Has Your Prince Charming Lost His Directions to the Ball?

woman kissing man's head

Even if you don’t consider yourself a modern day Cinderella, you’ve probably dreamt of rising from the ashes of your last relationship disappointment and finding that perfect man to complement you. Then it happens, you meet a man who seems perfect for you. We’ll call him Prince Charming and clothe him in modern dress. He’s everything you wished for and desire in a mate. At last! You have found someone who can look into the depths of your soul, see you for whom you truly are, and dance with you till the end of time. A month later your Prince seems to have lost his directions to the ball. He breaks a date without any reasonable explanation, stops calling or texting and you fear he’ll soon disappear into the sunset.

And you? Besides feeling heartbroken, you are likely scratching your head asking yourself, “What did I do wrong.” In most instances, the answer is “nothing,” especially if you presented yourself as you truly are from the beginning. Oh, the rulebooks for dating may tell you that you need to change your game plan and entrap your Prince by following an outline of do’s and don’ts. But as someone who is bit more enlightened, you may want to rise above playing games and access some relationship wisdom.

At this juncture you might be wondering, “If it’s not me, what possessed him?” “Possession” may in fact be the perfect term, especially if you understand a bit about some of the powerful archetypes that can rule over a man’s psyche. Whether the Fool, the Queen or the Emperor, the negative aspects of these three archetypes can override a man’s desire to be in an intimate relationship and impose attitudes that culminate in destructive and self-sabotaging behaviors.

Archetypes represent innate tendencies embedded in the subconscious that emerge in the personality as attitudes. We can view the imprint of an archetype and its effects on the personality in the same way we view encoded genetic information in the DNA. They make us who we are. In the case of archetypes however, one can rise above their influence by bringing them into conscious awareness and battling each negative attitude with higher virtues.

The following descriptions represent the three archetypes that are most responsible for flight behavior in a man. Each one can be deadly to a romantic partnership as well as disarming and disheartening to a woman who desperately wants the romance to last.

Dominated by the Fool or Trickster Archetype

The Fool is footloose and fancy-free. He lacks the emotional maturity to commit and seeks out women with whom he can have a short adventure. His motto is, “No one woman can hold my attention for very long.” For a woman confronted by the Fool, it is naive to think he is someone who will take the relationship seriously. Yes, it was a playful experience, coaxing her out of her shell for a time, but unless he shows his more mature side in due time, it’s over.

Possessed by the Shadow of the Queen

A man possessed by the Queen archetype may find it hard not to project his mother onto a woman’s personality. Showing up late, forgetting to call or breaking a date represents passive aggressive behavior, anger at a mother who perhaps was overbearing. His behavior is punishing and is also aimed at provoking punishment, recreating the familiar patterns in his childhood. He will feel smothered by a woman’s love and have the impulse to bolt if he feels something deep for her. A woman confronted by the Queen shadowing a man’s heart will have to call forth some understanding and a bit of patience. Rather than becoming demanding, giving him space without giving up entirely may set a new tone. And if he comes around, he’ll be seeking a mate not a mother.

Overshadowed by the Legacy of the Emperor

For a man who believes men rule, it may be hard for him to respect a woman enough to keep his word. Dating etiquette means little to him and he will demonstrate it’s a man’s prerogative to do as he pleases. His self-serving attitude is likely to put his work or business first and his excuse for not calling will be that he was tied up all day in meetings even if he spent the whole afternoon playing tennis with a buddy. He will expect a woman to turn this negative behavior into a positive, by giving him accolades for how hard he works. A woman challenged by the Emperor will have to present a ‘Mulan Female Warrior’ attitude and lay down some laws of her own. Her Prince is suffering from centuries of conditioning and if the relationship is to stand a chance she’ll have to demonstrate she will be an equal partner who demands respect. If he has an ounce of ‘prince’ in him, he will trade his throne for his equal complement.

Men possessed by the Fool, the Emperor or the Shadow of the Queen, may lack the insight to understand why it is they yearn so much for an intimate relationship but continue to flee. They may also fail to recognize that they hold a woman with such little regard. A man who lacks insight may need a woman to point out that the masked culprit is an archetype controlling his urges and influencing his point of view. A woman’s insight into her man’s psychology can lend a great deal to helping him heal his destructive attitudes and behaviors. But in the end she is best served by coaxing the “Lover” archetype out of him, touching the passion in his soul and the love in his heart.

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