Like any matchmaker, I’m enthralled by a good love story. The story of the courtship and the May 19th wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle did not disappoint. By now, you may be completely saturated with news of this historic union, so I’ll only make a couple of points to highlight what I see is working in this relationship.
Number One: They celebrate the differences. As Ellen Barry wrote in the NYT, “The most extraordinary thing he (Prince Harry) has done is to marry Ms. Markle, an American actress who is three years his senior, biracial, divorced and vocal about her (feminist) views.” In addition, Harry married her despite loads of “family drama.” On her part, Meghan Markle chose a man who is three years younger than she, who speaks with a different accent and has a score of well publicized previous romantic relationships. Harry never had to work and has a very different set of life experiences. Whew! It is amazing they ever got to a first date!
To those who are looking for love; are you open to such differences? Will you date a Democrat? A Republican? A person who is shorter or taller or fatter or skinnier than you? Will you date someone who has some “baggage” (aka “life experience”)? Will you date someone who practices a different religion or whose educational background or income is different than yours? OR do you only date people who meet your aesthetic standard, who think like you do, eat like you do, enjoy all the same things that you do? If so, you not only limit your dating choices, you limit yourself. When you celebrate the differences, you open yourself up to wholly new life experiences and you enrich yourself, your partner and the world.
Number Two: Harry and Meghan don’t expect their lives to stay the same after marriage. In an interview, Ms. Markle proudly reported that her television series had over 100 episodes. Clearly, she’s an established actress who had a promising career. Likewise, Prince Harry had been the world’s most eligible bachelor since his big brother married in 2011. With their marriage, those things are going to change. Meghan gave up a promising acting career and left her home country and her family behind. Harry is no longer number one on the eligible bachelors list (perhaps a dubious distinction) and he’ll need to accommodate his life to include his new beautiful bride.
What is the point? If you are looking for a long-term relationship, expect your life to change. As a matchmaker, I’ve heard many people express the desire to find a perfect mate who will come into their life and neatly fit into the established boundaries. This is a fantasy! If you do find a significant other, it is 100% guaranteed that you won’t have the same daily routines, the same traditions, the same friends, the same family. These things will grow and change. Are you open to welcoming new people into your circle? Are you willing to move or change jobs to accommodate your new relationship? Are you open to changing your patterns for the sake of love?
So far, Harry and Meghan seem to be completely smitten and in love, willing to accept their differences, their crazy families and the major life changes that marriage brings. We wish them well in their journey of love!!
-Dr. Kate Freiman-Fox