Letter From Cinderella to Peter Pan
We have now been on three dates. I loved our time flying to Never Never Land. (I especially liked it the second time, when Wendy didn’t tag along.) Flying with you was so romantic. My heart has been fluttery for days. I must admit that I got my hopes up.
I have given you all the right hints and flirty moves. But today when I texted you, it took you two hours to text me back!
So Peter, you need to get your act together. Either you want me or you don’t. I am beautiful and a great catch and UNDERNEATH IT ALL I AM A PRINCESS!!!
The bottom line, Peter, is that you need to GROW UP!
Your Lady in Waiting
Letter From Peter Pan to Cinderella
Let me give a you a peek into my heart. In my world, people expect really intense commitment really fast. This scared me. So I habitually stayed in the “friend zone” with girls…spending lots of time with them and getting them to like me so I could feel good. I was afraid of getting out of the friend zone because according to my culture, that meant I should be ready to get married.
I would much rather stay a boy than to face this much pressure. I was very stunted in my dating life. I wasn’t really growing up.
I finally decided that my rules were not working well for me, so I took a plunge into the dating pool. I have gone out on some dates to get to know people, and even to challenge myself to get out of the friend zone.
One lady had seven midgets living with her. I found that to be a little strange, so I decided to move on. Another one was sleeping the whole time. I could tell she wanted me to kiss her to wake her up, but I was not ready to kiss someone that I hadn’t talked to yet. Plus she was sleeping with her mouth open. Awkward.
You have been my favorite so far. You are beautiful and strong, you love animals, and you have a great singing voice. You’re a lot taller than me, but I can work with that.
Cinderella, here is the problem. I feel so much PRESSURE from you and all of these other girls. The I Kissed Dating Goodbye culture taught me that I should only date someone if I know I am going to marry them. This put enormous amounts of stress even on a first date. It has scared all of us men out of even wanting to date anyone at all.
When you say to me “either you want me or you don’t” that makes me feel backed against a wall. I DO like you, very much, but I need good time with you to really know whether we are a good match or not.
I am not into dating casually, but I am into dating slow. Can you see the difference?
P.S. I think you left a shoe at my place.
Letter From the Fairy Godmother to Cinderella and Peter
Dear Cinderella and Peter,
Oh my sweet dear little naive funny human children,
Cinderella came to me in tears asking for advice, so I thought I would write to both of you. Navigating dating can be as difficult for humans as turning pumpkins into carriages.
Cinderella, you had no father figure growing up. (You also had an evil mother figure. Like almost every Disney character. But I digress…)
You have been in the ashes for so long, berated by people telling you you are not beautiful, until you told that to yourself. You have longed for someone to sweep you up out of those ashes and make you the princess you know that you are on the inside.
I can understand this, sweetie. You have had a hard life. In your fairy tale world, romantic love is the happy ending, the thing that rescues the girl. No wonder you want someone to love you.
But can you understand how unhealthy it is to believe you only have worth when a man tells you you are valuable? It seems like you often date someone just to prove you are valuable, something you weren’t told enough as a little girl. You are using him if you do this.
You might want to go on a few less dating websites and few more counseling sessions. You need some healing.
Dan Allender says “Every woman will labor with loneliness; every man will struggle with futility. It is written into the plot of the earth.” I think this is true for both you and Peter. It will take a lot of work for you to overcome the lie that you alone (even with a husband,) and it will take a lot of work for Peter to know in his heart that his life is worth something.
Part of the curse in Genesis was that a woman would “long for” a man. I know in my younger days, I would long for romantic love with every sinew in my body. I thought it was the answer.
The truth is, you are already intrinsically valuable. No one can take that away from you, and no one can prove it to you. The more you know that now, the less you will demand men to show you your value, which will be especially life giving if you get married. It will put less pressure on your husband and allow a more healthy love to grow between you.
Peter, I can understand your points. The pressure from Cinderella is not helping anything, it is just scaring you. It is way too early in the relationship to put that kind of pressure on.
On the other hand you are not totally innocent. You have led Wendy and Tinker Bell on for years when you know you are not interested in either of them romantically, and I don’t want to see that happen with Cinderella.
Like you said, you need time to gather good information about Cinderella regarding whether or not you are a good match. The trick here is that after a good amount of time and lots of good information, if you do come to the conclusion that you are not a good match, you need to set her free. She deserves that. Even if it hurts her at first, it will be better in the long run. Don’t hold on to her because you are afraid of hurting her, and DON’T hold on to her just because it feels good to have someone like you. You are using her if you do this.
If you do realize that you would be great together and that you really can see a future with her, it’s time to take the next step and commit.
There are special fears that come up here because you also did not have a good father (or sometimes mother) figure. You have wanted to stay a boy because deep down you don’t really know if you have what it takes to be a man.
A lot of identity questions come up when there is a possibility for commitment. Am I good enough for her? Can I provide for her? Will I feel suffocated? Am I ready for children?
Commitment and responsibility go hand in hand for you, which makes the thought of getting serious a little more scary for you than for Cinderella.
It will help you grow up if you believe in yourself more. The more you believe you have what it takes as a man to be responsible, the less scared you will be of commitment. Ask God to show you how proud he is of you and how he sees you as a man, things you might not have heard from your father.
My advice for you? Talk to Cinderella about these fears as they come up. Allow these conversations to help you navigate whether you are a good match or not.
Cinderella, same advice. When you have that insatiable need to be loved come up, talk to him about what you are going through rather then pushing him against a wall. Don’t command him to fill that desire to be loved in you, but converse with him about your struggles in this area.
To both of you, don’t feel like you have to hold in your feelings forever, making it nebulous and scary. If you are attracted and wanting to learn more but scared of going too fast, just say that. It is much better than staying silent. Set a precedent from the beginning of your friendship to be open with each other. Whether you end up together or not, good communication will be invaluable.
Cinderella, commit to praying for Peter’s insecurity when it comes to his identity, and Peter, pray that Cinderella will know she is beautiful intrinsically.
Both of you, remember who you are by looking in the face of your True Papa and letting him tell you every day.
As Donald Miller says in his book Scary Close (my second favorite of his next to Bibbity Bobbity Boo for Beginners)
“I don’t know if there’s a healthier way for two people to stay in love than to stop using each other to resolve their unfulfilled longings and, instead, start holding each other closely as they experience them.”
Your Fairy Godmother
P.S. This letter went so well that I am thinking about quitting this Fairy Godmother stuff, which doesn’t pay well, and becoming a Life Coach. You might have a fee next time. Just a heads up.
***This post was inspired by a teaching of Dr. John Coe