How This Toxic Relationship Become Royal: The Story of Meghan and Harry
Harry and Meghan, a love story like no other. The heroine: a divorced American woman of color marrying into the world’s most famous and least colorful family. The whirlwind romance, the Vanity Fair cover. The royal fairytale wedding.
As a divorced 45 year old single mom, I had to LOOK AWAY at the risk of being poisoned by their perfection. And then this bombshell interview. Yes, they were crushing normal life and were obviously in love. Hands locked, the loving glances. Mutual admiration. All the while I thought of everything they’d sacrificed for each other. How much Harry must have loved her to leave everything behind. If only I could find that kind of love, I thought.
But as the interview went on, the tone changed. The story took a turn for the worse: her suicidal thoughts, waking up to a world that hates you, fleeing for your life during a global pandemic and worst of all, losing your family. I wouldn’t have lasted a day.
To be that couple, they had to stay in the ring, noses bloodied, the crowd cheering for death. When Harry’s family blindsided Meghan, she stayed. When she finally shared her suicidal thoughts, he was too embarrassed to actually ask for help. In the end he was forced to leave home and his family. A choice nobody would ever want to make.
Any conventional dating advice would have told them each to give up. I can just hear it now -
“His family said what????? You need to have higher standards, girl. If you can’t love yourself you’ll never find true love.”
“Why would you stay with somebody who can’t even ask for help? Isn’t that his JOB? Don’t take that behavior. That isn’t love. Actions speak louder than words.”
“Are you seriously going to leave the your FAMILY? Surely you can do better. Dude, you’re literally a Prince. I bet you could even get on Raya.”
“I told you not to date anybody with a beard!!!!”
Thank goodness they hadn't been following #relationshipadvice or #datingfails. Because if they had, there wouldn’t be a story to tell. She wouldn’t have lowered her standards, he wouldn’t have dropped his deal breakers and well, we’d be left with a couple of people who tried and gave up.
Which brings me to my learning point. We spend so much time today trying to get it right, as if following rules guarantees perfect union. But stories like theirs prove that big love can only happen when two people jump into the unknown and break all the rules at once.
If you want that unlikely love, you may need to break all of the rules too. Staying with somebody even if you become suicidal, have to leave your entire family and take hate from the entire world, may be worth it.
A day after the interview, I’m not jealous. I’m inspired. Enlightened, even. As it turns out, toxic behavior doesn’t necessarily make us unworthy of love. It might actually be a prerequisite.
Perfect love doesn’t come from perfect behavior. Behind every compelling love story are enough red flags to start an army.
Now, they have a new life. They’re in it together. How it will turn out is anybody’s guess. It’s actually completely unimportant. What matters is that they stayed the course, their hardship created the bond they share today.
I now go forward, armed with my past mistakes and ready to make more. Because I want that big love too.