (thank God). And since not everyone matures at the same rate, this can get kinda messy. Luckily, when you meet someone later in life, you’ve both already developed into decent human beings.

Additionally, you can age past 20, which is a nice bonus.


3. We have more career options than just, like, being a princess.


The problem with being a princess is that it sort of locks you into a career path. I mean, just because you marry a prince shouldn’t mean that you have to help rule a country. What if you want to be a vet instead? Real life romances don’t have this problem.


4. We don’t always have to look and dress fancy AF.


Some days (read: all days) pants are a struggle, the extra five minutes of sleeping is worth haphazard makeup, and if your shoes aren’t perfectly coordinated with your outfit . . . eh. But that’s never an option in a storybook relationship. They are always matching, they never have bad hair days, and their significant other always sees them at their best (apparently princesses don’t bloat.) In real life, we’re stumbling around the house in a unisex T-shirt and sweatpants. And we still love each other.

Don’t get me wrong, you can still totally dress up like royalty if you want, metaphorically or literally. I mean, ball gowns take quite the effort, any leather is going to require a special sewing machine, and I’m not even sure where you’d find all those trained animal companions. Barring those, cosplaying Disney princesses is totally possible, but you don’t have to be one all the time. You get the best of both worlds.


5. In real life, we don’t always get our way and we learn from that.


We got our awkward fumbling and stutters out of the way with our middle school crushes. Your first time at something is always a little awkward, and relationships are no different. We learn how to be a relationship, what the expectations are, what to say when you meet their mom, etc. Hopefully, we figure out how to fix common communication problems.


6. We have other interests than just who we’re going to end up with.

self love

Instead of being completely obsessed with our significant others, we can actually have other interests, hobbies, and thoughts. Furthermore, we can take the time to explore new sides of ourselves, pursue new friendships, and just generally have a life besides our boyfriend or girlfriend. Which is especially helpful, considering that many of us are going through the dreaded quarter-life crisis right now, and we do need to branch out to get over it.

We need to develop our own identities. Just because we’ve matured doesn’t mean we’ve figured out who we are. But that’s gotta take at least until 35, right?


7. In real life, it’s totally okay to not give a fuck. About ‘being proper’ or anything.


All of us can get drunk, eat too much pizza, laugh at fart jokes, and have regrets.  We are fully formed people, the good, the bad, and the ugly.  What’s more, is that your SO can do all those things too, and you get to bond over your hangovers the next morning.  You get to bond over being human, all sides included.

Disney princesses might have impossibly tiny waistlines, flowing hair in all the right places, and gobs of money. On the other hand, we have a variety of real-life experiences that serve to create a three-dimensional personality. You tell me who gets the better end of the deal.


Dayton socializes for a living and writes for fun. Her rarely relevant degree gives her experience in political science, writing, Spanish, rugby, theater, coding, and spreading herself too thin. She will forever be a prisoner of her family’s business, doomed to inherit responsibility despite frequent existential protests.

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