The desire for our one true love is universal. We crave a bond that can elevate us to heights of ecstasy. Romantic fairy tales offer us a portal to experience these emotions vicariously.

Buying into this picture-perfect take on love, however, can land us in hot water. What seems like harmless escapism influences our expectations of relationships and partners.

Having a healthy skepticism about these stories does not mean we let go of our ideals. We can preserve the magic of love while taking away the illusion of perfection. I describe  four ways to balance our expectations of fairy tale love.