Are You Addicted to the
7 questions to ask yourself to find out if you’re
suffering from “Prince Harming Syndrome” …
and what to do about it
Once upon a time I used to suffer from what I call Prince Harming Syndrome — the tendency to date men who were either Trouble or Troubled.
I remember once I was sharing a dark story about a particular Prince Harming with my buddy Scott, when the man at the next table at the café interrupted.
“Excuse me,” this stranger said. “I hope you two don’t mind, but I must confess I overheard you talking … and well … I’m a psychoanalyst … and I’m worried about you,” he said, staring directly at me. “Do you mind if I give you my free therapy opinion?”
“Not at all,” said Scott, answering for me.
“I have nothing to gain by telling you this,” the anonymous psychoanalyst began. “I don’t want or need your business. But as a psychoanalyst, I cannot help but recognize how this man you’re with is emotionally abusive. He sounds like a classic control freak . . . with sadistic tendencies … and you, well, you are a classic masochist … since as of right now, you are choosing to stay.”
“Masochist?” I repeated.
I looked at Scott. He meekly shrugged.
“But it’s good news, too,” the anonymous psychoanalyst said. “Masochists always have the most hope for change, because masochists always blame themselves. So … search deeply for why you’re with this man, your responsibility for having chosen him … and get out while you can!”
He then grabbed his brown leather briefcase, and whisked out of the café — like some masked psychoanalyst avenger.
I felt both horrified and validated. My Prince Harming had been assessed by a professional to be a sadistic control freak.
And me? I still had yet to figure out why I had chosen him.
In my mind I wasn’t a masochist. I’d been tricked. The way advertisers use “bait and switch” my Prince Harming had employed “date and switch.” He truly did start out so nice. And he seemed so charismatic, smart, funny, successful.
“You really should end this dysfunctional relationship,” Scott urged me. “Trust me. You’ll meet and marry a great guy soon enough. You’ve just got to kiss a lot of frogs before you find your prince.”