Kismet and the post-millennial princess

Who says there’s only one right person out there for any other? I just don’t buy it. But go to the movies, and you’re still likely to find the romantic tale of “the One” – the notion of a single true love preordained by fate, destiny, or “Kismet.”

Rescue me

Just after my divorce, two little kids in tow, recently laid off, my house on the market – I met a man who said to me: “You need to be rescued.”

I can’t begin to express how much that remark disturbed me, and how uncomfortable I was as he tried to convince me that the solution to “my problems” was him.

I’m running through the memory banks, not only thinking about “the One,” but all those pop culture and literary references to damsels in distress awaiting White Knights to the rescue. I’m wondering, for both sexes, if the love disconnect starts there…

Cinderella and company

Cinderella had her Prince, but let’s face it – the Fairy Godmother did the work and got none of the credit. Snow White had a run in with a bad apple, but her prince did come. Then there’s Pretty Woman, the 1990 version of Cinderella, with a dapper Richard Gere, a juicy Julia Roberts, and the oh-so-Rapunzel fairy tale ending.

Were these damsels in distress fated to meet their one-and-onlys? Or just lucky they were pretty enough and patient enough to hang loose until their heroes arrived?

True love

Out of curiosity, I tried a Google search on “true love.” 148 million occurrences. That’s a lot of true love. In contrast, “sex” resulted in 78 million hits – surprise, surprise.

As for “love” – 1,510,000,000 references! Yep. Over a billion and a half!


I also approached the Kismet-connection from another angle. Sequels.

No Cinderella sequel. No Snow White sequel. On the other hand, we’ve had Rocky I-VI, Bourne cubed, Die Hard exploding into theaters several times… but true love sequels?

1940s Philadelphia Story Cary Grant Katherine Hepburn James Stewart1940’s Philadelphia Story was a classic – Cary Grant and Katherine Hepburn’s true love wins out, in sophisticated and comic style. There was a remake (with Grace Kelly), but no sequel.

Serendipity is a sparkling movie with John Cusack and Kate Beckinsale, all about a love that’s written in the stars.

No Serendipity sequel. Nor a Pretty Woman II, or Sleepless in Seattle Part Deux, or any number of romantic romps promising and delivering “the One.” Is this because post-rescue, real life intrudes?

The Prince snores, the Princess gets headaches, the nanny quits, the castle market plunges, the royal kids are a royal pain-in-the ass, and now no one can buy their way into the right preschools…

I’ll admit we’ve had a duo (soon to be trio) when it comes to Bridget Jones, who more realistically hooked up with Mr. Wrong before stumbling into Mr. Right. I’m anxiously awaiting the next installment, to see what mishaps befall our imperfect heroine, as she and her One-and-Only move on with their lives together.

Sex & the City

Sex & the City is one of my pop cultural “touchstones,” not only for those shoes (!), but the friendship that endures among the women. Still – after many years and many adventures, the story line and characters play out the classic pursuit (and delivery) of “the One.”

Sex and the City's Samantha_Kim Catrall

The exception is the character of Samantha. While her one night stand with a much younger man blossoms into a rich 5-year relationship, she doesn’t portray an ever-after love affair, written in the stars.

Personally, I find this strangely hopeful. She’s my sort of post-millennial princess, and she rocks on, even at fifty.

© D A Wolf



  1. says

    I think I stopped believing in “The One” right around the time my marriage began to go sour.

    I think that there are many people that we can be compatible (and happy!) with — some more than others, obviously.

    But I’ve realized something important in the last few months. “The One” can be whoever we decide. I think that, in large part, we determine our own happiness. I have a wonderful man in my life that I love very much. But part of that is a conscious choice….because I could very much choose to focus on his less-than-perfect qualities and let those things get in the way of what has (so far) turned out to be my best relationship instead.

    Rather than looking at what isn’t perfect, I look at what IS – and every day I do that, and every day I fall in love with this man just a little bit more. It’s a choice that I make.

    Is he “The One”? He is. Because I want him to be. :)

  2. says

    I don’t believe in “the one”. Our spirits relate to every single person we meet. Some of those relationships are far more meaningful and long lasting than others, but why would one relationship with one person trump everything else in life? I don’t buy it. Neither does author Gary Zukov.

  3. says

    Wait!!!! Screeeeech! There is a sequel to “the One”! Shrek delivered…with not one but two sequels. Okay, admittedly it is a stretch, but look closely and don’t underestimate that fairy tale.

    Yeah, I may have to blog myself about that one.

    As far as the topic about “the one”, not sure I believe or don’t believe in the idea. I like to think of it more as a matter of “fit”. Like the hand and the glove, how well do the two people fit together in terms of interests, lifestyle, personalities, coping styles, temperament, perspectives, values, etc. These are far more likely to provide a basis for a lasting relationship with anyone including a romantic involvement than mere attraction or romance.

    And, yes, I am with you…the “rescuing” thing disturbs me too. I was rescued once and rescued someone else once. Didn’t like either side of that coin much really.

  4. says

    Here’s what is problematic about “rescue” (and it goes both ways; it’s really gender neutral, but “fixer” men more often try it with women) –

    There’s a difference between help and “rescue.” One person helping another, to whatever extent is comfortable for both, is very different from the imbalance of power that is set up when one “rescues” the other, and then feels as though he (or she) has an element of control or decision-making in the other’s life. That element of control is usually not appropriate.

    Eventually, either the rescuee caves to the rescuer’s decisions (without really wanting to), or, the relationship disintegrates.

    Often the desire to “rescue” is about that control, and has strings. Another problem. Even if it is subconscious behavior, mixed with good intentions.

    And last, once “rescued,” when you are able to fully stand on your own two feet again, the rescuer often feels threatened. It’s more of a parent-child relationship (or can be), than one of equality.

    HELP? Absolutely. People need to help each other. And even – at times – bail someone out, depending on the circumstances. And I think loved ones should bail each other out, or lend a significant hand if a boat looks like it’s sinking. But that’s a different picture entirely from the White Knight syndrome. The differences may be subtle, but they’re real.

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