Hello Prince Charming!
I've Been Dreaming of you my Entire Life!
I say this because of the current marrage conditions in Japan, and because I know women who have been abused by their husbands. The marrage rate is falling, the birth rate is atrocious, divorces are on the incline, and prostitution is becoming something seen as a course of nature to some of the younger generation, including lolita who sell themselves to buy their name brand bags (this is not the majority however; I'm in no way implying that). There are two major reasons I see for this development.
The first reason is that some young people have given up on the idea of true love, so why not hook up with someone for a night? Their body is just a body after all, right? And so I do think that the problem Novala addresses here is indeed a real one, and that he is right in saying that people shouldn't settle for just anybody so they can fulfill their sexual desires. I also think it's extremely important to have a dream. However, the second reason Japan's in trouble with regard to love is....
They're too damn picky. Women will go to agencies to find a perfect husband, and the qualities they give can get utterly rediculous at times. A plain, not particularly bright office lady could go to the agency and tell them she wants, "A handsome CEO of a company who makes in the range of $1-2 million a year, has no children from a previous marriage, doesn't smoke or have smelly feet, and and is at least 6 feet tall."...and they do (laughs). Now I ask you, what kind of requirements are those? And what kind of man who fills all the criteria of a stereotypically perfect man in Japanese society is going to chose that lady? Moreover, what in the world does money have to do with love?
Another problem that has resulted from this tendency to search for an unattainable ideal is that, once people think they've found that person, they expect that person to make all their dreams come true. Of course, they don't, and once the people are married they start to awaken to all the flaws of their partners. In a recent survey, I heard that over 50% of newlywed men wish they hadn't married. Meanwhile, an unprecidented number of women are refusing to get married because they don't want to worry about taking care of a husband.
I translated this article because it bothered me. Yes, searching for a prince is important, and no, people shouldn't settle for just anybody...but at the same time, kindness IS exceedingly important. A man kind before marriage isn't necessarily so afterwards. And even if he's not rich, or tall, or gorgeous, even if you're living in a poorly heated, one room appartment the middle of nowhere...he can still hold you when you're cold or upset, and you can find your own happiness in knowing that his happiness is being with you.
Someone who will hold you and support you, who tries his hardest to make you happy, someone you are willing to do the same for, that is a true prince. If you follow all of those silly ideals Novala listed, no, you will not find anybody. And even if you're searching for what I've called a prince, there's no garauntee you'll find him either.
In searching for ideals in others, you have to be prepared to be alone. If that is scary or unacceptable, then settle for a kind man. For there is happiness in that, and marriage is no satiation of sexual desires. I personally have chosen to search for my prince. I've not even been on a date yet (laughs)...but for me, I think the conditions are a little different, and I recognize that ideals are not always what you expect them to be. In this world there are maybe a handful of people who could be your prince, and maybe one of them who will find you his princess...and you have to believe in that, and not insist on silly, arbitrary qualifications because, even if you do find that ideal, you mustn't expect him to make you happy. That's horribly cruel to him.
...and one more thing that I can't say outright...but don't place unnecessary limitations upon what kind of person your prince may be. I feel that love can overcome (read "is unconcerned" with) certain things that society takes for granted. That is all.