Fantasy vs. Reality: Prince Charming Example in ABC TV Show


When I was a little girl, and I felt hurt or frustrated with life, I remember escaping into my dreams and make-believe world where everyone appreciated and loved me.  I felt so accepted and happy there, somewhat like Victor Hugo’s Cosette from Les Miserables…”There is a castle on a cloud I like to go there in my sleep….nobody shouts or talks too loud….not in my castle on a cloud…there is a lady all in white…she say’s “Cosette I love you very much”.

I feel many men and women do this same thing as they mature into adults, as they find reality is not what they expected or hoped for therefore…they turn to a fantasy. Pornography is a fantasy….”Pornography is not real,” said Craig Gross, founder of XXX Church. “It’s fantasy, not reality. You’re going to be disappointed in your future sex life, because it won’t match up to porn.”

How many relationships have been damaged by setting expectations that were not fulfilled?  John Gottman, world-renowned psychologist, has done extensive research regarding the reason for divorce …he states,

Marriage is often a set-up for failure from the start because of the expectation that your mate will be your “redeemer” and fulfill all your unmet needs. This expectation will inevitably result in disappointment and discord.

I was pleased to see that the media has depicted the danger that comes from preferring fantasy over reality when it comes to relationships. Once Upon a Time, a popular series currently airing on ABC, is set in the fictional seaside town of Storybrooke, Maine, in which its residents are actually characters from various fairy tales that are transported to the “real world” town and robbed of their real memories by a powerful curse.

One of the episodes features Prince Charming at the waters of Lake Nostos where he encounters a powerful siren. The siren turns into Snow White in order to seduce and tempt Prince Charming so she can drag him to the bottom of Lake Nostros and destroy him. But, Prince Charming calls her out and exclaims that he knows she’s not the REAL THING.

When I showed this clip to a close male friend of mine, he began to see the correlation…he shares, “He was smart at first and let his senses speak to him…logic, etc. told him who she really was, but just like evil gets more cleverly disguised, the siren changes form and tries with another “fantasy” as you called it, until he can just get a kiss…Anyway, it’s interesting she says it only would take a kiss, and he gives that to her, but that wasn’t enough…he had to be deceived enough to turn around so she could lure him backwards into the water and thus “pounce” on him all at once to take him under.”

This friend was wise enough to see the difference because he has come to understand what real love is and how the counterfeit or “fantasy” is nothing compared to the real thing. He is better able, just as Prince Charming tells the siren, when he is being seduced or tempted to know that love is not the motivator. He has found real love and has learned to appreciate what real and lasting love is. A poem by Laura Hendricks puts it beautifully when she observes…

“Love is friendship caught fire; it is quiet, mutual confidence, sharing and forgiving. It is loyalty through good and bad times. It settles for less than perfection, and makes allowances for human weaknesses. Love is content with the present, hopes for the future, and does not brood over the past. It is the day-in and day-out chronicles of irritations, problems, compromises, small disappointments, big victories, and working toward common goals. If you have love in your life, it can make up for a great many things you lack. If you do not have it, no matter what else there is, it is not enough.”

Pornograhy hurts real love, emotionally deadens the heart, destroys relationships, takes away agency and discourages it’s victim to live in the present. There is opposition in all relationships and just as evil can transform into something that looks “good”  We can also with patience, self discipline and time transform counterfeit love into a love that lasts forever.

Dr. Suess says it best when he says “You know you’re in love when you can’t fall asleep because reality is finally better than your dreams.”   Let us be wise, learn to recognize the components of pure love, better appreciate how they benefit our lives, take ownership for our own feelings regarding our relationships and live in the present with those we love…perhaps then reality will finally be better than our dreams.

The Numbers


NCOSE leads the Coalition to End Sexual Exploitation with over 300 member organizations.


The National Center on Sexual Exploitation has had over 100 policy victories since 2010. Each victory promotes human dignity above exploitation.


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